Vicki’s View: Fall Family Fun – And FACT!

What does this picture make you think of?  Do you remember these?

. . .  is anyone out there as old as me?

I remember those masks well.  The plastic.  The tiny elastic string that went around the back of your head.  How you weren’t allowed to play with it or touch it too much before Trick-or-Treating because that darn elastic would break or the plastic would crack and if you broke it you weren’t getting another one because we TOLD you not to break it … but I digress…  And here’s what I remember the MOST about those masks:  That hole.  That little breathing hole cut into the mouth of the mask.  That hole with the edges of sharp plastic that sliced your tongue.  The hole that, despite my best efforts, I could NOT resist sticking my tongue through approximately 500 times, even though I knew it was going to cut it to shreds.  Do you remember them now?

Anyone who knows me knows that Fall is my favorite season – and I that I love Halloween.  Ok, maybe that was an understatement.  I am slightly OBSESSED with Halloween.

Maybe it has something to do with all the fond childhood memories I have of Halloween.  On October 1st, my mom always put up all the festive decorations to get us in the “spooky” mood.  When I was growing up, most people made their costumes and if you were really lucky, your parents would buy you a mask to add to it (like the picture!).   My mom is an amazing seamstress so I always had THE BEST costumes!

Maybe it’s because it was a simpler time then.  We had Halloween parties at school.  We checked in the TV Guide every week to see if this would finally be the week that “It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” would be airing on CBS.  We carved pumpkins together and mom would toast the seeds for us in the oven.  We couldn’t wait to go Trick-or-Treating – especially to the house where the old neighbor lady made the homemade popcorn balls every year.  We sat on the floor with our best friends and traded candy when all the treats had been collected.

Maybe it’s because Halloween brings out the child in me – in all of us.

Boy, do I wish I still had some of those decorations my mom would put up.  I wish I still had the bag I carried every year to collect candy in – it was the size of a paper grocery sack and it was white with an orange and black witch on both sides.  I wish we still lived in a world where we didn’t think twice about making popcorn balls from scratch to pass out to the Trick-or-Treaters – and parents weren’t afraid to let their children eat them.

When our kids were little, I tried to make Halloween (and all of the holidays, really) as festive and fun as I remember my mom making it for me.  I hope I was successful and that they, too, will look back on their memories of Halloween and tell their children stories of how special grandma and grandpa always made it.

So, as Halloween and the rest of the holiday season approaches, remember those traditions from your childhood that make you smile, and start doing them again – or go ahead and create new ones!  Pile everyone in the car and go see a “scary” movie as Halloween approaches.  Take the family to Six Flags during Fright Fest or celebrate Halloween at Disney for something a little different!  (That, by the way, is AWESOME!! You get to wear costumes and Trick-or-Treat in the Magic Kingdom on Halloween!  I mean, the kids do.  That’s what I meant.  The kids.)  Locate a pumpkin farm in your area and take everyone along to pick pumpkins!  Many pumpkin farms also have spooky haunted houses to walk through, petting zoos for the little ones, corn mazes, and even haunted hay rides after the sun goes down!

The best news yet:  your FACT membership can help you!

  • Want to go see that movie? FACT members can purchase discounted movie tickets for theaters online. Offers include theaters such as AMC, CINEMARK, REGAL ENTERTAINMENT GROUP, and more.
  • Heading to Six Flags for Fright Fest? Many of the nation’s most popular amusement park and recreation destinations provide discounts to FACT members. Below are just a few:

* Adventure Island
* Kings Dominion
* Busch Gardens
* Medieval Times
* Sea World
* Hershey Park
* Six Flags Theme Parks
* Holiday World
* Wildwater

  • Disney for Halloween (or Christmas)? Use FACT’s Online Booking Travel Portal to get the best deals on hotels, car rentals, tickets, special offers and more.
  • Looking for spooky stuff in your area? Call us and request free road maps! Up to three maps per member per year are available — at no charge whatsoever.  If you’ve got a large family or group going and need a bigger car/van, your FACT membership entitles you to substantial discounts when renting a vehicle from Alamo, Avis, Budget or National.

For complete information on all of these – and many more! – benefits and services that FACT offers,  Visit or Log on to www.usafact.org today.  If you’re not yet a member, click Join Now to experience more and spend less.  Start planning (and SAVING) today!

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