My first week on the No-Spend Challenge was crazy. But not crazy in the way I imagined. And the weekend? The weekend was actually pretty priceless ... oh yes, pun totally intended!
The Paw Patrol-themed trick-or-treating event at Target was a bust, which I hate saying because, c'mon, it's Target, and what's not to love?
But aside from two tables, where employees were giving out Paw Patrol swag — a Halloween bag, temporary tattoos, a printout of Chase, the dog, to color at home — and a handful of candies, there was not much else to do there — other than, of course, torture the kids by parading them through aisles and aisles of toys, which I can't buy.
So, when I heard the first "Mami, look! That's cool. I want it," I knew it was time to jet out of there. What next? I did what any mom who can't spend money would do: I Googled "free halloween events for kids Long Island."
Soon, I was on the money: I found out that the Town of Oyster Bay was hosting a free fall festival at Marjorie R. Post Community Park in East Massapequa.
I gathered the troops, an enthused 3-year-old red Power Ranger, an unimpressed 2-year-old Minnie Mouse (sans the ears because she refused to wear them) and my spunky 26-year-old sister, Gina, who I called in from Brooklyn as reinforcement in case of tantrums, and off we went!
Once at the park, which was beautifully set up with a mini maze, a slew of games for kids including mini golf, ring toss and bowling (with a pumpkin in lieu of a ball), among many others, I became that person.
The "Hey, is this free?" person.
We all know a person like this — if it ain't free, they don't want it.
Thankfully, the answer was almost always yes. Aside from the games, the event also featured free bounce houses and inflatable slides and children were given Capri Sun juices, cotton candy and popcorn. And for the adults, Moe's Southwest Grill was running a "spin and win" at their booth. I have never screamed so loudly for a free quesadilla before.
Actually, now that I think of it, I've never screamed so loudly for any quesadilla. My sister won five Moe's dollars and donated them to me, so I'm basically rich now.
What can I say? I was in No-Spend Challenge heaven. It made me wonder, can not spending become as addictive as shopping can? Hmmm ... a penny for your thoughts, anyone?
For more on Daysi's No-Spend Challenge, go to newsday.com/nospend.