Family Time Calendar: Get Out - iVillage

Get in the spirit of Halloween by visiting a local pumpkin farm. Many farms grow a variety of pumpkins in all sorts of shapes and sizes (and even colors besides the standard orange) that you can use to make a jack-o'-lantern. Most farms also offer hayrides and Halloween-themed events, so plan the time of your visit accordingly. Enjoy plenty of fresh country air wandering around the pumpkin patch as your family selects the best one to adorn your doorstep. Older children may enjoy an impromptu family contest to see which member can find the smallest, the largest, or the strangest-looking pumpkin. Pick up a few gourds and ears of Indian corn to create a festive dining table centerpiece too.

Once you return home, spend the afternoon carving your new pumpkin and toasting its seeds. Younger children will love squishing their hands in the "guts" while older children can help to decide which face to carve by first sketching a few ideas on paper. You could also try this off-the-beaten-path idea: Carve "B-O-O!" into four separate medium-sized pumpkins and line them up together. (Longer messages like, "Happy Halloween" may be a bit too ambitious.) Keep trick-or-treaters safe by using flashlights instead of candles to light up your jack-o'-lanterns.

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