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Witch CAR-nival

The Witch CAR-nival consisted of drive-thru Halloween carnival games played from the safety of a patrons' vehicle. We had six games/activities: attendees could throw ingredients into the witch’s cauldron at the Witch Pitch, test their memory at the Witch’s Shuffle, hear a joke from the Witch’s Wheel, play the Spider Ring Toss, go fish in the Witch’s Swamp, and test their Nerf gun skills at the Pumpkin Patch. Before exiting the Witch CAR0nival, attendees got a treat bag from the Witch’s Broomstick and could take a photo in our drive up photo booth!

All librarians working the event wore witch hats to help the carnival live up to its name. This event took place in the library parking lot. All candy and prizes were prepackaged and ongoing sanitization of games with limited contact took place. Librarians working the event wore gloves and a face mask. Photos that were taken at the drive up photo booth were posted on the library’s Facebook page.

First we set up several of our Halloween inflatables and played our kid-friendly Halloween playlist.

The first game was a Spider Ring Toss, which was an inflatable purchased on Amazon. The prize here was a plastic spider ring. The rings were handed to the kids through their car window with the skeleton hand (see right corner) and then wiped down with a disinfectant wipe afterward.

The Witch's Shuffle was the classic Three Cup game, only we used a plastic eyeball and three witch hats. Our librarian told kids watching from their car windows to keep their eye on the....eye and guess the correct hat it was under. The prize here was a Halloween pencil.

The Witch's Swamp was a classic fishing game done from a car window. We got the idea for the cute Halloween fish from Today's Fabulous Finds. It was painted onto plywood with some added hinges. For the fishing pole, we used a good sized dowel purchased from Hobby Lobby with a clothespin attached with a long string. The prizes were a Halloween assortment purchased from Hobby Lobby. We put them in small jewelry baggies for easier transport from clothespin to car. The fishing pole was disinfected between cars.

The Witch Pitch was a bean bag toss into a large cauldron. The plastic cauldron was 16" and can be found at Amazon. We purchased iron on patches for the bean bags (which we already had), though we ended up super gluing them on because the iron-on adhesive wasn't bonding well to the nylon.

We had an eyeball, a frog, a bat, a ghost, and a haunted tree. These were disinfected between cars as well. Also, inside the cauldron we use a strobe light and fog machine (though I believe that ended up beside the cauldron instead of inside of it, as the carnival progressed).

Another stop was the Witch's Joke Wheel. Using our poster printer, I made a black-and-orange cover for our rainbow prize wheel that had a Halloween joke in each slot. The librarian working this station spin the wheel and told a few jokes.

This ended up being a fun idea and is something I think we'll do again in the future. We had originally thought of doing fortunes instead, but all the examples of Witch/Halloween fortunes I found online I thought would be a little over the heads of our younger kids. So jokes it was.

The Pumpkin Patch - this was actually a bean bag toss we purchased from Amazon. But when we were trying to build a frame to hold it up outside, we rain into some issues and ended up making a copy of the image with our poster printer and taping in onto plywood. I would have preferred it be painted on, but we were running out of time. To mix things up, we used a Nerf gun here instead of bean bags (also sanitizes between cars, and all bullet loading/handling was done by the librarian running the game).

As patrons rounded the corner to go through the library's drive thru and exit, another witch reached kids a treat bag on the end of her broomstick. We purchased these fun witch hand treat bags from Oriental Trading. I would have liked to have filled them with popcorn or candy corn, but to keep within COVID safety guidelines, we used pre-packaged Halloween candy.

The finale was the drive-thru photo booth, which was a LOT of work. (Button images used to cover the faces of those pictured in vehicle). It was made from PVC pipe, Velcro stips, and canvas, which we hand painted a Halloween scene onto.

Here's the frame going up. We used:

  • four 8-ft sections for the height

  • two 10-ft sections for the width

  • eight 10-ft sections, two 5-ft sections for the length

  • two 8-ft sections, one 8-ft section cut in half for the window frame

  • 8 tees

  • 8 couplers

  • Velcro stripes

  • PVC pipe glue

  • seven bolts of 45" x 8 yard canvas

The talented sister of a librarian drew the Halloween scene, and everyone had to put in some time on the painting and outlining.


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