Tag Archives: pumpkins

Have a Happy, Safe Halloween!

26 Oct

My love of Halloween is no secret among my friends. I adore all of the rituals, from decorating the house and baking pumpkin-shaped cookies to carving jack-o-lanterns and handing out candy. To make sure your family has a great October 31st, check out the following safety tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Halloween Safety Tips


  • Plan costumes that are bright and reflective. Consider adding reflective tape or striping to costumes and Trick-or-Treat bags for greater visibility.
  • Because masks can limit or block eyesight, consider non-toxic makeup and decorative hats as safer alternatives. Hats should fit properly to prevent them from sliding over eyes.
  • If a sword, cane, or stick is a part of your child’s costume, make sure it is not sharp or too long. A child may be easily hurt by these accessories if he stumbles or trips.
  • Obtain flashlights with fresh batteries for all children and their escorts.
  • Do not use decorative contact lenses without an eye examination and a prescription from an eye care professional. This can cause pain, inflammation, and serious eye disorders and infections.


  • Small children should never carve pumpkins. Children can draw a face with markers.  Then parents can do the cutting.
  • Consider using a flashlight or glow stick instead of a candle to light your pumpkin. If you do use a candle, a votive candle is safest.
  • Candlelit pumpkins should be placed on a sturdy table, away from curtains and other flammable objects, and should never be left unattended.


  • To keep homes safe for visiting trick-or-treaters, parents should remove from the porch and front yard anything a child could trip over such as garden hoses, toys, bikes and lawn decorations.
  • Parents should check outdoor lights and replace burned-out bulbs.
  • Wet leaves should be swept from sidewalks and steps.


  • A parent or responsible adult should always accompany young children on their neighborhood rounds.
  • If your older children are going alone, plan and review the route that is acceptable to you. Agree on a specific time when they should return home.
  • Only go to homes with a porch light on and never enter a home or car for a treat.

Because pedestrian injuries are the most common injuries to children on Halloween, remind Trick-or Treaters:

  • Stay in a group and communicate where they will be going.
  • Carry a cell phone for quick communication.
  • Remain on well-lit streets and always use the sidewalk.
  • If no sidewalk is available, walk at the far edge of the roadway facing traffic.
  • Never cut across yards or use alleys.
  • Only cross the street as a group in established crosswalks (as recognized by local custom). Never cross between parked cars or out driveways.
  • Don’t assume the right of way. Motorists may have trouble seeing Trick-or-Treaters. Just because one car stops, doesn’t mean others will!


  • A good meal prior to parties and trick-or-treating will discourage youngsters from filling up on Halloween treats.
  • Consider purchasing non-food treats for those who visit your home, such as coloring books or pens and pencils.
  • Wait until children are home to sort and check treats. Though tampering is rare, a responsible adult should closely examine all treats and throw away any spoiled, unwrapped or suspicious items.
  • Try to ration treats for the days following Halloween.

For more information, visit www.aap.org.

The Pumpkin Festival in Allen

19 Oct

The Village at Allen’s 2nd annual Pumpkin Festival takes place Saturday, October 23, from 2 pm to 5 pm.

Events include a pumpkin house, story time, pumpkin decorating, face painting, balloon art, pumpkin hockey, a pie-eating contest, and a canine costume party.  All events are free and will be held in The Grove, which will be filled with pumpkins!

The Village at Allen is located at the southeast corner of US-75 & Stacy Road in Allen.

For more information or directions, click here.

St. John the Apostle Pumpkin Patch

30 Sep

Every year, St. John the Apostle United Methodist Church in Arlington holds a pumpkin patch on the sprawling lawn outside their church building.

It’s one of the best places for pumpkin-related photo-ops I’ve ever seen!  Not only do they have a TON of pumpkins, they have lots of cute props (like the pumpkin stand above, cardboard cut-outs, hay bales, etc.) that make great scenery for setting up pictures.  And the staff is always so wonderful and friendly.

Check them out!  They’re open 10 am to 8 pm daily, from October 3rd through the 31st.  Prices are reasonable, and proceeds from pumpkin sales go directly to fund their youth missions.

St. John the Apostle Church is located in Arlington, near the corner of Green Oaks and South Cooper (behind the Kohl’s).  For their website, click here.

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