Halloween. It is a great American tradition. In the UK it isn’t ‘done’ like it is here. So here are some reasons why this British mama LOVES Halloween in America.
OH THE PUMPKIN PATCHES! We get at least 2 or 3 visits in a year.
This year our favourite ones have been at Irvine Regional Park and Tanaka Farms. This is our 3rd Halloween in the US and they have consistently been the ones we have LOVED. At Irvine regional, we love the face painters and other fun activities available, and at Tanaka Farms it is so fun going on the wagon ride, picking our pumpkins and fresh veggies and seeing the pumpkins being launched from a cannon (only on weekends).
We are also VERY partial to the Spooktacular event at the Great Park in Irvine. This is possibly the best FREE events we have attended in OC. Each child is required to bring a bag of food for the food banks and in return, there is trick or treating, games, food trucks, pumpkin patch and decorating, as well as so many other fun things. This event is so fun that it books up really fast – tickets are released mid-September.
Boos and Brews
I know most of my British friends will never have even heard of a BOO! Imagine a surprise visitor leaving little gifts outside your doorway for the children to discover. It is THE BEST THING EVER when you are little! Our neighborhood also does a Witches Brew which allows us to leave a more ‘adult’ gift in a bottle. We love passing the Boo on as much as we love receiving it.
Whoa. Disneyland at Halloween is something else. We are huge fans of the happiest place on Earth anyway, but they seriously up their game to kick off the best time of year. Forget the long hot Californian summer – Fall and Winter is where it’s at where Disney is concerned! There are Mickey’s Halloween parties where kids get to trick or treat on Main Street and Characters are dressed in their own costumes. Then there is arguably the best ride at Disneyland; the Haunted Mansion Holiday where the awesome Jack Skellington takes over with his faithful ghost dog Zero by his side. Space Mountain takes on a spooky makeover and becomes Ghost Galaxy and the park is so beautifully decorated that I basically never want to leave!
Dressing up my home
Oh yeah. The USA know how to dress their houses for the holidays and Halloween is no exception. We love to drive around the neighborhoods and spot the houses that are all dressed up. Some are subtly done, some go all out but they are all so fun to look at!
The best thing is that every store you got into has a huge choice of things to dress your home with. We have spiders and skulls featuring heavily in our decor, and of course, it wouldn’t be complete without pumpkins and some homemade decor!
Where to start with this. The fact that there are dedicated pop-up shops that open for the months of September and October literally blows my mind! It is amazing. You can go as elaborate as you want to. I saw one amazing mama write on Facebook that her daughter is going as Judy from Zootopia and she was starting the costume a couple of months in advance so she was prepared. Then there is me when sent my husband to Costco for the police S.W.A.T. team outfit. The point is that you can source anything here. ANYTHING!!
Pumpkin. Spiced. EVERYTHING. Jackpot. *drops the mic*