A Halloween Debriefing

Children Are Getting Nicer!

This year for Halloween we did something special at Fairhaven Toy Garden. We created a virtual game board for the children to walk throughout the store. We had two stations set up where kids were able to receive a small toy at one station and fruit snacks at the second.  It worked well getting the children through the store in a more orderly fashion and gave them a fun experience as well.

That night, after my crew at both stores had toiled with all of the cleaning up and putting away of Halloween, I offered to take them out to dinner.  Some, like me, had been there since 9:30am, and we had taken our lunches early since we had a lot to do to get ready for the 1500 trick-or-treaters destined to arrive between 3 and 6pm.  

At Dinner…

I congratulated the crew for their above and beyond efforts in making this giant game board.  Last Sunday Erin, Emily, Jordan and Mariah came in after hours to design and paint this cardboard creation.  It came out looking great and clearly had a Start and a Finish to help guide people into the store.  However, the conversation soon turned to how great the kids were this year in comparison to prior years.  Was it the game board?  But at Bay to Baker Trading Company, John and I had the same experience and we did not have a game board to guide children in and out of the store. 

At the end of dinner we all agreed that children were definitely nicer this year.  Even most of the middle school kids that came in without parents were super nice and polite!  Some middle schoolers chose to escort their younger siblings around the district and seemed to enjoy watching their excitement as they went into each store.

But it Wasn’t Just the Children – the Parents Were Nicer Too!

Very few children tried to take more than their share and if they did, a parent was there telling them ‘Just one’ and explaining to their children that they need to make sure there is enough for everyone.  If a child was shy to come in and get their treat, a parent would help them through it.  If their child was crowding in line, they would make them wait their turn.  Many parents reminded them to say ‘Trick or Treat’ and ‘Thank You’ and John would say ‘Happy Halloween!’ and children often responded with a ‘Happy Halloween!’ back.  And many parents also expressed their appreciation!

In my 13 years of providing a Halloween experience in Fairhaven, this was undoubtedly the most enjoyable.  The rainy weather that was supposed to happen didn’t.  Families were clearly having fun together.  Many parents had dressed up with their children – some in a common theme!  And on the streets I saw a lot of parents and families socializing with each other not in a hurry to leave.  In an age when we are constantly hearing complaints that too many children and families are controlled by their electronics, it was nice to see everyone happily doing something together unplugged!

Unplug at Fairhaven Toy Garden

Martinmas Celebration

Our next unplugged all ages event will be Martinmas on Sunday, November 11th.  We will be gathering at the Padden Creek Lagoon viewing area on 8th and Harris Street just before 4:30pm to watch the sunset, then we will light our lanterns and walk across the street to the trail head to walk through the woods adjacent to Fairhaven.  We will exit the trail at 10th and Old Fairhaven Parkway and walk back to the toy store for hot cider. 

There will be two opportunities beforehand to make lanterns.  On Thursday, November 8th, from 2pm to 5pm at our weekly Kids Club, we will be making beautiful mosaic looking lanterns using a balloon covered with layers of colorful waxed transparent paper.  On Sunday, from 2pm to 4pm, we will be making a quick version of a Martinmas lantern out of mason jars.  You may also bring your own lantern!  Tea lights will be provided. 

It sounds like a simple event, but walking through a forest together with our glimmering little lights is magical for the children and a beautiful way to acknowledge the darkness of the winter months to come.

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