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Weekend Planner Oct 31-Nov 2

Obviously this Friday will be spent trick-or-treating for Tomorrow I recommend the Pumpkin Buckwheat Pancake recipe that I posted earlier this week then if your inclined you may want to go to the Home Depot - Kids Clinics This months project is a Leaf Press. The workshops teach children do-it-yourself skills and tool safety, while at the same time helping to instill a sense of accomplishment. Additionally, this fun time allows for quality one-on-one time between adults and children.In addition to the newly constructed project kit, each child receives a kid-sized orange apron, similar to The Home Depot associates' aprons, and an achievement pin.
After Making your Leaf press you could go on a hike and pick some leaves for your press and walk off some of that candy. Here are some Local Nature Centers
Flat Rock Brook Nature Center - Flat Rock Brook Nature Center is a 150-acre preserve and education center situated on the western slope of the Palisades in Englewood, New Jersey. The Center was established in 1973 by citizens who were deeply committed to land conservation and environmental education.
Family Hike Sunday, November 2, 1:00 – 2:30 p.m. For families. Have you ever wished you had a naturalist guide along on a family hike to help you point out the sights? Here’s your chance! Join Miss Jill and her family for a fun and informative nature walk and learn about what’s going on in the natural habitats of Flat Rock Brook.Registration by mail is required. Per person cost: $5 members, $8 non-members.

For a easy to moderate hike check out the Tenafly Nature Center.
313 Hudson Ave., Tenafly NJ

A Dolphin Up A Tree
Sat., Nov. 1 - 1:00 PM and 4:00 PM $17
Special Concerts for younger Kids in bergenPAC’s Drapkin Family Cabaret. Gather on the floor around the stage in this intimate setting. Including artists from Nickelodeon’s “Noggin” channel and many more.

Saddle River Valley Cultural Center
305 West Saddle River Road
Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458
November 1st at 2:00pm
Madeline and the Bad Hat, by ArtsPower
* this show will be held at the Cavallini School one mile north of SRVCC

Newark Museum - November Schedule

Art Activity: Be an Impressionist Painter!Saturdays & Sundays, 1–4 pm (ongoing)Make a painting that captures the light and color you see around you.

Science Activities:
Saturdays & Sundays, 1–4 pm (ongoing)Investigate the science in our every day lives.
Insecta Fantasia
Join our Science Explorers to learn about fascinating insects and partake in creepy bug activities.
Optics and Impressionism
Understand how your brain perceive light, and how does light travel to your brain.
Fall Family Tours
Saturdays & Sundays, 1 & 3 pm
Fire Escapes—Danger & Survival
At the Hazard House, kids and their families discover home fire hazards and explore ways to prevent them and escape from them. Guided by a Museum Educator, kids can climb a real fire truck, try on equipment and bunker gear, learn about real-life escape stories, play the Rookie-Firefighter game and more.Saturdays & Sundays, 2 & 4 pm
begins October 11
Once Upon a Dime: The World of Money Young people are invited to discover the fascinating story of money, which has existed for thousands of years across the world. Peek into a large bank vault filled with different kinds of money, follow money's evolution through interactive exhibits, and determine how to spend, save and invest your own money. Then become an inspector in our Crime Lab and identify the counterfeit bills!
Reading Program: Story time in the Galleries
Saturday, November 8, noon–1 pm
Stories come alive as special guest readers lead you and your family on adventures all over the world. Especially for kids and the young at heart.
For further details, call 973–596–6550.
Meet artist, Lorraine Neimela, who will read Linnea in Monet’s Garden by Christina Bjork and illustrated by Lena Anderson (translated by Joan Sandin). The artist will show how she captures light in her paintings.
Enrichment: The Art & Science of Keeping Zoo Animals Happy
Sunday, November 9, 3–3:30
Learn how zookeepers create fun and engaging activities to mentally stimulate our Mini Zoo animals. Zookeeper's Corner
Sunday, November 16, 3–4 pm
Discover fascinating facts about the rare and unusual animals in our Mini Zoo by taking a gallery tour with one of our expert zookeepers.

Lakota Wolf Preserve
Enjoy a scenic walk to the Lakota Wolf Preserve observing the many forms of local wildlife along the way. Upon arrival at the Preserve you will be invited to the observation area, in the center of four packs of wolves. During our informal talks with the people who raised and care for the wolves you will learn about the social structure of wolf packs, their eating habits, their interaction with man and many other interesting facts. We will try to educate you on the true behavior of the wolf and will be glad to answer any questions you may have. While in the observation area you will be able to watch the wolves play, interact with each other and maybe even hear them howl.

Safety Tips for Trick-or-Treaters

Trick or Treat

As a young child of around 5-6 I would go Trick-or-treating with my brother, (who was 3 years older) a warning not to eat any unwrapped candy, and told not to go in any ones house.
In the fall of 1982 seven people died due to Cyanide poisoning. This year was going to be my last Halloween to Trick-or-Treat since I was getting "too old". There were many warnings in the media that copycats may tamper or poison candy, so my friends and I decided to pass on the Trick-or-Treating. While the tampering incidents changed the way over the counter drugs were produced and packaged it also changed the way parents sent their kids off to trick-or-treat. Suddenly you saw parents walking (or driving) their kids around the neighborhood. Malls started to have trick-or-treat events, Museums, and Zoos have also started to have Trick-or-Treat events as well. Things seem safer now but I don't know if they are better. Halloween used to belong to the kids now it has become something else (Please leave the SUV at home and walk off the Milky Way you are going to eat when you get home). As kids we used to cover most of the town I lived in. When we were finally done trick-or-treating my pillowcase sack was filled to capacity. My candy would sometimes last past Christmas. But enough of me waxing sentimental the world is a changed place and we shouldn't put our heads in the sand and pretend it is something else. So here are some trick or treat tips for parents to ensure that your child is safe and has fun.

Feed your kids a healthy meal prior to going trick or treat.
Your children will be happier, and it will help reduce the temptation of kids wanting to eat candy along the way.

Children should be accompanied by a parent.
An Adult or Older Teen Chaperon is best but, Tweens or young teens who still trick or treat may have friends that are trick-or-treating by themselves and want to join them. If they trick or treat without an adult, set firm rules and require a child to carry a cell phone that can be used in the event of an emergency.
Older kids should know where they can go, what etiquette they must follow, safety rules, carry a flashlight or a lit device, and have a deadline for returning home.

Purchased costumes should be made of flame-retardant material. Provide adequate visibility, and be appropriate for the weather.
Comfort and safety should come before the appearance of the costume.
Make sure that there are no part of the costume that the child can trip on.
The princess high heels are probably better saved for an at home or in school party.

Know your Child's route and the places they will be trick or treating if you are not going to be present.
When Trick-or-Treating with smaller children make sure they go to the bathroom before leaving the house. And, be considerate of your child's bathroom needs by choosing a costume that is easy to get on and off in time to avoid last-minute bathroom trips, if at all possible.

Street Smarts:

The scariest thing on Halloween is traffic. According to the Centers for Disease Control, cars killed 89 child pedestrians on Halloween evening from 1975 to 1996. That's four deaths per day, which is four times higher than the average rate.
•Children should trick-or-treat only in well-lighted neighborhoods with sidewalks.
•Be sure your children can remember to cross streets at corners and to look both ways before they go.
•Make sure trick-or-treaters carry a flashlight after dark.
•Attach reflective tape to costumes and candy bags.
•Bracelets and necklaces that glow in the dark can serve as alternatives to reflective tape and also make your child more visible to a passing motorist

Inspect your Goodies:
Never allow children to eat candy before it is inspected. Any opened candy should be thrown away, and unless you personally know and trust the families who make homemade treats, they should be discarded as well. Immediately toss any items that are suspect in any way.

Set limits for how much candy your child is allowed to eat in one sitting. Portion out the candy and don't allow them to eat close to mealtime.
Happy Trick-or-Treating: and feel free to add any tips you may have

Throwing a Kids Halloween Party

We had a Halloween party this year a small but fun affair with one of Z-girls Classmates and some family. To make the food look festive I used food color and decorating gels. and found a super easy recipe for Cream Cheese Frosting (8 oz. of Cream Cheese, 1 Cup of Powdered Sugar and 1 tsp of Vanilla Extract, food color optional) for frosting our cupcakes.

The Goody bags contained flashlights, kazoos, coloring books, stickers and Tattoos and of course some candy (Pez and Lollipops). One Idea I had was to hide the Goody bags (kind of like an Easter egg hunt) but we also hid some "scary" stuff. Spiders, bats, and spooky pics. (Unfortunately we just handed out the bags)
The kids were dressed in their costumes. We had some princesses and Wonder Woman I was dressed a Shaggy from Scooby Doo.
For activities we had Halloween Songs which the kids were dancing to (pretty impressive in there princess high heels.) We decorated pumpkins with stickers, watched Scooby Doo movies
As the party was winding down we had story time and read Ten Timid Ghosts and The Witch Who Was Afraid of Witches.

In the end I think the party was a success since later that night my daughter thanked me for the party and told me she had a lot of fun.

Deviled eggs Decorated with Olives,
Dill, Pimentos, and Bell Pepper
PB & J sandwiches cut to look like pumpkins and Coffins
then decorated with Cake decorating Gel and Deco Pics.
Crescent rolls with melted shredded Cheese
and decorated with assorted Olives.
Decorating Pumpkins with Stickers

A Post Halloween Breakfast that you can feel good about

Pumpkin Buckwheat Pancakes are a seasonal treat you can feel good about. After gorging yourself on Snickers, Milky ways, Twix and Milk Duds you may need something to help curb the guilt of raiding your kids candy bowel. Below is a recipe from CTS Sports Dietitian - Alicia Kendig
Buckwheat and pumpkin are both loaded with fiber, vitamins and minerals, and since buckwheat is a fruit seed and not a cereal grain, it is a great alternative for people who are allergic to wheat. Vegetarians and all active individuals will also benefit from the fact that buckwheat is a great non-animal source for all eight essential amino acids. It’s also rich in both soluble and insoluble fiber, making it a great resource for people seeking to manage their cholesterol and blood sugar levels.
The pumpkin in this recipe is packed with beta-carotene, which is converted to Vitamin A – a well-known antioxidant – in the body. Besides being good for maintain your eyesight, cconsuming beta-carotene from pumpkin and other orange vegetables like squash, carrots, and sweet potatoes, may lower your risk of developing certain types of cancer and may provide some protection against heart disease.

Together these two ingredients provide a sweet tasting, moist, delicious and filling breakfast option. Whole grains and natural fruits will fill you up more than plain pancakes or waffles.

Ingredients: Serves 2
1 cup buckwheat flour
2 Tbsp packed brown sugar
1½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
½ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
Pinch of cloves
Pinch of salt
1 1/3 cup low fat buttermilk
2 large eggs or egg substitute
1 tsp vanilla extract
¾ cup fresh cooked or canned solid pumpkin or TJ's Pumpkin Butter

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, spices, and salt.
In another bowl, whisk together buttermilk, eggs, and vanilla, then blend thoroughly.
Pour the liquid ingredients over the dry ingredients and mix, stopping when everything is just combined. With a rubber spatula, gently fold in pumpkin.
Spray skillet and spoon ¼ batter onto skillet for each pancake. When the undersides of the pancakes are golden and the tops are lightly speckled with bubbles that pop and stay open, flip the pancake over with a spatula and cook until bottom is golden.
Enjoy with Maple Syrup or Fruit Topping

Being a Parent

Father Daughter Parenting

About a week or so ago I posted a mock Job offer for a Mom or Dad. During that same time frame Ross from Will it change you posted an article asking the question Is Parenting Worth it.
My Answer was obviously yes and every day I am reminded of why. From a hug or some kind gesture to giving me a toy to take to work with me my daughter is a bright spot in my life.
She has reminded me to take time to laugh and play everyday .
In the Book You are what you think Author David Stoop states that there are 3 basic emotions: Love, Fear, and anger. These emotions are like primary colors with various blendings creating a complete palette. An example of this would be that you yell at your child because they are doing something that puts them in danger. You are yelling because you love them and don't want them to get hurt, Fearful that something really bad could happen, and angry that they are putting a pencil up their nose after you have told them not to 1,000 times before.
I try my best to operate with the emotion of Love (not always easy) but in the above example if you can catch yourself before you speak or yell you can remove the pencil in a gentle way and let them know that you are taking the pencil away because you do not want them to injure themselves and that putting a pencil up their nose is not a good health choice. Let them know that they can have a pencil again but for now we are going to do something else.
Some other ways I try to act out of Love is by letting my Daughter know that I Love her and think she is special This is a nice thing to do at the end of the day as she is winding down for bed. By verbalizing how you appreciate your child it lets them know that you appreciate and value the time you spend with them and recognize their achievements.
Be a compassionate observer - Try not to be judgemental or speak with a condescending or angry tone. Try to see a situation from your child's perspective.

Please feel free to share What parenting has been like for you and any joys or challenges you have faced and/or overcome I would love to hear about them - Thanks, Mike

Affordable Halloween Get Away

Halloween Getaway

Halloween Weekend Special October 31 – November 1, 2008
Bring your little goblins to Willow Valley for a fun filled spooky weekend.Package includes:
Breakfast Smorgasbord and two FREE tickets to Hershey Park in the Dark or Dutch Wonderland Happy Hauntings.
Activities include a bonfire with smores & hotdogs, hayride, pumpkin painting and more. Costumes are encouraged.
Rates from $139. Rates are per couple, per night. Two night stay required.

Where to Eat
Willow Valley Resort and Conference Center Dining Details
Willow Valley Family Restaurant:
Enjoy the best of what Lancaster County has to offer. The Willow Valley Family Restaurant has been a local favorite for 40 years. Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner smorgasbords with a menu of homestyle favorites, you'll find something delicious for everyone.
Willow Valley Family Restaurant, Open Mon-Sat, 6am-9pm, Sun, 8am-8pm (smorgasbord only). Daily Smorgasbord hours vary. Call for details.
Sunday Brunch at Palm Court:
Our award-winning Sunday Brunch features delicious breakfast and dinner items. Begin with soup, salad, fresh fruit, freshly baked breads or croissants. Or opt for a country-style meal of eggs or omelettes – made-to-order, ham, sausage, bacon and homefries.
Save room for favorites like shrimp, crab legs and other seafood, hand-carved beef or ham, other freshly prepared entrees, theme dishes, pasta with your choice of toppings and sauce and the mouthwatering array of Willow Valley Bakery cakes and pies.
Sunday Brunch at Palm Court - Sunday, 9:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
Willow Valley Terrace Smorgasbord:
The Terrace Smorgasbord is located off the main lobby and is open Friday & Saturday nights for dinner, and Saturday for breakfast. Open Tuesday - Saturday in Summer. Hours vary by season. Please call for details.
Willow Valley is known for serving scrumptious homestyle Lancaster County favorites in its restaurants since 1966. But, did you know that the delicious baked goods are made fresh daily in their own on-site bakery?
From the moment you walk in, you'll smell the aroma of freshly baked sticky buns or shoofly pie. As you browse through the shop, you'll find a variety of pies, cakes, muffins, donuts, breads, and much more to take back home.

Weekend Planner October. 24-31

It is one week before Halloween and as we count down to the Friday the 31st. Activities are ramping up across our region. There are numerous Halloween-y things to do with your family ranging from Haunted Hayrides and walks to Pumpkin painting and Story telling. many of these events are free but may require Registration.

See our previous Post for Haunted Happenings
Some activities that I want to highlight for this weekend are:

Paint-a-Pumpkin at the Van Riper Hopper House Museum at 533 Berdan Ave., Wayne NJ
Saturday, Oct. 25 and Sunday, Oct. 26 from 12:00 am to 3:00 PM.
Participants can choose a pumpkin and paint it with museum supplies and guidance. The program is recommended for children age 5 and up. Adults, with children ages 8 and under, need to stay and share in the fun.Cost $7.00 per pumpkin and paint session.

ZooBoo at Van Suan Park

ZooBoo, the Zoo's annual Halloween event, takes place on the Friday and Saturday night before Halloween. The evening includes a haunted train ride (recommended for adults and children over 8) and trick-or-treating inside the zoo (for all ages). In addition to the treat stations, there are magic shows and spooky storytelling throughout the evening. Tickets are not sold on the night of the event. For ZooBoo tickets, call the Zoo at the end of August to see if tickets are available. Zoo Members are offered advance ticket sales. For information about Zoo Membership, click here.

The "Halloween Hayride"
at James A. McFaul Environmental Center is held in late October. This program is geared to be a non-scary event and designed for young children. Please call the Environmental Center at (201)891-5571 for specific date and times.

Tenafly Saturday October 25: Annual Halloween Parade and Celebration. Join Tenafly Recreation at the Municipal Basketball Courts at 4:00 p.m. as we kick off the Halloween Parade. After a short march through town it's on to the Tenafly Middle School Gym for our costume contest, games, refreshments and the spookiest haunted house in Bergen County!

Tuesday October 28th 12-4 PM
Trader Joes in Edgewater NJ
Decorate a Pumpkin or color a spooky picture
Pre-register at the Lighthouse to reserve a seat.

Thursday and Friday October 30th-31st all Day
Trader Joes in Edgewater NJ
Come in for trick or treat wear a costume get a goody - All ages.

In New York Check Out
Friday October 24th:

Ghostly Greenbelt Ghoul Fest with Cirque du Soleil
4:30 p.m.–7:30 p.m.
A night of Fall excitement is waiting just for you! Come walk along the new haunted walk and enjoy Halloween crafts, games, pumpkin picking, and Autumn treats for the kids. Make sure to watch for the Headless Horseman as he rides the Greenbelt!
That's not all: members of the famous Cirque du Soleil's circus troupe will be on hand to entertain and amaze you.
Free. All ages welcome. Costume a must!
Blood Root Valley
Greenbelt Recreation Center (501 Brielle Avenue between Walcott & Rockland avenues) Staten Island
Contact Number: (718) 667-3545

Scary Story Night
7:00 p.m.–9:00 p.m.
Ghouls, goblins, and ghosts galore in the Greenbelt! Come sit by the fireside to hear spine-tingling tales guaranteed to keep you spellbound!
Fee for Greenbelt Conservancy members is $5; for non-members it is $6.
Call (718) 351-3450 to register. Registration and prepayment required.

Saturday October 25th

The 2008 Central Park Pumpkin Festival. This annual event will take place on Saturday, October 25, 2008 from 3-8 p.m. and all proceeds from the event will benefit Camp Sunshine, a national retreat for children with life-threatening illnesses and their family.
This year's Pumpkin Festival is gearing up to be the best yet, with exciting activities for all ages, including:
Scarecrow Design Competition - Bethesda Fountain
To celebrate the spirit of Halloween and creative expression, the Parks Department is hosting its first citywide scarecrow competition. Open to all NYC elementary and middle schools, Parks will award first, second, and third place prizes to the best scarecrow designs. Click here to learn more!
Spooktacular Haunted House - Bethesda Terrace Arcade
Designed by the same company that runs the popular annual haunted house in the Lower East Side, our haunted house will take you through six different rooms that feature bone-chilling zombies and other spooky surprises! Get a sneak peak of our Haunted House on Friday, October 24 from 5:00-7:00 p.m.!
Jack O' Lantern Tower - Bandshell
Due to popular demand, we are bringing back our 20-foot tall Jack o’ Lantern Tower in the Bandshell area! Our lighting ceremony will take place at 5:30pm, just as the sun is beginning to set…
Pumpkin Patch - Cherry Hill
Don’t forget to stop by the Pumpkin Patch to let your kids pick out their very own pumpkin! We will also have a photo booth on site so wear your Halloween best!
Live music and other entertainment - Bandshell
The entertainment schedule is PACKED with exciting performers for all ages, including Big Apple Circus, Laughing Pizza, Derek James, Evan Michaels, and a fire eater!
Big Apple Circus' Anna Jack and her Amazing Poodles - 3:30 p.m. - Don't miss the only NYC live performance by Laughing Pizza - 4:00 p.m.
Hayrides - 72nd Street Transverse
Perfect for young children, the hayride will start at the bottom of Cherry Hill and will continue along the 72nd Street Transverse giving kids a wonderful view of the scarecrows to the North and the Jack o’ Lantern Tower to the South.
Want to know more about what's going on for Halloween? Halloween Happenings in Parks

Sunday October 26th
Ghouls and Gourds
Noon–6 p.m.
Where: Brooklyn Botanic Garden,
900 Washington Ave.
Kids Under 12 Are Free
Show off your costume, carouse with colossal puppets, make raucous rhythms, and shake your bag o' bones at Brooklyn's wackiest costume parade!
Enjoy music for families by the Revolutionary Snake Ensemble, John Carlin & the Kids Music Underground, Guy Davis, Bash the Trash, Maracatu NY, and the Von Swing Family. Plus, chat with celebrated children's book authors and illustrators, cavort with stilt walkers, feed carnivorous plants, wonder at Phydeaux's Flying Flea Circus of Fate, enjoy Thai pumpkin carving, get inked at our tattoo parlor, and create recycled junk instruments, sprout necklaces, and gorgeous gourds.

If you have any other events that you would like to submit please leave a comment or drop us an email at Kidzense - Thank You

Unbelieva-Bills Halloween Drop-Off Party

Halloween Drop-Off Party
Friday, October 24, 2008
$35 per child

Parents can drop the kids off (4+) by pre-registering or they can stay. Price includes unlimited play in our jungle gym, lazer tag, 20' rock wall, bumper cars, bowling, virtual sports, trampoline basketball, 3D movies, food, drinks and goodie bag.
Call to pre-register at 201.670.6340

140 Hopper Avenue
Waldwick, New Jersey 07463

Job Offer

Title: Mom/Dad

: Long term, team players needed, for challenging permanent work in an often chaotic environment.
Candidates must possess excellent communication and organizational skills and be willing to work variable hours, which will include evenings, weekends and frequent 24 hour shifts on call. Some overnight travel required, including trips to primitive camping sites on rainy weekends and endless sports tournaments in far away cities!
Travel expenses not reimbursed. Extensive courier duties also required.


Must be willing to be hated, at least temporarily, until someone needs $5.
Must be willing to bite tongue repeatedly. Also, must possess the physical stamina of a pack mule and be able to go from zero to 60 mph in three seconds flat in case, this time, the screams from the backyard are not someone just crying wolf. Must be willing to face stimulating technical challenges, such as small gadget repair, mysteriously sluggish toilets and stuck zippers Must screen phone calls, maintain calendars and coordinate production of multiple homework projects. Must have ability to plan and organize social gatherings for clients of all ages and mental outlooks. Must be willing to be indispensable one minute,20an embarrassment the next. Must handle assembly and product safety testing of a half million cheap, plastic toys, and battery operated devices. Must always hope for the best but be prepared for the worst. Must assume final, complete accountability for the quality of the end product. Responsibilities also include floor maintenance and janitorial work throughout the facility.

Your job is to remain in the same position for years, without complaining, constantly retraining and updating your skills, so that those in your charge can ultimately surpass you

PREVIOUS EXPERIENCE : None required unfortunately.
On-the- job training offered on a continually exhausting basis.

WAGES AND COMPENSATION : N/A! You pay them! Offering frequent raises and bonuses. A balloon payment is due when they turn 18 because of the assumption that college will help them become financially independent. When you die, you give them whatever is left. The oddest thing about this reverse-salary scheme is that you actually enjoy it and wish you could only do more.BENEFITS :While no health or dental insurance, no pension, no tuition reimbursement, no paid holidays and no stock options are offered; this job supplies limitless opportunities for personal growth, unconditional love, and free hugs and kisses for life.
(if you play your cards right)

** FOOTNOTE: This is a Permanent Position THERE IS NO RETIREMENT -- EVER!!! **

Get a Great Deal on your Childs Halloween Costume

Ariel Halloween Costume
When it comes to getting a great deal on a Halloween costumes it is no different than any other purchase you have to do your research. Lucky you I have done it for you. Over the past week I have visited countless websites and stores searching for the best price, quality costume, and in-store experience.

Make your own: This can be a fun endeavour or turn out "disastrous" depending on what your child wants to be and your talents at sewing and arts and crafts. My grandmother used to make us great costumes she was a very resourceful and a great seamstress. She made at least 3 of my costumes (A clown, Dracula, and Luke Skywalker) sorry no pictures. Your Costumes do not need to be elaborate and you can use items around the house to put something together that looks great Some Ideas are: Charlie Brown A yellow T Shirt that you draw the Zig-Zag Thing with a black marker, shorts, Brown Shoes and a Snoopy Stuffed animal (Bag of rocks optional) You can also do the Charlie Brown Halloween Costume get a white Sheet and Cut the Holes for the Eyes then draw some holes or Glue Black Felt Ovals and Circles on it.

Buy Online at Discount retailers: - Discounted Costumes and Party Supplies
Shop online and enter keycode WC97382 during checkout to get free standard shipping on your purchase of $49 or more, within the contiguous U.S.

Here is how the online stores stacked up on the
Official Disney version of Ariel the Little Mermaid Costume for a child:
$15.00 (not available in Stores online only) + .97 shipping - $33.95
$ 38.99 (Other Versions were between 14 and 21) - $38.99 - $44.99
(Buy one get the 2nd ½ off) They Did not Have the Disney Version

Brick and Mortar Stores:
Advantage here is you get to try it on for fit and make sure its comfortable and safe (no scratchy fabrics, things to trip over, or obstructions to vision)

Party City - There is a $5.00 of 25 coupon for Party city in Parent Guide News (Paper Copy Only) I was able to get a version of the Ariel costume for $13.00 there accessories (shoes and tiara were 10 each) When I got it home to try on my daughter it was too small and the fabric was scratchy. Party City had an efficient and helpful Sales Staff but the store was extreamly crowded(They are also good about returns just save your receipt I got my money back no questions asked).

We then went to the Disney Store they were having 25% of many costumes and we got a really good quality costume that looks great and is comfortable for 30.00 The Shoes were $10 but a better fit and safer than the version we got at party city. Nice Store Lots of cool stuff and Nice Cashier on-floor help was okay.

I hope this comparison has provided some helpful information on how prices stack up and some options for costumes. To wrap up Wal-mart had the best price. If you are motivated and talented a homemade costume can be the route to go and The Disney Store came in tops for us in quality and price balance (they also have 50% off on select Halloween items)

Happy Halloween!

Haunted Happenings to Celebrate Halloween

Headless Horseman Tarrytown

I can't believe that October is almost 1/2 way over there is so much to do before Halloween pumpkin picking, Carving, Costumes, Parties, Spooky movies, stories, and Haunted Hayrides.
In the past (before we were parents) we used to go to a few Haunted Hayrides every season and now that our little one is old enough to attend some of the less scary events I am pretty psyched.
The list that follows are some spooky and haunted happenings leading up to Halloween

Make It A Sleepy Hollow October
The Jack-o-lantern Blaze Van Cortlandt ManorBegin with the Great Jack O' Lantern Blaze in October, when Van Cortlandt Manor comes to life by the light of 3,000 artfully-carved jack-o'-lanterns arranged in different scenarios, including a bottom-of-the-sea aquarium and a scarecrow avalanche. Then, over Halloween weekend, just 10 minutes south in Sleepy Hollow, the tale of the headless horseman who rode through the grounds of Philipsburg Manor in The Legend Of Sleepy Hollow, written by Washington Irving, is celebrated with the area's most popular Halloween event Legend Weekend.

For younger Children try the Legend Weekend Days:

Saturday, October 25 - Sunday, October 26
Washington Irving’s SunnysideTarrytown, New York (Directions)
Enjoy games for children, 19th-century magic shows, sing-a-longs, puppet shows, Irish ghost stories, and other kid-friendly Halloween experiences.
10am - 4pm
Philipsburg Manor Sleepy Hollow, New York (Directions)
Enjoy a rustic October celebration with pumpkin carving, spooky storytelling, open-hearth cooking, and colonial games. Visit the water-powered gristmill, 18th-century barn, and newly restored manor house.
10am - 4pm

The Headless Horseman Hayride and Haunted houses in (Ulster NY) is generally not one for the kiddies. Check out the video for an idea what this place is like (The Video is scary as well) I have been here a few times and really like this place it is a quality scary Event.
Although I just said that this place is for adults they are having a daytime Event this Saturday October 11th Just for Kids.

A TINY TASTE OF TERROR The park tones down its scare level, offering a daylight hayride with a friendly storyteller telling scary tales. A walk through our corn maze, haunted gardens, country games, face painting, and entertainment make this the perfect outing for families with young children. Children's Day will take place on Saturday, October 11th, 2008 from 12:00 to 3:30 PM. Please call to make reservations and join us for this fun-filled weekend.
All tickets for Children's Day (Adult & Child) are $10.00 per person.

Boo At The Zoo
October 11–13, 18–19 & 25–26
Celebrate a New York Halloween tradition! October weekends are packed with activities, including magic shows, spooky stories, costume parades, and musical hayrides. Best of all, come visit with our bats, cats, and creepiest critters. Also enjoy this special offer: One child in Halloween costume will receive a free child’s limited admission ticket with the purchase of one full price adult limited admission ticket.

Frightfest at Schaeferfarms
1059 Route 523 Flemington NJ 0882
(908) 782-2705
Every Friday, Saturday and Sunday in October thru and including Saturday November 1st 7:00pm till 10:00pm.
A 45 minute hair raising hayride through 200 acres of fright.Mass-Acre Maize: a casual run for your life! Carnival of Chaos: A walk through our nightmare.
Not recommended for children under 10
All three haunted venues for $20.00 per person plus tax . FREE PARKING!

Playland's Scared by the Sound Haunted House
Hardly Haunted Matinee October 25th-26th
non-scary fun for children under 8 years old
Call 1-877-722-7938

Scared by the Sound is located at Playland Amusement Park
Playland Parkway, Rye, NY, 10580 Exit 19 off I-95

Pumpkin Train:
OCTOBER 11,12,18,19,25 & 26TH
Ride a steam train through the beautiful fall landscape of Western New Jersey. Take the train to our beautiful pumpkin patch located in a little glade in front of the historic Carpentersville Lime Kilns which date from the 1700's. Once we arrive at the Pumpkin Patch everyone is welcome to get off the train and EVERY CHILD can pick their own pumpkin for FREE.
For more family fun ad the CORN MAZE & OLE' SUSQUEHANNA MINING COMPANY experience to your Pumpkin Train ride!
Last year we rode on the Santa train it was ok. Not as nice as the train in Strausburg I have not done the Pumpkin Train yet
Child Pumpkin Train $7.00
Adult Pumpkin Train $ 14.00
trains leave:
( 11 AM 12:30, 2 OR 3:30)

The Van Riper Hopper House Museum at 533 Berdan Ave., Wayne NJ
Saturday, Oct. 25 and Sunday, Oct. 26 from 12:00 am to 3:00 PM.
Participants can choose a pumpkin and paint it with museum supplies and guidance. The program is recommended for children age 5 and up. Adults, with children ages 8 and under, need to stay and share in the fun.
Cost $7.00 per pumpkin and paint session.

Haunted Manor at Heaven Hill Farm
7:00 PM - 10:00 PM
Every Friday, Saturday and Sunday in October and Nov 1.
Route 94, Vernon , NJ 07462
(973) 764-5144

Save $10 on tickets for Walking with Dinosaurs

October 8-12
Dinosaurs return to the earth in a live theatrical arena show, WALKING WITH DINOSAURS - The Live Experience, based on the award-winning BBC Television Series. In WALKING WITH DINOSAURS, fifteen roaring, snarling "live" dinosaurs mesmerize the audience - and are as awe-inspiring as when they first walked.

IZOD Center SPECIAL SUNDAY NIGHT DISCOUNT!(Don't forget Monday is Columbus Day!)SAVE $10 on $88, $78, $58, & $43 tickets for the Sun. Oct. 12, 7:30 PM show!
To receive discount, click the link below and enter promo code: COLUMBUS
CLICK HERE FOR TICKETS Great Seats Still Available for Select Performances!
CLICK FOR TICKETS TO ALL SHOWS(If link is not active go to

Kids Get Cooking! at the NYC Food and Wine Festival

On October 11th and 12th there are a host of free events for kids at the NYC Food and Wine Festival. Activities include baking and cooking activities as well as arts and crafts.
The complete festival runs from the October 9th-13th

These events are free but have limited space and require a reservation. Please email to secure a reservation. In the email let them know what event you are requesting, the requested date and time and age of the child attending. Once you are confirmed they will let you know via email. Each child is limited to 2 events and must be accompanied by an adult. There is a maximum of 2 children per adult chaperone and every adult must be accompanied by a child. Children under 4 years of age not recommended.

Here is a list of Events specifically for Kids:

Baking for kids with Amy's Bread
Time: Oct-11th 10:00 AM (ages 5-6) and 11:00AM (ages 7-8)
Price: Free
Location: 75 Ninth Avenue at Chelsea Market Kids Get Cooking in Chelsea Market
Groups of kids will get the chance to see a dough demonstration and will get to mold and shape their own dough to take home and bake.

Cookie Decorating with Eleni’s

Time: Oct-11th 12:00 PM; 1:00 PM; 1:45 PM
Price: Free
Location:75 Ninth Avenue at Chelsea Market
Kids! Come and learn cookie decorating 101 – from the best in the biz! Expert decorators from Eleni’s New York will lead kids in a cookie decorating class.

Mini Chef Cooking Class at Paradou
Time: Oct-11th 09:00 AM - 10:00 AM
Price: Free
Location: Paradou, 8 Little West 12th Street
Mini Chef, a cooking class for kids, will perform a culinary demonstration by a chef at French restaurant Paradou. The group will then be led through making a recipe on their own! They will leave the event renowned "mini chefs".

The Life of a Lobster
Time: Oct-11th 10:00 AM and 5:00 PM
Location:The Lobster Place 75 Ninth Avenue at Chelsea Market
Ian MacGregor from The Lobster Place will tell kids everything they've ever wanted to know about lobsters! Kids will get a tour of the facilities and the lobster tanks and have a hands-on experience with live lobsters.

Spice it up with Chef Sue Torres!
Time: Oct-11th 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Location:Los Dados 73 Gansevoort Street at Washington Street
Chef Sue Torres of Los Dados will teach kids about the Mexican spices used in her recipes and will help the kids create their own authentic and healthy Mexican dishes.

Enchanted Thyme with author Ariane Smith and chef Michael Wilson
Time: Oct-11th 02:30 PM - 04:30 PM
Location:75 Ninth Avenue at Chelsea Market Kids Get Cooking in Chelsea Market
Kids will get to enjoy an interactive storytime and cooking lesson by the author of the new children's book Enchanted Thyme, Ariane Smith and chef Michael Wilson. Books will be available for purchase at Chelsea Market Baskets. Pick one up and bring it in to be signed!

Paint! Plant! Play, with a pot made out of clay!
Times: Oct-12th 04:30 PM ; 5:15 PM; 5:45 PM
Location:75 Ninth Avenue at Chelsea Market Kids Get Cooking in Chelsea Market
Come and learn first hand how to plant very special heirloom plants from Silver Heights Farm in upstate New York. Kids will be able to paint their own pot and then plant their own vegetable in it to take home and watch grow!

Buzzin’ with The Bee Man!
Time: Oct-12th 9:00 AM; 9:30 AM; 10:00 AM; 10:30 AM
Location: 75 Ninth Avenue at Chelsea Market Kids Get Cooking in Chelsea Market
David Graves from Berkshire Berries will teach kids about the lives of BIG CITY honey bees – who live right here - on our own rooftops in the big apple! Learn about the lives of these amazing insects and enjoy a honey and jam tasting

Romero Britto Painting Party Part of Kids Get Cooking!
Time: Oct-12th 11:00 AM and 12:00 PM
Price: Free
Location: 75 Ninth Avenue at Chelsea Market Kids Get Cooking in Chelsea Market
Kids will be able to paint alongside famed Miami artist Romero Britto. Budding artists will be able to take home their new works!

Kitchen Playdate with Lauren Deen
Time: Oct-12th 3:00 PM (ages 2-5) and 4:00 PM (ages 6-8)
Price: Free
Location: 75 Ninth Avenue at Chelsea Market Kids Get Cooking in Chelsea Market
Lauren Deen, author of the cookbook Kitchen Playdates Chronicle Books, will be on hand to lead in creating one of her kid friendly recipes. Parents and kids will learn to make edible chocolate playdough together and can take it home to enjoy!

Piccolini Pasta Playground – by Barilla
Time: Oct-12th 1:00 PM; 1:45 PM; 2:15 PM
Location: 75 Ninth Avenue at Chelsea Market
Kids Get Cooking in Chelsea MarketKids, come and make jewelry and art out of Barilla’s newest pastas, created just for you!

Hope you enjoy these events at The Food Network NYC Wine and Food Festival!

24 Tips for Carving and Keeping the Perfect Pumpkin

The Pumpkin we carved Ready to Carve the Perfect Pumpkin.
If you haven't picked your Pumpkin yet check out Weekend Planner - Special Fall Edition (were we listed places to pick the perfect Pumpkin by county) .
If you already have your Pumpkin you are probably eager to start Carving, but before you jump into it; Read these tips to help you make and keep the perfect Jack-o-Lantern

Tips for picking out a pumpkin to carve
1) When choosing your pumpkin, look for one that is without bruises, is evenly colored, and isn’t
moldy or rotten. Check the bottom for rot and tap gently to hear a firm, hollow sound.
2) Pick a pumpkin that best suits your intended pattern/design, or vice versa.
3) The lighter the pumpkin’s skin, the softer the pumpkin will be, thus the easier to carve. However, lighter-skinned pumpkins may not last as long post carving.
4) Choose a pumpkin with a smooth, flat face, with shallow ridges and few of them.
5) Never carry your pumpkin by the stem.

Prepping a pumpkin
6) Wash and dry the pumpkin.
7) Cut the Top Off - Don't try to cut a perfectly round top. Chances are, you won't be able to figure out where it lines up, and it will probably just fall in! Instead, draw a six-sided lid (hexagon) on top of your pumpkin.
8) Scoop out the guts.
To roast your pumpkin seeds, do not wash them first! Washing removes all the natural flavor. Instead, remove the seeds from the strings and place a single layer on a cookie sheet. Add salt to taste and bake at 300° until dry, stirring occasionally.
9) Scrape the inside flesh clean and smooth until it’s approximately one-inch thick.
10) Transfer your pattern onto the chosen side or draw your pattern directly onto the pumpkin.

Carving the Pumpkin
11) Think about the cut before you begin
12) Start in the middle (i.e. nose) and work your way out (this helps keep the pumpkin structurally sound).
13) Leave large areas to cut out for last (same reason as above), and cut them into smaller pieces for easier removal.
14) Keep all cut edges parallel.
15) Hold cutting tool perpendicular to the surface.
16) Cut with gentle, steady sawing motions.
17) Point the cutting tool towards the pumpkin’s center.
18) Resist the urge to poke the cut out into the pumpkin. Instead, push it out towards you from the inside.
19) On corners or if changing directions, remove the carving tool then reinsert it in the new direction.
20) When complete, put a candle in the pumpkin, turn out the lights, and fine tune as needed.

21) To fix broken areas, or to repair areas accidentally cut off during the carving process, use toothpicks, pins, or staples to re affix. If needed, patch a broken area with a scrap of pumpkin flesh.
22) To prevent shriveling or dehydration, coat all cut areas with petroleum jelly or commercially available pumpkin preservatives. Keep the pumpkin wrapped in plastic in a cool location when not in use.
23) To rehydrate a shriveled pumpkin, soak in a tub of water overnight. Dry before putting back on display. To prevent mold growth, soak in a solution of water with 10% bleach. Dry before putting back on display.
24) To deter animals from eating pumpkins, spray the pumpkins with commercially available hinders, garlic spray, or hot pepper.

Free Patterns and more Tips:

The History of the Jack-O-Lantern:

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9 Kid Friendly Halloween Movies

I will get to the movie list in a paragraph or two but 1st let me start out by saying that Fall is one of my favorite times of the year and Halloween usually starts early in our house.
Over the next few weeks I hope to share some of our traditions and impart our enthusiasm for Autumn and Halloween.
One of things that makes Autumn special for us is the tastes and smells of the season. Foods are seasoned with Cinnamon, Nutmeg, pumpkin spice and are warm and comforting (Also this is a good time to introduce veggies like Acorn or Butternut Squash, and sweet potatoes).
So set the mood for your movie viewing with some pumpkin bread, warm cider with a cinnamon stick and light some scented candles.
Now sit back relax and enjoy the list.

Pooh's Heffalump Movie (All ages)
Join Pooh and the gang as they track down the dreaded Heffalump.
everyone, that is, except Roo, who's too small for the task. Of course Roo is the 1st to run into the Heffalump and soon discovers that he is not at all what he was led to believe.

Pooh's Heffalump Halloween Movie (All Ages but a few Scenes that may be scary for really young children)
When Pooh eats all the Halloween Candy Rooh and Lumpy decide that they will be "Brave Together, Brave Forever" and catch the Gobloon so they can wish for more candy and save Halloween. A sweet treat for the whole family with a nice lesson and DVD Extras including a party Planner DVD ROM and DVD Games.

It's the great Pumpkin Charlie Brown (All Ages)
Join Charlie Brown, Snoopy, and the rest of the Peanuts gang in this Spooktacular Classic.

The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad (Ages 4 and up)
This Disney DVD contains two cartoon shorts based on the classic tales, "The Wind in the Willows" and "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow." The Legend of Sleepy Hollow is great retelling of the Washington Irving Tale Narrated by Bing Crosby with a lot of humor, but the ending will definitely spook young children. The DVD also contains the Halloween short, "Lonesome Ghosts," featuring Mickey, Donald and Goofy. Rated G.

Television Shows
Spongebob Squarepants Halloween (Ages 3 and Up)
This DVD is a collection of Spongebob Episodes Including Scaredy Pants and Frankendoodle the others are not particularly Halloween fare but entertaining nonetheless

Scooby Doo Ages (4 and Up)
This is the original Scooby Doo that I grew up watching on Saturday mornings. I think what makes these shows be able to push the scary envelope with young kids is that they are able to dispell the supernatural as a conning individual

Casper the Friendly Ghost
A favorite of mine as a kid join Casper and Wendy in their not so scary adventures (Ages 2-4)

Tim Burton
The Corpse Bride PG (Ages 5 and Up Dark but not shocking or scary)
While this movie is Grey and Dark it is not too scary or shocking for the most part the graveyard scene is a little scary but my 4 year old was okay with it (No nightmares) as always if you are not sure watch the movie 1st all of the Tim Burton Movies are adult friendly)

The Nightmare Before Christmas (7 and up Dark and a few scary scenes)
This movie is a bit Scarier than the Corpse Bride and they do kidnap the Easter Bunny and Santa so definitely not one for the little kiddies but a great one for kids who are a bit older with an excellent score.

Sleepy Hollow - Rated R (12 and up Although it has an R rating and there is some gore this is more of a Dramatic film than a Horror file albeit a very Dark and Spooky Drama with a some humor)
This is number 10 if you were counting but, definitely not one for small children or even young tweens but a Gothic style horror/Drama that is a Burton Classic.

What Next
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If you have some Halloween Movie favorites please add to this list in our comments section.
Thanks :)