This is the weekend of Halloween in all but the name. True, Halloween is next Friday, which really makes it part of next weekend if you want to get all official about it, but its Halloween part is only at the beginning. The pre-weekend day, really, and 10/31 is going to be all about the trick-or-treating anyway. Then come Saturday and Sunday, and at that point you might as well launch your pumpkins into the sky, because it'll be November and Dia de Los Muertos and Halloween will be little more than a sweet, cavity-inducing memory.
Pipe cleaners are a perfect staple of a children's craft supply kit; they are inexpensive, easily available, and foster a wide range of imaginative play. This simple twist (ha!) on making finger puppets is a basic framework for creating Halloween ghosts, monsters and more spooky finger puppets. In a matter of minutes you'll have a complete cast of characters to tell terror-ific tales or not-so-spooky stories. Have your phone set to video and let the show begin.
Hauntingly close to Halloween, El Día de los Muertos – the Day of the Dead – is a magical holiday that's also a living history lesson, demonstrating the tendency of conquerors to absorb indigenous customs into their own. Christian Europeans arrived in Mexico already fans of All Hallows Eve (modern day Halloween), only to stumble upon an ancient tradition celebrated by the Aztecs on November 2, with a spookily similar theme. Day of the Dead is a time when the door between worlds is meant to open, so that celebrants can honor departed loved ones and hopefully lure them back for a visit. We have a separate post of the many free Día de los Muertos celebrations around town; some of the major events below charge a small admission fee.
These spooky and simple ideas for turning everyday snacks like hot dogs and brownies into some spine-tingling treats for Halloween will have you and your kids dancing the Monster Mash. Easy enough for a kids' party activity, or parents can whip a batch up for a fun twist on the pre-trick-or-treating dinner. Either way, you won't even need to dress up to be a hero this Halloween.
Cemeteries can be beautiful, historic, and filled with interesting people. On Halloween night or under a full moon they might be just a little bit spooky or awfully sinister, depending upon your tolerance. Regardless, my family loves them. For my daughter who relishes the macabre, there is always the hope and possibility of encountering a graveyard ghost. My husband and son are scholars of the past, and there is nothing quite so historic as a bunch of dead people. Me, I like the trees and the grass and the inscriptions.
A good boneyard has something for everybody (including some great Day of the Dead celebrations). While Los Angeles is a town where people come seeking eternal youth (or at least a botoxed rendition), nothing lasts forever. Nevertheless, our sundrenched landscape is not a bad place to spend eternity, and you may even find yourself alongside somebody quite famous in one of these LA final resting places.
Don't be scared to get creative this Halloween; one of the best things about Halloween is the opportunity to be creative and replace store-bought with homemade. While your kids may demand that store-bought character costume, you can skip the plastic treat bucket or the old pillowcase this year and do something homemade without any sewing skills. An old costume might even make the basis for the perfect treat tote. Or pick a black or orange colored tee. Another alternative: let them decorate the tote with spooky drawings, or glue plastic spiders and other Halloween elements. Let your imaginations take this easy project in your own unique direction.
If you've already spent on the Halloween costume (and perhaps a second one if you bought too early), and the pumpkin (and perhaps a second one if you bought too early), and the Halloween candy (and perhaps an extra aerobics class, if you bought too early), then you might have reached your limit with spending money on this mother-of-all kids' holidays. That's when it's time to start sniffing out all of the great free Halloween activities that keep the mood going at this haunting time of year. Never fear - there's a frightful number of free events for your little goblins. Here are 10 of our favorites - the scream of the crop!
Here we are halfway through October. Are your costumes ready? Halloween is just around the corner, and there are several spooky activities to check out this week. The Los Angeles Public Library continues its exploration of Homer’s Odyssey with many events for kids, teens, and adults in multiple locations across the city. On Tuesday stay home or go out, but be sure to take a few minutes to “Read for the Record” – Jumpstart’s annual promotion of child literacy. The book selected for this year’s event is Rosemary Wells’ Bunny Cakes. Siblings Max and Ruby have different ideas about Grandma’s birthday cake; Ruby wants buttercream frosting and roses, but for Max it’s all about the red hot marshmallow squirters. For these and other fun weekday ideas, read on...
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