Tag Archives: Trick or Treat

Fantastic Halloween Adventure: Alvin & The Chipmunks Meet the Wolfman

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Today’s Fantastic Adventure in Family Entertainment brings us to an old children’s favorite: Alvin and the Chipmunks.

In this full length feature, Alvin becomes obsessed with monsters and pranks, especially when a creepy neighbor moves in.
At the same time, Theodore is looking to be in the school play production of Jekyll and Hyde, along with the Chipettes.
Why doesn’t anyone believe Alvin when he sees a wolfman running around the city? And why has Theodore begun acting so strange? Find out when Alvin and the Chipmunks meet the Wolfman!

Why it is a Fantastic Adventure: Any Halloween themed movies immediately catch my attention. This one is above average, but not the greatest. Like any entry in this series, there is always a lesson to be learned. As usual, Alvin goes overboard and scares too many people which gets him grounded. A good teachable moment and reminder that sometimes play can get out of hand.
But, it is not all lessons and mischief! There are some great Chipmunk songs for your kids to dance and sing and burn a few calories. They will love the comic interactions between the Chipmunks.

The animation style is hand drawn animation, which I always prefer over CG. It gives the entire cartoon a familiar, friendly feel. A few Fall elements appear, such as orange leaves, dark skies, a yellow moon and a creepy werewolf imagery! Start this one early in September and get your kids in the mood for the Fall.

Fantastic Halloween Adventure: Costume Quest 2

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Last year, I wrote about the first Costume Quest game. A rare gem that perfectly encapsulates the experience of Halloween. This year, Costume Quest 2 has been released and looks to continue the amazing Halloween spirit.

Why it is a fantastic adventure: Differing from the first game, Costume Quest 2 takes place in various eras of time. Not only will you and your kids get to virtually trick or treat in a familiar neighborhood setting, but you’ll get to visit Ancient Egypt, the Louisiana Bayou, a future where Halloween is illegal, and more!
There are multiple costumes to try on, lots of creepy cards to collect, and tons and tons of candy to collect and spend.

It is a fun adventure for the entire family. So gather round the computer or TV and spend some quality family Halloween time together.

Costume Quest 2 is available on PC, PlayStation or Xbox.

A Peek at my Halloween Decorations

Hello, everyone! I hope you are enjoying October! Since my blog is ready for all things Halloween, I thought I’d take the time to share a few pictures of my Halloween decorations this year.

As always, don’t forget to check out my 31 Days of Halloween posts by clicking on the banner on the right hand column!

Fantastic Halloween Adventure: Toy Story of Terror

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Ah, it’s October. Leaves browning, cold weather coming in, Halloween decorations begin filling store shelves and front yards…. Unless, of course you are like me and live in Southern California and it is currently 97 degrees with no end in sight to the heat. This is why I must rely on films, TV shows and books to put me in the correct mindset for Halloween.

A new addition to my Halloween Fantastic Adventures segment is the recently released Toy Story of Terror. First aired in October 2013 on ABC, this short 30 minute film doesn’t necessarily take place on Halloween, but is more of an homage to classic spooky monster movies. The toys wind up in a roadside motel when their humans’ car gets a flat tire on a road trip. Once inside, the toys begin disappearing one by one. What is this mysterious creature taking all of the toys? And what is he doing with them? You’ll just have to find out, won’t you.

TRIXIE, MR. POTATO HEAD, REX, MR. PRICKLEPANTS, BUZZ LIGHTYEAR, COMBAT CARLWhy it is a fantastic adventure: This short movie is a great way to introduce your kids to classic spooky movies. There are a lot of “jump” moments with things popping out from behind shower curtains, off the side of the frame, etc. In typical Pixar fashion, it is all done in a kid safe style. It’s not too scary, but just enough of a jump to get your kids flinching.
The tension is easily relieved by humor, and your kids will be screaming and laughing right along with their favorite toy characters.
Get your kids introduced to some spooky entertainment and get them ready for a season of Halloween TV specials and movies!

Toy Story of Terror is available on Blu-Ray and DVD at Amazon.com or other fine retailers.

For more Halloween movie and TV recommendations, please visit my 31 Days of Halloween posts by clicking on the banner on your right and look for Fantastic Halloween Adventures!

Thank You!

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Today is Halloween. That means it is October 31st and I just finished 31 days of Halloween posts! First off, I would like to say Thank You to everyone who came to read my posts every day. I hope you found it entertaining and helpful in making your Halloween this year memorable and fun!

With that said, please keep coming back! My blog does not disappear after Halloween! I have some great things coming up in the next year. I am finishing my middle grade novel, tentatively titled Eliza, the Witch. I am also hard at work on a second novel, Kyle McDuffy, Elementary School Investigator. Stay tuned to the blog for updates on those including sneak peeks at a few chapters here and there.

I will also be continuing my Fantastic Adventures in Family Entertainment series with reviews on family friendly tv shows movies, books, games and activities.

Again, thank you from the bottom of my heart! I enjoyed writing about my favorite day of the year and I hope you enjoyed reading it! Please keep returning to the blog and don’t forget to check out my books! If you’d like, leave a comment below or click the Like button if you enjoyed my blog this month.

Have a wonderful Halloween evening and I’ll be posting again very soon, although I think I’ll take the day off tomorrow!

Signing off for 31 Days of Halloween,

Ryan R. Palmer

The History of Halloween

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We all celebrate Halloween but how much do you really know about it? Here’s a little history lesson for Halloween!

Halloween’s origins date back to the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain (pronounced sow-in).

The Celts, who lived 2,000 years ago in the area that is now Ireland, the United Kingdom, and northern France, celebrated their new year on November 1. This day marked the end of summer and the harvest and the beginning of the dark, cold winter, a time of year that was often associated with human death. Celts believed that on the night before the new year, the boundary between the worlds of the living and the dead became blurred. On the night of October 31, they celebrated Samhain, when it was believed that the ghosts of the dead returned to earth. In addition to causing trouble and damaging crops, Celts thought that the presence of the otherworldly spirits made it easier for the Druids, or Celtic priests, to make predictions about the future. For a people entirely dependent on the volatile natural world, these prophecies were an important source of comfort and direction during the long, dark winter.

To commemorate the event, Druids built huge sacred bonfires, where the people gathered to burn crops and animals as sacrifices to the Celtic deities.

During the celebration, the Celts wore costumes, typically consisting of animal heads and skins, and attempted to tell each other’s fortunes. When the celebration was over, they re-lit their hearth fires, which they had extinguished earlier that evening, from the sacred bonfire to help protect them during the coming winter.

By A.D. 43, Romans had conquered the majority of Celtic territory. In the course of the four hundred years that they ruled the Celtic lands, two festivals of Roman origin were combined with the traditional Celtic celebration of Samhain.

The first was Feralia, a day in late October when the Romans traditionally commemorated the passing of the dead. The second was a day to honor Pomona, the Roman goddess of fruit and trees. The symbol of Pomona is the apple and the incorporation of this celebration into Samhain probably explains the tradition of “bobbing” for apples that is practiced today on Halloween.

By the 800s, the influence of Christianity had spread into Celtic lands. In the seventh century, Pope Boniface IV designated November 1 All Saints’ Day, a time to honor saints and martyrs. It is widely believed today that the pope was attempting to replace the Celtic festival of the dead with a related, but church-sanctioned holiday. The celebration was also called All-hallows or All-hallowmas (from Middle English Alholowmesse meaning All Saints’ Day) and the night before it, the night of Samhain, began to be called All-hallows Eve and, eventually, Halloween. Even later, in A.D. 1000, the church would make November 2 All Souls’ Day, a day to honor the dead. It was celebrated similarly to Samhain, with big bonfires, parades, and dressing up in costumes as saints, angels, and devils. Together, the three celebrations, the eve of All Saints’, All Saints’, and All Souls’, were called Hallowmas.

 

Interested in going deeper and learning more about Halloween? I strongly recommend this Book: Trick or Treat: A History of Halloween by Lisa Morton
http://www.amazon.com/Trick-Treat-A-History-Halloween/dp/1780230478

5 More Halloween Crafts

What’s more fun than making things with your kids?  We’ve all seen those craft websites and magazines with those amazingly good looking crafts that look oh so easy to make. Have you eve tried to make those? Yeah, they never turn out the way you though, right? Well, here are five crafts that are guaranteed to turn out great because they are simple in construction and explanation.

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Halloween jars. Just get some empty glass jars, clean them out well and paint away! It’s a great creative way to engage with your kids!

 

 

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Paper Bag Monsters. These are a fun and easy craft and a great creativity spark! Simply paint, cut out construction paper and then glue!

 

 

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Popsicle Sticks. Glue together a bunch of Popsicle sticks (on paper or a heavy string) and paint away!

 

 

 

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Seed Crafts! All you need is some construction paper, corn seeds, beans, rope and lotsa glue! Have fun with it. How many different things can you make?

 

 

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Fun with Paper Plates. These are also an easy, fun craft for kids. All you need are the cheapo paper plates, some construction paper, scissors and glue! Create any Halloween inspired monster you can think of! Frankenstein, Dracula, Jack-O’-Lanters, Mummies, etc!