Thursday, October 1, 2020

Website Spotlight: RecordCast

I recently found out about RecordCast, an online screen recorder.

Key features:

  • 100% Free.
  • No download required.
  • Flexible recording.
  • Fast download & edit.
If you want a source that can record without any extra program, this can be a good option.

Author Interview: Paul Attaway

 Most people look at their retirement years as a time to travel, sit back and enjoy the sunsets.  Not Paul Attaway.  Attaway has always been an achiever and after retiring from a business career of thirty years, still had a burning an ambition - to write a book.  He has penned Blood in the Low Country, which has surged to the Amazon Bestseller list.  

I had a chance to interview him to learn more.

Tell me about Blood in the Low Country?

The story is set in Charleston, SC in the 1970s and is about a man, Monty Atkins, that faces losing everything – his business, his marriage, his relationship with his two boys and his life – because of events not of his making. When it looks as if everything is about to blowup in his face, he doubts the pillars of his world view – whether God is there at all and the value of hard work. Lying at the root of all that has gone wrong are secrets his wife keeps. When Monty learns a bit about her past, well,… I don’t want to ruin it.


Why did you decide to pick this particular genre?

It’s funny, when I sat down to write a book, the farthest thing from my mind was what genre I was writing. I set out to write a story. It was only when I had completed the book and began the publishing process that I began to think about the genre. 


What were the challenges in writing this book?

Other than the fact that I had never written a book? I completely underestimated how difficult it was to make up a story with plot twist and turns that (a) worked and (b) had characters that reacted in a manner to the twists and turns that was both consistent with their personalities and propelled the plot forward.


What did you enjoy the best?

Engineering the story. Coming up with storyline and characters that all worked together. I wanted to both come up with a compelling story and an interesting way to tell the story. I found that once I knew where a scene was going that I was able to bang it out. I would later re-write a scene several times to get the text right.


Do you plan on writing other books?

Absolutely. I’m working on a sequel now.


Why did you decide to have a career as a writer in retirement?

I didn’t want to retire but I didn’t want to keep doing what I was doing. I wanted to keep busy and have goals and projects. My wife and I, as empty nesters, are fortunate to be able to travel and spend time in both Charleston and Phoenix, AZ. It became increasingly more difficult to do what I had been doing and do it well while always moving about.


What is it like having a second career?

I’m loving it. But what I’m loving about it has more to do with what I’m doing than the fact that it’s a second career. I truly work for myself. I have no business-related debt and very few recurring expenses, so the work is something I want to do instead of something I have to do.


What do you like about being an author?

Being an author is a creative outlet. I knew I would miss that once I retired from the business world. I believe that far too many people fail to realize that creativity is required in the business world. Whether you are designing packaging for a product and you have to keep the costs down, or you are crafting a concise, accurate and compelling sales pitch for an investment or building out a team for a small business, problem solving is a must and creativity is a plus.

As an author, I create characters and storylines. There are times I write myself into a corner and have to solve that problem.


What advice would you give to other aspiring authors?

First, never follow the advice of someone that begins their advice with the word ‘never.’

There’s a lot of advice out there. Some of it is excellent. Some of it is written by people who believe they have developed the one and only way to do something. Simply stated, what is good advice for one person in a particular setting may not be good advice for someone else. At least that’s what I have learned.

With that in mind, advice that worked for me, especially in that I was writing my first book, was “write what you know.” I found it hard enough learning how to write a book. If I had also had to master a topic as part of the research for the 

Area Attractions: From Car to Incarceration - Ted Bundy's Final Arrest at Alcatraz East Crime Museum

 A temporary exhibit will open October 10, 2020, at Alcatraz East Crime Museum titled, From Car to Incarceration: Ted Bundy’s Final Arrest. Bundy was known as one of the most notorious serial killers of the 20th century, and his crimes are still discussed in books and films today. The exhibit will feature information about his final murders, arrest, conviction, and death. This exhibit also spotlights that a serial killer can look just like anyone else in your community, and provides warnings against pornography addiction.

 

This is such an important part of our country’s crime history, because it reminds us to take measures to keep safe,” says Candice Cook, director of operations at Alcatraz East. “In addition, we hope this exhibit helps raise awareness on fighting the $15 billion dollar pornography addiction our country faces.”

 

Ted Bundy’s heinous crimes spanned cross-country. His first arrest was in Utah in August 1975, but he managed to flee and continue his crime spree until his final arrest in Florida on February 15, 1978. Bundy had two Florida trials, one in Miami, for his murders around Florida State University and one in Orlando, for the murder of his last victim, 12-year-old, Kimberly Leach.

 

As is true for many other criminals, Bundy’s final arrest was made in a traffic stop by Pensacola Police Officer, David Lee.

 

“It’s important for people to remember that many hardened criminals are caught from a routine traffic stop, said Cook. “Bundy was on the FBI’s Most Wanted list, and yet his final arrest was done by an unsuspecting patrol officer.”

While the museum’s collection includes existing Bundy objects like his 1968 VW Bug, this two-year exhibit includes:

  • Bundy’s dental cast used in the Miami trial
  • Prison letters
  • Pensacola Police Uniform

The day before Bundy was put to death, he gave an interview where he warned people about the dangers of pornography. He explained that pornography wasn’t to blame for what he did but stated that it contributed to his violence. Bundy warned to beware of pornography and graphic television content, as he felt this started his vicious behaviors.

 

According to varying sources, the pornography industry is estimated to be a $15 billion dollar industry in the United States and $97 billion worldwide, those numbers are expected to increase with the COVID shelter-in-place mandates.

 

The museum partnered with several resources to provide information and assistance to victims or volunteers. Here are some of the startling statistics provided by Cultured Reframed:

  • Porn sites get more visitors each month than Netflix, Amazon, and Twitter combined
  • About one-third of all web downloads in the U.S. are porn-related
  • Pornhub — self-described as “the world’s leading free porn site”— received 42 billion visits in 2019
  • 50% of parents underestimate how much porn their teens have seen
  • 39% of 14-year-olds report having seen porn, with about one-third of young people saying they had seen it for the first time at age 12 or younger
  • Minors who view pornography and other sexualized media are more accepting of sexual violence, and more likely to believe “rape myths” (such as the myth that “women enjoy being raped”)
  • Increased use of online porn decreases boys’ academic performance six months later
  • 15 is the average of age of receiving a sext
  • 75% of 18-year-old women say “pornography has led to pressure on girls and young women to act a certain way”
  • 70% of 18-year-olds say “pornography leads to unrealistic attitudes” about sex and that “pornography can have a damaging impact on young people’s views of sex or relationships”
  • In a study of young teens, 66 percent of boys reported porn consumption in the past year; this early porn exposure was correlated with perpetration of sexual harassment

 

To learn more about the Ted Bundy temporary exhibit, visit the site: https://www.alcatrazeast.com/temporary-exhibits/ted-bundy-final-arrest/.

This year Alcatraz East also has a new temporary exhibit in partnership with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, featuring their most famous cases and the work they do across the state every day. There is also a new pop up display on the 19th Amendment at the museum that celebrates the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the amendment giving women the right to vote.

Alcatraz East Crime Museum has COVID-19 safety measures in place to help keep people safer, including a new mascot named “Doc” (law enforcement lingo for Department of Corrections). Throughout the museum, people will see signage and friendly safety reminders from Doc. The museum’s updated safety measures include reduced hours, enhanced cleaning, spatial distancing protocols, employee health screenings and employee PPE. Guests are encouraged to review all safety rules prior to their visit on their web page devoted to COVID-19: https://www.alcatrazeast.com/covid-19/.

Alcatraz East Crime Museum has a star-studded panel of experts who make up the Advisory Board, including those in law enforcement, collectors, a medical examiner, crime scene investigators, and others. The board includes Jim Willett, a retired prison warden; Anthony Rivera, a combat veteran and Navy SEAL chief; and Judge Belvin Perry Jr., who is best known for the Casey Anthony trial. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit: www.alcatrazeast.com. Please check out our traveling safe page with more safety tips and information: www.crimemuseum.org/help-the-missing/missing- persons/.

About Alcatraz East

Alcatraz East is the most arresting crime museum in the United States. Guests of all ages can encounter a unique journey into the history of American crime, crime solving, and our justice system. Through interactive exhibits and original artifacts, Alcatraz East is an entertaining and educational experience for all ages - so much fun it’s a crime! This family attraction is located at the entrance of The Island, located at 2757 Parkway, Pigeon Forge, TN. General admission tickets are $14.95 for children and $26.95 for adults. Group ticket sales are available. Guests are encouraged to check the website prior to visiting for reduced hours, as a result of COVID-19. The last ticket is sold 60 minutes before closing. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit: www.alcatrazeast.com.

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Sources:

Culture Reframed

www.culturereframed.org

 Dr. Gail Dines is considered the world's leading anti-pornography campaigner

Music Minute: Laurie Berkner Halloween Party

 

All dressed up with nowhere to ghost? Legendary children's musician Laurie Berkner will give the season of costumes, candy, and jack-o'-lanterns a "BOO-st" with two special "Halloween Party" LIVE Virtual Family Concerts on Saturday, October 31 at 12:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on Laurie's websiteHERE. And for double the fun, a family ticket grants admission to one or both livestreams!

With trick-or-treating discouraged this year, Laurie encourages families to join her in bringing out their pumpkins, putting up their Halloween decorations, and getting decked out in their Halloween costume finery. She'll be outfitted for Halloween, too! Laurie Berkner's Halloween Party Concert will land viewers in a front row seat for a real Laurie Berkner show experience, with a full array of Halloween accoutrements.

"For the past few years I have performed a Family Halloween Concert in NYC. This year I’m thrilled to be able to continue the tradition, and share it with kids around the world! We are pulling out all the stops to make this an incredibly fun holiday livestream event, particularly for those kids who are not going to be trick-or-treating this year," says Laurie Berkner. "I want every child to still have something exciting to look forward to on this holiday that is all about them - their very own, very special, Halloween Party! "

To join in the fun, fans of all ages should plan to grab their superhero capes, their instruments (or noisemakers), their dancin' shoes, and a stuffed animal (for their heads)! Halloweeny stuffed animals like cats, bats, or even friendly monsters would be great for kids to bring to this show.

A fun-filled virtual lobby will feature pre-show music and videos, Halloween games, and fun pumpkin coloring pages to bring to the concert. For those who'd like to spend a few minutes chatting one-on-one with Laurie after the show, special Meet-and-Greet tickets are available.

One of the most popular children’s entertainers in the U.S., Laurie Berkner has filled countless venues nationwide with adoring fans. Her secret? Laurie’s shows are participatory throughout; her songs get kids (and adults) on their feet to sing, clap, and dance along. She keeps even the youngest audience members fully engaged with dynamic expressions of musical joy in active songs like "I'm Gonna Catch You" and "Rocketship Run" and gives everyone a chance to catch their breath between high-energy moments by including quieter interludes featuring songs such as her classic "Moon Moon Moon." Laurie displays an instinctive understanding of children's natural rhythms and energy in her shows, which keeps kids enraptured and brings parents happily along for the ride.

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Laurie Berkner Family Concerts: Halloween Party!
Two LIVE, Interactive, Virtual Performances

WHEN: 12:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. ET, Saturday, October 31, 2020 (Doors open an hour prior to each performance with a pre-show to enjoy, and to test connections.)

WHERE: Laurie Berkner's website HERE

FAMILY TICKETS: $20 Regular*/$80 Meet & Greet Add-On Package

Each Regular Family Ticket includes access to one or both livestreams for one device and an exclusive "welcome" video from Laurie herself.

A limited number of Virtual Meet & Greet Add-On Packages are available. Regular-priced tickets must be purchased before adding Meet & Greet Add-On Packages. Meet & Greet Add-On Packages include:

– Two-Minute Virtual 1-on-1 Private Meet & Greet with Laurie Berkner after the show. Participants will be called directly when it is their turn.
– Virtual Photo Opportunity with Laurie Berkner.
– Recording of video session emailed to ticket holder 3 days post-event.
– Opportunity for parents to chat with fellow families in the Virtual Waiting Room while awaiting their turn in line.
– Live tech support.

TO PURCHASE TICKETS: Visit Laurie Berkner's website HERE.

*Need-based tickets, intended for those who truly need a discount, are available.

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Visit Laurie Berkner's website HERE.

Laurie Berkner on Facebook.

Laurie Berkner on Instagram.

Laurie Berkner on Twitter.

Laurie Berkner on Pinterest.

Laurie Berkner on YouTube.


Book Nook: In Life the Journey is Everything


 Many love stories in books and in films end with the happy couple getting married. All of their significant life experiences seemingly come to an abrupt stop when they finally “settle down” together. But in reality, marriage is just the beginning of the adventure.

I had a chance to read the new book In Life the Journey Is Everything, by Tim and Pat Von Dohlen, a spirited couple in their 70s. The book is a look at their journey through healing, grief, hope, tragedy, and love. Their shared Christian faith and passion for helping others motivated them along their journey, and it's inspiring to read of their love for each other and their passion for others.


The book incorporates Bible verses and songs along the way, marking important moments in their marriage, travels, and charitable work. Marriage has been part of their adventure, an adventure that can inspire others.




Fun Freetime: Key Lime Pie Martini with Toast Vodka

 Toast Distillers, Inc., is a Black-owned, Miami-based spirits conglomerate best-known for its ultra-premium vodka, Toast™ Vodka.. Toast Vodka is the world’s first ultra-premium, unflavored vodka made with coconut water. The vodka is 100% corn based, six times distilled, gluten-free and non-GMO. 

Established by CEO and founder Dieuveny “DJ” Jean Louis, the company’s profile includes a full range of ultra-premium to midline and well-line spirits products for vodka, rum, gin, tequila and whiskey.

 

Toast Distillers, Inc., has recently launched its e-commerce website at www.toastvodka.com. The site makes it easy to purchase Toast Vodka™ from anywhere in the U.S. They want to share this recipe with you for National Vodka Day (10/4).


Key Lime Pie Martini
1 oz. pressed key lime juice
.75 oz vanilla simple syrup
2 oz. Toast vodka


.5 oz. sweetened condensed milk
.5 oz. heavy cream

Shake and strain all ingredients into graham cracker rimmed coupe glass
Garnish with dehydrated key lime wheel

Photo and recipe credit: Toast Distillers, Inc


Toast™ Vodka

Size: 750ml | Price: $22.99

Website: http://www.toastvodka.com/

Shop: http://www.toastvodka.com/buy-toast/

Area Attractions: Hauntoween LA

 

Great news for L.A. kids and families: Halloween is NOT cancelled! At HAUNTOWEEN LA, the season of ghosts and goblins will be better than ever with a fun, immersive, interactive, and safe drive-thru experience. HAUNTOWEEN LA will be open daily, October 9 - 31, from 3:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Pacific Time at 6100 Topanga Canyon Blvd., Woodland Hills, CA.

This one-of-a-kind event comes to families from Experiential Supply, an award-winning company that the Hollywood movie industry turns to for large-scale, immersive experiences.

Keeping the traditions and excitement of Halloween alive in a safe format is the priority at HAUNTOWEEN LA. If car windows are down, masks must be on! HAUNTOWEEN LA is a kid-friendly, non-scary adventure chock full of mesmerizing, social-shareable environments, vehicle video ops, and unique interactivity. And of course, lots of CANDY and a pumpkin to take home. Most importantly, it’s a community moment for all of Los Angeles.

"Our kids are facing so many challenges right now, and we didn't want the pandemic to ruin Halloween! We decided to create something relevant and exciting that could bring the whole L.A. community together," says Experiential Supply Founder & Chief Experience Officer Jasen Smith. "I'm personally invested -- one of my daughters will turn five on Halloween, and I want her birthday to be special!"

The HAUNTOWEEN LA Experience:

“DOOR TO DOOR” TRICK OR TREATING - It's an ordinary neighborhood with a beautifully spooky Halloween overlay! Vehicles will pass down two streets, stopping door to door. Costumed (and safely masked) actors coming out from their “homes” with poles and buckets filled with wrapped candy will provide a re-imagined trick or treat experience.

IMMERSIVE INSTALLATIONS - Vehicles will pass through an immersive Jack-O-Lantern tunnel with over 1,000 pumpkins, and many more mesmerizing installations.

SCENIC PATHS - The traditional Halloween vibe will be brought to life with an array of Halloween environments and mini-maze routes, including giant pumpkins, headless horsemen, and countless spider webs.

INTERACTIVE PUMPKIN PATCH - Each vehicle's passengers will choose a pumpkin, which will be sanitized and placed in a plastic bag. As vehicles drive through a windy-themed pumpkin patch, families can retrieve their pumpkins from a drive-up container or have them placed in their trunks.

VIDEO OP - Pull up to a green screen to create a video memory of your experience that will be emailed directly to you for easy sharing on your socials.

PHOTO OP - A socially distanced stop at the end of the route commemorates your time with HAUNTOWEEN LA!

SAFETY MEASURES

LIABILITY / WAIVERS - Before arriving at the location all attendees must fill out release forms and liability waivers online. No reservations will be issued without forms signed ahead of time.

SECURITY & SAFETY - Beyond a full staff of security guards, there will be off- duty LAPD on-site and along the route during all operational hours.

WINDOWS DOWN / MASKS ON - All guests will be required to wear their masks while windows are down.

TOUCHED SURFACES - All staff working in the pumpkin patch and trick or treating areas will wear gloves and masks. Items such as pumpkin and candy will be sanitized and handled by gloved staff.

In support of HAUNTOWEEN LA's safety measures, space will be limited. Families are encouraged to purchase tickets early. Drive-up entry will be on a space-available basis only.

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HAUNTOWEEN LA

DATES: Friday, October 9 through Saturday, October 31, 2020

TIMES: 3:00 p.m.- 9:00 p.m. Pacific Time, 7 days a week

WHERE: 6100 Topanga Canyon Blvd., Woodland Hills, CA 91367

TICKET PRICE: $70 per vehicle. Advance purchase is highly recommended. A limited number drive up tickets will be available.

TO PURCHASE TICKETS: Click on the HAUNTOWEEN LA website HERE.

Private experiences for families, groups and businesses are available.
For further information, please email info@experientialsupply.com.

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HAUNTOWEEN LA on Facebook.

HAUNTOWEEN LA on Instagram.

HAUNTOWEEN LA on Twitter.

Caring Causes: Isabelle Grace Jewelry/American Cancer Society


 The Breast Cancer collection at Isabelle Grace Jewelry symbolizes the importance of sisterhood and keeping courage and compassion, in the face of difficult circumstances, for those fighting and those who stand beside them. In October, 20% of the proceeds will go to the American Cancer Society.

At Isabelle Grace Jewelry, they design our unique, handmade pieces as a form of expression on how life and people inspire us. These designs are to recognize the brave angels that have battled breast cancer: the ones who continue to fight and those that stand by their side.

Isabelle Grace Jewelry pieces are unique and all about elegance, effortlessness and timelessness, made by hand in the U.S.A, crafted by local artisans, and made with sustainable or recycled materials whenever possible. Celebrity fans include: Katherine Heigl, Alyson Hannigan, Lindsay Price, Danica McKellar and more.
 

Find them online at www.isabellegracejewelry.com or on Instagram.

Fun Freetime: Celebrating Halloween during Covid-19

 

Halloween hasn’t ghosted us yet--It’s still on the calendar as Halloween candy is starting to hit the shelves. But it should come as little surprise that Halloween celebrations and trick-or-treating will look different this year. In the meantime, RetailMeNot started compiling a list of ideas for how to safely get your spook on in 2020.


Decorate Your House to the Max

Haunt the neighborhood with store-bought or DIY (or shall we say boo-it-yourself) Halloween decorations to transform the inside of your home, porch and more. We’ve compiled DIY ideas that range from Ombré Candy Corn Wine Bottles and Glow-in-the-Dark Slime, all of which you can tackle with the kiddos.

On the store-bought front, The Home Depot has SO many cool Halloween decorations this year, including a Coco-themed inflatable and Giant Dragon.

Also, apparently people are turning their Christmas trees into kitschy Halloween trees. I am here for that. Plus, there’s this super-popular RJ Legend 15-inch Halloween Ceramic Tree, which is constantly selling out but available right now at Amazon.



Set up a Candy Graveyard

I got this idea from Oriental Trading! The concept is extra cool because your yard gets decked out for Halloween and gives kids a way to social distance while trick-or-treating in it. Set up fake tombstones in your yard with prizes and candy piled up next to each tombstone. You could have each kid enter the graveyard one at a time and package up candy and prizes into individual treat bags for extra safety.



Host Zoom Costume Parties and Pumpkin-Carving Contests

Host a Halloween-themed costume or dance party on Zoom for friends and family. Create a spooktacular playlist for everyone to shake their boo things to, and have attendees show off their costumes on camera.

You can also gather remotely to decorate and carve pumpkins safely from your own homes. Interact while you craft by sharing spooky stories. At the end, award prizes (virtual prizes or ones you send via snail mail) to the best looks!



Attend a Trunk-or-Treat

Trunk-or-treating is one of the trends buzzing this year in terms of socially distant trick-or-treat substitutes. An organized event usually held in a school or church parking lot, trunk-or-treating entails decorated vehicles, and kids go trick-or-treating from car to car. You can host this in your neighborhood, too, with neighbors setting up trunk displays in the driveway and passing out candy. Note: Consider having designated adults (who commit to applying hand sanitizer) give out the candy rather than encourage lots of little hands to reach inside the bowl.

Party City has a list of 17 trunk-or-treat ideas for inspiration!



Be on the Lookout for Socially Distant Bicycle Parades and Reverse Trick-or-Treating in Neighborhoods

Another trend we’re hearing about are Halloween parades or a form of drive-by trick-or-treating. With the former, costume wearers take to the street as a catwalk to show off their costumes and hand out and collect candy. People also decorate bikes, wagons, golf carts and cars to show off their looks!

With reverse trick-or-treating, you’ll see people drive by houses similar to the COVID-19 birthday parades. Those in the car will throw candy at the kids in costumes in their yards.



Boo or Ghost People

No, not that kind of ghosting of people, y’all! Spread anonymous cheer by dropping a Halloween goodie bag or pumpkin on the doorsteps of friends and loved ones as a contact-free way to celebrate. This usually works by sneaking to your boo-ing subjects home after dark, ringing the doorbell, leaving the treats on their doorstep and running!

Oriental Trading has all sorts of fun treat bags, buckets, toys and candy to work with. Princess Pinky Girl has all sorts of fun boo ideas (pictured above).



Have a Halloween Movie Marathon

You can choose to do this one via a projector in the backyard, through Netflix Party or just with your family bubble on the couch. Pop some popcorn and throw on your favorite spooky movies and TV shows. Check out our list of Halloween-movie recommendations categorized by age.



Organize a Glow-in-the-Dark Egg Hunt

Egg hunts aren’t just for Easter. Buy Halloween-themed eggs at Amazon, or Halloween-ify old plastic eggs you already own (glow sticks work, too!) with stickers or markers. Add candy, and hide them in the yard or around the house! Grab glow sticks and glow-in-the-dark eggs at Amazon for a nighttime search.



Set up a Trick-or-Treat Driveway Table

Ditch the traditional communal Halloween candy bowl and have adults set up decorated tables or booths in their front yards where they can hand out individual bags or cups of candy. This keeps contact to a minimum while also still showcasing decorations and hauntingly good personality.

Oriental Trading has ideas for a Fortune Teller Halloween Table, Ghoul Gang Halloween Table, Peanuts Halloween Table and so much more. Plus, they’ve got you covered on all the items you need to achieve the look.



Whip Up DIY Treats or Order Halloween Specials From Restaurants

Brew up your own Halloween desserts and snacks (popcorn balls, anyone?) to enjoy at home, or order takeout from one of the restaurants serving up Halloween-themed menu items and deals.

IHOP, Papa John’s and Chipotle are expected to resurrect their themed pancakes, Jack-O’-Lantern pizza and boo-rito!



Try Out a Drive-Thru Haunted House if You’re Feeling Brave

Haunted houses will certainly look different this year, too. But drive thru, contact-free Halloween experiences are starting to make headlines. Search online for “haunted roads” or “drive thru haunted houses” to see if there is one near you!



Head to a Drive-In Theater for Halloween Movies

Drive-in theaters have made a major comeback during the pandemic. Search for a drive-in near you. Many plan to screen Halloween movies and host socially distant activities.



Make a Reservation at a Pumpkin Patch

This is TBD, but we’re expecting (and some are already announcing this) pumpkin patches to open but with safety precautions, such as cashless payment, masks, hand sanitizer, limited capacity and maybe even by reservation only to ensure social distancing and safety.



Celebrate Halloween Around the World but From Home

You might not be able to travel the globe right now, but you can do so in spirit. Educate your family and friends on Día de los Muertos in Mexico, Samhain in Ireland and Scotland, Dzień Zaduszny in Poland or Ghost Festival in East Asia. Celebrate these other traditions, and consider cooking or baking traditional foods and making crafts associated with those international events.

P.S. The Halloween Tree is a great animated movie to watch with the family; it educates and celebrates the origins and influencers of Halloween around the world. The movie is based on the novel by Ray Bradbury, and he even narrates the film!



Halloween Piñatas, Anyone?

Either in your house or in the yard, string up a Halloween-themed piñata filled with candy. Amazon and Oriental Trading have boo-tiful piñatas sure to be a hit.



Surprise Your Halloween-Loving Friends With a Spooky Celebrity Shoutout

Cameo is a service that allows you to pay actors, musicians, reality TV stars and other public figures for personalized shout-outs. Request a Halloween message on Cameo from creepy characters and beloved actors from Halloween movies, including PennywiseMark Patton (Jesse from Freddy’s Revenge), Danielle Harris (from Halloween) and Kimberly J. Brown (from Halloweentown). Something tells me Cameo will curate a Halloween landing page closer to October 31 with more creators!

Limited-time Cameo promo code! Use 7jT6ahved to get 10% off at Cameo.com. This code works on Cameo.com only, not the app.