I was in the waiting room of the girls’ ballet dance studio and all the adults were talking about how much Halloween has changed and grown over the years. Apparently it’s the biggest revenue-generating season in the US. It makes sense because the holiday is so universal and there’s so much merchandise from costumes and candy alone. Plus it’s fun for all ages. The girls get excited about Halloween for precisely those two reasons: Costumes and candy (or treats). And it appears the more immersed we are in Halloween, the more “things” they have to be excited about.
This year, since we’re starting fresh here in LA, I thought we may as well dress up our little home in Halloween decor.
We’ve never done this before, so you can imagine the shock my husband had when he walked in the door.
We even bought the craft DIY pumpkins from Target so the girls could “decorate” them and add them to the charm of the apartment.
Then of course, the costumes and the parties that come with it. The girls have attended two so far, each time in a different costume. For the first time in years, we’re recycling old costumes and outfits! Thankfully they have enough of those. I suppose you could say that what we’d normally spend on new costumes, we used on decor?
The families in our little complex also want to have our own party this Friday. I suppose we’ll be digging through their closets again soon.
As far as events go, we’ve been to two that have also been “firsts”.
We’d never had a Bug Invasion Halloween for one, and the Science Cube in Santa Ana is all about that this season.
There are gigantic life-sized bugs that move when you come near them. It’s interesting as much as it is scary to be honest. I guess it is a good mix of spooky (or icky?) meets educational?
There are also other parts of the museum where you could touch actual live arthropods (ewwww…) and go through a neon bug maze to learn about math. Not bad really. I gather the bugs are there until November 2 in case you want to see them.
Then just last weekend, we attended our first Pumpkin Race at Manhattan Beach. I’d never heard of pumpkins racing before until my friend told us to go and check it out with them. This particular pumpkin race we hear is the most famous one. It’s on its 24th year. And it’s quite the spectacle! You should see the crowd that gathers to race and cheer!
Essentially you turn the pumpkin into a race car. You can make your own and have it ready when you arrive, or you can buy a “kit” at the pier for $20.
Then you dress it up in any which way you want, and join a heat of 6 Pumpkin-racers per group. At the signal you send your pumpkin down the hill.
The winner of each gets to advance into the semi-finals. And then the winners of each of those rounds makes it to the finals, until there are only 4 racers left to compete for the top 4 spots, all with cash prizes for themselves and for their school. WHAT!
I was under the impression that it was as simple as gravity and a good set of wheels, but apparently there’s more to it. In some heats, the smallest pumpkins won over the bigger ones. And there were a few that started going down but started to swivel and crash into other racers too. Some pumpkins turned over on their heads. They lose body parts too!
It’s quite fun to watch. And there were so many creative pumpkins put to the race that day.
They also have this portion in between where they “punish” cheaters. Cheaters are supposedly those that race using other non-pumpkin materials. Like a watermelon for instance. Or a pineapple (trying to disguise itself as a pumpkin?!)
The website says some people purposely put as their entries “cheater pumpkins” for the entertainment value of it all.
Everyone gets into it too – including the Mayor who has an honorary pumpkin run. His pumpkin had to make it past the finish line in 8 seconds.
We’ve three more days for this Halloween craziness, and we haven’t even gone trick-or-treating yet. I wonder how different it will be like for us here. I’ve not yet gotten around to carving a real live pumpkin. Maybe we’ll save that as a first for next year’s Halloween Holiday.