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Easy Pumpkin Bars

Pumpkin dishes reign supreme this time of the year!  One of the best desserts to make for your family or take to a Halloween or Harvest Party are these “Easy Pumpkin Bars”.  Make a double batch and freeze some for Thanksgiving!  I usually just buy the cream cheese frosting but you can make your own if you want…they are also just as yummy without the frosting or sprinkled with powered sugar.  This recipe is a simple one that would work great if you wanted to do some baking with your kids.  Have fun with it!

2 C all purpose flour

1 1/2 C sugar

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

2 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp ground cloves

1/4 tsp nutmeg

4 eggs, beaten

1 16 oz can pumpkin puree

1 C cooking oil (I use coconut oil)

Cream Cheese Frosting

Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, soda, salt, cloves and nutmeg.  Stir in eggs, pumpkin puree and oil until combined.  Spread batter into an un greased baking pan.  Bake for about 25 minutes at 350 degrees or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.  Cool and spread cream cheese frosting.

 

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Outdoor Party on Halloween Night!

For the last several years we have hosted a Halloween Party for friends and neighbors right on Halloween night. It’s become a wonderful tradition and relatively easy to pull off. I usually send out a FB invite to my friends living outside of the neighborhood a couple weeks in advance and ask them all to bring a dish to share pot luck style. The guests RSVP in advance and let me know what they are bringing. There are a few people who bring different kinds of soups in their crock pots, we have ham sandwiches, a lot of yummy appetizers and of course candy! The other item all the invited guests are asked to bring is a big bag of candy for the neighborhood trick or treaters. A couple of days prior to the event, my husband and I do a quick cleaning up of our garage…usually just pushing junk to the side! I use cheap black plastic table cloths and tape to hang like a sheet in front of anything I don’t want seen just to make the garage look a little more inviting. We have a couple of outdoor tables that I set up with power strips and coordinating black plastic table cloths for the guests to plug in their crock pots and room for the rest of the food. I make up a big batch of chili, some dessert and provide drinks (water, soda, coffee and hot cider) and all the paper products. Once everyone has arrived and the food is set up, it’s very casual and everyone just serves themselves throughout the evening. We have quite a few outdoor chairs, but sometimes I’ll ask some people to bring some additional lawn chairs.

“Trick or Treat!”

For families with young children, they have a great time trick or treating while those not walking around the neighborhood enjoy eating, playing corn hole, roasting marshmallows, meeting new people and passing out candy right in the driveway.
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Some years we set up a fire pit, sometimes we may pull out different yard games but every year one of my favorite things to do is have an outdoor movie playing while the neighborhood children are coming around for candy. It wouldn’t be Halloween night if we didn’t show “The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown” as the little ghosts and goblins come and go collecting their yummy treats. My husband hangs a sheet up on one half of the garage door opening and we project the movie from behind the make-shift screen…it’s great!!! We usually end the night by playing “Just Dance” in the driveway with our friends and neighbors. It’s so much fun to see the clever costumes each year, visit with our friends and neighbors and just get outside on a brisk fall evening. Clean up is a snap! Everyone pitches in at the end of the night and before we know it, everything is back to the way it once was…except our waistlines!
  • Make it a potluck outside or in the garage for easy clean up
  • Provide a Coffee Bar and Hot Cider
  • Set up outdoor games like corn hole or bobbing for apples
  • All the guests bring a bag of candy for trick or treaters
  • Outdoor movie
  • Create atmosphere: fire pit, photo area, seating, etc.
  • Costume contest!
  • Be creative…Let me know if you have a fun idea!!!!

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Travel, Walt Disney World

Top 10 Things to Do at Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party

If you find yourself in the wonderful world of Disney during the end of August and months of September and October, you will most certainly want to check out Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party at the Magic Kingdom. This event is absolutely fabulous! The decor and overall ambiance is top notch and the Florida weather is much more agreeable if you go later in the season. Decide which of the selected nights work for your schedule and experience Halloween the way Disney does it! Need I say more? So, let’s get started…

10. GET THERE EARLY: The party starts for ticket holders at 7:00 and lasts until midnight BUT if you have a ticket you can arrive as early as 4:00 and start enjoying the park. You will be given a wrist band by a cast member that only event ticket holders will be given. There are a few rides that will not be available to ride after 7:00, so make sure to ride those first. After 7:00 anyone in the park that does not have that band will not be able to enjoy the rides and activities of the park. This event does require a separate ticket from the general admission. Try to get parked and be in Magic Kingdom by 4:00 to be able to spend as much time as possible enjoying the Disney magic!

9. Dress up like your favorite Disney character and go trick or treating: Cast members will provide treat bags for trick or treating at several locations around the park. You will find signs at each treat locations but make sure to get a map because they will also provide the locations for your convenience. Be prepared…you will get A LOT of candy!

8. Pirates of the Caribbean: Enjoy a new enhanced spooky experience with live pirates interacting with guests in the queue area as well as the ride loading area. Once on the ride you will also stumble upon the pesky pirate “Gunpowder Pete”.

7. Mad Tea Party: This ride has new lighting and a fun soundtrack just for Mickey’s Not so Scary Halloween Party. If you are unsure about riding a spinning ride (like me) you can ride or simply watch it. Whether watching or riding, you will not want to miss this.

6. Haunted Mansion: While the Haunted Mansion provides us with happy haunts all year long, Disney kicks it up a notch for Halloween. Rumor has it that a few of the ghosts have escaped the mansion and are hassling guests in the queue area. The overall lighting and ambiance outside the mansion will be sure to get you in the spooky spirit!

5. Character meet and greet: Prepare to enjoy unique meet and greet and character experiences. Most character meet and greets start at 7:00 but a few will start a little earlier. Popular characters like Jack and Sally will be available early, lines get very long for these two so make sure to see them first.

4. Boo to You Halloween Parade: There are two parades, the first one at 9:15 and then 11:15. Find a spot about 15 to 20 minutes before the 9:15 parade starts, if you decide to see the second parade it will be less crowded and may not require you to get a spot as early. The ghostly parade will showcase many rare characters including the headless horseman!

3. Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular: This show offers three showings: 8:30, 10:45 and 12:00. Join the Sanderson sisters as well as a few other Disney villains for some thrilling Halloween fun. If you decide to end the evening at the last showing, it will actually extend your time in the park as it ends a little after the park officially closes.

2. Happy HalloWishes Halloween Fireworks Show: If you’ve ever seen a Disney laser and fireworks show, you will know they are spectacular. The Happy HalloWishes Show does not disappoint. There is only one show at 10:15, so plan the evening accordingly. Along with the fireworks, the fun villain music and projections, this unique show is simply amazing!

1. Space Mountain: This is our families’ favorite ride at Magic Kingdom anytime we visit the park. During Mickey’s Not so Scary Halloween Party, the ride is completely dark. Every light is turned off which creates an entirely new and hair-raising ride experience. In addition to the lack of lighting there is also a new soundtrack just for this event. If you can only do one thrill ride during the party, this is the one to do!

If you are lucky enough to be able to attend this party, make sure to take advantage of each of the rides and entertainment included on this list. This is a very family friendly event, it has been one of our favorite things we have done at WDW over the years. To find more information on event dates, times and tickets see disneyworld.disney.go.com.