Posts Tagged ‘Halloween Events’

October 25th, 2011

Halloween Mummy Dogs

Halloween Hotdog Mummy WrapsHalloween is right around the corner and this is a great Halloween party recipe for kids and adults alike. Wrap up your favorite brand of hot dogs in true Halloween mummy fashion! These are cute and very fun to make and serve.

Source: Pillsbury.com

Ingredients

  • 1 can (8 oz) Pillsbury® refrigerated crescent dinner rolls OR 1 can (8 oz) Pillsbury® Crescent Recipe Creations® refrigerated seamless dough sheet
  • 2 1/2 slices American cheese, quartered (2.5 oz)
  • 10 hot dogs
  • Cooking spray
  • Mustard or ketchup as desired

Cooking Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. If using crescent rolls: Unroll dough; separate at perforations, creating 4 rectangles. Press perforations to seal. If using dough sheet: Unroll dough; cut into 4 rectangles.
  3. With knife or kitchen scissors, cut each rectangle lengthwise into 10 pieces, making a total of 40 pieces of dough. Slice cheese slices into quarters (1/2 slice cheese, cut in half).
  4. Wrap 4 pieces of dough around each hot dog and 1/4 slice of cheese to look like “bandages,” stretching dough slightly to completely cover hot dog. About 1/2 inch from one end of each hot dog, separate “bandages” so hot dog shows through for “face.” On ungreased large cookie sheet, place wrapped hot dogs (cheese side down); spray dough lightly with cooking spray.
  5. Bake 13 to 17 minutes or until dough is light golden brown and hot dogs are hot. With mustard, draw features on “face.”
Try a mini version with cocktail sausages.
Visit Operation Letter To Santa
September 29th, 2010

Low Cost Ideas For A DIY Haunted House


SpiritHalloween.com
Even adults like to venture into a haunted house at Halloween time. But, why would you want to pay $20, $30, or more to go out and see someone else’s haunted house when you can create one of your own?

It seems like everything has been done before right? Well, maybe not. Most haunted houses have the same goal – to scare the stuffing out of you. Your haunted house can have a different objective: creepy, disgusting, and fun. Halloween can be scary with a nice bit of gross factor, too.

Getting Started at Home

Look around your home. What do you already own that can be used?  Ask the whole family to come up with ideas.  Let’s take a look at a few:

  • Old sheets – Cut them up and wrap them around big styrofoam balls (you can buy them at any craft store). Hang them from the trees in your front yard. For a more dramatic effect, glue glow-in-the-dark eyes and mouths on them.
  • Silhouettes – You can buy these, but if you have old fabric or construction paper at home do them yourself. There are also online stencils you can use to create black cat, pumpkin, witch and monster silhouettes for your windows.
  • Yarn – White, black, and orange yarn can be used to create gigantic spider webs for the yard and the corners of your rooms. Stretch out a few cotton balls across the webs to resemble wrapped prey.
  • Fruit – Peel apples, pears, or even potatoes. Carve deep spooky faces into them. Place them onto a cookie sheet in the oven so that they can dry and shrink. Now, you have just created ghastly shrunken heads you can strategically place around the house.

Heading to the Store

After you have scavenged the house and the attic for items, it’s time to head to the store. Dollar stores and thrift shops usually have awesome accessories: skeletons, spiders, witches brooms and hats, decorative cups, and other appropriately spooky things.

Here are some more ideas for your DIY masterpiece:

  • Spooky lab – Fill mason jars with water and food coloring to make them dark. Float plastic eyeballs, skeletons, plastic animals, plastic severed hands, and other gross items in them and set them on a counter. To lend a spooky appearance, place a tub of dry ice in the room for a foggy atmosphere. Be sure to get plenty though because it doesn’t last long.
  • Strobe light – Use dark colors like red, black, and orange to give off a frightening aura to your rooms. How about creepy crawlies suspended from the ceiling with clear twine? When the strobe light hits, listen for the screams.
  • Ambiance – You’ll want all the feeling of Halloween, so you’ll need a few items to set the mood.  How about food coloring and corn syrup to create blood, glow-in-the-dark paint for mirrors and windows, and CDs of scary sounds and music.

With only a few dollars spent, you can outfit each room of your home to scare even the bravest guests.  Use your imagination and turn your home into an eerie haunted house.

Have a spooky great time!

Visit Operation Letter To Santa

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September 27th, 2010

Top Halloween Party Games For Kids

Personalize your Halloween Party at ShindigZ.comHalloween is just around the corner! Kids like to have fun, and what could be more fun than a Halloween party? If you want to have an entertaining Halloween party without too much sweat and toil, make sure that there are plenty of activities for your child and their friends to enjoy. Here are a few games you might want to include on your list of activities to hear roars of laughter from your kids:

Bobbing for Apples – This was great when you were a kid, and is still a favorite. Find a large metal wash tub and fill it with cold water. Add crisp, pretty apples. Each kid takes a turn bobbing his or her face into the wash tub, hoping to bite into, and bring up, an apple.

Pumpkin Carving – Kids love competition. Provide each child with a small pumpkin and a safe carving kit. Pick themes or let their imaginations drive their creations.  Give prizes for different categories (scariest, prettiest, most unusual) and be sure everyone gets a prize of some sort. Operation Letters to Santa’s Halloween section has plenty of Halloween Stationery and Halloween Certificates that you can print from your computer and personalize with your own name!

Mask Mania – Use construction paper or pre-made mask shapes. Provide paint and plenty of embellishments so each child can create a fanciful mask. Offer prizes for several categories, ensuring that each child walks away with some sort of recognition.

Haunted Hayride – If you have the space and the equipment, this is a very fun party. Hitch a trailer to a truck. Fill the trailer with hay bales for the kids to sit on and carry them through the field while someone tells ghost stories. See who can tell the scariest story. This is also a great idea for small, scattered neighborhoods where walking between them may be a little dangerous because of the roads. It allows the parents and the children to all be together in one group and is a lot of fun for everybody!

Trivia Games – What’s your favorite scary movie? Come up with challenging questions about everyone’s favorite movie and see who can get the most answered correctly, for prizes, of course.

Scavenger Hunt – Use your own backyard or even your house, basement, or garage to set up the hunt. Divide kids into teams and provide ghastly clues to each piece of the puzzle that leads to  the largest treasure.

Haunted House – Halloween is all about being scared, right? Create a haunted house in your backyard, garage, or basement in the form of a maze. You get to laugh at all the screams you hear as they make their way from spooky beginning to frightening end.

Dance-a-Thon – Let’s see who can dance the longest to a non-stop reverie of new and old haunted Halloween songs. Even see who can perform the classic dances like “Monster Mash” like a pro. Those who dance the longest win a prize.

Who says that Halloween has to be all about trick-or-treating? You can host a party for your kids and have a spooky great time.

Visit us at Operation Letters to Santa for almost 1000 pages of Holiday Activities, Christmas Carols, Christmas Sheet Music, Holiday recipes, Free gifts and downloads and so much more!

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August 30th, 2010

Trick Or Treat Safety Tips

Vintage Hallowen Trick or Treat BagTrick or Treating is the best part of Halloween for the young and young at heart. All October long we plan our costumes, stock up on candy, and get ready for a great time.

The days of children safely navigating house by house looking cute and gathering trick-or-treat goodies have gone by in most American neighborhoods. But fear not, there are plenty of safe alternatives for your little (and sometimes big) trick-o-treating fans.

Here are a couple of safe trick-or-treat ideas for schools, churches, and communities that are great alternatives to ensure a fun and safe time for all the kids.

Source: All Hallows Eve

Trunk or Treat

Instead of having the kids go door to door, get with your neighbors (or church, community group, etc.) and host a Trunk or Treat event. This can be done at night or in the daytime and there is very little set up and preparation. Just decorate the inside of your trunk and display the candy in a really cool way. When the event is over, close the trunk and drive home. Use caldrons, skeletons and rats for a spooky theme. Or use pink fabric, a toad, and a tiara for a frog princess theme.

This is a perfect safe Trick or Treat idea for schools and can translate into other settings easily. If you are hosting the event in your neighborhood, all of the participants can park their vehicles at the end of their drive way. This is a great way to indicate who is and who is not participating in the event.

If you are hosting the event at a church or community center, have all of the participants park their cars in a circle. Explain to children and parents that they should only go to the cars inside of the circle. This is a great way to manage who is around and predators will be easily recognized.

Mall Hosted Trick-or-Treating

Most cities across the US will have at least one mall that hosts a trick or treating event. Check your local listings and the mall website for dates and times. Usually during this event, children can travel the mall, visiting various retailers for treats. Children can definitely dress up, and actually, it is encouraged! The participating stores will have some sort of sign posted indicating they are participating in the event. This is a great event because your children are able to have fun in a familiar and safe environment, and you can shop!

If you are still up for traditional Trick-or-Treating or if you know trick-or-treating will take place in your neighborhood follow these safety tips provided by the National Safety Council.

Motorists

The National Safety Council urges motorists to be especially alert on Halloween.

  • Watch for children darting out from between parked cars.
  • At twilight or later in the evening, watch for children in dark clothing.

Before They Go Out

Before children start out on their “trick or treat” rounds, parents should make sure that:

  • Children travel only in familiar areas and along an established route and youngsters understand not to eat any treat until you have inspected it.
  • Plan and discuss the route trick-or-treaters intend to follow. Know the names of older children’s companions and a return time has been established

Costume Design

  • Remember: fire-retardant materials for costumes and loose but warm clothing underneath.
  • Outfits should be made with light-colored materials. Strips of reflective tape should be used to make children even more visible.

Face Design

  • When buying special Halloween makeup, check for packages containing ingredients that are labeled “Made with U.S. Approved Color Additives,” “Laboratory Tested,” “Meets Federal Standards for Cosmetics,” or “Non-Toxic.” Follow manufacturer’s instruction for application.
  • If masks are worn, they should have nose and mouth openings and large eye holes.
  • ACCESSORIES
  • Knives, swords and other accessories should be made from cardboard or flexible materials. Do not allow children to carry sharp objects.
  • Bags or sacks carried by youngsters should be light-colored or trimmed with retro-reflective tape if trick-or-treaters are allowed out after dark and carrying flashlights will help children see better and be seen more clearly.

On The Way

Children should understand and follow these rules:

  • Do not enter homes or apartments without adult supervision.
  • Walk on the left side of the road, facing traffic, if there are no sidewalks.

Treats

To ensure a safe and enjoyable trick-or-treat outing for children, parents are urged to:

  • Give children an early meal before going out.
  • Insist that treats be brought home for inspection before anything is eaten and when in doubt, throw it out. Don’t allow children to eat anything that is “suspect.”

Safety tips courtesy of the National Safety Council.

Visit us at Operation Letters to Santa for almost 1000 pages of Holiday Activities, Christmas Carols, Christmas Sheet Music, Holiday recipes, Free gifts and downloads and so much more!

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August 24th, 2010

26 Inexpensive and Fun Autumn Family Activities

Source: Life123.com

Autumn ScarecrowCheck out these great, fun and cheap autumn activities for you and your family to enjoy:

  1. Apple cider is its best during autumn, and when heated it makes a wonderful hot beverage to warm little bellies up after they’ve been playing in crisp weather.
  2. Bundle up, as the weather is getting colder. Just to be silly, have a contest to see how many layers of clothes your kids can put on at a time. Prizes can also be given for how quickly they get their extra clothes on and off.
  3. Corn roasts can be particularly wonderful in early autumn when conducted with fresh sweet corn over a barbecue grill.
  4. Drive to a place where trees are plentiful, just to observe the turning of the leaves.
  5. Every autumn, some birds fly south for the winter. Notice what types of birds live near you and look up whether they migrate or stay put. See if you recognize any other kinds of birds in transit, like Canada geese.
  6. Figure out how many days there are in autumn by counting the days on the calendar between the first day of autumn and the first day of winter.
  7. Go on a nature hike at a state park, and bring along some popcorn and warm apple cider in a thermos.
  8. Hay-rides are often sponsored by nearby farms or community groups. Look for one and join in the fun.
  9. In the mornings during autumn, you can often see your breath when you walk outside. Help your kids look up why this happens and ask them to explain it to you.
  10. Jump in piles of raked leaves, but make sure the rake is somewhere else first.
  11. Kandy Korn is a favorite autumn candy. Fill a large jar with Kandy Korn and have your kids guess the number of pieces in the jar. You will have to count them beforehand and keep people from eating any.
  12. Leaf rubbings can be made with a crayon and a piece of paper placed over a leaf. The leaves you make can then be decorated and hung up as an autumn decoration as well as a teaching tool for helping your children learn the difference between different types of leaves.
  13. Make pumpkin loaves with your kids to give to grandparents, teachers or others as a wonderful autumn treat. Those of you who don’t bake well can fool everyone with boxed mix.
  14. Nobody likes a spoilsport. Many sports are active during autumn, so take your children to a local school’s sporting event, like a basketball or football game. Cheer for a team and explain the object and rules of the game.
  15. Oranges, reds and browns are prevalent during autumn. Call out one of the color names and have your kids make a list of everything they can think of which is that color. The child with the most things on their list wins.
  16. Potatoes are incredibly versatile. Make a list with your kids of every way you can think of to cook a potato, and then have them help you prepare potatoes in each way down the list.
  17. Quite appropriate also is to make lists together of sights, sounds and smells associated with autumn and help each child develop their list into a poem that can be read to their class at school or before Thanksgiving dinner.
  18. Read your kids a spooky story like “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” “The Telltale Heart” or a Goosebumps book. Then you can make puppets and act out the story for grandparents.
  19. Scarecrows can be silly or scary. Build a scarecrow with your kids out of household items and put it in the yard.
  20. Turn all your clocks back one hour on the appropriate day, and explain to your kids why we have daylight savings time. Ask them to figure out whether you get one hour more of sleep or one hour less of sleep during the autumn.
  21. Use strips of colored construction paper to weave interesting placemats for Thanksgiving dinner.
  22. Very soon it will be Halloween. Have your kids draw pictures of what costume they’d like to wear this year, or have them cut out pictures from magazines and make a collage of Halloween-themed things.
  23. Weathervanes are often depicted on the tops of farmhouses or barns. Find a weathervane near where you live, point it out to the kids and explain why it’s there. Then with tape, scissors, tin foil, cut up pizza boxes and cardboard rolls that come from paper towels, try to make one together.
  24. X-amine the animals around where you live and see how their behavior changes with the seasons. Make a list of the animals you see and how they prepare for and endure colder weather.
  25. You could make garlands for your outside trees by stringing together popcorn, cranberries or paper designs. You could also make birdfeeder ornaments by putting peanut butter on pinecones and hanging them up. This way, you’ll help the birds and squirrels prepare for winter as well as have fun decorating trees.
  26. Zzzzzzz. When the weather is cold outside, it is blissful and relaxing to hide under a big comforter and take an afternoon nap with your kids.

Visit us at Operation Letters to Santa for almost 1000 pages of Holiday Activities, Christmas Carols, Christmas Sheet Music, Holiday recipes, Free gifts and downloads and so much more!

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August 17th, 2010

Harvest Party or Halloween Party?

Harvest PartyMany parents, for varied reasons, are getting out of the traditional Halloween spirit of trick or treating. For some parents it is a fear of their children getting a hold of tampered with candy or being bullied by older and stronger gangs of teens who really shouldn’t be trick or treating in the first place.  For other parents it can be a decison based on religious beliefs.

Religion

Many of today’s parents who are Christians themselves when polled identified Christmas as their favorite holiday as a child. Many of those same parents chose Halloween as one of their favorite holidays as a child too. Alas, that was before we got so very, very politically correct and before just about everyone was offended by something or another.

Safety

In the 1970’s and 1980’s there were reports of razor blades and needles being put into apples being handed out to trick or treating children. Around the same time there were reports that candy and taffy were being laced with poison.

To my personal knowledge these incidents ended up being unfounded but Ann Landers and Dear Abby spoke of the dangers of trick or treating, and all over America concerned parents began to make changes to their Halloween traditions by either closely monitoring their children’s activities or changing their activities altogether when it came to Halloween and trick or treating.

Church sponsored parties for neighboring children first became popular in the 1980’s. During the hours of trick or treating it was common to find the church doors open offering children an alternative to traditional trick or treating. These alternatives still had every kid’s favorite part of the holiday – candy, but also included games and an overall safer way to spend the night. It was also common for churches to rather demonize Halloween by labeling it a pagan holiday. This was the start of Harvest parties replacing the trick or treating and scary Halloween parties.

To replace the door to door trick or treating or Halloween parties, some parents also considering Harvest or Fall parties. These are basically a watered down version of the traditional Halloween.

This leads us to wonder:

Where Exactly Did the Worry About Halloween in Christianity Come From?

Follow along as we see how it all came to be that many Christian parents’ now choose to celebrate Harvest without the “evil” and scary side of Halloween.

The Celtic’s celebrate the end of summer on Halloween by sacrificing to the gods of the Druidic tradition. Their belief was that the lord of death (Samhain) would send out evil spirits to attack the living. The only protection from the lord of death was for them to disguise themselves as evil beings or spirits, thus the costumes.

Wicca followers celebrate Halloween as one of two high and “holy” days. Following the Celtic belief as outlined above and worshipping Samhain, Halloween becomes a very evil day in the eyes of the Christian believer.

Fourth Century Christians, in an attempt to get away from this evil, began to focus and celebrate Christian saints. This is what we now know as All Saints Day on November 1st. It was during this time that parents, realizing that they could not completely get away from this day, began to allow their children to dress up in costumes that were non-evil such as brides, princesses, pumpkins and football players.

October 31st and Halloween will come each year. I hope this brief history on the emerging Harvest parties and Halloween will give you some insight when choosing how you will spend this day.

No matter which tradition you follow, be safe!

August 29th, 2009

Halloween Events in Los Angeles, 2009

Table of contents for 2009 Halloween Events

  1. 2009 Halloween Events in New Orleans
  2. Halloween Events in Los Angeles, 2009
  3. Halloween Events In Miami, 2009

With all of the special effects expertise and the number of actors in Los Angeles, it’s no surprise that La La Land celebrates Halloween with a passion. From scary theme parks to haunted ships to cemetery tours and paranormal research opportunities. There’s something to have everyone seeing ghosts.

Universal Studios Hollywood – Halloween Horror Nights
The un-dead populate the studio backlot on October weekend nights. The event includes “walk-through mazes, roaming scare actors, nightmare-inducing rides, shows and attractions.”
Location: 100 Universal City Plaza, Universal City, CA 91608.
Dates: Oct 2-3, 9-11, 15-18, 23-25, 28-31, 2009
Hours: 7 pm to 12, 1 or 2 am depending on the day
Cost: $36-$56 Night only General Admission, Front of the Line Pass and RIP tickets available
Special Offers: Online advance discounts
Info: www.halloweenhorrornights.com/hollywood/
Note: Do not wear costumes. Not recommended for children under 13 or the timid.
View Halloween Horror Nights Photo Gallery 

Halloween at Disney Land

Halloween at Disney Land

Mickey’s Trick-or-Treat Party
The Disney Resort hosts a separate admission evening event for the Halloween season at Disney’s California Adventure. The park will close early to daytime visitors and re-open in the evening with trick-or-treating stations, Halloween crafts, live music and entertainment for the younger set.
Location: Disney’s California Adventure, 1313 S. Harbor Boulevard, Anaheim, CA
Dates & Hours: October 2, 8, 9, 15-16, 21-23, 28-31, 2009; Tue-Thu 6:30 – 10:30 pm; Friday 7:30 – 11:30 pm
Cost: $32-$42
Info: Disney.com

Knott’s Scary Farm Halloween Haunt
Knott’s fills all their rides and shows with ghosts, ghouls, werewolves and vampires for its annual Halloween Haunt Location: Beach Blvd. in Buena Park, one mile south of the 91 (Artesia) Freeway and two miles south of the 5 (Santa Ana) Freeway
Dates: Sept 24 – 27, Sept 30 – Oct 4, 7-11, 14-18, 21-25, 28-31, 2009
Hours: 7 pm – 2 am Fri-Sat, all other days 7 pm – 1 am
Cost: $31.99-$49.99 advance, $53.99 at the gate
Special Offers: Discount coupons are often available at Ralph’s Supermarkets and various fast food restaurants (check What’s Hot on the website); VIP tours available, hotel packages.
Info: www.knotts.com
Note: Do not wear costumes. Not recommended for children under 13 or the timid.

Knott’s Camp Spooky Costume Party
A daytime non-scare celebration of Halloween in Knott’s Camp Snoopy with a haunted maze, trick-or-treating and themed entertainment for kids 3-11.
Location: Beach Blvd. in Buena Park, one mile south of the 91 (Artesia) Freeway and two miles south of the 5 (Santa Ana) Freeway
Dates: Weekends, Oct 3-31
Hours: regular park hours
Cost: Included with park admission
Info: www.knotts.com

Six Flaggs Fright Fest

Six Flags Fright Fest

Six Flags Magic Mountain Fright Fest
Six scary mazes, roaming zombies and extreme rides in the dark.
Location: Magic Mountain Parkway exit off Interstate 5 in Valencia
Dates: Fri-Sun, Oct 3-31, 2009
Hours: Vary by day, check the website
Cost: Six Flags admission $29.99 online, $59.99 gate, kids under 48″ $29.99, Kids 2 and under free, check the website for specials.
Info: www.sixflags.com/parks/magicmountain, (661) 255-4100,

Information was correct at the time of publication. Please check the event website for the most current information.

Halloween at LA Area Theme Parks
Haunted Houses, Ships and Ghost Tours Around LA
Annual Halloween Events that Last a Weekend
Annual Halloween Events that Last One Night
Annual Halloween Events that Last One Day

Disneyland gets a Halloween makeover with the parks and the Disney characters decked out for the season.
Location: Disneyland and Disney’s California Adventure, 1313 S. Harbor Boulevard, Anaheim, CA
Dates: Sept 25 – Nov 1, 2009
Hours: See calendar for daily park hours
Cost: Included in park admission
Info: www.Disneyland.com

Source: About.com
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