Thursday, October 30, 2014

Zombie Hill! (And Other Halloween Fun)

Bay View does a lot of Halloween decorations in October, but hands down the best display every year is Zombie Hill on Kinnickinnic near my kids' school.  (And I never get tired of the word "Kinnickinnic.")
How awesome is that?  The first few zombies appear on the hill on the first of the month, then more, and sometimes they get moved around (usually closer and closer to the sidewalk as the month progresses).

The guy eating someone's arm is new this year.  At night they are SUPER CREEPY.  On a windy day they sway and jerk around a little.

My kids and I were speculating on how funny it would be if they were up year round, and got decorated for other holidays.  Lights and tinsel for Christmas, bunny ears for Easter, green hats for St Patrick's Day....  And then they could hold pumpkin baskets or dress up when Halloween comes around again!  But I suppose it's best to put them away in November so we can look forward to their arrival again the following year.  And we do!

On the less scary side of decorations in our neighborhood are the dancing ghosts in the park, and there is an annual event called the Pumpkin Pavilion with hundreds of carved pumpkins on display for a weekend (along with music and a magic show and games and beer and food).  My husband was trying to impress upon our kids how nice it is to live only a couple of blocks from a park that always has something going on.  He said the park by his house growing up in Portland never did anything.  Humboldt Park is pretty great.

We did our own pumpkin carving a couple of weeks ago.  The kids did all their own pumpkin gutting!  I just cut open the tops and cooked the seeds.  I also let the kids experiment with using a drill.  Pretty fun.  Less dangerous than knives.  I did one all just in patterns of dots, and Aden used the drill to add stars to her wolf pumpkin.

It continues to be weird that for us Halloween is over before most of the country gets to it.  Everything here (except the zombies) is pretty much all packed up and put away.  Our neighborhood does nighttime Trick-or-Treat on the last Saturday of the month, which meant we had it on the 25th this year.  The weather was perfect, and after doing Trick-or Treat in our own area first we even drove over to the other side of Bay View by the violin store to experience a street that is blocked off for a good distance (so you can walk safely in the road) and goes all out with the candy and fun.  One house was a giant Wizard of Oz display, and another was surrounded with psycho clowns.  It's a big, spooky block party and we will definitely go back.

Since Milwaukee at large does Trick-or-Treat on the Sunday before Halloween, my kids also got to go up to the north side of town to Trick-or-Treat with friends there.  They enjoyed the extra candy and another day to wear their costumes, but they all agreed Trick-or-Treat at night is better.  (Duh.)  Next year will be bizarre because I think Halloween is on a Saturday, so our neighborhood will have it on Halloween proper, but the rest of Milwaukee will do Trick-or-Treat on Sunday six days earlier.  That will stretch out Halloween for a week!

The sorting and trading of candy in our house goes on for days.  They still had some from last year to add to the piles, which is sort of ridiculous, but sort of good in a "at least they are not eating it all at once and making themselves sick" kind of way.   Aden set aside candy for a friend who wasn't able to Trick-or-Treat at the last minute because of an injury, and made sure to examine all the labels for nuts.  Apparently there were more Twizzlers this year than last, and the oddest candies were "Lemonheads with Friends."  Quinn had the only regular Lemonheads, which were sadly friendless.  (I think this is the first Halloween of my life where I haven't eaten any candy.  I'm being good about the no sugar thing.  And the kids will be surprised at how their chocolate doesn't vanish while they're at school this time around.)

The only bad part about the holiday for us this year was after my kids spent a whole day putting up decorations in the yard someone stole some of the things from their display.  Mona had woven a toy snake up through a plastic skeleton so that it popped out of its mouth, and she also put a pair of creepy eyeballs in the skull, and someone took the snake and the eyeballs.  The snake was a souvenir from the Bronx Zoo that my kids were really attached to, so they were pretty upset.  I had told them we could go ahead and leave their display up through the actual Halloween, but after the snake disappeared they just wanted to bring everything in.  So, as I say, Halloween here has been done for days.  The pumpkins are composting and we're moving on to birthday plans and Thanksgiving.

But you out there!  Celebrating holidays on the days they are supposed to be on!  Have fun!  I hope everyone has a Happy Halloween.


  1. OK I am really laughing about your Halloween being over... we JUST got around to carving pumpkins last night (and they look completely terrible, I won't deny it, I'm so not skilled in the Pumpkin Arts, so I am blown away in amazement with the drill! The stars!! You guys are awesome!!) and we trick or treat tonight. So ours hasn't started yet!!

    Also, I posted a comment on your last post but I think Blogger ate it so I'll try again now- I am totally puzzling over this trick-or-treating-on-a-different-night thing. I have seriously NEVER heard of this before. I don't think it happens in Washington state at all (or anywhere in the northwest? I suppose I could be wrong about that). But then you blogged about it and the next day a friend posted something about her husband thinking trick or treating always happens the Tuesday before Halloween and MY MIND WAS TOTALLY BLOWN. Clearly, it's a thing... I just missed it. How do different neighborhoods decide that? How does everyone find out?! I live my life in a state of disorganized chaos, so I'm pretty sure I would be the one neighborhood idiot who had no idea when trick or treating was supposed to happen. (I do, however, think it's kind of genius that kids can then go to different neighborhoods and trick or treat multiple days. I would have been SO into that as a kid).

    Love the Halloween decorations- the Zombies crack me up!

    And good job staying out of the sugar. Our bowl of candy (for the trick or treaters) has been out for all of 2 hours and I think I've eaten half of it. Good thing I'm supposed to run 8 miles tomorrow!!!

    Happy Halloween! Great costumes by the way, all the kids look great and I love that they all have wings. I could totally tell Quinn was smiling!! (I think that also was in my eaten comment).

    1. I never heard of people doing Halloween on a day other than Halloween until I moved to Columbus, Ohio. For some reason there it was any number of random seeming days but it couldn't be ON Halloween. I never figured out their system, but it was nuts.

      Of course, being from Detroit, I was stunned to discover Devil's Night wasn't a thing everywhere else. Just Detroit. You know, the night before Halloween, where in the suburbs they toilet paper and egg houses, and in the city proper they burn down buildings? I think there were as many as 800 fires one year. Good times.

      Here I think a little girl (in Madison?) was murdered on Halloween about twenty years ago and people flipped out and decided Trick-or-Treat had to be in the daytime so they came up with the Sunday before thing. (Because that will prevent murder! Sure.) And then down here on the South Side in Bay View the street that does the big block party arranged a nighttime Trick-or-Treat almost ten years ago, and it was such a hit that it spread to the rest of Bay View about four or five years ago. People put signs up on their lawns and the word got around. It was weird the first year, though, because we had Trick-or-Treaters at our house both days. (Which my kids LOVED.) Now it's pretty firmly entrenched that Bay View does Saturday night Trick-or-Treat and it's all tumbleweeds blowing in the street the next day.

      Have fun tonight!

    2. We called it Mischief Night in New Jersey.

    3. I could totally see where a murder on Halloween would terrify people into doing something different! (Although I'm not sure daytime will stop a determined murderer, either!). I have to say, with little tiny kids that I have to help out significantly... I wouldn't mind if trick or treating were in the afternoon!!! Easier to guide them around in the light than in the dark!

  2. It's so odd to me that so many localities do "trick-or-treat" on any night other than Halloween, but only because we've never done it any other way. I think an extended Halloween could be lots of fun.

    I'm so happy to hear the party behind the violin store was amazing. :o) I can't wait to hear more about it next year.

    On to birthday/birthday/birthday/Christmas/birthday rush around these parts. There's really not much chance for a breather... I don't think I'm nearly as tight in it all as you are, though. :oS

    1. We're in the birthday rush, too, now. And we're hosting Thanksgiving which means people staying with us for about two weeks. And Christmas is up in the air because we don't know if it will be in Milwaukee or Detroit. And I have a million rehearsals for The Messiah coming up! (Guh, now I'm feeling like one of those zombies on the hill....)