Halloween witches were brewing up fun at Annandale National Historic Site in Tillsonburg on Saturday.
Witch’s brew was one of several COVID-safe games played during the four to seven-year-old party in the morning and eight to 12-year-old afternoon party.
“Kids used their own ingredients to make their witch’s brew,” said Kathleen Watkin, museum program co-ordinator.
“It was nice to be able to bring a little Halloween fun to the museum,” said Patricia Phelps, manager of Culture & Heritage/Curator.
“Right now we’re painting pumpkins and we’ve been playing COVID-safe games,” said Watkin during the eight to 12-year-old afternoon party as Halloween-theme music played in the ANHS program room.
“We’ll be making ‘mummy mason jars,’” said Watkin. “It’s a mason jar that we’re going to cover in tissue paper. They’re going to wrap it in string and put googly eyes on it. Then you put a candle in it and it lights up.”
A group of eight younger children, ages four to seven, enjoyed a morning Halloween party with COVID-safe games, including bingo and witch’s brew, and painting pumpkins.
In past years, the Halloween party at ANHS would have at least 35 to 40 children, Phelps noted.
“Due to COVID, we could only take a maximum of eight,” said Phelps. “So that’s different, but it’s still a lot of fun.”
“We did have a lot of interest,” Watkin nodded.
“We were hoping to hold it outside, but unfortunately with the bad weather last night and it being really cold today, we had it inside.”
“This morning we had a fox and we had a lion and we had Superman and a police man,” said Phelps. “Parents (or grandparents/guardians) were allowed to stay – they don’t have to with the older group, but they have to with the younger group – and they seemed to be as excited as the kids.
“The parents were happy to see it. The one mother said in the past they’ve gone to different places, and this year there’s nothing for Halloween. And they’re not sure if they’re going to trick or treat.”
All but one of the children in the afternoon group wore a costume – and he was wearing Halloween orange-and-black.
Costumes included Snow White and a witch.
“I’m a creepy clown,” said Sophia Vandenbrock.
“I’m a ringmaster – an evil ringmaster,” said Charlotte Speirs.
“She would have a staff but she didn’t bring it today,” said Vandenbrock.
“And she would have a lollipop … that glows,” said Speirs.
“You can probably guess mine,” said Mia Minutello. “Vampire.”
“I was going to be a toilet – an inflatable toilet – but I can’t do any of the activities in it,” said Matteo Minutello.
“He can’t walk in it,” said Mia. “And it really flushes … it makes flushing noises.”
“We encouraged kids to come dressed up in their costumes, but it wasn’t a requirement,” Watkin noted. “Pretty well everyone did.”
At the end of the both parties each participant received goodie bags, and brought their decorated pumpkins home.