One of our biggest events every year is our Family Fright Night. I know some libraries shy away from Halloween in favor of general harvest themes, and of course you do whatever fits your community - but, we do Halloween big time!
As I have been telling kids in story time, this is the start of my favorite holiday season, in large part because of all the food possibilities. For Halloween, we tried to balance out the sweet with some
poison apples (organic, provided by a local orchard)
carrot cupcakes (made with applesauce - we have a LOT of apples this year!)
toasted skin squares,
ribs and earwax,
dried hair tossed with bile,
and rotten teeth,
all provided by our friend Jack, here.
Your choice of human or vampire blood to wash it down.
I have learned to spread the tables out a bit, to alleviate bottle-necking. There wasn't much left in the end, to the disappointment of the staff, who usually get leftovers the next day!
Of course, we still had candy. As each child was leaving, they got a bag of toys and a handful of candy. I wanted to give the parents the chance to steer them towards age-appropriate candy, but since some of them (parents, not kids), don't seem to get the concept of ONE HANDFUL, I will just include it with the bags next year. Sigh.
The blank spot was for items for the local food bank, and it was filled! Anyone who brought a canned good got to pick something from our special treasure chest:
a few decorations and costumes donated by a local store after Halloween last year.
I kept decorations simple this year, because there was a lot going on - including our baby program at noon the same day, and my new desk arriving, which entailed tearing everything down and getting it hooked back up again!
A simple graveyard scene, which I told stories from, and crafts:
These squish bags were a huge hit! About a half cup of hair gel (from the dollar store) in a baggie, add some eyeballs and foamie shapes, and seal with packing tape.
Blank monster faces with facial features, markers, yarn, and glue.
Candy corn people made with torn paper scraps.
There were also two games:
Mr. Cliff took charge of this one. Blindfolded kids had to put his organs in the right spots, which resulted in some pretty silly arrangements!
Clara, my volunteer teen extraordinaire, supervised kids ringing the ghosties (water bottles, which don't tip over too easily).
I didn't give prizes for games, so everyone could play as many times as they wanted, but we didn't have a group getting manic about cleaning us out of plastic spider rings. Would you believe one family actually got up and left when I said we were just doing the goodie bags/handful of candy? Since they were the same ones who were filling their bags from the snack table, I didn't try to coax them back in.
Once we got started, I didn't get nearly the number of pictures I wanted, because it was PACKED! So many cute costumes I wanted to photograph, too.
There were three skeletons in a row, biggest to smallest, but they couldn't stand still.
These guys understood the 'handful' idea - all the kids and parents I photographed did, I'm not into public shaming:)
Zombie cop! Since I was dressed as a zombie, too, I was happy to see him.
Another adorable young lady, and you can see the pile of cans in the background.
Vampire with an attitude (or sore teeth).
One of three pink Batgirls.
She made this herself! I have been hearing about it all week, and was happy to see the finished product.
Superman was definitely the costume of the year, I saw at least four.
The ruffles!!! Must...not...steal...baby...
Pirate Clara with the ring toss.
Thank-you, Miss Laura, for helping distribute tape at the squish bag table! I had no idea it would be such a smash hit!
I would say this was from too much excitement, but this is how he...
and she...looked all the way through my story reading. I guess I won't take it TOO personally.
Meanwhile, some other little boy was more intent on squishing intestines into the carpet. Whose little monster is that, anyway?
And then there was the cutest witch ever.
I just...I can't...melting!!!
And, when Sheridan (Fancy Nancy) sighed that "It wasn't fair", because Logan could fly, and Shane could probably fly, she couldn't, Logan sweetly replied, "But you're BYOOtiful!"
And she was!
I didn't get a picture of Christopher (Abraham Lincoln), which was a shame, because people made a point of telling me how much they liked his costume - just the fact that he was a president, rather than a superhero, tickled some.
The strangest thing, though...are you ready? Have you noticed already?
NOT A SINGLE ELSA!!!
I think everyone had fun, and next year we will try to get more adult volunteers and spread out to the children's room, maybe do a couple things outside.
I hope everyone has a great night tonight - remember, you can trick or treat at City Hall and the Library during the day, too - and don't forget, Miss Ami is working tomorrow, and will be happy to take some candy off your hands, if you get too much!