Halloween snuck up on me this year, the need for costumes arriving far before any creativity and initiative was evident from this mom. Luckily we have a big box of costumes lovingly sewn and handed-down from the Seattle cousins, and the older boys immediately found a costume they wanted to wear during our week of festivities. Vilis was the outlier with a costume borrowed from a friend (thanks Holden!!!), and then I hit the stores to find our cats some scary garb. Just kidding, they look like that all year.
The number of Halloween events in the Upstate is growing each year, as evidenced by Kidding Around Greenville’s lengthy ULTIMATE trick-or-treating guide. We stuck to a few familiar evenings such as Enchanted Tracks and Boo in the Zoo, adding in a couple of new events to mix things up. Enchanted Tracks was once again super-crowded, and after hearing a few not-so-nice comments about kids and their costumes I’ve got a suspicion this might have been our last visit; the boys on the other hand loved the evening spent in the “enchanted forest” with all the fairytale characters, as well as their time in the bounce houses, so we’ll just have to see what next year brings. George the Train still isn’t running, and although they gave the kids passes to the bounce house in the Pavilion instead, I have to wonder why the event is still called Enchanted Tracks…
Having been invited to a neighborhood parade and party we suited up again, resulting in a fun morning meeting new friends. With a spookily spectacular treat table, numerous little projects for the boys to craft, and a bounce house (I see a trend) it was hard to pull the boys away, but fortunately we got home just before it started raining.
Luckily the rain paused long enough for the sweetest twins’ birthday party. The bucolic setting had a backdrop of autumn foliage around the pond, the main attraction of the evening a giant screen that had been set up in the meadow. We sated our appetites with a great big bowl of chili next to the bonfire while the kids raced around, settling in at the picnic tables with warm blankets at sundown to watch a movie. It was such a beautiful evening, topped off with delicious cupcakes and sleepy snuggly children…
Boo in the Zoo was a madhouse as always, but once again we had pre-purchased tickets and so avoided the long wait in line to enter the zoo. By arriving a few minutes before it started we also made it in before the rush, guaranteeing the experience wasn’t as wall-to-wall people as it was even 30 minutes later. Although some of the ‘treats’ broke soon afterwards, I still prefer the toys over the sweeter variety, and the boys spent a good bit of time over the following days sorting and playing with their loot. New to the event this year was a cemetery for extinct species – a visual reminder of a few of the species lost forever in only the past decades.
In other news at the Greenville zoo, the new South American Pampas exhibit was unveiled yesterday, featuring the four years-old giant anteater Mochila, or Mo. Weighing in at 90 pounds, Mo is actually pretty medium-sized for a giant anteater. A beautiful mosaic in honor of the previous residents of the enclosure, the elephants Joy and Ladybird, features 1,500 tiles painted by local students.
On our most recent visit we also spotted a few of the new zoo babies, including red panda Willie (named after one of our fave musician’s ‘Red Headed Stranger’ album), baby siamang George and a Solomon's Island prehensile-tailed skink (born last December). Willie doesn’t look much like a baby; born in July, red pandas achieve full adult fur and coloring by the time they are 3 months old. Meanwhile George (born in March) is still clinging to his mother, and the skink looks obviously like a juvenile, despite being ¼ of its adult weight. We still haven’t seen head nor tail of the twin ocelot kittens.
It isn’t just the kids getting dressed up in our neighborhood. The brick house on East Stone Avenue that is completely dwarfed on three sides by the new development has dressed up this year as the movie star from “Up”. Although the balloons weren’t ‘quite’ as impressive as in the Pixar film, the similarities otherwise are there. This historic building is home to several businesses and law offices.
However you may be celebrating Halloween, I wish you and the kids a safe and happy day. Boo-čas y’all!