Halloween
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Ideas To Enjoy Halloween When You Can't Go Trick Or Treating

31 October 2020

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Some people don't agree with trick or treating however we have always let the boys trick or treat at our neighbours houses on Halloween. It's something they have both looked forward to over the years and it's sad that this year they won't be able to. I still want to make Halloween special for little J so I have been thinking of ways to make Halloween special when you cant go trick or treating. 

pumpkins


Decorate Your Home
We have always decorated our home for Halloween although I always feel like we don't get time to enjoy it as we are out most of the evening. This year make your home more spookier than ever and it will be the perfect setting for your night of spooky fun. 

Spooky Treasure Trail
Our children may not be able to knock on neighbours doors for treats but that doesn't mean they have to miss out. Create a spooky treasure trail for them to follow collecting sweets and chocolates along the way. 
cookies


Decorate Cookies
Who can make the spookiest cookie? You can let your imagination run wild and create the most scariest looking cookies ever. Why not host a competition to see who's is the best and then you can eat them.

Play Games
I'm not talking about Monopoly or Scrabble, create some spooky games to play with the kids. How about pin the wart on the witch, or an old favourite duck apple. 

Read Spooky Stories
Turn all the lights down and give the kids some torches and read spooky stories in the dark.

deathly hallows pumpkin


Carve A Pumpkin
Most will have their pumpkins picked and carved ready for Halloween but it's a great activity to do together and when best than on the most spookiest night of the year. 

Host A Movie Night
There are so many family friendly Halloween movies to enjoy. Host a movie night. You can even make a movie ticket, give the children money to spend at the snack and drink kiosk, turn down the lights and enjoy the movie. 

Find The Pumpkins
During lockdown homes all round the country popped rainbow drawings and paintings in their windows. During our daily walks we would look for rainbows and count how many we spotted. This year communities are trying to do something similar but displaying pumpkins. It's a lovely idea and I know the kids would love it too.

No matter what you decide to do this Halloween I hope you have a very spooky time and please keep safe.
Michelle
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Family Friendly Halloween Movies

20 October 2020

11 comments
This month we will be pressing pause on our 'watching all the Disney movies in release date order' so we can watch some family friendly spooky movies perfect for Halloween. Here is what is on our watchlist.

Pumpkin


Frankenweenie
When a boy's beloved dog passes away suddenly, he attempts to bring the animal back to life through a powerful science experiment.
Running Time - 1hr 28m
Suitable For - PG



The Nightmare Before Christmas
Jack Skellington, king of Halloween Town, discovers Christmas Town, but his attempts to bring Christmas to his home causes confusion.
Running Time - 1hr 18
Suitable For - PG

Maleficent
A vengeful fairy is driven to curse an infant princess, only to discover that the child may be the one person who can restore peace to their troubled land.
Running Time - 1hr 39m
Suitable For - PG

Maleficent - Mistress Of Evil
Maleficent and her goddaughter Aurora begin to question the complex family ties that bind them as they are pulled in different directions by impending nuptials, unexpected allies and dark new forces at play.
Running Time - 2hr 1m
Suitable For - 12+

hocus pocus


Hocus Pocus
A curious youngster moves to Salem, where he struggles to fit in before awakening a trio of diabolical witches that were executed in the 17th century.
Running Time - 1hr 39m
Suitable For - PG

Haunted Mansion 
A realtor and his wife and children are summoned to a mansion, which they soon discover is haunted, and while they attempt to escape, he learns an important lesson about the family he has neglected.
Running Time - 1hr 29m
Suitable For - PG

Goosebumps
A teenager teams up with the daughter of young adult horror author R. L. Stine after the writer's imaginary demons are set free on the town of Madison, Delaware.
Running Time - 1hr 43m
Suitable For - PG

Goosebumps 2 - Haunted Halloween
Two young friends find a magic book that brings a ventriloquist's dummy to life.
Running Time 1hr 30m
Suitable For - PG

monster house


Monster House
Three teens discover that their neighbor's house is really a living, breathing, scary monster.
Running Time - 1hr 30m
Suitable For - PG

Hotel Transylvania 
Dracula, who operates a high-end resort away from the human world, goes into overprotective mode when a boy discovers the resort and falls for the count's teenaged daughter.
Running Time - 1hr 31m
Suitable For - U

Hotel Transylvania 2 
Dracula and his friends try to bring out the monster in his half human, half vampire grandson in order to keep Mavis from leaving the hotel.
Running Time - 1hr 29m
Suitable For - U

Hotel Transylvania 3 
Count Dracula and company participate in a cruise for sea-loving monsters, unaware that their boat is being commandeered by the monster-hating Van Helsing family.
Running Time - 1hr 37m
Suitable For - U

Corpse Bride
When a shy groom practices his wedding vows in the inadvertent presence of a deceased young woman, she rises from the grave assuming he has married her.
Running Time - 1hr 17m
Suitable For - PG

Toy story of terror


Toy Story Of Terror
Woody and the gang are held up at a roadside motel and members of the group start to disappear from everywhere. Woody and the gang set about getting to the bottom of the mystery.
Running Time - 22m
Suitable For - PG

Room On The Broom
To the annoyance of her cat a kindly witch allows a dog, a bird and a frog who have helped her retrieve things she has lost to ride on her broomstick, making it top heavy.
Running Time - 25m
Suitable For - PG

Paranorman
A misunderstood boy takes on ghosts, zombies and grown-ups to save his town from a centuries-old curse.
Running Time - 1hr 32m
Suitable For - PG

The Witches
A young boy stumbles onto a witch convention and must stop them, even after he has been turned into a mouse.
Running Time - 1hr 31m
Suitable For - PG

casper


Casper
An afterlife therapist and his daughter meet a friendly young ghost when they move into a crumbling mansion in order to rid the premises of wicked spirits.
Running Time - 1hr 40m
Suitable For - PG

Ghostbusters
Three former parapsychology professors set up shop as a unique ghost removal service.
Running Time - 1hr 45m
Suitable For - PG

ET
A troubled child summons the courage to help a friendly alien escape Earth and return to his home world.
Running Time - 1hr 55m
Suitable For - U

Hopefully we will make a start on our watch list this weekend. I think we will start with my favourite Hocus Pocus, its a classic!
Michelle
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Visiting Disneyland Paris During Halloween Season

7 October 2020

16 comments
Happy Halloween Sign at Disneyland Paris
Halloween season is lots of fun and even more special if you are heading to Disneyland Paris. We really enjoyed visiting during Halloween and there are lots of tricks and treats to enjoy at the hotels and the parks to keep you busy. Unfortunately it doesn't look like we will make it to Disneyland Paris this year but if you are then I've gathered some information to make the most of your visit. 

Pumpkin at Disneyland Paris

a couple by a Pumpkin at Disneyland Paris

Pumpkin at Disneyland Paris
Disneyland Park

I'm Walking Right Down The Middle Of Main Street, USA
From the moment you head in to the park you will be greeted with Jack ‘o lanterns as they line the streets while ghoulish ghosts can pop up anywhere to give you a spooky surprise.

Main Street is one of our favourite places to take photographs as it is always decorated perfectly for the Halloween season. There will be lots of Mickey pumpkins, ghosts and ghouls ready to be snapped. 

The decorations and music at Disneyland Paris really add to your whole experience and they do it so well.

Maleficent at Disneyland Paris
Spot A Villain
Halloween brings out the villains and you will definitely spot a few of your favourites. Halloween season is the only time you can spot some of the villains so you won't want to miss them.

Maleficent will be lurking around Sleeping Beauty's Castle so make sure you check out Fantasyland.

If you fancy seeing Captain Hook head to Adventureland and look out for the Jolly Roger.

Rumour has it that Ursula will be making an appearance this year too. We have never met Ursula so this will be on our 'to do' list if we get the chance to visit.

pumpkins at Disneyland Paris

Jack Skellington at Disneyland Paris
Spooky Selfies
Spotting your favourite character in their Halloween costume is such a good feeling. Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Daisy and Goofy will be escorted around the parks throughout the Halloween season ready to snap a selfie with you.

Little boy with Mickey at Disneyland Paris

Mickey and Friends Take To The Stage
Mickey and friends will also we heading to the Fantasyland theatre for some selfies. (I think this will be the Meet Mickey Theatre but will confirm)

Hollywood Studios

Who's Lurking At Hollywood Studios?
From 1 October, Jafar, Cruella de Vil, Captain Hook and other mischievous characters are invading Studio Theater for your goosebump-inducing pleasure. A screamingly good time awaits those courageous enough to spend time in the presence of these rebellious rapscallions.

tower of terror at  Disneyland Paris


The Tower Of Terror
Welcome to the dusty remnants of the once-glamourous Hollywood Tower Hotel. Going up? Hop inside the service elevator and discover the surprises that lie on the upper floors - we’re sure you’ll fall quickly for this old Hotel’s quirky charms. Oh, and make sure you strap in, you never know what can happen in a rickety old lift.

*Due to Covid19 there will be only opportunities to take selfies with the characters at a distance for the safety of staff and guests. The precise times and locations of characters can not be guaranteed.

As well as all the spooky shenanigans you can enjoy all your favourite rides. 

Disney's Halloween Festival is back for 2020 from 26th September till the 1st November. Opening times and ride closures are updated on the Disneyland Paris website under plan your visit so make sure you check that out before your visit so you can plan your days. 

If you found this post useful there are a few ways that you could say thanks and support Playdays and Runways.

Have you been to Disneyland Paris? Leave us a comment below and let us know about your visit.


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Michelle
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Scarefest At Alton Towers

23 September 2020

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Scarefest sign at Alton Towers


On the 9th October Alton Towers will transform the resort in to a Halloween haven of all things spooky for its Halloween event, Scarefest. We visit every year and in our opinion it keeps getting better and better and we couldn't wait to see what was in store for us this year. 

Alton Towers have promised that this year it will be as spooktacular as ever with lots of thrills and chills planned. The one thing we love at Alton Towers is they provide Halloween fun for all the family. 

Family Friendly Halloween Fun

Scarefest at Alton Towers


Alton Ancestors
On Arrival you will usually bump in to the Alton Ancestors. They have left their gravestones behind and are back from the dead. One thing you should know about the Ancestors is they love to dance so make sure you check them out and even join in.

CBeebies Land Monster Ball
Join the CBeebies characters live in Big Fun ShowTime as they dance and play games. the show features Bing, Ubercorn, Peter Rabbit and many more of your favourite CBeebies friends, you can even dress up in your favourite costume.

Garden Lights Walk: Whispering Souls
We visited the Alton Towers gardens for this first time this year just as lockdown eased and I have said ever since that I hope we visit again. This year for the first time the Gardens has it's own event during Scarefest. View the gardens as never before and witness them come to life in a whole new spooktacular…LIGHT! This is a free attraction and not a live scare maze.

scarefest at alton towers


Freaky Fun Zone
You won't want to miss the Freaky Fun Zone on the front lawns.  The five super-freaky Halloween characters put on the most spook-tacular shows, with meet and greets and photo opportunities. Little ones will love this as the characters are so much fun and very colourful. 

Thrilling Frights

scarefest at alton towers


Freak Show: Toxic Junkyard
New for 2020 the Freak Show: Toxic Junkyard is an outdoor maze inviting you to venture into the Freak Show hidden den to discover the secret of the psycho clowns’ next big show.

Altonville Mine Tours
The ‘Skin Snatchers’ are the outcasts of their whole family. Rumours are they lived in that old mine. It’s deep, dark and the damp inside gives you the proper shivers. Just recently some fool reopened it – for tours! Be careful: they say those Skin Snatchers have a secret, too horrifying for words. 

The Attic: Terror of the Towers
In Alton people talk of the Governess – how she’s haunted by the death of young children. She wants revenge, and she will do it by seizing the spirits of the living in retribution. They say her ghost haunts The Attic and that’s where you’re headed.

Alton's scare mazes are award winning and definitely not for the faint hearted. Recommended for those aged 15+ and make sure you are prepared for anything. The scare mazes are an extra charge which can be pre booked online. Please note you must wear a face mask. 

We have done a few scare attractions over the years with The Attic our most recent and I can confirm they are very scary.

scarefest at alton towers


There are also many other reasons to visit Alton Towers during Scarefest including the Alton Towers Dungeon and Darkest Depths

Darkest Depths
Enjoy some extra-spooky swashbuckling aboard ‘The Mutiny’, a notoriously spine-chilling ghost ship. You’ll truly earn your golden Piece of Eight by venturing into the darkest depths, avoiding the hazardous calls of the treacherous Sirens, dodging the swords of terrifyingly ghoulish pirate mutineers and coming face to face with the Kraken – the legendary monster of the seas!

Alton Towers Dungeon
As Scarefest descends on the Towers, enter The Alton Towers Dungeon for a little less laughing… and a lot more screaming! Will you be found guilty by the Bishop of Stafford, survive a visit to the Plague Doctor and make it out of The Witch of Burslem’s Cottage? Enter The Alton Towers Dungeon this Halloween, as we celebrate the most hideously horrible time of year with your delightful peasant screams… If you dare!

Both attractions are recommended for guests age 10+ and you are required to wear a face mask

scarefest at alton towers
scarefest at alton towers


As well as as this scary fun you can enjoy your favourite rides in the dark as the theme park is open till 9pm every night during Scarefest. 

Also if you want to make the most of your visit to Scarefest you can stay over at the resort where the spooky fun continues. 

If you found this post useful there are a few ways that you could say thanks and support Playdays and Runways.

Have you been to Alton Towers? Leave us a comment below and let us know about your visit.


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Share This Post With Friends Who May Also Find It Useful. 

Michelle
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Trick or Treat Halloween Gift Guide

16 October 2019

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Disclosure - This post features gifted items that were sent for the purpose of this post. All thoughts, opinions and photographs are our own. This post also contains affiliate links.

Trick or Treat Gift Guide
Every year we always buy big and little J a treat for Halloween. It's one of our favourite times of year. We have been on the lookout out for some treat inspiration and if you are too then here is our Halloween Trick or Treat Gift Guide.

Springin Spiders Game
 Little J has been watching Ryan's Toy Review for as long as I can remember. Ryan has released a lots of toys from his Ryan's World range and Springin' Spiders Game is the perfect Halloween treat.

There is nothing better than a quick and easy game and Springin' Spiders is so simple. Just flick your spider and get the most spiders onto the web before time runs out to win.

1,2,Boo Book
1, 2, Boo! Is a spooky counting board book suitable for all ages. When a brother and sister go trick-or-treating, they compete to see who can find the most bizarre and brilliant things. They try to count all the hair-raising creatures and need your help.

skeleton costume
Little J has his Halloween costume sorted already this year wearing the Wilko Halloween Scary Skeleton Onsie. The costume has a scary skeleton design on a black background, it's perfect for Halloween parties and trick-or-treating.

first day at skeleton school book
Do you dare take part in the First Day at Skeleton School? There are monsters and witches, not to mention ghouls. They howl in assembly, fly broomsticks in the library and learn how to float through walls.

Disney Traditions Violet Vampire Minnie and Mickey
Disney Traditions Colourful Count Mickey is playing a scary Halloween host, dressed as the King Vampire and Disney Traditions Violet Vampire Minnie, is about to scare up some Halloween fun, trick-or-treating as a sweet-toothed vampire.

Disney Traditions are handcrafted in Jim Shore's unique folk-art style. Each figurine features quilt patterns, rosemaling designs, and a playful mix of colours.

The graveyard book
The Graveyard Book tells the story of a baby who escapes a murderer intent on killing the entire family. Who would have thought it would find safety and security in the local graveyard? Brought up by the resident ghosts, ghouls and spectres, Bod has an eccentric childhood learning about life from the dead.

But for Bod there is also the danger of the murderer still looking for him - after all, he is the last remaining member of the family. A stunningly original novel deftly constructed over eight chapters, featuring every second year of Bod's life, from babyhood to adolescence. Will Bod survive to be a man?

Witch wars book
When Fran the Fabulous Fairy turns up in Tiga Whicabim's shed to tell her she is a witch, Tiga doesn't believe her.  Fran points out that TIGA WHICABIM is actually an anagram of I AM A BIG WITCH and magics her away down the drainpipes to compete in Witch Wars the competition to crown the next Top Witch of Ritzy City.

Crazy Rumours Lip balm
Two lip balms that are perfect for Autumn and Halloween. Pumpkin Spice is everything nice and so much more! Cozy up to pumpkin with a touch cinnamon spice too. Candy Corn is a Halloween classic for the true candy connoisseur, sugared caramel and sweet cream.

Crazy Rumors are wonderfully colourful and flavourful vegan lip balms from the USA with big personality. Established over 15 years ago, the exceptional 100% natural lip care is still handmade in small batches for the purest and freshest balms. The mouth-watering flavours are sourced from fruits, vegetables and spices - no synthetic lab created flavours, nature creates it all.

I went trick or treating book
When a brother and sister go trick-or-treating, they compete to see who can scare the creepiest creatures. As they try to remember each hair-raising encounter, everything escalates - until they get the biggest fright of all.

I Went Trick or Treating is perfect for little monsters at Halloween! This brilliantly funny book is based on the much-loved memory game 'I went to the shop...' - but with a super-spooky twist.


What treats will you be buying or enjoying this Halloween?

Michelle
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It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Autumn

1 October 2019

10 comments
boy walking along a log
I can’t believe it’s October. I know Autumn officially started last week but for me October is the beginning of Autumn. I Love Autumn and Winter, it is my favourite time of year. We always have so much to look forward to once October arrives. We probably do more between October and December than we do all year round as we have lots of traditions and already lots of events and days out planned and I’m looking forward to sharing them with you all.

October half term is always a highlight for us, we try to cram in as many Halloween type events as we can as little J just loves Halloween. October half term usually means us taking a trip up to Blackpool to see the Blackpool lights, it's something we’ve done for over 15 years. It never gets old or boring, it’s just a lovely evening out.

Lots of Pumpkins
Pumpkin picking is a new tradition for us, we only started it two years ago. Pumpkin Picking was something we’ve never considered before but after speaking to a friend she told me how much she enjoyed it with her children so we decided to pop along to Kenyon Hall Farm to pick a pumpkin. It was such a fun time little J enjoyed pushing the wheelbarrow around looking for the perfect pumpkin to pick. Last year I wrote a post listing the best pumpkin patches around the UK with the help from other bloggers. I think this year we will be heading back to Kenyon Hall Farm as we know it always has the perfect pumpkins to pick.

Halloween is something we are really looking forward to this year little J loves dressing up and trick or treating. I am going to have for Halloween soon including letting little J pick his scary costume, buying  lots of house decorations and lots of treats for the kids. I will be shortly posting our Halloween gift guide which will give you lots of gift ideas for Halloween, room decorations, costumes and treats for all the kids.

Autumn usually means the start of new seasons on Netflix. It's the perfect time to snuggle under the blanket and binge watch your favourite TV programmes. We are particular looking forward to season four of This Is Us, season 16 of Grey’s Anatomy, the new season of The Affair and I am also looking forward to watching Unbelievable after reading so many fantastic reviews.

Another highlight for us is heading to the shops to update our wardrobe and give it a more Autumn and Winter feel. Although I’ll be sad to ditch all my summer clothes I am looking forward to lots of browns, yellows and oranges in my wardrobe. I also can't wait to put on my favourite boots and wellies.

Scarefest sign
Once October has passed its time to think about bonfire night which is another special time for us as we like to try and head to Alton Towers for Scarefest or Fireworks events.  Then with a blink of an eye it will be almost Christmas, my favourite time of year

So there’s lots of things to look forward to this autumn I can’t wait to get started and sharing with you or what we get up to so watch this race.

Michelle
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Pumpkin Picking at Kenyon Hall Farm 2018

31 October 2018

38 comments
pumpkin in pumpkin patch
We did our first ever Pumpkin pick last year and at first we had no idea which pumpkin patch to choose as there are quite a few local to us, however we heard lots of good recommendations for Kenyon Hall Farm so we chose to visit there. We loved it and chose to go again this year too.

Boy in pumpkin patch

Boy in pumpkin patch

Boy in pumpkin patch



woman holding a pumpkin
There was definitely not as many pumpkins as there was last year as we had left it a bit late but we managed to find a few that were still intact.

man holding a pumpkin

pumpkin patch

pumpkin patch

boy holding a pumpkin

We decided this year that we would have a pumpkin carving contest between us all so we had to make sure we all picked a good one. Little J changed his mind so many times.

pumpkins
If you don't manage to find a pumpkin in the patch you can head indoors where you will find lots of pumpkins to choose from which have already been picked and put on display.

Pumpkins
Big J carved this pumpkin and I am so proud. If you are a Harry Potter fan you may know what it is but if you're not then you'll never know!!

Michelle
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The Best Pumpkin Picking In The UK

15 October 2018

1 comment
boy in pumpkin patch

Last year we went Pumpkin Picking for the first time and it was so much fun. We went to Kenyon Hall Farm in Warrington and it was really good. Obviously living in the North West we had to choose somewhere close by however I asked some of my friends from all over the UK to tell me their favourite places to Pumpkin Pick so check out our recommendations below.

boy in pumpkin patch
North
Jenni from Chilling With Lucas recommends Poplar Farm.

A popular choice amongst us is Kenyon Hall Farm

Charlotte from Write Like No Ones Watching  and Emma from A Farmers Wife and Mummy have both visited too. We loved it so much last year I think we will be visiting again this year too.

pumpkin patch
Midlands
Laura from Little Ladies Big World visits Adventure Farm in Staffordshire
Kelly from School Runs and Shopping Trolleys - Manor Farm Fruits, Tamworth
Emma at Mrs Shilts visits Essington Farm in Wolverhampton

boy in pumpkin patch
SOUTH
Sian from quite frankly she said recommends The Pop Up Farm in Hertfordshire. 
Katy from Hot Pink Wellingtons - Pickwell farm in Hampshire
Victoria from Verily Victoria Vocalises visits Bailey ridge in Dorset
Katy from Katy Kicker recommends Cammas Hall in Essex/Hertfordshire
Laura from Dear Bear and Beany - Millets Farm in Oxfordshire
Emily from Emily and Indiana enjoyed Pick Your Own Pumpkin in Sevington, Ashford
Jenny from The Gingerbread House - Farrington's Farm Shop, Somerset

girl in pumpkin patch
EAST
Kim from The Blog Genie - Eastfield Farm in Tickhill, South Yorkshire is great, she says they have a little tea room on site which makes the best scones I've ever tasted!
Jessica from Nora and Co gives us a round up of the best places in the North East
Lauren from Dilan and Me gives us a round up of the best in Norfolk

boy in pumpkin patchSCOTLAND
Kirsty from Life With Boys says Pumpkin Picking is the highlight of her year. Check out the best places to Pumpkin pick in Scotland.

Are you planning on going Pumpkin Picking this year? If you have any other recommendations I'd love to hear them

Michelle
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