Skip to content

The magical night of Halloween

2013 November 7
by Rachel Turiel


Every Halloween, part of me tells myself to just get it together and smile over the triple dipped gummy marshmallows bites for the kids’ sakes so they don’t end up at The Halloween Support Group as adults, full of dour people recalling their parents cringing over the many small and colorful packages of corn-syruped GMO food coloring.

And so every year we piece together costumes, we canvas the neighborhood with our candy baskets, we sort through candy, and I do a lot of cringing.

This Halloween, we got to remake the holiday.

I jumped at my friend Joanie’s suggestion that we put on an interactive Halloween Play (a free resource from Sparkle Stories, a fantastic company that produces audio stories for kids), a magical mystery in which costumed parents assume roles and the kids band together to unlock the mystery.

On Halloween night, the kids (for whom the story was a surprise) met in the woods as “travelers.” They soon learned from their adult guide that the Fairy Princess needed rescuing from the magic of the Will’o’Wisp, who stole the Princess’s magic wand and cast a spell on the creatures of the forest, freezing them. If the Princess could be unfrozen, the Fairy Ball would proceed!

First, the kids assemble, learning that they need to find the Will’o’Wisp and retrieve the stolen wand.


Next, they come upon The Grey Lady, tending her fire. She teaches the children a song to unfreeze the forest people.



They find the wood cutter, frozen mid-chop. The children unfreeze him with a song. He gratefully gives them a story in return.


The wood elves commiserate with the travelers over the Fairy Ball being cancelled. “No treats? No dancing? No fun?”


Next, the children stumble upon the wandering minstrel.



He tells his story through song.




Next, the Gnome under the Stone gives the travelers a shiny gem to trade with the Will’o’Wisp for the magic wand.



The will’o’wisp, responsible for all the mischevious magic, tries to hide behind a pumpkin. (Also, holy paper maché wonder!)



Gotta love that the magic wand is a mullein stalk. The kids get the wand in a fair trade!


The kids find the Fairy Princess, still frozen.


Rose taps The Princess’s doc martens with the magic wand to wake her up.


She is thrilled to see the children still believe in magic and fairies and she announces that The Fairy Ball will go on!


The Fairy Princess passes out tickets–tickets!—to the fairy ball, and the party begins! There is fire, hot drinks and a table of sweets.



Everyone resumes their Mama/Papa role, but there is much magic in the air, which will never be completely undone.


Even Rose, president of the Kids Need Candy fanclub, asked about 30 seconds after it was over, “can we do that again next year?” (Which is akin to getting a 5-star review).

Some hugs for the photographer.

hall21 xo,



27 Responses leave one →
  1. November 7, 2013

    Rachel, I haven’t kept up with you, but this is just too much! I so wish I could come along too. God Bless you all for making such special memories for all the kids. They will always remember this forever. ♥ Lori

  2. Carrie permalink
    November 7, 2013

    I love this. I am really digging deeper into creating the life we desire. Inspiration vs obligation.
    This is a perfect example of that.
    Creating the ritual…. Love it
    Thanks for sharing

  3. Chelsie permalink
    November 7, 2013

    I got chills! I love it!! So glad you all got to create sweet memories for your children w/o the GMO’s and HFCS ;-)
    I’d vote for doing that again next year too!!

  4. Diane H permalink
    November 7, 2013

    The kids were so rapt. What a great, fun idea.

  5. Ellie permalink
    November 8, 2013

    Holy Cow. That is the best Halloween party I’ve ever seen. Y’all rock.

  6. November 8, 2013

    This is awesome- what fun. Sounds like loads more fun than the run of the mill, trick or treating frenzy we feel so obliged to! Salut!

  7. Crazy Tomato Lady permalink
    November 8, 2013

    Can I sign up to be your kid? You can adopt me for next year’s Halloween! I’d even eat my veggies. (Just teasing, but being a kid in your house looks pretty awesome!) I am super impressed that so many parents organized to create a fun and unique experience. What a cool way to spend Halloween!

  8. November 8, 2013

    yay!!!! before we moved, we used to get invited to the local waldorf school’s halloween alternative, which involved spooky walks through the forest to find magical creatures, and we loved it! you’ve inspired me to think about creating something here, though our local trick-or-treat faction has decreed that their event takes place the thursday AFTER halloween – this year we lucked out and it all happened on one night and then was over, but some years that means halloween AND trick-or-treating…this year the jack-o-lanterns got the bulk of the girls’ loot again, in exchange for some – what? local beef jerky and a new book??? – how do they put away all that candy in one fell swoop??? i’ll never tell…

  9. November 8, 2013

    Best. Halloween. Party/Idea. Ever.

    Your kids are so lucky!

  10. November 8, 2013

    the best halloween idea i’ve seen in a long time! perfect!

  11. Andrea permalink
    November 8, 2013

    you sneaky hippie. i am so thrilled the kids enjoyed this.

    cheers: to making your life your own.

  12. Nancy permalink
    November 8, 2013

    Awesome, fun idea, my first thought was, “I wanna do that, too!!! ” and I’m a grandma!

  13. November 8, 2013

    5-star show indeed! I love the community of friends you have! And by the way, you look absolutely stunning in the picture with Rose. Must be the no sugar diet!
    Love you!

    • Andrea permalink
      November 8, 2013

      Yes, Rachel, you are glowing!!!!

  14. Melissa permalink
    November 8, 2013

    You look so beautiful and glowy!! Nice alternative Halloween, too. No support needed (; xoxo

  15. November 8, 2013

    Okay, now I want to celebrate Halloween :) Thanks for sharing.

  16. katharine permalink
    November 8, 2013

    What a gift to all of you. Halloween brings the angst out in me and seeing your pictures I felt the joy.

  17. Marlene permalink
    November 8, 2013


  18. November 8, 2013

    cuz all faerie princesses rock the doc martens – faerie 101, yo.

  19. November 8, 2013

    What a truly awesome way to celebrate!!! So glad it was a hit with Rose!! Can you believe that my kids found out about trick or treating only last year, when they were 8 and 7? And they never did it, we always have a great pumpkin hunt party in the wood with charades and amazing homemade treats… They would not trade that for anything! Hooray for new traditions!

  20. November 9, 2013

    This is awesome. Fact.

  21. Ania permalink
    November 9, 2013

    Magical! And The Photographer looks gorgeous.

  22. November 9, 2013

    This is absolutely awesome!

  23. November 10, 2013

    HOLY $%!&! This is awesome! Will you remind us again next year, a few weeks before Halloween?

  24. November 10, 2013

    This sounds so fantastic! And what a wonderful community you belong to there.

  25. November 11, 2013

    MAMA. We will do this. Yes. So perfect! My kids want to dress up, I love making their costumes. But the candy? Nobody cares. Andy took it all to his job site on Tuesday and the kids haven’t even asked for it. This! You! Yours! Brilliant. xo

  26. Emmanuelle permalink
    November 11, 2013

    Rachel, you look fantabulous. This smile of yours made my day!


Leave a Reply

Note: You can use basic XHTML in your comments. Your email address will never be published.

Subscribe to this comment feed via RSS

%d bloggers like this: