Wow I love Michigan in October!
Someone asked me today if spending Halloween here is like it is in the movies and yes it is! From Jack-o-lanterns on every doorstep to friendly ghosts and witches everywhere, to getting the kids dressed up in fun, bright costumes to go trick or treating, I really do feel like we are living in a movie!
We have had a lot of fun this month. We have done so many things that I wanted to capture a few here.
There are the simple things like driving round the neighbourhoods and past shops and schools, looking at all of the fabulous decorations which have been up since the beginning of the month. There are ghosts hanging from trees, witches crashing into trees and doors, dozens of pumpkins carved into jack-o-lanterns or just sitting by mail boxes or on front porches. And some people have grave stones, scarecrows sitting on chairs, orange lights and even 6ft tall inflatables in their front yards.
I love the colours. The trees are desperately clinging to their leaves, still glowing red and yellow but also many of the decorations here are bright orange, lime green, purple and black. I always thought Halloween was black and white but here the house is bright with orange and purple window decorations, bright spooky houses on the shelves and pumpkins hanging around the kitchen.
We went to a place called Gull meadow farms to pick out our pumpkins. This was something I had seen on the tv and was very excited to do it. They had all sorts of things for the kids to play with including bouncy inflatable 'pillows' like a flat bouncy castle, hay rides and of course hot cider (not alcholic here!) and donuts to warm up. We had a fun evening in the sunshine, playing and riding round the farm on the wagon then chose our pumpkins. The kids are old enough to choose their own and help pull the little red wagon to take them to the car - cute!
We have done plenty of trick or treating already and it's still 4 hours until the official start of trick or treating on our neighbourhood! We have been to Jeremy's work where the staff decorated the offices and meeting rooms amazingly! Each room had a different theme and only a couple were spooky. Halloween here is a festival, a holiday, a celebration. It's about fun and treats.
There was trunk or treat at Southridge church last night. We went along with our neighbours and it was cute to see Charlotte and her friend collecting candy together and playing games. People from the church decorate the trunks of their cars, dress up in costumes and hand out candy. Even their dogs joined in with the dressing up! (The supermarkets are full of costumes for dogs - honestly everyone here gets dressed up!) We also went to ZooBoo at Binder Park Zoo in Battle Creek. The zoo is decorated with hundreds of pumpkins and even the big bug sculpture at the entrance was dressed up! Local companies sponsor booths where you can trick or treat and there were fairground games too. We went with our friends and their little girls. Charlotte is best friends with Mia and they had a great time together.
There was also a fall festival at Charlotte's school and costume week at her ballet dance class. The kids have had so many opportunities to dress up and they love it! Charlotte has a bee and a witch costume and Toby has borrowed a few (he is growing fast so we needed a few choices!) including a bat, a pumpkin and Nemo!
There was also the 'famous' Spooky house near our house. Every year they dress the house up for Halloween and I have heard many people saying they avoid it as it is pretty scary! Their windows are boarded up, there are cobwebs hanging from the roof and they have put up a huge fence with statues garding the entrance. I counted about 30 carved pumpkins and they have a dozen stakes in the front yard with skeletons hanging from them dressed up. This year they added a small shed with rows of skulls displayed on it. Spooky! We took a ride up there during the day and every time we drive past now Charlotte points out the scary house!
Michigan is such a fun place to bring a family up. We are very much looking forward to trick or treating with friends, neighbours and family tonight. We live on a big housing estate which is a popular trick or treating spot and people will be driving in around 5:45 to collect their goodies. We have bags and bags of candy (I've been told to expect over 200 kids!) so hopefully we will have plenty to hand out.
It is so exciting, each season brings a different reason to celebrate, gather together with friends and rejoice!