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Have fun with your kids - that's what it's all about. If you're looking for fun places to go in Rochester, NY (ROC), awesome
crafts to make, and yummy treats to bake with your kids - as well as some ideas for Date Nights - then you've come to the
right place. Welcome to ROCmomma. Happy reading, and please share your comments. Thank you!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Get the Most Use Out of Your Kids' Halloween Costumes

On my mom's side of the family, Halloween costumes are a point of pride. My mom, aunts, and/or uncles - there are nine siblings all together - would likely be up past midnight on October 30th sewing, gluing, and stapling together some genius concoction. Even before it was trendy to repurpose items and "be green," they were adamant about using found items rather than purchasing new ones. I've seen pictures of my mom dressed as a sandwich, thanks to one of her siblings procuring some giant pieces of foam. There was the Cowardly Lion made from curtains. Anything in the house was fair game.

The best part was that the costumes would be passed around each year so that others could use them. About ten years ago, one of my uncles made an amazing pair of costumes for Harry Potter and Albus Dumbledore. Over the summer, my family was invited to a Harry Potter birthday party (future blog post to come, with pictures and details) and we were able to borrow his creations. Here is my husband as Dumbledore, on the right:
I'll admit, I did not inherit a talent for sewing and I have been taking the easy way out by purchasing costumes for my kids. Just look how cute this one is; there's no way I could have made it:
This is the first year I'm actually attempting to make one - and it's with a hot glue gun and fabric glue. My youngest son wants to be Geo from Team Umizoomi, and thanks to the good people at Nick Junior for being so gracious and wonderful as to provide costume templates on their web site since none exist to purchase. Yay!

Whether you are the crafty sort or a quick-draw with a credit card, chances are you want to get more than a few hours' use of your child's costume. If you are a fellow ROCmomma or ROCpoppa, read on for some local events over the next few weeks where children can don their Halloween costumes over and over again.

And after the final festivities on October 31, there are a few things you can do to extend the life of those costumes:
  1. Start, or add to, a dress-up trunk for the kids. We have a box with old costumes, plus random items such as old maps, goggles, trinkets from goodie bags, etc. My boys will put together some crazy creations such as a fire-helmet wearing pirate with a construction worker's tool belt. Outstanding.
  2. Hand the costume down to younger siblings, cousins, or friends with younger children for future use.
  3. Donate the costume to a local women and children's shelter before next Halloween.
  4. Donate the costume to a local day care center, Kindergarten class, or YMCA; they often have dress-up trunks for the children. 
  5. Donate the costume to a local theatre, children's theatre, or high school drama department.
  6. Find a costume swap near you (usually in mid-October) to trade last year's costume for a new one. 
  7. Consign it at a local consignment shop or consignment event (Once Upon a Child has locations throughout the U.S. and Canada).
  8. Save the costume and repurpose the parts for future costumes. Keep a "Halloween Costume" box in your attic, basement, or closet. Pull it out when you need some inspiration next fall and see what you can piece together.
  9. Start a Halloween in April tradition among your children's friends (along the lines of Christmas in July). Put up the Halloween decorations and whip up some Halloween treats, then invite everyone to come over with an old Halloween costume and let the kids mix and match to their hearts' content. Weather permitting, go outside for a Halloween Parade, take photos, play Halloween games, and of course give treats.
  10. If it still fits next year, just let your kid wear the costume again. I was Cyndi Lauper at least two years in a row, and I loved it.
How do you reuse or repurpose your kids' costumes? Be sure to Post A Comment and let us know.

For those ROCmommas and ROCpoppas, here are a few Halloween Events in the area your kids won't want to miss...in their Halloween costumes, of course:


10:15 - 11 a.m.: Baby Boogie Halloween Party, Fairport Public Library, 1 Village Landing, Fairport, NY. Babies 3-18 months plus an adult are invited to come in Halloween costumes to dance, clap, and sing along with silly Halloween songs. Pre-registration is required: (585) 223-9091.


10 a.m. - 4 p.m.: Zoo Boo, Seneca Park Zoo, 2222 St. Paul Street, Rochester, NY. Trick or treat through the zoo for candy, trinkets, and healthy snacks; a special gift and take-home craft for each child; live entertainment and costumed characters throughout the zoo. In addition to general admission, the Zoo Boo is $7 per trick-or-treater.


10 a.m. - 4 p.m.: Zoo Boo, Seneca Park Zoo, 2222 St. Paul Street, Rochester, NY. (see 10/20)


5:30 - 9 p.m.: Free Family Night, Southeast YMCA, 111 East Jefferson Road, Pittsford, NY. Indoor trick-or-treating, swimming, crafts, pizza ($1/slice), Adventure Center (bring socks), bounce house, and more.

6 p.m.: Midnite Madness in Brockport, Lift Bridge Book Shop, 45 Main Street, Brockport, NY. Costume parade at 6 p.m. on Main & Market Street; followed by Halloween Party with games, crafts, and goodies. Parade and party are free.

6:30 - 8:30 p.m.: Family Halloween Party, Rush Henrietta High School, 1799 Lehigh Station Road, Rochester, NY. For preschoolers to 3rd graders and their families. Indoor trick-or-treating, crafts, cider, doughnuts, and entertainment. Free admission; donations of non-perishable food items accepted for the Henrietta Food Cupboard. Call to register: 359-2540.


10 a.m. - 4 p.m.: Zoo Boo, Seneca Park Zoo, 2222 St. Paul Street, Rochester, NY. (see 10/20)

11 a.m. - 4 p.m.: Family Halloween Party at Strong National Museum of Play, 1 Manhattan Square, Rochester, NY. Trick-or-treat, dance, and play games; included with general admission.

11 a.m. - 5 p.m.: Trick-or-Treat at Eastview Mall, 7979 Pittsford Victor Road, Victor, NY. This free event starts at the soon-to-be Von Maur Wing with cider, doughnuts, live entertainment, and trick or treat bags; children trick-or-treat at participating stores.

11 a.m. - 8 p.m.: Kango Halloween Party at Kango Play Center, 1565 Jefferson Road, Suite 180 at Eagles Landing, Rochester, NY. Costume contests, games, arts and crafts, roller skating, bounce house, and more; admission is $8 per child and free for adults.

12 - 5 p.m.: Trick or Treating in the Village, Genesee Country Village & Museum, 1410 Flint Hill Road, Mumford, NY. Trick or treat in the Village, plus games, activities, stories, scavenger hunt, and more; $5 per child and adults with trick-or-treaters are free.


10 a.m. - 4 p.m.: Zoo Boo, Seneca Park Zoo, 2222 St. Paul Street, Rochester, NY. (see 10/20)

1 - 4 p.m.: Family Halloween Party at Strong National Museum of Play, 1 Manhattan Square, Rochester, NY. Trick-or-treat, dance, and play games; included with general admission.

2 - 5 p.m.: Family Halloween Fest, St. John Fisher College, 3690 East Avenue, Rochester, NY. Indoor trick-or-treating, games, crafts, activities, hay rides, live entertainment, and a costume parade at 3:30 p.m. Admission is free; please bring one canned good per person for the Pittsford Food Cupboard.


10 a.m. - 2 p.m.: Toddler Halloween Party at Strong National Museum of Play, 1 Manhattan Square, Rochester, NY. Halloween activities, goodies, games, and dance to Halloween tunes; included with general admission.

Just a side note, if you find that there is an abundance of candy in your house after two weeks of trick-or-treating activities, check out this site for Halloween Candy Buy Back to locate a dentist near you who will be "buying" Halloween candy from kids in exchange for trinkets or prizes; these dentists will be sending the candy to our troops overseas.

Enjoy extending the mileage of your children's costumes, and have a spooktacular time! As always, thanks for reading.

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