The Best Halloween Movies for Any Age

10212014 movies any age FB AG The Best Halloween Movies for Any Age

Looking to curl up at home tonight with the best Halloween movies for any age to get your entire family in the “spirit”? This season is full of ghost-tingling fun for all ages ranging from the friendliest ghost tales to full-on horror thrillers.

Taking into account the level of bravery of those wishing to join you on the couch, here are some hauntingly perfect Halloween titles to check out—including some old favorites that you may have forgotten about!

For the Chicken Littles:

There are a ton of fun, non-frightening, PG-rated monster movies like “Monster House,” “Monsters, Inc.” and the “Halloweentown” series. However, digging back a little further into the movie catalogue reveals some classic fun for the whole family, including “E.T.,” “Casper,” “Bedknobs and Broomsticks” and the beloved “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.”

A little braver:

If you’re craving a little more adventure, but not a lot of gore, checking out family-friendly titles like “The Nightmare Before Christmas,” “The Addams Family,” “Hocus Pocus,” “Beetlejuice,” ”Labyrinth,” “Practical Magic” and “Young Frankenstein” to deliver a lot of laughs (without having to cover your eyes for the scary parts!)

Scream-fest:

If you want to host your own horror movie marathon, look into a classic movie series like “Halloween,” “Scream,” “Nightmare on Elm Street,” ‘Friday the 13th,” “Final Destination,” and “Texas Chainsaw Massacre.” Or for a little scary movie satire, check out the “Scary Movie” series.

Truly terrifying:

Looking for a spine-tingler that will leave you breathless? The true bravehearts may want to take a gander at some of the top-rated horror flicks of all time, including “Saw,” “The Ring,” “The Exorcist,” “Children of the Corn,” “Carrie,” “Hellraiser,” “The Shining,” “Psycho,” and “The Omen.”

No matter what your final film selection is, don’t forget to pair it with an appropriate seasonal snack—roasted pumpkin seeds, caramel popcorn balls, candied apples, and gummy snacks in scary shapes are always good places to start.

Happy Halloween!

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Spooktacular Halloween Party Ideas for Kids

10092014 halloween party ideas FB AG Spooktacular Halloween Party Ideas for Kids

Few things bring out the kid in us like Halloween. It’s the one day in the year you can totally transform yourself into someone (or something!) entirely different and go to town being zany, scary, or just over-the-top creative. Oh, and let’s not forget the added bonus of sugary showers of candy! But when celebrating with the kids or grandkids, finding a Halloween party idea that’s appropriate for kids of varyious ages can feel more like a trick than a treat.

If you’re still looking to find the greatest Halloween party ideas for kids, no worries–we’ve got you covered! Our American Greetings Halloween experts have conjured up a few simply spooktacular party ideas that will put you well on your way to hosting your own kid-friendly ghoulish ghostfest in no time.

Host a pumpkin-decorating contest with a twist:

No need to pull out sharp tools around the little spooks. Use paint or decorative tape to make funny or scary faces, or cover them in glitter for enchanting gourds that rival a mirrorball. Not only will they look great, but they’ll last way longer than their carved counterparts. Hand out awards of candy or fun Halloween decorations they can keep and use year after year. Check out our best no-carve pumpkin decorating ideas here!

Have an autumn harvest party that’s nothing but fun:

If even Casper still sets little ones on edge, a harvest party is the perfect way to have a howling good time sans horror. Enchanting games like bobbing for apples, pin the nose on the pumpkin, and guessing the number of candy corns in a jar are all fun and easy for the younger crowd.

Be the coolest neighbor on the block and throw a trick-or-treat after party!

After candy collecting, kids love inspecting their sugary-laden lot. Invite the neighborhood kids and their parents to come over for snacks and apple cider
and let the kids sort through their sugary stash while they make trades for the perfect assortment of treats.

Get outdoors for Halloween fun!

Some of the best activities can be found in the fall that the whole family can enjoy. Get lost in a corn maze and have a contest to see who can get through the fastest, go on a hayride, or participate in a ghost walk. Got leaves? Rake several piles in the yard with a prize at the bottom of one of them, and get your camera ready to capture the wild, leaf-flying rumpus. You just might capture your perfect shot for that Thanksgiving card in the process.

Haunted houses are the perfect love/hate affair for adults and older kids…

Even though we know it’s not real, we still jump out of our skins every time while we enjoy the bizarre thrill of being scared out of our wits–that’s a freaky concept all on its own.

No matter what activity you choose, the time spent together is magic in the making and will be remembered by your kids for years to come.

Happy Haunting!

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No Carve Pumpkins

The fall season welcomes many great traditions. But perhaps the most fun of them all is selecting a perfect pumpkin to take home and decorate as your own. But (truth be told) once that orange beauty is finally home, you probably end up spending at least a few hours spreading out newspapers, wielding sharp carving instruments and cleaning up lots (and lots) of pumpkin seeds!

Did you know there’s a fabulous trend in pumpkin decorating that involves NO pumpkin scraps to clean up… NO sharp objects to maneuver… and NO cutting (so your pumpkin will last a lot longer)?

Our pumpkin-loving holiday experts here at American Greetings would love to share the following no carve pumpkin ideas with you for exciting, no-carve designs that are undeniably “gourd-geous”!

Written word

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Image credit: The Butlers

Pumpkins placed near the entrance of a home are a traditional and welcoming detail. A very simple way to personalize your very own is by using a marker or paint in order to scroll a carefully lettered message such as “Welcome,” “Trick or Treat,” “Boo” or the first initial of your last name.

All that glitters

glitter1 No Carve Pumpkins

Image credit: Krylon.com

Applying something shimmery contrasts beautifully with the natural, organic look and feel of a pumpkin. You can cover it completely in glitter (using glue as your adhesive), or spray it with metallic spray paint. Attaching rhinestones, sequins, or other sparkly attachments in a beautiful design will also give it just the right amount of bling.

Put a bow on it

 No Carve Pumpkins

Image credit: May Arts

Something as simple as a satin ribbon tied as a bow around the stem of a pumpkin can definitely give it an elegant, polished look. But if you’re looking for more of a fun, festive feel, consider other cute finishing items such as raffia, rick rack, or feathery marabou.

Tap into your inner Michelangelo

101340747.jpg.rendition.largest No Carve Pumpkins

Image credit: Better Homes and Gardens

You don’t have to be an accomplished artist in order to make your pumpkin something special. Find a template online to trace and paint, or stick to simple classic patterns such as polka dots, stripes, or swirls.

If all else fails…

tablescape 202x300 No Carve Pumpkins

Image credit: 724 South

If you find yourself overwhelmed and out of time, don’t despair. A simple display of multi-colored gourds in different shapes and sizes placed on a bed of fall leaves (either silk or natural) will always create a pretty scene. Whether they’re arranged simply in a woven basket on your dining room table, stacked carefully on top of each other on your buffet, or piled strategically in an old wheelbarrow next to your front door, all you need is a few minutes of your time and an eye for presentation.

Are you a seasoned pumpkin carver or do you prefer no carve pumpkins? Share your favorite pumpkin decorating ideas in the comments!

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Black and White Halloween Decorations

10312014 BW Halloween Roundup BLG AG Black and White Halloween Decorations

Looking for a fun way to spice up your Halloween decor? While perusing some of our favorite Pinterest boards and blogs, we couldn’t help but pause to enjoy this understated, elegant trend towards black and white Halloween decorations. It’s a bold, simple look that anyone can pull off with just a few simple touches.

We pulled together some of our favorite black and white Halloween decorations, pumpkins and sweet treats to share with you.

1. DIY Halloween Front Door Mummy by Honey and Fitz

2. Spider Web Halloween Cupcakes by Pizzazzerie

3. Halloween Pumpkin Centerpiece by Busy Mommy

4. Fun Halloween Pumpkins by FLT on DIY Network

5. DIY Marshmallow Cobweb Cake by The Cake Blog

6. Bats Flying Across a Pumpkin by It All Stated with Paint

7. DIY Halloween Wreath by Blooming Homestead

8. “Poison” Toffee Apples for Halloween by Simply Delicious by Alida Ryder

We hope this inspires you to create a try a trendy Halloween look that’s positively diabolical!

For more awesome Halloween ideas and inspirations, check out our Halloween Pinterest Board!

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Halloween Safety Tips

ag blog img 10292012b Halloween Safety Tips

Trick-or-treat!  It’s just about time for everyone’s favorite fall holiday, Halloween!  By now you’ve probably got your decorations up, costumes ready and your candy purchased, but there are still a few last minute details to keep in mind for both you and the kids.  After all, trick-or-treating is not only an evening event, but an outdoor one, too, so we’d like to share some Halloween safety tips for keeping the night frightfully fun and safe.

Costume Check:  Double-check your child’s Halloween costume.  It should be visible in the dark, but if not, add reflective tape, sold at craft and hardware stores.  Have them carry a flashlight or bright glowstick, too, and if they have a mask, make sure they can see out of it clearly.  And most important, check the weather report  to make sure your little ghosts and goblins are dressed appropriately.  This year, you may need to consider an indoor back-up plan depending on the path of Hurricane Sandy–be smart!

Stick Together:  It’s best to have an adult go along for the evening, but if your kids are old enough to trick-or-treat alone, remind them to stay together with friends at all times.  It’s more fun that way, too!  Everyone should have a cell phone tucked in a safe place, and arrange for them to check in with you at pre-set times—you can even download spooky ringtones for fun.  Be sure to map out a route in advance, too, so you know where they’ll be and remind them to only go to well-lit homes.

Candy Audit:  As tempting as it might be, have your trick-or-treaters wait until they’re home to start in on the candy. Make sure all of it is wrapped and safe, and check for any food allergy issues.  Then let them have fun trading, sorting and most of all eating their goodies!

Happy Haunting, Everyone!

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Top 13 Tips for Surviving Friday the 13th

09132013 friday the 13th blg ag Top 13 Tips for Surviving Friday the 13th

If the very thought of Friday the 13th sends chills up your spine, you may have paraskevidekatriaphobics  (say that 3 times fast!)  An irrational fear of Friday the 13th influences millions of people in the U.S., causing U.S companies to lose an estimated $800 to $900 million in business due to workers who refuse to travel or go to work on Friday the13th!

Whether you’ve bravely hauled yourself to work or are huddled under the covers watching Dr. Phil today, we thought we’d help calm your nerves and offer you 13 tips on how to make it to Saturday…

  • Get out of bed on the right side (that is, not the left side). This side is guaranteed to make your day luckier according to some superstitions.
  • Wear red underpants!  Apparently this color will bring you more luck than other colors!
  • If you come upon a ladder, it’s probably best not to walk under it. (Let’s not push the luck-giving capabilities of our red underpants.)
  • It’s not a great day for exploring woods, caves, or cemeteries. We know the sudden urge to go spelunking can be strong, but try to resist for a day, okay?
  • Drop the mop!  Friday the 13th is a great excuse to not clean because apparently handling a broom is unlucky on this day.  So is changing the sheets, flipping the mattress, or doing the laundry. (Woohoo! You don’t need to tell us twice!)
  • Do not start a new job or business today, as it will be followed by collapse or bankruptcy.
  • If traveling today (though you really shouldn’t) stay away from the 13th floor, which will be easy because many large hotels don’t have a 13th floor—they skip right over it to 14!
  • Furthermore, if you MUST stop for gas in a creepy station full of creepy people, just turn around and go home–your trip is over.  If you hear a banjo, put the pedal to the metal and floor it!
  • Throw salt over your left shoulder (to blind the devil!). This is usually reserved to counteract the bad luck of spilling salt, but we’re thinking that we might do it throughout the day as a sort of insurance policy.
  • Black cat? Give it a pat! In some cultures, black cats are actually bringers of good luck and one crossing your path is a good omen.  So, don’t be afraid to cuddle Jinxy today.
  • Do NOT go digging around for your old OUIJA board and NEVER read a book of demon summoning aloud, even as a joke—it can only lead to further problems.
  • Try to focus on good thoughts and good outcomes. Research has actually shown that people who believe in bad luck tend to bring it on! (we’re still not cleaning, though. Or changing out of our red underpants.)
  • No rabbit’s foot? Grab an acorn! In Norse folklore, both the acorn and its bearer, the oak tree, bring good fortune. No harm in keeping one in your pocket all day.

Good luck out there, friends!

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Halloween Kick-Off

10222012 halloweenprep1 Halloween Kick Off

Boo! It’s almost Halloween, but don’t be scared if you’re still not ready to haunt. We’re here to help with these spooktacular Halloween hints:

 Creative Costumes 

It looks like some of the most popular costumes in 2012 will be inspired by the movies.  Katniss Everdeen from the Hunger Games, the superheroes from The Avengers and Princess Merida from Disney’s Brave are sure to make the A-list.  In addition, you will see plenty of zombies, vampires and yes, Obama and Romney look-alikes, too!

However, if you’re on a budget, start with your own closet!  For example, take a matching color shirt and pants and pair them with fun accessories: black with cat ears and a tail, red with a pitchfork and devilish add-ons, or white with a halo and wings. You can easily find the extras at a craft or costume store.

The duct tape craze is another great help for Halloween costumes, with the sticky stuff now coming in every color and pattern imaginable. Use it to make something simple like a road sign on your shirt, or go crazy and tape your way to the ultimate duct tape costume.

Devilish Decor

It’s easy to set the stage for a frightful night with homemade decorations.  Make your own gravestones out of cereal boxes, monster luminaries out of plastic milk jugs or boo-tiful ghosts out of tomato cages.  Keep some black poster board on hand to cut out those bats, cats and witches hats.  And don’t forget to download some creepy music on Halloween night to add the finishing touch to your ghoulish ambience.

Thrilling Treats:

If you want to be the favorite haunted house on the street for trick-or-treaters, be sure to stock up on the super-sized candy bars and remember, only one per little monster.  The most popular candy in 2011 was still Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, Snickers and M&M’s.  If a party is on your calendar, surprise the ghosts and goblins with some Halloween concoctions so easy, even a zombie could make them — things like Monster Claws and Eyeball Tacos.  Now that’s some scary stuff!

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