My plan was a open house, people coming and going, a few here and there, alas, that was not the case, as the bulk of people came at the same time and more trickled in, but not a lot left. But because it was a school night, it wound down right on time. Because of that, I had not a single moment and was moving the whole time, so a friend was gracious enough to take pix for me. I had an army of teen helpers which was amazing, because I'm learning to delegate and not do it all myself.
There were lots of dim orange lighting, candles and black lights, but the camera flash counteracts the effect. Trust me when I say it all looked really cool. I have other pictures coming, but here is what I have....
The Food - I love my labels, I think renaming stuff makes food more interesting. I had to counteract all the sweets so the main dish was"Chili Con Carnivore" (turkey chili with crackers), which I hear was really good, never got to have any. "Lime jello with gummy worms and candy spores" in petri dishes I ordered from Home Science Tools. I piped frosting through a large tip for "Monster Brains" and a great brain mold with gummy worms floated in "Dead Man's Punch". The "Boocakes" are Peeps ghosts poked through with a toothpick, sitting on chocolate cupcakes rolled in crushed chocolate graham crackers. In the capote is "Ghoul Fuel", Chex Mix with gummy eyeballs added. And of course, we had to have "Devil's Eggs". Not pictured, the "Monster Bites", apple wedges filled with peanut butter and candy corn teeth. They went too fast.
The Activities - In one room, we were playing Monster House with no sound, and yet the kids were mesmerized. I like to have something playing in the background, so kids can take a moment from the insanity. In another room, I emptied most of the toys and furniture and hung two black light fixtures, and white balloons with glow sticks in them for an eerie effect. The remaining furniture had white sheets on them, and Halloween music was playing. It became a dance/beating each other with balloons/popping the balloons then fighting with the glow sticks room. My husband was not pleased.
In the garage, I covered one side black plastic panels, to hide all of our stuff, the other side has gray butcher paper painted like stone, to give that mad lab feel. Cobwebs were strung up and dim lighting due to a few lamps. There were 4 stations: "Bubbling Blood" a demo of what happens when you mix Vampire's Blood (vinegar colored red) and Garlic Powder (baking soda); "Build a Molecule" with colored marshmallows and toothpicks; "Pick Your Poison"(not pictured) where kids tested different solutions with pH paper (also from Home Science Tools) and had to match up what color they changed to. I named the checklist with things like "Essence of Wolfsbane" "Zombie Venom", etc. etc. By far, every one's favorite was "Slime Time". It's a really cool recipe I found online. It's the type that when you play with it, it becomes a solid, and then becomes an ooze when you stop playing. I premixed the borax solution, then the kids added the glue and water, and their choice of concentrated coloring to a paper cup, stirring with a Popsicle stick, then slowly adding the borax solution. Then they have to put their hands in to pull the slime out and knead it for awhile. All the kids loved it, it was squishy and yucky. They put their creations in plastic baggies that had instructions on it, to keep refrigerated when not in play and wash your hands.
The hit with the older kids (and a few adults) was the wax hands. There is this amazing wax called FlexWax I purchased from Oriental Trading. It's a low temp wax that can be used to cast on the body because it doesn't need a lot of heat to melt, and won't burn the skin. With an rice cooker I found at Value Village (you have to heat the wax in a double boiler), the victim slathers up their hand in Vaseline, then dips into the wax, and cools it in cold water. Repeat a few times, and you get a really cool effect. The fun part is pulling the mold off. They also went home in gallon bags.
The Decor - Ok, so I had a lot of stuff going on. The black light room had plastic spiders puttied up on the walls, and spider webs everywhere. The Caution tape corner is covering a fog machine (note to self, one spray of fog is enough in a small room). I tried to get a picture without the flash to show the black light effect (yes, I'm still going to beat that dead horse), but not quite working. My step-daughter traced out like 60 bats from construction paper, using a cookie cutter as a template, and we hung them in the TV room from fishing line, and all over the walls. And a great paper chain across the ceiling as well. My shelf wall is full of creepy jars and stained cheesecloth, and plastic flies everywhere. I borrowed every table and folding chair I could for enough places to sit and eat, and my kitchen table has this great centerpiece of Martha's glitter skulls. Sorry, I purchased them last year, and it looks like she didn't have them out this season. The tablecloth is an old, stained cloth that I ripped up. Lots of candles on the table and everywhere I could think of. The bathroom lights were changed for black light bulbs, and I changed the kitchen ones to orange bulbs as well. I hate that light fixture, so I draped "bloody" cheesecloth and black branches on it, just to do something with it.
The Treat Bags - Yes, I love my little Frankenbags. They were full of gummy and chocolate body parts and other candy. The little ones' bags had stickers and pencils. I also gave my teen helpers small wooden Halloween totes that had a bag of candy tied to them, and they all had made wax hands and slime. And all the kids had their slime and some took their molecules home too. BTW, that's me in the blue scrubs with a very angry Obi-Wan Kenobi at my side. I was going for a undead scientist, but turned into a ghoulish 2nd year med student. I was looking for a lab coat, but I kept putting it off, and could only find scrubs at the thrift stores. Not Just a Mommy!