Of course, it’s not ACTUALLY here—the day itself is still a few weeks away—but Halloween decorations are everywhere and my kids have taken to wearing their costumes around the house, so in a way every day is Halloween for now.
Last year, we had our first Halloween in our new house. On one of our evening walks, my kids and I discovered a house about a block away that goes all-out with Halloween decorations. I’m talking about a 6-foot spider with light-up eyes on the roof, about 15 life-size scary figures on the lawn, and maybe 30 different strands of Halloween-themed lights strung up on the fence and trees. Every night for weeks my kids and I walked past the “Wicked Witch House,” as they called it, to check on the progress of the decorations.
|Like this, only bloodier.|
And that aspect of Halloween—the blood and guts and terror—remains a problem to me, as a parent of young children. They love the costumes and the candy, but I feel no need to mess with their already-iffy sleep patterns by introducing nightmare-inducing images of murderous monsters. Please. Less sleep is the LAST thing I need right now.
So I was thrilled to be invited to bring my family to check out Camp Spooky at Knott’s Berry Farm last week. Knott’s has a yearly Halloween celebration called Knott’s Scary Farm’s Halloween Haunt, which is aimed at much-older kids and adults. Camp Spooky (normally “Camp Snoopy”), however, is an area of the park with rides and non-scary Halloween thrills for 3-11 year olds.
Of course, the first thing they wanted to do was to decorate Halloween cookies at the “Kooky Cookie Painting” area at the Grizzly Lodge. They got comfy at the kid-sized tables and dug into the colored frostings and decorative sprinkles. As a bonus, we were there during “Scary Stories at the Lodge,” which, thankfully, were more silly than scary.
|They went for the "Modern Art" look with their cookies.|
|More decorations = More YUM|
Many of the kids at Camp Spooky that day were dressed in costumes, and I’m sure many were planning to participate in Snoopy’s Costume Contest and Parade later in the day. My boys ditched their costumes early on and headed straight for the rides—including a toddler-friendly roller coaster. (Um, who knew that a 2.5-year-old who deemed the mall train ride “too scary” would find a roller coaster delightful? And who knew that his 30-something mom would need a good 20 minutes to recover her balance after that same roller coaster ride? Looks like it’s just the mall train for me from now on.) The Ferris Wheel and the The Great Pumpkin Hay Bale Maze were also favorites.
After about 4 straight hours of fun, we had to call it a day and headed for the napmobile, er, car. Parking, unfortunately, was the one part of our day that didn’t bring us joy or candy. The attendants who were directing traffic when we arrived gave us conflicting instructions about where to park, and we ended up walking much farther than we needed to.
Disclaimer: Yep, Knott’s gave me free tickets to check out Camp Spooky, for which I am truly grateful. But all the opinions above are strictly mine. What can I say? We loved the place. You should definitely go.