Halloween has been and gone and all that remains is a fluffy, mouldy pumpkin sticking out of the top of the compost bin. It has been fun though! I do enjoy the build up, the buying and making of the pumpkin and the cobbling together of costumes – my daughter thought it was all very exciting, especially when I started trying to sort an outfit for her. The lovely lady from @thedressingupchest had a fantastic little spidery, taffeta tutu which we added a black vest top to, and black leggings. We decided she was a ‘Scary Fairy!’ We even got a little wand for her, which her little brother immediately adopted. He kept grabbing it and whacking anything and anyone with it – including our TV. Husband was not amused.
I decided this year not to go down the home party route, last year was great but it did involve masses of organisation, panics over what was and was not ‘spooky food’ and a lot of tidying up. Mind you, last year, we played the ‘Oh Mummy’ game where the kids had to wrap each other up with toilet roll and I didn’t run out of loo roll for a very long time afterwards (I did have to spend a very long time re-rolling the stuff though, just call me Scrooge!)
Anyway! On Halloween I planned to take our kids to a crafty Halloween lantern making workshop, and then onto a Halloween party at a wacky warehouse style place. Minimum effort for maximum fun, hopefully. October 31st arrived and so did both of D & S’s cousins, very soon we had a ‘Scary Fairy,’ a ‘Zombie,’ a ‘Pumpkin’ and ‘Spiderman’ running around the house like mad things screaming ‘I’ll turn you into a zombie!’ at each other. S couldn’t manage shouting that, but did manage to hit people with the wand in a ‘I’ll turn you into a zombie’ kind of manner. S wouldn’t keep his pumpkin hat on and Spiderman (younger cousin) was a reluctant superhero so took his cosume off before we got out the door. We still managed a cute photo of three of them though. I’m sure you’ll agree they look cute as anything, if a zombie can look cute that is.
The lantern making workshop was packed, but the kids found a space at one of the tables and generally mucked about with half plastic bottles, tissue paper, sparkly stars and excessive amounts of glue. D very carefully made herself a lovely lantern, S made one which was very haphazard and had a ‘sqoshed pider’ (squashed spider’ decoration on it. I’ve never seen him so proud of anything before.)
We hurriedly finished the lanterns, wolfed our picnic down and then headed over to the party. It was absolutely heaving and full of children running round in circles yelling and clambering on everything. I must confess to wanting to turn around and go straight home. Luckily we managed to find a table, got ourselves coffees and watched the whirlwind of kids be entertained for an hour and half. It was nice not having to organise food or games, and the kids seemed to enjoy it. One of D’s friends was a bit wary of the play area for the older kids as they had simply switched the lights off and installed disco lights here and there. Not ideal for kids who are a little worried about the dark, as many are at this age.
At this point I have to comment on Halloween costumes, I found it downright disturbing to see so many kids wandering around looking like they’d been injured in horrendous accidents, fake blood abounded and I think I must be a wimp or something. I much prefer witches, wizards, spiders and ghost outfits. I wondered whether I should call an ambulance at one point (shudders).
We prised the kids away at 7pm and drove them home whilst they raided their halloween party packed lunches in the back of the car. It had been a very fun, very manic day. I am very relieved Halloween only comes once a year!
Although an organised party at a venue was a bit of a change to what we usually do, I don’t think I’ll do anything like that again. It seemed impersonal, crowded and sweet ridden (sorry, but there’s got to be a limit to how many E numbers a child can eat before they risk exploding). I dont think it was half as nice as the parties we’ve had at home where time, effort and at the risk of being sentimental, love, has gone into organising everything.
Next year it’ll be bobbing apples in a bucket, trick or treating the neighbours, silly games with loo roll and buns with spider icing on I reckon. No more Wacky Warehouse do’s for me! I’d rather stick pins in my eyes, which is rather appropriate for Halloween as it happens.