1. Ghosts, Goblins & Ghouls – Oh My!

    Halloween is one of the most fun times of the year – when else can you spend an entire month eating candy and dressing up in costume? Since Halloween parties are a great way to get friends and family together for a night of scarily good food, fun, and fashion, here are a few simple ideas to make your eerie get-together the best yet.

    Picking a Halloween costume is a childhood ritual whose enjoyment lasts well into adulthood. Buying a costume ensures a quick and speedy transformation into whatever superhero or fantasy character kids may choose, but if you have the time, making a costume from scratch can provide a lifetime of fun memories. For no-sew costumes, use an oversized sweatshirt as a base on which to draw, pin, or hot glue a variety of accessories and decorations. But whether you decide to buy or DIY, make sure the costume is easy to get on and off, and fits properly – too-loose costumes can pose a safety hazard.

    Half the fun of Halloween parties is making your home look as spooky as possible. Carving a pumpkin is a traditional Halloween activity for a reason – it’s fun! Think you’re pretty handy with a pumpkin carving knife? Use your imagination to create one-of-a-kind pumpkins that reflect the personalities of your children and family members.  If you need other decorations, visit your local craft store for supplies like plastic spiders, string, and glitter. Loop the string around a pumpkin like a cobweb, and pop on a few spiders for a creepy crawly table centerpiece, or carefully cover the pumpkin in glue and glitter for a glitzier look.  

    No party is complete without a spread of snacks, and Halloween is a great opportunity to give some of your kids’ favorite foods a ghoulish makeover. Turn a familiar hot dog into an unearthly “mummy dog” by wrapping it in thin slices of crescent roll dough, and baking until the dough resembles a mummy’s bandages. Pipe a cobweb of sour cream onto a bowl of salsa or nacho dip, or make a “candy corn” pizza with mozzarella in the middle and cheddar around the edge. Black and orange cookies (instead of black and white) and pumpkin cupcakes are easy desserts that everyone is sure to love.

    Trick-or-treating is another Halloween rite of passage, but make sure kids know your ground rules. Young children should never go out unless accompanied by an adult. All treats should be examined before consumption, and no matter how delicious they look or smell, homemade items should be ignored in favor of wrapped, store-bought candies. Wearing reflective tape on a costume will alert drivers when kids cross the street, which they should always do with the help of an adult.

    Celebrating Halloween can create long lasting memories of family bonding and excitement. And with a little planning, patience, and organization, you can make your annual Halloween party a treasured family tradition.