• Trick or treating safety tips

    Oct 25, 2018

    Halloween should feel scary, without actually being dangerous. To help you make sure your kids are safe, Timbercreek Communities wants to share some trick or treating safety tips.

    Mother and Daughter on halloween

    Unmask the Danger

    A mask may add to the look of the costume, but it can really take away from your child’s ability to see what’s around them -- including traffic. Choose hypoallergenic, non-toxic makeup instead. Do a test a few days before to make sure they don’t have any skin reactions. Also be sure to wash it all off before they head to bed.

    Reflect on the Costume You Choose

    Light colours are easier for motorists to see. If your child’s costume is dark, add reflective tape to the front and back. Use a white bag or pillow case for trick or treating, and add reflectors to that, too. Also, be sure the costume fits well to avoid tripping. Try to ensure they have a full range of motion. Choose non-flammable fabrics for their costume as many Jack-o’-lanterns or home Halloween displays may use real flame candles. Use LED candles or battery powered tea lights in your own decorations.

    Safety in Numbers

    Younger children should, of course, be accompanied by an adult at all times. By the time they reach 10, some kids may be ready to go out with a group of friends. Make sure the group includes at least 4 or 5 age-appropriate children. Equip them with a flashlight and cell phone. Make it clear not to go near houses that are not well lit, and never go inside any house, apartment or vehicle. Make sure they know not to eat any treats until they get home.

    Route Planning

    If you’re child is heading out with a group of friends, make sure their route is pre-planned. Set boundaries and a curfew, and explain why it’s important to stick to it. It is safest and most efficient to work your way along one side of the street and down the other, rather than crisscrossing the road more than necessary.

    If you and your kids follow these simple safety tips, everyone should have a scary but safe Halloween!

    To find your home with Timbercreek Communities, please visit our website.

  • DIY Halloween treats for your pet

    Oct 16, 2018

    Your pet may not know what Halloween is all about, but they’re sure to notice that you’re snacking on some tasty treats. Don’t leave your pal out of the fun! Timbercreek Communities wants to share some easy DIY Halloween treats for your pet.

    iStock-134020362

    Peanut Butter Doggy Bones

    Whip up a batch of Peanut Butter Doggy Bones by beating peanut butter, egg, honey, oats, whole wheat flour, vegetable oil and water into a dough. Cut the dough into the perfect shape with Dog Bone Cookie Cutters. Bake at 350°F for 30 minutes, flipping halfway through. Make the icing by melting almond butter with oil and dipping the cooled biscuits in. They can be stored for up to two weeks in an airtight container.

    Kitty Treats

    These kitty treats are simply adorable. Make the dough with applesauce, grated carrots, canned pumpkin, oats and rice flour. Roll the dough into small balls, place on a lined baking sheet and flatten with a fork. Bake at 350°F for 7 minutes, flip and bake for another 5 minutes. This video will show you how!

    Pup Cakes

    Pup Cakes are peanut butter, applesauce and Greek yogurt based cupcakes for your dog. Complete them with a cream cheese, pumpkin, honey and yogurt frosting -- if your pooch has a sweet tooth.

    Cookies for Cats

    These Cookies for Cats are made with whole wheat flour, canned tuna in oil, and egg. Cut the dough into fish shapes, and score with a pizza cutter to make diamond shapes that look like scales. Bake at 350°F for 20 minutes. Store in an airtight container.

    Strawberry Shortcake Dog Biscuits

    These Strawberry Shortcake Dog Biscuits will delight your dog with a canine take on the classic berries and cream dessert. They look so good, you might want to share them -- if they let you!

    Timbercreek hopes you love whipping up these Halloween treats for your pet as much as your pet will love wolfing them down!

    To find your home with Timbercreek Communities, please visit our website.

  • Spooky Halloween Desserts Your Kids Will Love

    Oct 08, 2018

    The spooky season of Halloween is almost upon us! Timbercreek Communities wants to help you create sweet and spooky desserts for a scary soiree or fun Halloween hangout. Here are some devilish Halloween desserts your kids will love!

    Halloween treats

    Frankenshake and Bride of Frankenshake

    Shake up your Halloween with these spooky Frankenshake and Bride of Frankenshake milkshakes. Decorate the inside of the glass by dipping a toothpick in coloured candy melts. Draw on mouths, eyes and a few stitches and let it dry before adding the milkshake to the glasses. Top it off with crushed chocolate wafer cookie hair, and whipped cream for the bride.

    Vampire Lips

    These spooky Vampire Lips are simple enough for kids to make themselves, with a little supervision. It’s not exactly health food, but with apple slices, peanut butter, blanched almond ‘fangs’ and marshmallow teeth, it’s as close as Halloween treats get to healthy. 

    Strawberry Ghosts

    These Strawberry Ghosts are a freaky fresh fruit treat. Dip strawberries in a generous amount of melted white chocolate and let the kids easily decorate them with spooky ghost faces with just 3 chocolate chips -- 2 for the eyes and 1 for the mouth.

    Bloody Cups

    These gory, gluten-free, vegan Bloody Cups are super sweet and simple to make. You only need 3 ingredients to whip up a batch from scratch -- raspberries, maple syrup and vegan baking chocolate. Pour melted chocolate in paper-lined muffin tins. Heat the raspberries and syrup to make the bloody sauce. Sandwich the sauce between thick layers of chocolate and let it set in the fridge.

    Spooky Fingers

    Your kids will love the taste of these Spooky Fingers. You’ll love how simple they are to make -- they can practically do it themselves! All you need is melted white chocolate, thick pretzel rods, and pumpkin seeds. Coat the pretzels in melted chocolate, leaving some of one end uncovered. Press a pumpkin seed onto the tip of the coated end as a creepy finger nail. Refrigerate for about 15 minutes and you’re done!

    Timbercreek hopes these cute Halloween desserts will help make your holiday a spooktacular success!

    To find your home with Timbercreek Communities, please visit our website.

  • 7 Elegant Halloween Decor Ideas

    Oct 01, 2018

    All Hallows Eve doesn’t have to be all about orange and black decor and blood and gore. Timbercreek Communities wants to share some elegant Halloween decor ideas for your home.

    Living room decor - Halloween theme

    The Magic of Monochrome

    Embrace the magic of monochrome. Pick up white pumpkins and gourds and cluster them together. Add a little elegance by adding some white chrysanthemums in white baskets into the mix.

    Elegant Mini-Ghosts

    Greet your guests with elegant mini-ghost lollipops arranged in a white pumpkin. Simply cover round lollipops with tissue paper and add ghost eyes and mouths with a black marker.

    Painted Pumpkins

    Let your creativity run wild and paint your pumpkins any way you want. Go beyond spooky faces, think Gingham, white with copper stripes, leaf prints and more!

    Twinkle Lights

    A string or two of twinkle lights, or Harvest String Lights, can transform the atmosphere of any space.

    Flower Petals

    A scant scattering of colourful foliage or flower petals can bring a touch of evening elegance to your table.

    Linen Pumpkin Centrepiece

    This Linen Pumpkin set instantly creates a rustic and elegant centrepiece.

    Understated Spider Web

    A black spider web tablecloth provides the perfect place to display the treats at your elegantly spooky soiree.

    Timbercreek hopes these decor ideas help you have an elegantly adult Halloween.

    To find your home with Timbercreek Communities, please visit our website.

  • Halloween Events Near You

    Oct 17, 2017

    That scariest time of year is back. No, we don't mean tax season -- Halloween! Time to dust off your wizard cloak and prep the light sabers -- it’s trick or treat time. With a lot going on in cities all across Canada, Timbercreek has put together a shortlist of Halloween events happening in your area this fall.

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    Edmonton/St. Albert: Boo at the Zoo

    Halloween comes alive this year at the Edmonton Valley Zoo. Wear your coolest costume, bring your own trick-or-treat bags, and check out the spooky wonders of the animal kingdom. Hands-on experiments, crafts, an extinct animal graveyard, and a witch's den are just some of the fun activities that will make this Halloween one to remember! Get more info here.

    Edmonton: Deadmonton Haunted House

    Don’t miss this year’s Deadmonton Haunted House. Located at the Old Paramount Theatre, this haunted house is rated 12+ and beware. If you’re taking your child, make sure they’re up for it as the website for the event notes that there will be no refunds for kids who get too scared!

    Toronto: Legends of Horror at Casa Loma

    As if Casa Loma wasn’t creepy enough. This Halloween, the iconic Toronto castle transforms into a theatrical, immersive Halloween experience!  Tickets include access to areas of the castle never before seen by the public. Don’t miss out and learn more here.

    Calgary: Halloweekends at Calaway Park

    Calaway Park is getting all spooked up for Halloween. Dress up in your favourite costume and enjoy tricks, treats and spooktacular rides. Activities include family photo opportunities, face painting and much more. It’s all about getting your family together for a fantastic fall day. Learn more here.

    Niagara: Dracula

    Halloween isn’t only about trick or treating, boo barns and costume parties. If you’re ready for a more refined Halloween experience, check out Bram Stoker’s Gothic thriller at the Shaw Festival in Niagara on the Lake this October. “Sexy, funny and scary, this is red-blooded theatre that will leave all your senses on fire.” Learn more here.

    Oakville: Camper Halloween

    On October 14th and 15th, and October 21st and 22nd, trick or treat around the Bronte Creek Campground. Ghosts and goblins will go from site to site instead of door to door. This event also features a guided walk with creepy creatures and howling coyotes. Learn more.

    Montreal: Les Fantomes du Vieux-Montreal

    Les Fantomes du Vieux-Montreal is a tour through all the dark ghostly corners of Old Montreal. Running from May to October, it's the perfect way to get into the Halloween spirit. Check out more here.

    Montreal: Harry Potter

    This Harry Potter themed party combines Hogwarts good times and the spookiness of Halloween. It’s hosted by Cégep du Vieux Montréal and will involve beer, karaoke, costume contests, quizzes, and much more.

    Drummondville: Village Haunte

    Just outside Montreal, the town of Drummondville completely transforms this Halloween into a massive haunted village. You'll be chased by actors playing zombies, clowns, ghosts, and monsters over 3km of trails and streets. Runs September 29th until November 4th.

    Timbercreek hopes these events inspire you to throw on a costume and celebrate Halloween in your area. For more information about Timbercreek Communities in your city, please visit our website.

  • Best Kid-Friendly Fall Activities

    Sep 18, 2017

    To help keep your little ones smiling this fall, Timbercreek brings you this list of kid-friendly fall activities the whole family will love.

    iStock-514312120

    Nature Walk

    It’s almost always a good time to go for a walk. Even if you’re subdivision bound, there are always parks close by, or conservation areas a little further away, that can make for a great fall outing. Pack a snack or a full-on lunch, make sure to bring water, and outfit your little ones with some sturdy shoes. Also bring bags for the kids to collect nature items - twigs, rocks, leaves, bark - it can all be fun for nature collections or crafting once you get home. As fall temperatures start to drop, be sure to consider appropriate clothing and layers to make your outing disaster proof.

    Picnic

    Picnics aren’t just for summer. A fantastic fall activity, picnics are great so long as you wear and bring the right stuff along. With unpredictable temperatures, pack some hats and coats. Don’t forget to bring all the usual picnic supplies like frisbees, baseballs, blankets, PB & J sammies, drink boxes, and kites. 

    Pumpkin Carving

    While generally reserved for Halloween, pumpkins are a symbol of autumn. Harvested from September through October, they offer families a great range of activities. Going to a local pumpkin “patch” to pick a few for the house is a great afternoon outing, while carving competitions, roasting pumpkin seeds, and playing with pumpkin “slime” are all great ways to enjoy them.

    Leaf Forts

    Jumping in a pile of leaves is a classic fall activity that never gets old. For kids it’s like an invitation to play and explore. Burying, burrowing, making forts, tossing them all over each other in leaf wars: they all make for great outdoor play that can occupy kids for hours. On a safety note, while obvious, check your leaf piles (before your kid jumps in them) for branches, rocks, garbage, and other debris that can be hiding inside after raking and yard cleaning.

    Baking

    A great fall activity for kids is baking. A couple seasonal snack options are apple chips and roasted pumpkin seeds. Slice some apples in thin, full width pieces and place evenly on a baking tray. Sprinkle them with cinnamon, brown sugar, a bit of butter, and even some coarse sea salt, and bake at 340F until slightly dehydrated and/or golden brown. Let dry and refrigerate for a great snack. Almost the same process can be applied to pumpkin seeds. Clean and rinse a big handful of seeds and lay them out evenly on a baking sheet. Add coarse salt and, if desired, a dash of olive oil, and bake until firm and slightly brown.

    Make Butter

    It’s surprisingly easy to make butter and it’s also a great activity to do with kids. All it requires is heavy whipping cream and a whisk. But by using a Mason jar, two small marbles, and a bit of music, you can dance your way to whipping that cream into butter. Shake a jar (or whisk) until the cream thickens. As the fat molecules bind together, a ball of butter will form, separating from the remaining buttermilk. Once a ball has formed, drain off the buttermilk, add some salt, and voila!  Homemade butter.

    Timbercreek hopes this article gives you a few ideas for how to entertain your kids this fall. For more information about Timbercreek Communities in your city, please visit our website.

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