Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Phew, I’m pooped and I mean really done in. All this Halloween schmarky is totally wiping me out. Apart from the usual school run and play dates, my weeks are now jammed with pumpkin and Halloween events galore too. My feet have and will barely touch the ground in October.
I swear, autumn in England wasn’t this exhausting. But here? It’s one social event for the kiddos after another. Here’s a snapshot of how my calendar looks:
• Saturday 11 Oct Pumpkin carving and pumpkin bowling at local farm. Plus a nature trail and pony rides if you weren’t already stressed and knackered from arguing with the kids over your pumpkin designs, and chasing after them and their escaping pumpkins.
• Sunday 12 Oct Cider Mill visit. More soaking up of fresh air by walking through the wooded glades with the promising reward of some hot doughnuts (donuts – tsk!) and apple cider afterwards. (Why oh why is the cider non-alcoholic over here? Call it apple juice please.)
• Saturday 18 Oct We go here, Blakes Farm, another Cider Mill, to pick pumpkins for the children to carve at home. (See the size of those things?) Plus we spend a lovely half day racing round the Barnyard fun – a 3-level haunted barn, a hayride through the apple orchards, and a train ride through the same apple orchards, more pony rides, and a pumpkin shaped bouncy house. Then we climb the biggest haystack I’ve ever seen, get lost in a corn maze giving any parent a heart attack as their little ones run off out of sight, feed the chickens and the goats and eat more doughnuts.
• Sunday 19 Oct Neighbour’s Halloween party. Ten little ones 5 yrs and under all running around in their Halloween costumes and screaming at the fake eyeballs lurking in the bowls of spaghetti and sauce.
• Wednesday 22 Oct Me and the boys pile in the car and head to a local mall to watch Boogah and Hoogah’s Halloween Houseparty! A cute Halloween themed mini musical show with Bippety Boolarina, (a twirling pixie ballerina) that impressed Monkey so much, he was straight down the front into the toddler mosh-pit twirling his little jean-clad legs like he was in the Bolshoi Ballet. Had to come home and have a nap after all that excitement.
• Saturday 25 Oct Straight from Cheeky’s swimming lesson he’s off to a Spooktacular party at RARA (a community centre that runs toddler classes.) He will don his Halloween costume (he’s a Storm Trooper) for the 4th time this month, and spend a couple of hours sans parents making a pumpkin craft, eating pumpkin shaped cookies and playing pumpkin themed games. (Just as well he likes pumpkins.)
Meanwhile, his parents will be running his brother across town to a 2nd birthday party. This one, thank goodness, has nothing to do with pumpkins and is themed ‘Space Camp’. A rocket ship would be very handy at this point, as five minutes into that party I have to go get Cheeky from the Spooktacular party, de-robe him from planet Halloween and dock him back at Space Camp.
And the day of fun doesn’t end there. Oh no.
At 6.20pm we have to charge to yet another location and go to a local Nature preserve for a Halloween Hoot. This involves taking a 45-minute candlelit walk, to meet fairytale characters and watch short skits. The evening includes cider and doughnuts (Of course. Everything you do in America includes food) and a campfire with entertainment.
• Sunday 26 Oct No lie-in for us! Today we’re off to Hess-Hathaway Park, a farm park for a hayride with friends. We won’t be partaking in the cross-country skiing (the snow’s not here just yet) but am sure we’ll be feeding the animals, walking the hiking trails, checking out the playground and bumping around on bails of hay as the tractor pulls us along through the woods. Oh and no doubt, cider and bloody doughnuts will be served!
• Tuesday 28 Oct Halloween costume party at Monkey’s toddler class. Bet we have to carve another pumpkin! (He’s dressing up as a monkey too by the way) but if I’m offered another cup of cider and a doughnut comes anywhere near me, am jumping on that plane and heading back home!
• Thursday 30 Oct Cheeky’s school Halloween party. Will have lost count of the number of times he’s worn his costume by this point. Then it’s a quick dash to the airport to collect one of my best friends from the UK who is flying in for some trick or treating. I will need the job lot of PG Tips tea she is bringing; to stay awake for the next 24 hrs of catching up we are looking forward to doing.
• Friday 31 Oct Halloween is here!!!! And we’re starting our family celebrations with a drive along Tilson Street Halloween Haunt . Apparently the decorations are astonishing and it’s like driving through a Halloween movie set.
Then, back to our house to light the pumpkins on our front steps for the neighbourhood trick or treating. The boys will be in heaven and are sure to be on candy-overload for the rest of the weekend. Great!
• Saturday 1 November SLEEP, SLEEP and hopefully more SLEEP!
They say it’s tough to keep up with the ‘Jones’, I say it’s tougher to keep up with the Americans at this time of year. Tell me, how are you celebrating Halloween?