October may have only JUST begun and the days may very well have taken an upturn when it comes to sunshine but there’s no denying that the nights are drawing in, cold weather is looming and October half term is just around the corner. It’s the half term with a bit of spook to it and we’re already thinking about what we’re going to do for Halloween this year! Dressing up, party food and days out to entertain are at the forefront of our mind so here are some of our favourite tricks and treats!
I love to bake (didn’t say I was good at it mind) and made some freehand cut pumpkin cookies which I doubled up and filled with melted chocolate. With the left over dough I rolled it into small balls and then used a knife to make cuts in a bid to make them look more pumpkin like. With a dab of melted chocolate, a mini marshmallow and some green icing I popped little stalks on them and they looked quite effective I think. They weren’t a total success however, I’d added orange food colouring to the dough which didn’t show up at all when they were cooked and Florence told me if Paul and Mary from the Bake Off were to try them they’d think they were a bit hard! Oh well, they still all got eaten.
When you think of Halloween you have to think of fancy dress! We’re loving this year’s offerings from Aldi which include children’s costume sets from as little as £3.99! We think their Halloween pyjamas, bobbers and masks are brilliant and such super prices! The Aldi Halloween range is in stores now as part of their special buys and as ever, when they’re gone, they’re gone, so get in quick to not to be disappointed!
We love a day out at half term and for Halloween we definitely have two firm favourites which we’ve enjoyed on other years. One of our favourite days out ever, full stop, is at BeWILDerwood in Norfolk. A story book about Boggles and Twiggles living in the marshes brought to life with tree top walk ways, amazing slides, super fast zip wires for all ages, story telling, den building, and much more. At Halloween the BeWILDerwood magic is at its best and we adore building lanterns with them before a parade at the end of the day. I can’t tell you how much we love BeWILDerwood because I probably can’t put my finger on it perfectly enough in words – You’ll just have to go and see for yourself!
Another firm favourite day out at any time of year but especially excellent at Halloween is Willos Farm in St Albans. You can get to the farm on public transport from London and there’s absolutely LOADS to do! As well as the animals which you can feed and pet, there’s a tractor ride, masses of play ground equipment, fair ground rides and the biggest indoor soft play area we’ve ever been to! It’s definitely a day out that the rain can’t ruin which is great at this time of year. For Halloween they invite all little guests to go into the pumpkin field and pick a pumpkin to take home with them. It’s all part of the ticket price as just like with everything else at Willows there’s no hidden extras to be paid for once you’re inside. It’s worth every penny and a fantastic day out!
Once you actually have a pumpkin, which if you visit Willows you definitely will do, you have to work out what to do with it. We love to carve fun things into ours and even if they don’t look particularly impressive (I’m not brilliant at carving), once they get a light inside and it’s dark out then it really doesn’t matter! They all look fab lit up! A great tip is to get little ones to draw on the pumpkin with the design they want and then get a grown up to do the actual carving!
Following on with the dressing up theme we used the Nailtastic varnishes from the Luvly range at Hamleys to create some themed nails. The sidferet sets come with 8 colours and each bottle has a normal nail varnish brush and a special lid on the top which contains a precision tip to draw with. They’re super easy to use and dry very quickly!
More eats now and how about something savoury with pumpkin shaped cheese on toasts! They look really effective, are very easy to make and yummy to boot! With something savoury, of course you do need something sweet afterwards so I made some cake pops into the shapes of blood shot eye balls and ghosts which the children thought were great. I’ve never made successful cake pops in th past but this time, after I’d combined the cake with frosting and rolled them into shape, I left them in the fridge over night and it did the trick!
So that’s what we’ll be doing come Halloween along with some apple bobbing, trick or treating (just to our friend’s) and our anual Halloween hunt which is really just because we love Easter egg hunts so much we need to find other times of the year to do the same! Happy halloween and bring on the half term holiday!