Have you made any plans for the next bank holiday weekend yet? If not, then you might like one of the events I am sharing with you in this post. Halloween falls onto a Tuesday this year. I have been thinking of taking it off but then thought, not much point as we can celebrate it at the weekend. It’s only trick or treating for an hour in the evening after all.
There are just eighteen days in the calendar until it’s Halloween. At this stage shops have stocked up all their decorations, costumes, scary ghosts and much more. To get into the spirit before Halloween night, we like watching Halloween themed movies all of October. The last two weekends have been a bit manic. As we are “promised” a hurricane this weekend, I think it will be a weekend indoors.
It has to be said again but Halloween is probably one of my favourite things I am looking forward to during the whole year. After Christmas of course. For day ten which the prompt is “jokes”, the only thing I could think of is Halloween jokes. If you are into these kind of jokes and want a laugh on a Tuesday evening, then read on. I am no good at telling jokes myself.
I was so jealous of all the bloggers going to the pumpkin patch this month. I really wanted to take Matthew to one, too as I knew he would love it. So off I went on my phone to do a quick Google. Unfortunately unsuccessful. At the time we still lived in the old house. Until I saw a post from Kellie who blogs at My Little Babog. She went to Kennedy’s Pumpkin Patch last weekend. Thankfully there were still some tickets left for Halloween Day. They have the family tickets which are 10 Euro or the single tickets which are 3 Euro. By the time I decided whether we go or not, the family tickets were sold out. Hubby said Matthew and I should go. Chloe wouldn’t get much enjoyment out of it anyway yet.
Yesterday morning we made our way from Naas, Co. Kildare to Julianstown, Co. Meath. It is about a 50 minutes drive. I don’t find that bad at all. There are so many things to do in and around Dublin, so many more options than there was in Sligo. I used Google Maps to find the place but even without, you would have found it easily. Once in Julianstown, they had signs with a pumpkin on it to direct you the right way. We got there by 12pm,a bit before it. The queue of cars was massive. Seems to be a very popular place. It’s mad because you’re in the middle of nowhere and there are everyone’s house and suddenly you have a massive field in the middle of it to fit all the cars and another field for all the pumpkins.
Once we had our tickets scanned, we were guided to our car parking space. Off we went to explore the place. First thing we spotted was a cool height chart. As a blogger you automatically think “Photo opportunity” and so I did.
After that we checked out the tent. On the left hand side children were queuing for face painting. I didn’t queue with Matthew. I know he got his face painted in creche before but other than that he can be quite awkward with somebody else he doesn’t know touches his face. On the right hand side we had all the good stuff. That included cupcakes, tea, marshmallows and hot chocolate. Matthew and I shared a hot chocolate and I bought us a cupcake. We then went outside and sat on the hay to eat it.
Once we finished eating our delights, we headed on to have a look at the rest. It wasn’t long until we discovered another stand with some treats. This time it was kind of healthy ones. A bowl of either red or green apple with a sauce and topping of your choice. You could choose between caramel or Nutella. We picked Nutella of course. Our topping was smarties but you could also pick from sprinkles and green jellies. It was all about messy. Little picks would have been handy with it to pick them up but it was certainly delicious.
With the bowl in hand we went straight down to the pumpkin patch. Matthew loved it. We kicked some hay, tool some photos and rolled a few pumpkins. While I was taking a photo of Matthew sitting on the pumpkin, Frankenstein creeped up. What a photo bomb to have.
Further down the field Matthew got his head stuck into one of the pop ups that were setup. He was the kitty cat.
At the end of the field they had a maze setup made out of straw for the little ones. Matthew went straight in and had a go twice.
As we went back up the hill again, we decided to check the black tent to see what’s inside. They created a spooky trail with complete darkness inside, skeletons and other scary creatures. Again Matthew loved it. That boy has no fear.
At the end of the whole experience Matthew was allowed to pick three small little pumpkins to take home with him. Why three? Because they had a deal on, three for two euro. I think that’s a pretty good deal. They look really cute in fairness.
Our last stop was the shed where they had a story teller on. Unfortunately in the middle of it Matthew had to go to the toilet so I called that the end of our trip. He really enjoyed it and laughed a lot.
The trip was well worth it and I would definitely go again next year.
Have you been to a pumpkin patch this year?
Lurid orange lollies, ghoulish black cakes and sinister grey candy floss… the huge array of Halloween-inspired sugary treats loaded with artificial colourings and flavourings is a nightmare for parents according to an Organix survey – 81% feel huge pressure to buy their children these unhealthy sweets and think the food industry is taking advantage of the annual event to cash in by selling unhealthy food, sweets and snacks (97%).
An Organix No Junk Survey of Mums across the UK reveals that 97% of mums think most of the food sold at Halloween contains high levels of artificial colourings and flavourings and that it is full of sugar (98%). In fact, half of mums are so anxious about what’s in the sickly treats they don’t even dare to read the terrifying list of E-numbers on the food labels (46%).
While years ago you might have hoped for a few penny sweets when trick and treating, these days many stores sell large ‘swag buckets’ for youngsters to carry their huge haul of nasty treats around. No wonder 92% of mums say Halloween is a time when children eat too much junk and 72% wish there was a healthy alternative at Halloween to sweets and ‘treats’.
In a bid to help parents and children join in with the fun of Halloween, but ditch the junk, Organix has come up with some truly awful treats that are actually good for you – from Frankenstein Toast to Ghostly Pizza, Bat Biscuits, Spooky Skeleton Platter, Pumpkin Pie Biscuits, Spooky Pumpkin Risotto and Sweet Halloween Pumpkin Muffins. Happy Halloween folks! (Please ask for recipes and photos)
For Halloween you’ll find lots more no junk spooky recipes created by the cooks at Organix at www.organix.com For lots more recipes and tips to help you and your family enjoy good food and avoid the junk follow #NoJunkJourney.
Stats at a glance
Pressure to buy sweets at Halloween
o Parents feel pressurised to buy children sweets at Halloween – 81%
Halloween is an excuse for the food industry to market unhealthy sweets and snacks
o The food industry uses Halloween as an excuse to sell unhealthy food, sweets and snacks – 97%
o Most of the food sold at Halloween contains high levels of artificial colourings and flavourings – 97%
o Most of the food sold at Halloween is full of sugar – 98%
Children eat too much Junk at Halloween
o Halloween is often a time when children eat too much junk – 92%
o Mums see children become more hyper when eating sweets – 76%
Mums do not feel good about Halloween
o I feel guilty about giving children trick or treating unhealthy sweets and snacks – 42%
o I can’t face reading the label on sweets and snacks for Halloween – 46%
o I avoid Halloween trick or treating altogether – 36% agree – 65% disagree
Junk Free Halloween Alternatives for a Healthy Halloween
o I wish there was a healthy alternative at Halloween to sweets and ‘treats’ – 72%
So what’s my opinion on this?
Has anyone thought about Christmas and Easter? What about the amount of chocolate that is being consumed at Easter with the massive Easter eggs. Chocolate is not exactly healthy either and would contain a high amount of sugar as the sweets would do.
In my opinion, children should have fun and enjoy their lives. Halloween only happens once a year. My two kids never get any sweets, in fact they don’t even like sweets. The only thing my four year old eats, is jelly beans. That’s about it and he only gets those as a treat when he did something good. Plus it’s always only a handful. If you can keep the sweets under control in your house and you make sure your kids brush their teeth twice daily, I don’t see why sweets should be banned completely, especially at Halloween. Halloween is known for trick or treating for hundreds of years.
What do you think of the outcome of this survey?
With preparation for Halloween truely under way for most people, I thought I share with you some craft ideas. A craft idea with a twist. Recently I was browsing my Facebook timeline, as you do. I came across a cool craft idea from the Disney page. This gave me the idea to do some research online for Disney inspired Halloween crafts. I grew up with Disney. My mum brought me to Disneyland when I was about eight years of age. I had a lot of Disney clothing. She even knitted a jumper for me with Donald Duck on it. I still have that now. Chloe is yet too small for it.
1. Pumpkin Tsum Tsums
I know we are busy mad with the house move and all but in case I do get a minute to myself the coming weekend or even the week ahead I would l really love to try out making one of these pumpkin tsum tsums. Has to be Minnie and Mickey though so both kids are not left out. Chloe loves her Tsum Tsums and her collection is growing. We have actually started buying the bigger Tsum Tsums that make a sound when you press their belly. You can follow the instructions on how to make this pumpkin here.
2. Mickey Mouse Bats
Check out these cute Mickey Mouse Halloween bats. And they are so easy to make. I can see my four year old enjoy doing these and hanging them all around the house. Find the instructions here.
3. Ghost Leaves
Matthew loves collecting leaves. Each morning before he has heading to creche, he has to pick up a leaf outside our house or outside the creche. He will not go into his class until he got one. He must have a huge collection of leaves in his box at this stage. Because he loves leaves so much, these cute leaves that look like ghost would be make the perfect craft idea for him the coming weekend. Instructions and what you will need here.
4. Halloween Banner
Every year we have the same banner hanging over the door. As we are moving house, I think this is the perfect opportunity to mix things up a bit. I really like this “The Night Before Christmas” inspired Halloween banner. The fact that it’s black and white makes it extra spooky. You don’t need much. Instructions can be found here.
5. Minnie’s Witch Hat
Check out this cool witch hat in Minnie Mouse style. Achievable with simple black card board and the help of an adult of course. Super cute with the bow on it. Can be found here.
6. Mickey’s Pumpkin Patch
This one is a bit more difficult to achieve and involves a bit of baking. When I saw this it reminded me of my childhood. I used to lick the salty dough. I am sure I am not the only. It was so much fun decorating it. I used to go to this place in town which was something like a camp but you can go in in anytime during your holidays and they had arts and crafts on the whole day. It was brilliant. If you want to try out these these cute Mickey Mouse pumpkins, follow the link here.
7. Mickey & Friends Trick or Treat Bag
Whether your child needs a trick or treat bag when he is going out knocking on people’s door, you want a cute idea for a Halloween Party or even fill these bags with sweets and give it out to the kids when they knock on your door. Easy peasy made here. Two Halloweens ago I made small little boxes for all the neigbourhood kids. That way they all get the same amount and nobody is fighting.
8. Disney Mini Pumpkins
Why not purchase a few mini pumpkins and decorate them as Tinkerbell, Pluto, Mickey Mouse or 101 Dalmations. It makes beautiful decoration out the front door and will surely get attention from neighbours walking by. If you want to know how to make these, simply follow this link.
Are you planning to do any Halloween orientated arts & crafts with your kids this season?