Being the mom while hosting a party can be pretty darn exhausting.
But the kids and the whole neighborhood had a wonderful time and that made everything worthwhile. We had a grand turnout (ALL my gallons of soup was gone and luckily a neighbor had some extra soup to bring over for those who missed out). It was cold but luckily the rain held off. The kids made a great spook alley in our scary basement and had a great time on the trampoline and the tunnel hill in the backyard. It was great to catch up with some neighbors and meet new neighbors. Such a good evening. Definitely worth the effort.
We played some games. (Ghost, Ghost, Goul instead of Duck, Duck, Goose)
Then we lined up all the kids for a picture - wow - there are getting to be a lot of kids!
Then we paraded up and down the street, stopping for generous treats at some houses.
Then we came back to our front lawn for our traditional black bean soup and just all hung out for a while until everyone went off in little groups to trick-or-treat.
The neighbor's fire pit was a big hit since it was a bit nippy.
The kids created a spook alley in the basement. It was very well attended. They were cute about making sure they asked kids how scared they wanted to be, then they divided them up and had them go to either "light" "moderate" or "intense" version. Here they are waiting to go down into the basement to get scared by everything from people banging on boxes to people jumping out at them to a vacuum ready to scare them with suction. Simple. But oh-so-fun.
After the party, everyone went off to trick-or-treat. Here's what we sent out this year: a nerd, a guy who just got out of bed, a mummy/skeleton, a ninja, and a fox (who sadly got mistaken for a cat quite a bit...)
I think my favorite part of the day was enjoying a nice casual conversation with my neighbor while we sat together in our shared driveway, enjoying the last of the fire from the fire pit we'd set up there for the party while passing out candy to trick-or-treaters. We figured we might as well enjoy the fire a bit longer and not sit separately inside our houses, waiting for the trick-or-treaters.
The crisp starry night, the glowing fire, the fun of complimenting kids on their costumes and giving them candy and the chance to simply sit down combined with the nice mellow feeling of being done with a crazy day was just plain nice. When our kids got back from trick-or-treating with their dads, everyone gathered around the fire to share stories of awesome decorations and unique treats they'd received.
The kids got some serious loot even though they didn't trick-or-treat that long. They gave me some of the stuff they weren't crazy about (some amazing cheese from this lady who works in a fancy cheese shop, some nice almonds from some kind soul who was trying to offer something healthy, sadly, no dark chocolate...) and set aside stuff no one particularly wanted for the Halloween Fairy. Plus they ate a LOT of candy. I figure we eat so healthily around here that it's totally fine to gorge on candy on rare holidays. I'm trying to decide whether to let them keep their bags of candy in their rooms. Usually I keep it up high and they can get it down and have a couple pieces a day until it's gone. But maybe I should just let them eat it all at their own pace and be done with it...
After tucking the kids in bed, Jared and I watched a zombie movie until we fell asleep, totally tuckered out from a great day.