Time to play dress-up, ladies. The annual Witches Night Out is Sunday in downtown Lebanon from 5 to 9 p.m. Enter the awesome witch costume contest at 8 p.m. (best witch, scariest, best hat, broom and cackle). Enjoy live music, wine, vendors and browse the shops that will remain open late. Expect to find specials and more. No children, please.
If a weekend Halloween party is on your calendar, impress your guests (or host) with spirited beverage choices from World Market in Shiloh. You’ll find a skull and crossbones label on Poizin California Zinfandel ($13.99) or try the Monster Mash Red Blend ($10.99) and the Stella Rosa Red & Black ($14.99, think Day of the Dead artwork). Bottled beer with scary-cool labels is also available.
You shop; they craft
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While you shop, the kids will be occupied with Halloween events from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.Saturday and Sunday at Michaels Crafts in Shiloh. Get a free Kids Club treat bag and free face-painting. There’s even a trick-or-treat parade every 30 minutes.
A smashing good time
I know Halloween isn’t here yet, but Eckert’s Country Store & Restaurant wants your help smashing pumpkins. On Nov. 5 and 6 from noon to 4 p.m., take them (and gourds) to Eckert’s at Green Mount Road for a tractor ride out to the pumpkin patch. That’s where you can have fun smashing your pumpkin, while also helping nourish next year’s crop. It’s also a great way for kids to learn about composting and being good stewards of the land.
Don’t want to do any smashing, but still want to get rid of your pumpkin? Empty bins will be available in front of the Country Store to dispose of them.
Store will remain open
I passed by Aeropostale on Tuesday at St. Clair Square in Fairview Heights. The big sign in the window said “Store Closing Sale!” so I went inside to see what was going on. The store is NOT closing. The teen apparel retailer filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in May and will close 113 of its 739 stores in the United States. Aeropostale corporate says the signs must be hung and the sale goes on at all of its stores, even if some remain open. So, get half off everything, which is a great deal. Check on the return policy, though. With the new year may come a new name for the retailer.
Sale will keep you warm
Sears has a big sale going on that will keep you warm: At least half off outerwear for the whole family, from guys bomber jackets with a quilted interior and retro satin finish for $39.99 (regularly $80) to a junior-size puffer coat with faux fur trim on the hood for $29.99 (regularly $50). Sale is good through Saturday and includes girls, boys and plus sizes, as well as men’s workwear.
Small but mighty
I have a giant Kitchen Aid mixer at home. It takes a lot to lift it out of the pantry and onto the counter. Now, you can buy a version that is 20 percent smaller and 25 percent lighter, but has the same power. It comes in some cool colors and all the regular attachments fit, too. Cost is about $270 at Macy’s at the mall.
On the less practical side come two items: First, at Forever 21 at the mall, bomber jackets are back from the 1980s, though I’m pretty sure the retailer is not too serious about the trend, given the choices. The trio I saw this week covered a lot of ground, color-wise: Green satin with a yellow and green baseball collar ($22.90), gray satin with the “Ghostbusters” logo ($37.90) and a pink or gold shimmery faux leather version for $32.90.
The second item is on the other side of the merchandise spectrum: I saw a set of measuring spoons at JC Penney at the mall. The four-piece set is ceramic, with each spoon looking like a little yellow daisy. Really? What am I supposed to do with a breakable measuring spoon? Even sillier is that the set costs $25.