Halloween

Candy taxes: Is it stealing or entitlement?

I have some bad news for parents who claim a “candy tax” by taking a portion of their kids’ Halloween candy: THEY ARE ONTO US. A few years ago, we went to our church’s Halloween party and my kids came home with bucket loads of treats. For the most part, I let them have at it but started putting on the brakes the next day. After all, they have to save their gluttony for The Main Event on Wednesday. I made a healthy dinner with the one thing my 8-year-old daughter abhors most: eggs. She usually chokes them down but we are entering the tween moody stage (hurray!) and she suddenly thinks she should have a say. I don’t know when she started thinking this was a democracy, not a dictatorship.

Tips, Tricks (and Treats) for Celebrating Halloween During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Halloween 2020 might look a little different, but it can still be fun. With the right precautions in place, you can plan costumes, devour candy and enjoy some of your favorite Halloween haunts. You can even create some new traditions.  From virtual costume parties to candy hunts, Children’s Colorado’s pediatric infectious disease experts offer several ideas on how you can keep your Halloween happy, healthy and safe. Regardless of how you celebrate, though, you should keep the following in mind:  Wear a face covering when out in public or around people who are not part of your household. Halloween costume masks are not a substitute for a cloth mask unless it is made of two or more layers of breath...

Don’t be spooked, let your little goblins eat the candy corn

Across the nation, parents like me are bracing for the annual sugar rush known as Halloween. I’ve got pounds of mini-treats to pass out to neighborhood goblins and ghouls. But many parents struggle to balance our kids’ mania for sweets with a nagging feeling that all that candy can’t be a good thing. Everybody knows: Candy rots kids’ teeth. Candy ruins kids’ dinner. Candy makes kids fat. Any and all sugars will pitch the fragile child into a lifelong battle with diabetes, obesity and heart disease. But a lot of this worry about children and candy isn’t about candy at all. It is about whether children have a right to their own pleasure. Consider the lollipop, the ultimate symbol of children’s innocence. The sweet lollipop is a few licks from the ill...

Creative Ideas to Keep Your Food-Allergic Child Safe this Halloween

As a parent of a child with food allergies, does Halloween make your skin crawl?  What’s a parent to do when they want to keep their child safe but their little goblin so desperately wants to join in on the door to door fun? Here are a few strategies to consider: Enlist the Help of a Few Neighbors   1.    SECRET PASSWORD:  Nobody wants a child to miss out on the big night.  Most friends and neighbors will be thrilled to stash your candy alternatives by their front door.  If your alternative treat needs to be kept separate from other food substances,  be sure to let them know.  If your child is old enough and/or you are not present,  just tell them that  Mrs. Smith needs to hear the secret password (e.g. “monste...

New Goosebumps Movie Delivers Scary Fun

‘Tis the season to scream. Everywhere you look, the creepy and the ghoulish are doing their spindly, bloody best to horrify with one oversized spider or lurching zombie at a time. Movie theaters love to pile on the scary fare, too. Usually, they offer plenty for adults to see, leaving kids out of the mix. Not this Halloween. Goosebumps bursts into theaters this Friday, October 16th, just in time for Halloween. For nearly 25 years, kids have devoured Goosebumps books in astonishing numbers. The man responsible for creating the wildly successful universe of monsters vs. children is R.L. Stine. In a very clever twist, the Goosebumps film asks a question: What if R.L. Stine’s imagination was so powerful, his creations could come to life? This fun premise serves as the springboard f...

Trunk or Treat FAIL

Last year I took my kids to a Trunk-or-Treat at a nearby high school. The event had been advertised for almost a month and promised treats, fun and games. I naturally assumed it would be a good fit for my two-year-old. A nice introduction to understanding the rewards for having to wear itchy ladybug antennae. For those of you unfamiliar with Trunk-or-Treating, it’s exactly what it sounds like: Going from car to car to get candy. Where your biggest disappointment is how many accidental lug nuts end up in your child’s goodie bag. It’s supposed to be a one-stop-shop for Halloween carnival and trick-or-treating. This Trunk-or-Treat had none of those things, unless you consider rain, cold and no indoor backup plan part of fun and games. It, for a lack of a better term, sucked. So, to those high...

Denver Deal:Spirit, Halloween Deals and Free Days

If you are like me you might be a procrastinator (although I usually couch it as “waiting for a good deal”), Spirit Halloween store is your lifesaver! I was not going to do anything for Halloween. But the kids and I had such a great time at the Spirit store the house is now decked out in screaming things, tombstones, spider webs, pumpkins, and I’m ready with a cauldron looking candy bin. My kids are excited about their costumes this year. There were TONS to chose from – and they were not out of what my kids wanted to be! Halloween Deals (valid only on Halloween Day): Krispy Kreme – free donut for anyone in costume. Chipotle – $3 burrito, bowl or salad from 4 p.m to close for those in costume. Sonic Drive-in – 50 cent corn dogs all day. Sweet Tomato...

Ladybugasaurus Rex: a costume suggestion for an indecisive toddler

I was assigned the challenging task of selecting a Halloween costume this year. I’m buying her costume because I can’t sew. I can glue like nobody’s business. But it’s too risky. I could construct the most amazing Mrs. Potato-head costume out of tacky glue, construction paper, foam and rubber cement; only to have it fall apart halfway through trick or treating. Because you never know when Colorado will decide that humidity should go from 0-95%. In a block and a half. Before it snows. At 95 degrees. Suddenly my child would stop getting treats. The homeowner, seeing her holding all her potato parts, would think she’s looking for a trash can. The last two years she’s been a lion. Wearing an adorable costume my mother-in-law sewed from scratch. This year her sister will...

Fun-Sized Season is No Fun for Peanut Allergic Kids

It’s not too early to start thinking about Halloween and Fall harvest parties. How do I know this? Because the stores told me. The moment the first bell rang on the first day of school, clerks everywhere sprang into action. Out with the lunch boxes and in with the treat buckets! If you don’t have your costumes chosen or created by now, you might as well start cutting eye holes in your Egyptian cotton sheets. Show me your treat sack. Here’s a rock. Because it’s the season of Fun Sized candies, I start getting nervous. Walking down aisles of candies, candies, and candies confirms we are a country deeply in love with our peanuts. I won’t mention brand names, but the deluge of Futterbingers, Nickers, and Peese’s Reanutbutter Goblets scream how popular dusty ...

Mama Drama: Calming the Candy Crash

Dear Mama Drama: Every year I dread the post-Halloween crash. My kids are exhausted and alternately hyper and cranky from sugar highs and lows. After they spend so much time planning costumes, decorating the house, carving pumpkins, and trick-or-treating, I don’t have the heart to limit their candy. How can I help them moderate their candy intake without ruining the fun? ~Crash Tested Mama  (photo credit) Dear Crash Tested: The hype, anticipation, and preparation for Halloween do make it a holiday many parents struggle to manage. However, just like with other parts of parenting, it’s our job to set limits and create structure for our children. I’m assuming your kids are a bit older as you have experienced this a few times. First, I would talk with your children about what you notice when t...

Parents on high alert this Halloween after Jessica Ridgeway murder (and tips for a safe Halloween)

On Halloween, hyper-vigilance will be as abundant as candy and costumes in the aftermath of the abduction and slaying of 10-year-old Jessica Ridgeway. Relief followed the arrest of 17-year-old Austin Sigg in connection with her death, but most adults — parents and community leaders — remain on high alert as Oct. 31 approaches. Along with fears of copycat crime and stranger danger, there is new awareness that even trusted neighborhood kids may be masking dark and twisted urges. As the annual fright fest rolls around, schools and churches are beefing up security or Halloween festivals, adding police presence and better lighting or moving activities from outdoors to indoors. Some parents will no longer let their kids trick-or-treat after dark. Others are trying new things, such as progressive...

Wild West Corn Maze in Hudson: Tractor Rides, Rabbit Catch, Flying Pumpkins & Fun!

It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s a . . . pumpkin! Flying pumpkins are just one of the many unique things you can see and do at the Wild West Corn Maze in Hudson (located about 30 minutes northeast of the Denver Metro Area). The annual Fall on the Farm Festival is underway, with attractions to entertain kids of all ages. The Wild West Maze offers both a general admission ticket and an unlimited activities ticket. The cost of general admission includes:

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