best dressed: halloween on the square 2013.

Halloween courthouse pumpkinsMy son was showing off his newly acquired Halloween jokes in the car.

“What’s a ghost’s favorite movie?”


“No, BOOty and the Beast!” Silly giggles. Then, “What’s a ghost’s favorite movie?”

“Uh, BOOty and the Beast?”

“No, Black BOOty!” Sillier giggles. Then we noticed the people in the car next to us were also laughing… and looking at us… how did they hear our jokes? Oh wait, they were laughing at the slice of bacon in my back seat.

halloween group1

We met Brandy, Spongebob, and Ella UnDead downtown for Harrisonburg’s annual Halloween on the Square, a fun, family-friendly, and more-safe-than-scary tradition. It’s a great idea: get the trick-or-treating done early so everyone’s sugar high will be over by bedtime. And parents won’t be freezing their butts off trick-or-treating in the dark. And those die-hard Halloween fans can still go trick-or-treating on actual Halloween in their own neighborhoods. Plus, Halloween on the Square offers face painting,  and arts and crafts, and music and dance performances, and carnival games, all from 10am to 2pm.

Halloween crowd1I have to say, I’ve never heard the word “bacon” so many times as I did that day. Someone a hundred yards behind us would scream, “Bacon!!!” just as someone passing us would say, “Hey, it’s bacon!” Bree whipped out her own joke: “Nice to MEAT you!” and to every shop owner handing out candy she said, “Trick or meat!” We even ran into the Bacon family–my friend Darcy and her girls–and felt compelled to say hello.

Halloween group chalkboardAnd then Bree found her soul mate — Deviled Egg. Dana’s actually a teacher from Bree’s former day care. Reunited!

Halloween bacon and eggCal, feeling a little envious of all the attention she was getting, secretly wished his sister would get at least nibbled by all the many puppies and dogs strolling around town that day. And when we got to Blue Ridge Dog, our downtown dog boutique, Cal practically pushed her through the door with an evil laugh. They, by the way, were handing out Kit Kats. Ha!

We saw lots of awesome costumes that were not meat-related. Cal and Blake were easily recognized in their homemade Charlie Brown and Spongebob get-ups, and Ella was hands-down the prettiest zombie in the hood.

Halloween candy break

candy break.

And just get a load of these!!

Halloween Toy Story family

Love this family!

Halloween precious scarecrow

Cutest. Scarecrow. EVER.

Halloween father son

crime fighting team!

Halloween fairy Halloween cute t_rexMany thanks to Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance for hosting the event and to all the businesses and volunteers who were so, so kind to so many monsters!

We have a whole lot more pictures, so stay tuned all week! You might see someone you know!

Halloween leaves 2Copyright © 2012 – 2013 · All Rights Reserved · Written content by Katie Mitchell. Photos by Brandy Somers.This material may not be copied, downloaded, reproduced, or printed without express written consent. Thank you for respecting our intellectual property.


fall guys: back home on the farm.

Back home on the farm sign 1We had planned to go the weekend of my son’s birthday. That was the week it started raining Wednesday and didn’t stop til Sunday. So to squeeze in one last visit to Back Home on the Farm, we scooted over there last Thursday after school.

It was cold outside, and I was already freezing because my classroom is a balmy 58 degrees (okay, maybe not quite that cold, but I’d be surprised if it were even 65). Thankfully, there’s so much to do at that place that I warmed up quick! Plus I was in cute company, which gave me the warm fuzzies.

Back home on the farm heartsNow, if you haven’t gone to this place and you still want to, you must do it this week or weekend, because Sunday is their last day of the 2013 season. Don’t worry; they open back up in the spring, but right now there are some pretty cool activities going on.

Corn Maze. It’s about 5 acres, it’s pleasantly challenging, and the staff will help you turn yourself around if you wave your flag in the air.

Pumpkin Patch. You can ride the tractor up to the pumpkin patch and pick out the perfect one for you. They also have a huge selection of beautiful pumpkins and gourds by the snack bar/gift shop.

Back home on the farm gourdsBack home on the farm pumpkinsYou can ride an underground slide down to the barn yard, where you can play all sorts of fun games. Like giant hay bale volleyball. A garden maze. Rubber duck races.

Back home on the farm slideBack home on the farm hay balesBack home on the farm garden mazeBack home on the farm duck racesThe kids loved petting the animals and firing plastic pumpkins at targets with really big slingshots.

Back home on the farm goatBack home on the farm sling shots1There’s even bowling, a Sound Garden, and tractor rides.

Back home on the farm bowlingBack home on the farm sound gardenBack Home on the Farm also has a really nice Carousel, decorated with all sorts of things related to Virginia history. And in the barn that houses the carousel, you can see some impressive taxidermy specimens.

Back home on the farm carouselBack home on the farm taxidermyI think our favorite part this time was the Pig Race. Four pigs run around a small track, at the end of which is a favorite treat: slices of pumpkin. There are eight pigs total, so you get to see two races. The name of the track is Squealer Downs, and each pig has either a “gangster” name or a “fairytale” name, like Al Hambone, John Delilinks, and Porky Boy Floyd; Rumplepigskin, Pocahogtas, and sweet little Piglet.

Sweet Piglet is the littlest one. When he left the gate, he darted out like the rest of the pigs. Then he got distracted by something and muckmuckmucked around in the dirt until one of the staff came over and cheered him on. Then he seemed to snap out of it and trot on his little high-heel hooves til he reached the pumpkin treat. Precious!

Back home on the farm pig race 1Back home on the farm pig race 2 Back home on the farm pig race 3Okay, enough reading. Get out to Back Home on the Farm as soon as possible. Remember, Sunday’s the last day of the season! To get there, take 42 N from Harrisonburg, and turn left on Willow Run Rd. It’s just a little ways down that road, on the right.

Back home on the farm statueCopyright © 2012-13 · All Rights Reserved · Written content by Katie Mitchell. Photos by Brandy Somers. This material may not be copied, downloaded, reproduced, or printed without express written consent. Thank you for respecting our intellectual property.