This year our first Spirit Halloween store that was opened and reasonably stocked was in Canton MI. The fact that its mid August did not deter the family as we made a quick visit and Mom bought a T shirt (she had a 20% off coupon she got in email). James really liked the blue fog (we took several pictures of it) and says he wants that for his Birthday, not sure how practical that is but the important thing was we all had a little Halloween fun at a very early stage of the year. Continue reading
This year many of our usual reliable places must not have ordered as much as the selection was sort of light this year. Cracker Barrel had 70% off, Michaels 80%, Walmart 70%, Spirit 50%, Halloween City 50%, Home Depot 50%, and CVS %50. We did not find any 90%. Spirit and Halloween City had disappointing years in our opinion so there wasn’t much we even wanted at either of these stores. The big winner for sales this year had to be Home Depot and Big Lots (we can throw in Walmart for the cheap skeletons which were less than Spirit or City at 50% off and just as good). The big winner for after Halloween sales had to be Cracker Barrel and Home Depot, both had good selections of their stock left. Walmart did good as well but you had to find the right Walmart, same with Michaels. Some Walmarts and Michaels literally had nothing left, others were great (Belleville Walmart and Allen Park Michaels saved the day in our opinion).
One of the interesting things we found were toilet paper holders that when you spin to get toilet paper they make scary sounds. We also picked up some more projections since the ones we used this year did fine. For materials we were able to get more crafts from Michaels and door covers from Walmart. Life size we only got a were wolf from CVS and a toxic zombie from Spirit.
This year James split time between handing out candy and going trick or treat (just on our block since he is in High School). James had several visitors who had classes with him at Annapolis so that was fun for him, seeing his friends both as a trick or treater and as a candy handler. The weather was good so we moved the giant spider from the back to the front and moved out the skeletons from inside that were set up for the party. This made a very crowded scene that was well received, event the security cameras on the house caught some of the fun video taping all the visitors.
Despite overcast skies and temperatures in the mid 40’s as highs, we finally got to see the Halloween displays at Greenfield Village on the last day it was up. Road the Train, a Model T, and the Carousel so the day had much fun. Noticed lots of visitors from Pittsburgh due to the Lion VS Steeler game which comes on tonight 8:30pm. Highlights include the spider forest, the graveyard, the used broom shop, the birds outside the school, and the coffin maker! However the biggest highlight as always is all the carved pumpkins that line the streets, there must be hundreds if not thousands.
We think this was one of the funnest parties yet, as we had a great turnout plus great weather. This year we had the benefit of a magic mirror photo booth (compliments of Dynamike the Magician) which was a lot of fun and gave guests a little souvenir of the party. This year we also decorated outside a little more than usual (thanks to our old backyard fence being put to use) and the weather held out for us so it was worth the extra effort. We have many more pics (nearly 400) that we have added to our pics page on this website so for a complete look at all the pics (including many from the magic mirror photo booth), be sure to check out the pics page!
This year everything we have outside in the front yard was bought in the last 7 years at a garage sale or a greatly reduced after Halloween rate – A truly economical display. We also are using the old fence from the back to provide a little protection and looks to the yard. The fence was cut in half and every other board knocked out to create the effect we wanted. In the back we have the giant spider and web so the last thing people will see when they look out the back window is the big spider trying to get in.
I think that Halloween shops are getting wise to the fact that most of the Halloween are after Halloween and for half price. Lots of places did not have anything worth while left and we had to work extra hard to find what we did. We kind of saw this coming as items that were available in Sept were not reordered in stores. Fortunately we think we did ok, highlights were 80% off at Michaels on Halloween wreaths and two animated items that were store demo’s that we bought as is, but were allowed to try before bringing home. The demo’s were 65-75% off which made them worthwhile.
Our main goal is to get items that are used every year but not reusable, such as invitations, scene setters, napkins, plates etc. This year we did not find any scene setters but we did get a box of Spirit Halloween backgrounds for a $15 donation to charity. It is rolled up in the big brown box visable on the back left of these pics.
James was on his own this Trick or Treat as he headed to a friends house while Mom and Dad held down the fort (James is dressed as a surgeon which we thought was pretty scary). For the first time in three years the weather was nice on Halloween (not only nice but borderline spectacular) so we were able to put out the inflatables and other decorations to enhance our display. We had a great turn out as the kids came in bunches and the vast majority had their parents with them which we think adds to the fun. James came home with a huge load of goodies and had dad drive him to a couple spots that were “traditional Halloween stops” for him. All in all, a great day.