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Saying No to Too Much Halloween

September 25th, 2012 at 12:40 pm

When I was a kid, my memories of Halloween were mainly of one thing: trick-or-treating on actual Halloween night.

We may have gone to one other Halloween-related event (like a school dance or a random Halloween party), but I just remember Halloween as being a simple, one-day event.

Now I don't know if it's where I live, or if it's a sign of the times, but Halloween is like a 6-week long party & event fest here. And I've discovered that it's so easy for me to get carried away with activities and overspend our entertainment budget, based on all the activities available and the peer pressure from other people to do all those things.

Where we live, here are some of the things that happen around Halloween:

* School parties (free, we usually volunteer to bring something)

* Neighborhood HOA party (free, or rather included with our HOA dues, but usually a nice festival with bounce houses, etc.)

* Neighborhood Mom's Club party (free except for candy we buy to hand out)

* City activity (trick or treating downtown, pumpkin patch, other activities)

* Fire department Halloween festival for kids (free, we've never made it to this one)

* Mall trick-or-treating in the afternoon

* Arboretum Halloween event ($10 plus $5 parking)

* Church Fall Festivals (most of them around here have one)

* Several museums have Halloween events (varies, around $10)

* Boo at the Zoo (3 local zoos do this, included with cost of admission)

* Pumpkin Farms (we have 5+ that are close to us; admission ranges from $8-$12 a person)

* Lowe's Build & Grow Halloween event (free)

* Haunted trolley rides, ghost walk tours, haunted houses (varying admission prices)

I'm sure I haven't even captured all of the local events above.

The list of events seriously overwhelms me. Two years ago I tried to do it all. Well, not all, but more than I should have. I think we went to 3 pumpkin farms (1 as a family, 1 with a mom's group, then my son went to one on a school field trip). The cost added up! Not to mention the overwhelming amount of candy my kids accumulated from all of these events.

And it's not just about the cost of all these events X 5 people in our family...it's about the stress of trying to keep up with the Jones' and constantly being on the go. Last year, we decided to do just one pumpkin farm. One. And it was totally fine. We still did the school parties, the neighborhood party, the Mom's Club party, and I think that was it. And of course the actual Halloween trick-or-treating.

I've already turned down 3 invites to events this year--2 pumpkin farms and 1 museum. We're going to try to keep it simple again this year.

I know we're lucky that we live in an area with all of these activities (many of them free) and it's nice we can pick and choose where to go.

Do you get overwhelmed by activities around Halloween or other holidays? (Am I the only one?) How do you decide what to do?

2 Responses to “Saying No to Too Much Halloween”

  1. snafu Says:

    We've been in PR China for the past 5 yrs at Halloween where that fun event doesn't exist. I was surprised to see 2 Halloween dedicated stores open in our district since the 1st of September. Sadly, our condo complex has no kiddies and our landscaping & location has a low profile...no decoration, no trick or treat-sters.

    I'm looking up low cost events for adults, I think Boo-at-the-zoo and the events at the library are totally for kiddies. We've always enjoyed Church socials & ethnic fall church dinners so I'm checking for church calendars...the congregations are always so welcoming to strangers. Thanks for the heads-up

  2. PNW Mom Says:

    Wow! That's alot of activities! When my kids were little (I have a 20 & 17 y/o), trick or treating was pretty much the norm. Malls and downtown area's seemed to get in on it, I think, as a safe alternative (it was always in the afternoon). The kids always had something at school (during school) and we always went to the pumpkin patch as a family.

    It sure seems times have changed since then!

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