11 Tailgating Recipes That Score BIG for the Home Team

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Ready to kick-off tailgating season? Well, you can’t have a great tailgating party without great food for the friends and family! These 11 recipes will help you have a crowd-pleasing and fun tailgating party that’s sure to be a score!

Recipe #1: Buffalo Chicken Dip

Dips are always a delicious and easy game-day favorite. Spice it up a little bit with this Buffalo Chicken Dip recipe! Addicting and versatile, this recipe will be a foolproof touchdown!

All you’ll need is ½ cup of your favorite hot wing sauce, 8 ounces of cream cheese, ¼ cup of light buttermilk ranch or blue cheese dressing, ½ cup of shredded Monterey Jack or white cheddar cheese, and 1 pound of shredded or diced roasted chicken.

All you need to do is combine the hot sauce and cream cheese in a medium sauce pan over medium to low heat and stir until smooth.

Then, add the remaining ingredients and combine well. Cook this over low heat until the cheese melts and voila!

Place the dip in your favorite serving dish and serve with sliced baguettes, carrots, celery, crackers, or chips!

Click here for recipe: Buffalo Chicken Dip

Recipe #2: Loaded Pulled Pork Nachos

Got some meat lovers in the family? Then this dish is perfect for you! Add a little twist and rack up some great flavors by adding pulled pork to the always crowd favorite: nachos!

You’ll need tortilla chips, pulled pork (or you can substitute chicken or steak if you’d like), drained black beans, drained whole kernel corn, sliced jalapenos, salsa or pico de gallo, shredded cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese, sliced olives, sour cream, and fresh cilantro for garnish!

Preheat the oven to 350°F and assemble a layer of tortilla chips on an oven-safe platter and layer it with the pulled pork (or meat of your choice), beans, corn, jalapenos, salsa, cheese, and olives.

Just heat in the oven until the cheese is melted and you’re done! Add sour cream and cilantro to add even more flavor.

These nachos are extremely flexible so don’t be afraid to add your own flare and favorite ingredients!

Click here for recipe: Loaded Pulled Pork Nachos

Recipe #3:  Spinach Artichoke Dip

Who doesn’t love this guilty pleasure? You can never go wrong with this crowd favorite dip! It’s delectable and easy to make!

You’ll need ½ cup of shredded Parmesan cheese, 1 ½ cups of Gruyere cheese, 10 ounces of frozen chopped spinach, 14 ounces of marinated artichoke hearts, 8 ounces of softened cream cheese, 2/3 cup of sour cream, 1/3 cup of mayonnaise, 2 cloves of garlic, 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil, and a baguette.

Preheat your oven to 375°F and defrost the spinach and chop the artichokes. Combine the Parmesan cheese, 1 cup of the Gruyere cheese, spinach, artichokes, cream cheese, sour cream, mayo, and one minced clove of garlic.

Place the mixture into a serving or casserole dish and top it off with the remaining ½ cup of Gruyere cheese.

Bake the dip in the oven for 25-30 minutes or until the cheese has browned.

This is optional, but you can also brush the baguette slices with olive oil and broil them in the oven until they are lightly browned. Gently rub each slice with the last clove of garlic and you’ve got a tasty treat!

Click here for recipe: Spinach Artichoke Dip

Recipe #4: Baked Honey Garlic Chicken Wings

Love chicken wings but want to try something new? Then try these oven baked honey garlic wings! Different from your typical hot wings but still delicious, this recipe is sure to tackle everyone’s appetite.

You will need 50 split chicken wings, ¼ cup of flour, salt & pepper, and 1 tablespoon of olive oils for the chicken. For the sauce, you will need ½ cup of honey, 4 tablespoons of soy sauce, 4 large crushed cloves of garlic, 1 tablespoon of finely diced ginger, ½ teaspoon of chili flakes, and 1/3 cup of water.

Preheat your oven to 400°F and rinse the wings under cold water and drain and dab them with paper towels until they are completely dry.

Carefully toss the wings in a bowl with flour, salt and pepper. Tap off the excess flour and toss with the olive oil.

Place the wings on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 40 minutes and turn them over at 20 minutes.

While they are baking, combine the sauce ingredients in a small saucepan. Bring the sauce to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for about 5 minutes.

Take the wings out of the oven and toss with the sauce. Place the wings back in the oven for 10 minutes and turn them after 5 minutes. Serve them hot!

Click here for recipe: Baked Honey Garlic Chicken Wings

Recipe #5: Individual 7 Layer Bean Dips

Bean dip is always a traditional tailgating favorite, but aren’t you tired of cleaning up the mess from scooping and worrying about double dippers?  Then you have to try these individual 7 layer bean dips! Perfect for a party and easy to clean-up, it’s a much better way of serving this game day classic!

You need 1 can of refried beans, 1 ½ tablespoon of taco seasoning, 3 medium ripe avocados, 2 tablespoons of fresh lime or lemon juice, salt and pepper, 1 cup of sour cream, 1 cup of salsa, 1 cup shredded cheese, 2 large diced Roma tomatoes, 2/3 cups of diced black olives, 2-3 diced green onions, and eight 9 ounce plastic cups.

Stir together refried beans with a fork in a bowl with 2 tablespoons of water and mix in taco seasoning.

Peel and core the avocados and mash them with lime or lemon juice and reach your desired texture and season with salt and pepper.

Add a good amount of the bean mix to the bottom of the cup and even out the top with the back of a spoon.

Add a spoonful of the avocado mixture and spread, followed by a layer of sour cream, then salsa.

Sprinkle a layer of cheese and then the tomatoes, black olives, and green onions. Store them in the fridge and serve with tortilla chips, yum!

Click here for recipe: Individual 7 Layer Bean Dips

Recipe #6: Easy Homemade Mini Corn Dogs

Add a fun fair -food favorite to your tailgating party with these homemade mini corn dogs! Easy to make and fun for the kids to eat, these are sure to be a hit!

You’ll need 1 (12 ounces) package of hot dogs, ½ cup of yellow cornmeal, ½ cup of all-purpose flour, 2 tablespoons of sugar, 2 teaspoons of baking powder, 1/8 teaspoon of salt, 1 large egg, ½ cup of whole milk, and vegetable oil for frying.

You’ll also need lollipop sticks and a deep-fry thermometer.

First, cut each hot dog in half and insert a lollipop stick into the cutoff end of every hot dog and be sure to dry the hot dogs with paper towels.

In a bowl, mix together the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.

In a separate liquid measuring cup, whisk the egg and milk. Pour the wet mixture into the dry ingredients and stir until fully combined.

Then, add 4 inches of oil to a large, heavy-bottomed stockpot and attach the deep-fry thermometer. Heat the oil over medium to high heat until the thermometer reaches 360°F.

Line a plate with paper towels while the oil heats.

Dip each hot dog into the batter until its fully coated and lightly shake off the excess.

Lower the dog into the hot oil and fry until golden and crispy, probably about 3 minutes, and then transfer to the plate lined with paper towels.

Repeat this process for all the hot dogs!

Click here for recipe: Easy Homemade Mini Corn Dogs

Recipe #7: Mini Deep Dish Pizzas

Everyone loves pizza! But these mini 5-ingredient pizzas will be an addicting snack your party will love even more than the original.

All you need is 4 flour tortillas for burritos (8 inch), 1 cup of pizza sauce, ¾ cup of shredded mozzarella cheese, ¼ cup grated parmesan, and 36-48 mini pepperonis.

Preheat oven to 425°F and lightly oil a 12-cup muffin tin or use nonstick cooking spray.

To make the mini tortillas, lay out the tortilla on a flat surface and use an empty can to cut 3-4 medium circles, pressing firmly in a rocking motion to cut the tortilla.

Fit a tortilla circle into each of the 12 muffin tins by pressing gently.

Scoop one tablespoon of pizza sauce into each muffin tin.

Sprinkle the mozzarella and Parmesan cheese and top with 3-4 mini pepperonis.

Bake in the oven for 10-12 minutes and serve! Garnish with chopped basil if desired.

Click here for recipe: Mini Deep Dish Pizzas

Recipe #8: Onion Soup Gameday Sliders

Want a fun twist on the ever popular cheeseburger sliders? Adding onion soup mix may seem strange, but it adds a new depth of flavor and crazy moisture. You have to try this!

You need 1 pound of ground beef, 1 block (8 ounces) of cheddar cheese, 1 package of onion soup mix, 1 tablespoon of mayonnaise, ¼ teaspoon of garlic powder, and 1 package of mini hamburger/slider buns.

Preheat your oven to 350°F.

Shred half of the block of cheddar cheese and slice the other half of the block into 12 thin slices and wrap in saran wrap and put back into the fridge.

In a medium to large sized bowl, mix ground beef, 1 cup shredded cheese, onion soup mix, mayo and garlic powder.

Press and flatten the meat into a sprayed 9×13 pan to form a thin layer.

Bake the meat for about 25 minutes until cooked through.

While leaving the oven on, take the meat out of the oven and cut into 12 squares.

Put the meat on buns and top with slices of cheese.

Put the sliders in a large sprayed baking dish and cover with foil and bake for 10-15 minutes!

Click here for recipe: Onion Soup Gameday Sliders

Recipe #9: Bacon Wrapped Tator-Tot Bombs

Tator tots are already yummy on their own, but what could go wrong with adding bacon?! These baked bacon wrapped tots are sure to be a new party favorite that will be an easy and addicting treat!

You need 2 cups of frozen tator-tots that have been thawed to room temperature, 1 ounce of sharp cheddar cheese cut into ¼ inch squares, 4 slices of quartered bacon, ¼ cup of brown sugar, and 1 tablespoon of chopped fresh parsley leaves.

Preheat your oven to 400°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Wrap each tator-tot and cheese square into a piece of bacon, and coat each tot in the brown sugar.

Place the tots seam side down onto the baking sheet and put into the oven and bake for 20-15 minutes, turning them halfway through.

Garnish with parsley and serve immediately!

Click here for recipe: Bacon Wrapped Tator-Tot Bombs

Recipe #10: Mini Caramel Apples

If your sweet tooth is craving a tasty treat, then these mini caramel apples are sure to hit the spot! Fun for both kids and parents, this easy recipe will satisfy anyone’s sweet craving.

You’ll need 3 extra-large apples, caramels, 2 tablespoons of milk, lollipop sticks, a metal tablespoon, coffee scoop or melon baller, and wax paper.

Prepare a cookie sheet and line with wax paper.

Peel the apples, and scoop balls out with a coffee scoop or melon baller.

Pat them dry with a paper towel and place them in the fridge or freezer.

To make the caramel, combine the milk with the caramels and heat over medium to low heat.

Once the caramel is melted and smooth, turn off the heat and dip the apple pops in one at a time.

Make sure you let the excess caramel drip off into the pot and then place the dipped apples back on the cookie sheet.

Put the pops back into the freezer or fridge after dipping to ensure the caramel doesn’t slip off.

Wait until the caramel hardens and then serve!

Click here for Recipe: Mini Caramel Apples

Recipe #11: Hot Beer Cheese Dip

What better ingredients are there in the world than beer and cheese? This quick but appetizing dip will fulfill your cheese craving and save you time!

You need 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter, 3 tablespoons of all-purpose flour, ¾ cup of milk (divided), ½ cup of beer (your preference), 1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard, ¼ teaspoon of salt, a pinch of cayenne pepper, and 12 ounces of shredded sharp cheddar cheese.

Melt the butter over medium heat in a medium sized sauce pan and whisk in the flour.

Take the pan off the heat and whisk in 2 tablespoons of the milk until its smooth, then whisk in 2 more tablespoons.

Add ¼ cup of the milk and whisk until smooth again followed by the final ¼ cup of milk.

Stir in the beer, Dijon, cayenne, and salt and return the pan to medium heat and stir until its thick and bubbly.

Remove from the heat and add the cheese one handful at a time, stirring after each addition.

Taste to meet your desired saltiness or spiciness and serve with slices of baguette, crackers, chips, broccoli, or cauliflower florets!

Click here for Recipe: Hot Beer Cheese Dip

The 13 Best Halloween Costumes for Kids

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It’s time for the spookiest holiday of the year – Halloween!

Candy, costumes and spine-chilling decorations will once again take over your neighborhood revealing the spirit of fall.

But don’t be stuck in the over-used, done-to-death costumes for your kids!

Here are 13 of the best Halloween costumes for your kids for 2015:

Costume #1: Cowboy or Cowgirl

Time to saddle up and ride for Halloween trick-or-treating! Cowboy and cowgirl costumes are a classic go-to, but can easily be altered to fit your child’s personality.

From belt buckles and boots to hats and pearl snap shirts, Big R is your one stop shop for your little buckaroo’s needs! Get a few costume ideas from Annie Oakley or John Wayne if you want to add a little more originality.

Costume #2: Hunter

Ducks, geese, and deer. Oh my! Those creatures don’t stand a chance against your little camouflaged hunter!

Hunt down camo gear such as overalls, shirts, boots, and more at your local Big R Store. Add an orange hat for the full effect and throw a goose decoy or two around your child’s neck for the full hunter look.

Costume #3: Carpenter

Grab a tool belt, hammer, nails, and tape measure to build your way to a great children’s carpenter costume! Allow your child to design his or her own costume by adding a variety of different touches such as a hat, work boots, overalls, carpenter belt, and more!

The costume can be as simple or as complex as you make it. They’ll be ready to conquer any renovation project that comes their way!

Costume #4: Farmer

Every day we eat, we should be thanking a farmer. If your little one wants to grow up to be a farmer, this is the perfect costume idea. A simple, DIY costume that could be used for the entire family! Add a cow and pig and the whole gang will be ready to hit the streets for delicious treats!

Overalls, boots, bandana, and a hat are just a few essentials that you can find at your local Big R Stores! Add a plaid shirt and a little bit of straw to the pockets for the entire farmer experience!

Costume #5: Horse Trainer

Some best friends have four legs! If your child loves riding, then why not dress them as a horse trainer this Halloween? Big R carries many horse supplies and accessories to make the costume that much easier on you!

Boots? Check. White shirt? Check. Khakis? Check. Throw a bridle over their shoulder and they’ll be off to the the races in no time!

Costume #6: Joy from Pixar’s “Inside Out”

An extremely popular film among kids nationwide this year, Inside Out has inspired a costume for its happiest character: Joy.

Dress your daughter in this cute and accurate representation of on the best characters of the film!

The film is set in the mind of a young girl where five of her personified emotions (Joy, Sadness, Fear, Anger, and Disgust) try to help her through life as she moves to a new location with her parents.

Teaching kids that their moodiness comes from little feelings inside their head, this Pixar film gives children a real chance to relate.

Your little girl will love brining this happy little character to life as she trick-or-treats!

Costume #7: “Big Hero 6” Baymax/Hiro

This clever and action-packed movie teaches kids that being a nerd is nothing short of awesome!

Baymax, an inflatable robotic nurse and Hiro, a 14-year old genius, team up with a group of friends to form a band of high-tech heroes.

Your child can dress up as either one of the movie’s main characters in the heroic versions of bot Baymax and Hiro’s costumes.  He will be the talk of the town, and the envy of his friends when he flaunts his super-cool Big Hero 6 costume!

Costume #8: Elsa from Disney’s “Frozen”

An idol to almost every little girl in the world today, an Elsa costume is sure to be a huge hit with your child!

The movie shows Elsa trying to master her secret gift – she has the power to manipulate ice and snow!

Filled with fun songs, a heart-warming story and funny characters, Frozen has been one of the biggest hits in recent years and a costume reflecting the main character will make your daughter feel like the ultimate princess!

Costume #9: Captain America/Thor/Iron Man/The Incredible Hulk from “Avengers: Age of Ultron”

Allow your child to fly to new heights with one of the many mighty heroes from the second Avengers movie! With one of these costumes, they will feel like they can save the world (or at least make it through two hours of trick-or-treating!)

Each character displays impressive powers throughout the movie so your child has my options to choose from!

Ditch the Superman idea and give your child a more relevant costume from this amazing Marvel creation.

Costume #10: “Despicable Me”/ “Minions” Minion Costume

Who doesn’t love these little guys?! From the popular “Despicable Me” movie and “Minions” movie debuted in July, “minions” are the talk of the town!

Evolving from single-celled yellow organisms at the very dawn of time, minions live to serve but find themselves working for a continuous series of unsuccessful masters!

These adorable, little yellow creatures are loved by kids and parents everywhere and would be a perfect costume for your child (available in girl or boy costume) this year!

Costume #11: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

With the new and re-vamped movie that just came out, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is back in the hearts of boys and girls everywhere!

Just coming out last year, Leonardo, Michelangelo, Donatello, and Raphael are back beneath the sewers of New York and ready for action!

Bring out your little, green ninja by letting them choose a costume of their favorite turtle.

Costume #12: Catwoman from “The Dark Knight Rises”

Let your daughter bring out her claws by being Catwoman for a day!

The sassy and cunning character in “The Dark Knight Rises” is a well-known cat burglar and disguised mistress.

Costume #13: Zombie Hunter

This costume is flexible so you can give it your own flare! With zombies being a popular topic of movies and TV today, your child will release their inner zombie with this costume!

The basics of this costume you can find in stores, but have a little fun with it. Add a little fake blood spatter and give him or her some cool glasses that will make them look like a force not to be reckoned with!

Make your fearless little child feel like they can take on a zombie apocalypse at any time with this wicked costume!

7 Tailgating Games That Every Tailgating Party Needs

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Planning a Tailgate Party and need some fun for the kids? No worries! Here are 7 Tailgating Games that your kids are sure to enjoy:

Game #1: Cornhole

This game is a classic favorite that no kid can say no to! Cornhole is simple, fun, and stress-free. It’s probably one of the most popular tailgating games, and it hasn’t failed since!

You can purchase a Cornhole game kit at any popular superstore. It comes with two raised rectangular boards with a hole in each at the far end (the “cornhole”) and 4 small bags for tossing.

The game usually involves 2-4 players, with each player tossing their bags towards the opposite board and trying to make it into the hole.

The player wins 3 points if the bag lands in the hole and 1 point if the bag lands on the board.

The first player to reach 21 points is the winner!

Game #2: Ladder Golf

Ladder Golf is a fun outdoor game that everybody can have fun participating in!

The game involves two teams who take turns trying to throw a “bola” made out of two golf balls connected by a rope at a ladder. Each ladder in the game has three rings, and each ring is worth 1, 2, or 3 points.

To win, a team needs to reach 21 points.

For this game, you will need to create a toss line that is placed 15 feet from the ladder. This line signifies where the players will throw their bolas at the opposite team’s ladder.

Usually, the lower ring of the ladder is worth 1 point, the middle is worth 2, and the highest is worth 3. The first team that goes first is determined by a coin toss.

During the rounds, each player takes turns throwing his or her bolas at the opponent’s ladder. Make sure they throw them one at a time!

The fun part about this game is that the opponents (if you wish) are allowed to distract the other players when they are tossing their bolas by making noises or funny faces! This can happen as long as they don’t actually touch the opponent.

This is sure to be a hit with the kids at your tailgate!

Game #3: Horseshoes

Horseshoes is a traditional and fun backyard game that is fun for the whole family. Tell your kids to put down the iPad and come and pitch some shoes!

All you need for this game are 4 horseshoes and 2 stakes.

Make the game even more fun by allowing the kids to paint their horseshoes in the team colors of their choosing!

If you want to do a true regulation game, create two sand pits that are about 40 feet apart (or shorter depending on the age of your kids) and have the stake positioned in the center of the pits.

The rules are simple; if you horseshoe rings around the stake, you receive 3 points, if the horseshoe leans on the stake, you get 2 points, and whoever’s horseshoe lands closest to the stake earns one point.

The original rules state that the horseshoe must be within a shoe’s length distance of the stake, but you can bend the rules a bit for your younger players!

Whoever wins a total of 15 points first wins!

Game #4: Giant Jenga

Who doesn’t love a good game of Jenga?! And what better than a giant version!

All you need for this game is a giant Jenga set that you can purchase at your local superstore. If you want to do more of a DIY version, all you need is 54 wooden blocks cut to the same size from 2×4 pieces of wood.

This game has a little bit of suspense but a whole lot of fun!

To assemble, lay three blocks on the ground so they are touching each other and are parallel. Lay three more blocks on top in the opposite way and repeat with the rest of the blocks.

To play, each player needs to take turns trying to carefully remove or push out a block with one hand while preventing any disturbance to the other blocks in the tower! After (or if) the block is removed, it is placed on the top of the tower.

Whoever is the first to make the tower tip over loses!

Game #5: Balloon Darts 

This is a fun and easy DIY Tailgate game that the kids will love, especially if the winners get prizes!

All you need to do is blow up some colorful balloons and staple them to a sturdy board and lean them against a wall. You also need a couple darts of course!

To amp up the fun, fill each balloon with a paper and a number on it that wins different prizes! Prizes can be anything from small toys, candy, or ice cream, and anything else you can think of!

To fit the theme, pick balloon colors that correspond to the team you are tailgating for.

Just make sure to remind the kids to be very careful with the darts, and make sure you are the only one who is picking them up!

Game #6: Cup Races

Try something new for the kids and allow them to get a little competitive with cup races (get your red solo cups here)!

All you need is cups, string, tape, and water guns.

Cut a hole into the bottom of a cup close to the edge and place it on a string. Attach the string to posts or on two ends of two walls.

Make sure the cups are on the same end and the players start at the same place.

The players will use water guns and aim the water inside the cup to move it to the other end.

The players must race and try to get their cup to the other end before their opponent does!

Game #7: Water Balloon Toss

Keep it simple and easy and have your kids play a good game of water balloon toss!

Allow them to fill up their own water balloons and be apart of the set-up of the game, start to finish.

This game can involve any amount of players you desire!

Have the players stand close together at first, carefully tossing one water balloon to each other without it popping.

After each successful toss, have the players step back a little more and make it more challenging every time.

Whoever’s water balloon pops first is out!

10 Fun Fall Activities For Both Parents and Children

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There’s a crispness in the air that gives us the feeling that fall has begun! A time full of leaves, pumpkins, costumes and candy, what better time to create family time then during the fall season!

Here are a few fall activities to do that are fun for the entire family:

Fall Activity #1: Happy Haunting

It is already that time of the year! The Halloween season is a unique time of the year we we turn our homes into scary haunted houses!

Turn your front yard into a graveyard by setting up fake grave stones in the front yard. Add some body parts sticking out of the ground or hanging down from the house if scary truly is your style!

Greet your fall guests by hanging up some scary ghouls, or go crazy with the fake spider webs by covering the trees, the gravestones, and the front door.

You can really set the ambiance by setting up a fog machine, or you can use dry ice as an alternative.

If you want to go a step further, add a strobe light. Your haunted house is ready!

Fall Activity #2: Make a Scarecrow

For some wholesome family fun, make a scarecrow! This is a easy, fun project and best of all, you can find many of the items around the house.

Find some old jeans and shirt, and stuff them full of hay or leaves.

Then add a pumpkin for the head and place a straw hat on top, or a Carhartt beanie for a unique look!

Next, you need to showcase your scarecrow! Place it on the front porch sitting in a chair or attach a stick to it and place it in the yard.

Fall Activity #3: Apples

It’s harvest season, and apples are ripe for the picking! This is the ideal time of the year to find a local apple orchard and take the family apple picking. This fun activity is sure to create lasting memories!

Afterwards, try your hand at making some delicious apple pie or apple cider. With whatever apples are left over, place them in a tub of water. Then, have everyone take turns bobbing for apples! Try to see who can bob for the most apples in a certain amount of time! Big R carries tubs to create the perfect apple-bobbing experience!

Fall Activity #4: Scavenger Hunt

Acorns, leaves, something orange, or something red… create an old fashioned scavenger hunt for the whole family to enjoy! You can set up anywhere: a park, in the house, or around the neighborhood.

Hide some toys or treats; whoever finds it, gets to keep the prize. Keep it simple or turn it into an elaborate adventure!

Fall Activity #5: Jumping into Fall

Raking the leaves can be a pretty boring chore. Make the most of it by jumping in some leaves!

Who doesn’t love jumping in a big pile of leaves?

Get the whole family to take turns jumping and raking. There will be plenty of laughs and memories for years to come!

Fall Activity #6: Bonfire Bonding

Before the sun goes down, get the whole family together for a bonfire. Sit and relax around the fire, tell some jokes, exchange stories, and create memories.

Then break out the graham crackers and chocolate for some delicious s’mores.

Start a friendly competition to see who can roast the best golden marshmallow or create the perfect s’more.

Fall Activity #7: Farm Fun Pumpkin Patch

With so many fun seasonal offerings available during the fall season, one you can not miss is taking the family to a pumpkin patch!

Go on a hayride or get lost in the corn maze. Afterwards, head out to the field in search of the perfect pumpkin.

Now that you have your pumpkin, it is tradition to carve it. Make it a fun get-together by including friends and family.

When done, fire up the oven to roast those pumpkin seeds! Our favorite recipe is a dash of soy sauce and salt.

Make your carved Jack-o’-lantern last much longer by washing the pumpkin in a bleach and water solution. It’s also suggested to spray the bleach and water solution every few days on the interior and exterior of the pumpkin to stay fresh longer.

Fall Activity #8: Nature Walk

Now that summer is a thing of the past and the start of a new season is upon us, it’s time for new adventures. Celebrate the natural beauty of Fall.

Round up the family to go on a hike or bike ride and take in the fresh air and fall colors!

Make a picnic out of it. Pack a bag of food and don’t forget the blanket. Take in the outdoor scenery while enjoying your meal and appreciating the beautiful colors of fall.

Fall Activity #9: Taste of Fall

Fall is the perfect time to gather in the kitchen!

Whether your favorite fall treat is a cup of hot chocolate or an apple crisp or applesauce with your apples from the orchard, you can make the perfect fall recipe for the entire family to enjoy!

You could also use one of your pumpkins to make pumpkin bread. Families love to gather in the kitchen over food!

Fall Activity #10: Arts and Crafts Projects

Fall is in the air, which means it is time to break out the paint and glitter. Create new fall decorations with the kids.

A super fun and easy DIY project – handprint art! Paint your hand, then press down on the paper.

From there use your imagination, make a tree or turkey. The kids will love it, and you will have something festive to hang up.

If you don’t want to get your hands dirty, collect some pinecones around the neighborhood to paint and glitter!

DIY: Pumpkin Carving Tips and Tricks for Halloween

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Do you remember taking trips to the pumpkin patch as a kid to pick out the perfect pumpkin to turn into a jack-o’-lantern?

Pumpkin carving is a fun fall tradition that a person of any age can participate in. Whether you want a classic jack-o’-lantern, a ghost design, or a cute quote, you can be as creative as you want.

Make some apple cider and grab some candy corn to turn pumpkin carving into a great bonding activity.

It’s great because each person can create their own design. Carved pumpkins also make festive house decorations.

The Pumpkin Carving Process

Step 1: Before even beginning the carving process, choosing the right pumpkin makes a big difference. Pick a pumpkin that looks fresh and is free of bruises. A pumpkin with a sturdy, flat bottom makes it less likely to roll around once it’s carved. A sturdy stem ensures that it is a healthy pumpkin.

Step 2: Use a keyhole saw to easily cut through the pumpkin. If you’re using a real candle to light the pumpkin, cut the lid around the stem at an angle. Cutting it at an angle instead of up and down prevents the lid from falling into the pumpkin when placing the lid back on top. Be sure to place the candle in a glass container and keep a watchful eye on it when the candle is lit. If you’re using an electric light, cut a hole at the bottom of the pumpkin to make it easier to hide the electrical cord.

Step 3: Clean out all of the pumpkin’s pulp, seeds, and flesh. If you don’t have a pumpkin carving claw, grab an ice cream scooper from your kitchen. Scrape into the wall of the side where the pumpkin’s design will be carved. By thinning out the wall to 1 ¼ inch thick, it makes it easier to carve into the pumpkin for the design. Make a solution of a gallon of water and a tablespoon of chlorine bleach to wash the hollowed pumpkin. Washing the interior and exterior helps prevent mold.

Step 4: For the design, search online for ideas. Templates make it easier than free handing the design. You can be traditional and carve a face or find a template of a creative pattern. Enlarge the chosen design to the size desired and print it out. Cut along the pattern so the excess white edges of the paper are removed. Tape it to the side of the pumpkin that was thinned out. Instead of using a permanent marker to trace the design, use a dry erase marker so it is easy to fix any mistakes before carving.

Step 5: Now it’s time for the carving. You may want to consider purchasing a pumpkin carving kit. The kits have all the tools for prepping and carving. If not, use a small serrated saw. This kind of saw works especially well for carving small, detailed work. Always cut slowly and gently. It’s important to keep safety in mind so that you don’t cut yourself.

Step 6: Now that your pumpkin is washed and carved, it’s time to get it ready to place on your porch. Remove the lid and place the candle or electric light inside the pumpkin. Wait until the sun is going down before lighting the pumpkin. Your house is now ready for fall!

Pumpking Carving Protips:

  • Before you are ready to carve the pumpkin, store it in a cool, dry place. Sunlight speeds up the deterioration process, and the carved pumpkin won’t last as long.
  • Sprinkle a pinch of cinnamon, pumpkin spice, or nutmeg inside the pumpkin so that the jack-o’-lantern will smell like a pumpkin pie when the candle is lit.
  • Consider carving multiple small-to-medium-sized pumpkins rather than one large one. A display of multiple pumpkins gives off a more impactful visual illusion.
  • To make your carved pumpkin last longer, don’t skip the step of washing your pumpkin in the bleach and water solution. The bleach gets rid of the dirt and bacteria that cause the pumpkin to rot. Every couple of days, spray this solution on the inside and outside of the pumpkin to make sure they stay fresh and last longer.
  • If you don’t have time to wash the pumpkin in the solution, rub a little Vaseline on the carved parts. This also can help slow down the rotting process.
  • Add fun props to your pumpkin. Grab some yarn and place it on the top near the stem to create hair. Wood chips can be used as teeth. If you want to glitz up your pumpkin, spread glue around certain areas or over the entire pumpkin and sprinkle some glitter on top of it.