BY JENN WEBSTER
If you’re like us, you’ve discovered the space and diversity a barn and arena can offer. While primarily a place for equines, when done properly, hosting a Halloween in the barn is a fabulous experience. Our kids look forward to it every year.
Halloween typically takes up an entire weekend in our barn. One day for a costume ride (hosted by Ronda Cann Training,) and the other day for a Halloween party. We’re all exhausted by the end of it, but it’s so much fun!
The costume ride is open to English and western riders and is very similar to a cowboy challenge. Riders dress up and put their horses to test, navigating various rails and obstacles. Horses even get to “bob for apples” at the end.
The next day, we completely transform the arena into a Halloween-themed abyss. There’s a long table for the kids to eat lunch and thanks to some of my talented friends, we have had some amazing tablescapes over the years. Last year, the theme was a “Witches Brew” idea and dry ice put a spectacular finishing touch on it all. (*Of course, we had to carefully watch the younger children with dry ice as it can cause severe frost bite if touched.)
The arena is decorated with various props and decorations we’ve collected and made over the years. (It takes almost an entire shed to store them now…)
Then the arena is divided into “stations” and much like a home-made carnival, the kids go from station to station playing games.
Next we feature a long table for pumpkin decorating. Here, the kids get to design their own pumpkin with paint, glue, googly eyes and stickers. It does get a bit messy, but we figured this is better than carving the pumpkins and having a table full of kids with knives, lol.
Of course, there’s also a parent table… A spooky charcuterie board and a bottle of champagne are the major players here.
After that, it’s trick-or-treat time. Each horse has a gift for the kids in front of their stall. Some offerings are big hits with the kids and others are not.
Take for example, my skeleton horse candy apples from last year. Each of the apples were placed on top of a caramel package, a stick was included and our “skeleton horse” had them in front of his stall.
Many of the kids wanted nothing to do with the apples and ran straight for the candy in front of other stalls instead… LOL!!
Regardless, it was a good time. And we are all looking forward to this year’s event.