Whew! It was a great lot of work (and money), but Sam's Halloween party was a smash hit.
I got the haunted house bit completely finished only about 2 hours before the party started Thursday evening... I was getting nervous about getting it done in time. There were about 30 kids here; we had a couple of last minute cancellations due to illness. I think they got a major kick out of the haunted house, and there was plenty of food and music. Joyce and her friend, Allison, helped keep the kids in semi-order in the basement while Kev and I and several parents partied upstairs.
It was a totally enjoyable evening. It's a great group of folks. I have to say that everyone was truly super, and since we all seemed to be in a good, partying mood, the evening was great. Not all of the adults knew each other, but everyone was just one big group and there was a lot of laughter going on.
Sam had a blast. I think he enjoyed the party even more than he expected to; he loved every minute. After all the kids had went through the haunted house (and some of the parents, too), we gathered all the kids in the living room upstairs, and I explained the one and only organized event... the costume contest. I made up voting cards, and each kid wrote in the name of who they thought had the: 1) scariest costume, 2) funniest costume, 3) most original costume, 4) best boy costume & 5) best girl costume. I went to a local trophy shop and had small trophies made up and got Halloween toppers for them at the dollar store. They turned out pretty cool.
So all the kids went downstairs and ate, checking each other out and finding out names... because not all the kids knew each other, either. We decorated the basement with a lot of Halloween lights and other stuff, and the food table was really cool. Joycie collected all the voting cards, and we brought all the kids back upstairs for announcing the 5 winners. When the kids saw the trophies, they were pretty excited. Each winner got a trophy and a $10 WalMart gift card (those went over very well!). We had made goodie bags for each kid filled with candy; nice sized bags with lots of candy. So even the kids who didn't win in the costume contest were happy & got to take something home.
I was happy that Sam won "most original" category with nearly all the votes. He was Ben Wallace from the Pistons, awesome No. 3:
With the Mt. Dew flowing, the kids were in high spirits. They were loud, very loud. Dancing, running, jumping, football, a diving contest onto the bean bag chair.
I think the haunted house was the big hit of the evening, though. My nephew, Michael, being the pièce de résistance... at the very end, he stood there in all black with a skeleton mask on that he could pump "blood" down the skull. He looked creepy as he was, but then he'd roar and grab at them, scaring the piss out of them!
Sam's Halloween party was all the talk at the football game the next night, and Sam was happy. Very happy.