UPDATE 2016: The 2016 Moms & More Halloween Stroll will take place on Saturday, October 29th from 10:30 am – 12:30 pm. This post is about the 2011 event and while it should still give you a good overview of the experience, it may contain outdated information. Please be sure to check out the Moms & More page for the most current information.
Here in Connecticut, it looks like Mother Nature sure played a whopper of a trick on us with that pre-Halloween snowstorm. If you are anything like my family, the only treat you saw this Halloween was a re-treat to somewhere else that had power (and heat!). Looks like Christmas isn’t the only holiday this year where you might be going over the river and through the woods to grandmother’s house. Yup. That is where my boys and I have been camping out since we saw the temperature drop to 58 degrees in our little powerless house on Sunday night. We certainly weren’t going to wait around to see how low it could go. (Mandy and her crew are powerless too, but they are staying nights with some lucky friends who do have power).
Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone affected by this storm. It certainly was, what’s the technical term for that? A doozy. But we also witnessed how our friends and neighbors have all reached out to one another so unselfishly to help during this time of crisis. And well, even if our fingers and toes are a bit chilly, at least our hearts have been sufficiently warmed.
Despite this unfortunate turn of events, we still wanted to take the opportunity to tell you about one of our pre-storm Halloween adventures. Plus, now that you probably stocked up on all that candy only to have Halloween effectively cancelled this year, we’ve got some ideas on how you can put it to good use and maybe still scare up a good time.
Stay positive my CT friends!
PART 1: Moms and More Blue Back Square Halloween Stroll on 10/29/11
If you read our recent post on fun things to do with the wee ones to celebrate Halloween, you might have noticed that we put this item right up at the tippity top. Well, that might have been because we were so super duper excited to check out this event. It sounded like the perfect combination of festive activities for kids of all ages.
When we headed over around 9:30 on Saturday morning, the weather report was ominous, and the temperature was dropping. At the last minute, we actually nixed Boo’s puppy costume in favor of a fuzzy monster hat and gloves which seemed way better suited to the weather. Still festive, right?
There was live music for the kids too.
But nothing was as entertaining as all the WONDERFUL costumes on the pint-sized trick or treaters. This one gets our best costume award. AMAZING.
There was also a fire truck that the kids could climb inside.
After the carnival, we headed over to the Barnes & Noble to get a first look at how the trick or treating part of the event was organized (ok, ok, and to get ourselves a couple of pumpkin spice lattes; the grown-ups deserve a treat too, right?). Participating retailers had this sign on their door.
The verdict? Whether you simply want to mark the occasion of baby’s first Halloween with a stroll around the Square (with baby in costume, of course) and maybe grab a celebratory bite to eat, or you have a toddler or preschooler and are looking for a safe (and just as fun!) alternative to traditional trick or treating, the Moms and More Halloween Stroll is really the perfect mix of family fun. See you there next year!
PART 2: Tricks for using up all those leftover treats
Maybe your kids have been collecting candy at Halloween events for weeks now, or maybe you’ve got bags left from being a little over-zealous in the candy aisle. Or, if you’re like most of us in CT this Halloween, trick or treating was not really an option and now you’re stuck with the loot. However it is that you have come to possess more candy than you could eat (alright, maybe it’s “should eat”), we’ve got some suggestions for how to make it disappear. No magic required.
Who says you can’t be a little creative with the candy before you eat it? Here are some ways to get crafty with those Kit Kats, etc.
Try this great idea to turn that leftover candy into goodies for an Advent Calendar.
This approach uses little paper cups to hold loose candies (which are then covered with numbered tissue paper tops), but you could also use larger cups and drop in fun size candy bars. Affix the cups to a poster board to create a “calendar.” Or, if you’re feeling really crafty you could use felt (and fabric glue of course, who has time to sew?!) to create a series of little pouches or pockets attached to a large piece of felt, or even a piece of poster board. Steal this idea from the Pottery Barn Kids website.
If you have older children, you could even get them to decorate the pockets with small findings and (washable) puffy paints or glitter glue. Then, just tuck those leftover candies into the pockets.
Visit alphamom.com for more detailed instructions and photos for creating the paper cup advent calendar, and other great candy crafting ideas.
Here are some other ideas for candy crafts:
Filling for a Thanksgiving piñata
Add decorations to wrapped candy and use for edible Christmas tree ornaments
Use it to decorate a gingerbread house (check out this one from www.parenthacks.com)
Recipes and Other Edible Ideas
There are lots of ways to incorporate leftover candy into delicious recipes. It can be as simple as mixing in a handful of chopped up Snickers bars into a chocolate cake or brownie batter, or topping off a frosted creation with bite sized Heath Bar bits. Also, create your own sundae bars are all the rage at places like the TCBY in Eric Town Square in Glastonbury and the Pinkberry in Blue Back Square in West Hartford. But all those toppings can add up to quite an expensive treat. Why not save your chopped up leftover Halloween candy so you can create a sundae bar anytime you want to? Save candy pieces in zip top bags in the freezer. They will keep for months.
You can also make your own trail mix with dried fruit, nuts, and a handful of assorted candy pieces.
Lots of leftover Hershey’s bars or Kisses? Find some fun chocolate molds at your local craft or party store (or pick one out from the hundreds available on www.amazon.com), melt down the bars and transform them into cute hostess or holiday gifts.
And of course, with the holiday season upon us, it will soon be time to bake and take all kinds of goodies. Whether you’re looking for a few treats to make for your family, or some fancier sweets to bring to a party, here are some recipes to wow your crowd.
Peppermint Meringues (Woman’s Day). Click here for printable recipe card.
Snickers Blondies (Woman’s Day). Click here for printable recipe card.
It’s not surprising that dentists are leading the buy back charge by offering small rewards like cash, coupons, and toothbrushes for trading in your sugary sweets. This website will let you search by zip code to find participating offices in your area. Dentists will then donate your “sold” candy to organizations like Operation Gratitude that support the U.S. Military.
Can’t find a buy back program in your area but still want to donate your candy for Military care packages? Visit www.operationshoebox.com for a U.S. address (scroll down on the home page to the “Donate Halloween Candy” banner) where you can send your candy. The candy will then be sent in care packages to our troops deployed around the world.
You can also visit Cool Mom Picks for more ideas of ways to donate your leftover candy.
For even more crafts, recipes and other ideas, visit these great sites:
COMING UP THIS MONTH:
Check back soon for ways to make the most of the great outdoors while the weather is still fine. Already thinking about travel plans and shopping trips? We’ve got you covered with airport advice and hotel stay tips for traveling in comfort and joy with your wee one this holiday season. We’re also scoping out the retail scene to bring you inside information on the best ways to get all that holiday shopping done with the little ones in tow. Plus we’ve got plenty of special events and festive outings, and places to go when both you and the kiddos need a break from all that holiday madness. Stick with OAAM and we’ll make sure this really is the most wonderful time of the year!