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As many here have, I am already preparing for next Halloween. Many items are on sale now so I have been busy picking stuff up. I realized this year that my neighborhood has changed a bit. The older kids have all grown up and gone and now I have a large group of very little ones. I need to make things more kid friendly. I made a lot of kids cry....
 

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As many here have, I am already preparing for next Halloween. Many items are on sale now so I have been busy picking stuff up. I realized this year that my neighborhood has changed a bit. The older kids have all grown up and gone and now I have a large group of very little ones. I need to make things more kid friendly. I made a lot of kids cry....
What are your ideas for being kid friendly?
 

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Halloween night I did have a few people ask what I was going to do next year!
This year the addition of the virtual 4D haunted ride in the garage was a big addition for me, so no idea how I'm going to top that for next year!

Usually as soon as Halloween is over I start setting up my Christmas Lights so don't think of Halloween until Feb/Mar the next year.
 

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They call me HeebieJeebie
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Pretty much as I was setting up, I was thinking of things I want to do for 2020 - namely get rid of the cheap foam headstones. Even tho (in the last 2 years) I reinforced them with plywood, coated them with DryLok & repainted them - I'm not happy with them anymore. I'm going to add to my original collection of homemade plywood goofy stones so the cemetery looks more cohesive.
I keep a notebook and jot down ideas as they come to me, year round. But there will be no serious headstone making until next spring / summer...because Michigan.
 

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Next year's planning started about the second week of October when I was in a time crunch on some things that didn't make the cut this year. I'll take a break through the holidays (minus picking up some choice pieces of lighting around Xmas) so as to avoid total burnout but I have a list going and late winter /early spring I will start on my first foray into animatronics. Excited already!
 

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I have a running list of things that I would like to add to the display that I'm always adding to. Anything that doesn't get done for this year, either for budgetary or time constraints, or simply because I didn't figure out how to do it gets shunted to "next Halloween", meaning at some point down the line when I have the time/money/knowhow to get it done. Stuff gets added, some gets removed, either because I'm no longer interested or I actually managed it, and the world continues to spin.
 

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I have a running list of themes and usually have a couple of years planned out ahead of time. This is the first year that I didn't hit any of the after Halloween sales. Seriously that's when you get your best deals. I can usually completely have most of the large and decor items complete before I pack the current year up. Then I'm only left with getting what I need for my crafting props/projects. Sometimes though the powers that be are also all about the same theme and I cave into the giddiness of seeing my theme everywhere. This year's theme was "The boneyard" was decided 2 yrs ago. As luck would have it seemed like every vendor had their own Boneyard for sale. How could I not buy more???
 

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I start planning November 1st. I already have an idea what I want to do so I start writing down what I have and what I need.
Yeah, I think while the last one is still fresh in your memory is a great time to contemplate the following year's. I'm going with roughly the same set-up next October, so I can hopefully just improve on prop placement and lighting that need it.
 

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We've already started building for next year. Early on, we knew that the props we were working on wouldn't all be finished by Halloween. But this year, we're setting up a bit of covered outdoor space to continue working on them until the weather turns too cold. Then we're moving it inside to work on electronics and lighting. We have ideas that should last us easily for years and we keep adding to the file all the time. We keep a file on our computer called Halloween Inspiration where ideas we want to try are stored carefully away along with any pictures or ideas we find out on the Net that we enjoy.

What are your ideas for being kid friendly?
Our haunt is pretty kid friendly. We have things like a cauldron creep and a talking skeleton, but nothing gory or bloody. That really seems to be the turning point for most young kids. One of the youngsters was fine until the skeleton talked to him, and at that point he reached out to his mom and said, "I think I need to hold your hand now." We have most of our props wired in such a way that we can turn them off or show the kids how they work. That calmed him down when we let him press the button that makes the skeleton talk. I think making things kid friendly means removing things that are a bit too real. Our haunt is a bit scary, and a bit funny, so that the whole family can enjoy it. Parents with frightened kids point out all the funny stuff and that helps.

Yeah October 2020 planning started this past Summer. We are now doing a Creepy Christmas haunt for December, then we will get to actual building.
Post pix of this in December, please! 🦇
We second that request. We'd love to see folks who extend their haunting into December. :)
 
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