Saturday, November 01, 2008

'Twas the Night Before Halloween

A couple of years ago we were at Disney World's Magic Kingdom a few weeks before Halloween and we got to attend Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party. That was loads of fun, and Clay really had a good time. He was a little older than 2, and I made an informal promise to myself that every year we'd do something special just before Halloween.

I say 'informal', because we haven't really done anything special ever since. When Clay was three (pumpkin costume year), we had just started our massive home renovation and the yard was completely torn up and we were beginning to wonder what we had gotten ourselves into. We just went trick or treating and called it a Halloween.

When Clay was four (last year... Batman), we had just left Fairfax for Pittsburgh. In fact, Mike and Clay were travelling to Pittsburgh that afternoon. We decided to let Clay enjoy his last day at his lovely little preschool. We couldn't bear to pull him out before the big party. Thank goodness they arrived on Halloween because trick or treating in a new neighborhood gave us something else to focus on. I think we were all a little sad that day.

This year, I was determined to find a fun party to take the kids to. The Pittsburgh Zoo is supposed to be wonderful, and they have trick or treat events for the two weeks before Halloween. We've been meaning to go to the zoo all year, but haven't made it yet. What with violin and t-ball, I wasn't about to schedule anything else on the weekend. Ditto for pumpkin patches. I hear there are some great ones, but we didn't make it. HOWEVER, we are members of the Pittsburgh Children's Museum, which is fantastic and I was delighted to discover that they were having a 'Spooktacular' on October 30th. Not a weekend event! We could go after work and the kids could get in their costumes and we'd all have a grand few hours at a Halloween party at the Children's Museum. Plus it was free because we were members. Great!

Except that there really wasn't a party after all. It was just extended museum hours. And please don't misunderstand... the museum's a blast and there's much to do. But when it's the night before Halloween and you're calling it a 'Spooktacular', don't you think you could have a cookie and some apple cider ready for the kids? After an hour Mike mumbled 'You know, mom & dad said they're trick or treating tonight in Ambridge and they were disappointed they weren't going to get to see the kids.' Hello! Why didn't you say something sooner? We were gone before you could say 'BOO'.

And the search for pre-Halloween fun continues. Perhaps I'm expecting too much, because I am holding everything up to the Disney bar.

Oh, and as for Halloween itself? Mike and the boys (Clay went as Batman Returns, Drew as Bob the Builder) went out with next door neighbor Darth Vader and his dad. Mike said DV's dad handed him a beer and off they went. They caught up with a group of 7 mom's escorting their children, and all the ladies had wine coolers. Then they ran into a large group of kids escorted by their parents. One of the dads had a rolling cooler he was pulling behind him. Clearly Halloween's fun for the whole family in our neighborhood! And here I was worried about the lack of progressive dinners....

I joke, but truly, they all had a lot of fun, and even though we live on a busy residential street, all of the parents worked the road and forced the cars to slow down and kept an eye on everyone's kid. It was really a nice evening, and who needs a 'planned community' to get to know your neighbors? Hooray for our new neighborhood!

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