Thursday, October 21, 2010

Halloween at the Towers 2010 - Top Five Non-Candy Treats

Halloween has come again, and Shangrila Towers will feature Halloween-themed posts until October 31st hits, when we'll cap the season off with a liveblog of AMC's adaptation of "The Walking Dead." Today, we'll discuss some of the best ways to satiate trick-or-treaters without resorting to a big bag of candy...


5. Plastic Spiders - In terms of holidays that keep novelty prank stores in business, Halloween is just behind April Fool's Day. As a kid, I loved getting fake spiders and bugs while trick-or-treating. since they tended to laste longer than the buckets of Tootsie Rolls in my bag destined for immediate consumption.

4. Temporary Tattoos - These tap into a primordial desire in all children - the wish to be a grown-up. While kids can buy them from supermarket vending machines and family fun centers, there's nothing quite like getting a temporary tattoo for free. These are even more irresistable when you consider the fact that you're already dressed like a pirate or a superhero.


3. Squirt Guns - There were always a few families stupid kind enough to give out squirt guns and similar tools of playground anarchy. Doubtless, most of the cheap super balls, mini slinkies, and paddle balls would be lost within a week, but the squirt guns were a special breed. Refillable from water fountains and other, less savory places, they really jazzed up the first few weeks in November.


2. Sliding Puzzles - Even in our digital age, grade school children still have a weakness for tangible toys (witness the continued success of Play-Doh and Legos). These cheap plastic sliding tile puzzles were simple, but fun to play with, especially when your brain is racked with the temporary sugar high of a bag full of candy.

1. Antique Popcorn Stand - In our old neighborhood, there was one family who had one of those movie-theatre popcorn machines, complete with a bright red handcart in gold trim. They would give out bags of freshly popped corn on Halloween night, and there was always a big crowd outside their house. After all, that stuff was much better than the dubious popcorn balls and mini microwave popcorn bags people usually give out. But, they can be pricey:

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