Halloween is my favorite holiday and I was crushed to think it might be cancelled this year. My family and I carried on anyway with building our Creature Menagerie and Oddities Emporium. The Menagerie isn’t a typical haunted house. It’s a sort of walk-through curiosity cabinet. Last year’s version was just a single cart – a cleaning cart, actually, that we repurposed. We had some insect specimens (fake), a dragon’s egg, a jar of plastic eyeballs.
This year…I don’t know if it was all the turmoil in the world and making stuff was so relaxing, but pretty soon we recognized one cart wasn’t going to be enough.
So, here is a virtual tour of our 2020 Creature Menagerie and Oddities Emporium! For more about the making of the Menagerie, read below.
(The hissing sound is from my kid’s fog machine, which he insisted on this year 🙂 )
Most of the materials for the structure and objects for the Menagerie were handmade from things we had around the house, or were donated by friends (and our dentist!) or bought from Dollar Tree or craft stores. We borrowed a 10 X 10 canopy and draped it with black plastic tablecloths using zip ties. We created a Spotify playlist of creepy music box sounds and it added so much to the vibe we wanted to create.
Many of the artifacts were inspired by DIY video tutorials or family lore, such as the “fossilized buffalo patty.” This year we invested in lighting, the fog machine, and a couple of cool artifacts (the unicorn skull).
I kept count and we had 15 DIY craft projects for this year’s Menagerie, starting in August!
On Halloween night, as expected, we only had a few trick-or-treaters, and we let them in one small group at a time. It was a good test of everything and we got some great feedback.
After this year, we have an awesome foundation to build on, and I’m already planning for 2021.
Let me know what you think in a comment and if you have ideas/suggestions for us for next year.