The Rock Ranch
5020 Barnesville Hwy., The Rock, GA
$15; children 3 and younger, free
After Halloween, BYOP (bring your own pumpkin) to Rock Ranch and squeeze a little more enjoyment out of your jack-o-lantern… literally! Nov. 2, 10 a.m.-8 p.m., is Pumpkin Destruction Day, and the orange carnage commences. Pumpkins are delightfully destroyed in a variety of ways: smushed by tractors, dropped from airplanes, swung by cranes and shot out of cannons. Stay all day for a pumpkin pie eating contest, pumpkin archery, reverse pumpkin darts, and all the traditional fun the Rock Ranch has to offer, including pony rides, fishing, cow train rides, play areas, and live music.
Let Them Eat
Our house follows a closed-cabinet policy. Our children know to ask before grabbing a snack. When it comes to Halloween candy, we typically say, “One piece.” The Halloween haul takes a long time to disappear, but we know they’re not ruining their teeth or their health. You may dole out your candy this way or attach a healthy-eating rule such as requiring your children to eat a piece of fruit before having any candy. Lunchtime provides another opportunity to whittle down your treats. Let your child select a candy for their lunch bag in place of a cookie or dessert.
Give It Away
There’s no reason to pitch good candy, particularly when there are those who’d love to receive a special treat. To donate close to home, ask if your local food pantry takes candy, or check with your church, if it has programs to assist families in need. In metro Atlanta, many American Legion posts will accept donations to send to servicemen and women.
Trade or Sell
Some dental offices have become creative in recent years. While wanting to discourage excessive consumption of sugary treats, they recognize that collecting Halloween candy is an age-old tradition that kids love. Some dentists will “buy back” a youngster’s candy stash, generally for $1 a pound.
You can use leftover Halloween candy the same way you might use leftover turkey at Thanksgiving: in a recipe. This is easiest with chocolate candies. Simply break them into smaller pieces, if need be, and mix into chocolate chip cookie dough and bake. Or melt down chocolates to help you make brownies or fondue.
Photo by Lara Krupicka
Snickers Salad, anyone? The caramel and nuts in the candy, combined with apples, gives this salad the flavor of an old-fashioned taffy apple.
4 full-size Snickers bars (or 9 miniatures)
4 apples, cut up
4 bananas, cut up
4 serving-size vanilla instant pudding
1/3 cup milk
8 oz. nondairy whipped topping
Combine milk and pudding. Stir in whipped topping, then add rest of ingredients. Top with crumbled Snickers
to garnish. Chill before serving.