Halloween Tips for Ghouls, Goblins, Wee Witches & Their Parents

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Happy trick-or-treating! Before you head out with your little ones this Halloween, see this checklist to ensure you have a safe outing. (No mom or dad wants tonight to turn into a real-life horror event.)  Here’s hoping for a lovely night for ghouls and goblins with no rain and very little wind, so witches can navigate easily by broomstick.

After you’ve returned home and are sorting and munching through candy, you might wonder how you’ll ever consume the enormous stash your kids have collected. Sweetie’s Candy Shop in Wake Forest has come up with a wonderful solution: Donate it to U.S. troops in Afghanistan. The store is offering to be a drop-off point for your excess candy through Nov. 15.  Here’s a chance to teach kids about caring and sharing with those who are far away from home and living in harsh conditions. Raising compassionate children happens in these daily mundane ways through example, as many Triangle-area parents can attest.

When Halloween is over, don’t think the excitement of dressing in costume ends. On  Saturday, Nov. 5, from 11 a.m. to 4 pm., the North Carolina Museum of History will be hosting a free Celebrate N.C. History Festival, where kids are invited to dress up as a character from North Carolina and take part in a special contest and parade that starts at 1 p.m. You’ll need to sign in earlier as you’ll see here.  The festival, which will feature food tastings, musicians, storytellers, dance groups, and other presenters, is part of the opening celebration of the second part of “The Story of North Carolina” exhibit.

Dressing as real people is a fun way to teach kids history as you research a real-life character. The N.C. Museum of History in downtown Raleigh is offering interesting costume ideas for kids to dress up as characters from North Carolina history. Their suggestions include:

  • Ava Gardner: movie star from Smithfield
  • Caleb Bradham: inventor of Pepsi-Cola
  • Charlotte Hawkins Brown: educator and founder of Palmer Memorial Institute
  • Conrad Reed: a 12-year-old boy who discovered a 17-pound gold nugget in Cabarrus County in 1799
  • Edward Teach aka Blackbeard: North Carolina’s most notorious pirate
  • Georgia Ann Thompson “Tiny” Broadwick: the first lady of parachuting
  • Manteo: Croatan Indian who aided the early colonists
  • Max Roach: American jazz percussionist, drummer and composer
  • Orville and Wilbur Wright: inventors of first successful powered airplane that flew on Dec. 17, 1903
  • Penelope Barker: Organizer and hostess of the Edenton Tea Party
  • Sequoyah: a Cherokee Indian who created a written language for his people

If you don’t see a match for you there, museum staffers suggest you try these resources:
Famous North Carolinians: http://www.secretary.state.nc.us/kidspg/famous.htm
History Highlights: http://ncmuseumofhistory.org/nchh/index.html
NCpedia: http://ncpedia.org/biography

Admission to the festival and the exhibit is free, and weekend parking is free. Three winners will receive a prize. You’ll find details here. Happy Halloween!

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