October brings with it all sorts of annual celebrations and traditions, from fall football games to carving pumpkins. We love this month — it's a time when the weather cools, the leaves change, and we can take our favorite cozy sweaters out of storage and sip on warmed apple cider.
But that's not all. There are important events to take note of in October, along with fun holidays to celebrate. Here are some events and holidays our Macaroni KID families will be marking this month:
OCTOBER 1-31: Breast Cancer Awareness Month
Breast cancer is by far the most commonly diagnosed cancer among American women, according to the Centers for Disease Control. About 250,000 new cases are diagnosed each year. An estimated 42,170 women and 520 men will die from breast cancer in the U.S. this year. These numbers are frightening. How can you help minimize your chances of getting breast cancer?
OCTOBER 1: International Frugal Fun Day
Today is the day to find inexpensive fun! Guess what?! We have you covered with our MACARONI KID EVENT CALENDAR where you'll find FREE or low-cost local family-friendly events everyday!!
October 1-31: Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month
Throughout this month, families come together to remember and honor the little ones who left us too soon. It's a time for support, understanding, and healing.
Read one Macaroni Kid Mom's journey from darkness to joy in LIFE AFTER PREGANCY LOSS
October 7: World Smile Day
Make someone smile today with a simple act of kindness.
October 1-7: Mental Illness Awareness Week
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One in 5 U.S. adults experience mental illness each year and 1 in 6 U.S. youth aged 6-17 experience a mental health disorder each year, according to the National Association of Mental Illness (NAMI).
Teen suicides are on the rise, but most people who die by suicide do exhibit warning signs. Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. Fortunately, there are many resources and treatment options available. In order to prevent this from happening again, I want to make sure we as a community know the warning signs, do what we can to help when we see them and make sure we all have this list of resources to share with anyone who may need them either now or in the future.
Nicole Zawidski, a Macaroni Kid publisher in Bethlehem, PA wrote an article about her own struggle with severe anxiety and high-functioning depression. Many women have problems with these symptoms also.
Read her story to see where she found help: ONE MOM'S MENTAL HEALTH JOURNEY AND SYMPTOMS TO WATCH FOR
October 4: National Taco Day
Who said tacos are only for Tuesdays? We're celebrating Taco Day on a Wednesday this year... which is fine with us because we love tacos every night of the week! Keep an eye on local restaurants for taco deals to celebrate! Or try something different with one of these recipes:
FISH STICK TACOS FOR A QUICK, EASY SUMMER MEAL
GRILLED PORK TACOS & PINEAPPLE SLAW
TACO SOUP: A TWIST ON TACO TUESDAY
October 8-14: Fire Prevention Week
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Fire Prevention Week is the perfect time to talk about fire safety with our families, and also to ensure our home and children are prepared in the case of an emergency.
Did you know that roughly half of home fire deaths result from fires reported between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m., when most people are asleep? Smoke alarms save lives, but not if you can't hear them! That’s the important message behind the Fire Prevention Week campaign: “Hear the Beep Where You Sleep. Every Bedroom Needs a Working Smoke Alarm!”
If there is a fire in your home, smoke spreads fast and you need smoke alarms to give everyone time to get out. In fact, having a working smoke alarm cuts the chances of dying in a reported fire in half! The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) is reminding everyone this year about the importance of having working smoke alarms in every bedroom, outside each sleeping area, and on every level of the home, including the basement.
Other important steps to take include:
- Interconnect all smoke alarms throughout the home. This way, when one sounds, they all do.
- Test alarms at least monthly by pushing the test button.
- Replace all smoke alarms when they are 10 years old or sooner if they don’t respond properly.
- Make sure everyone in the home knows the sound of the smoke alarm and understands what to do when they hear it.
- If the smoke alarm sounds, get outside and stay outside. Go to your outside meeting place.
- Call the fire department after you are safely outside the home.
For more information, please read:
October 9: Columbus Day
Columbus Day honors one of the greatest explorers! He discovered the new world that became America. Why not celebrate the day by becoming an explorer yourself with geocaching! There are over 2 million geocaches in the world including most national parks and over 44 in state parks in Georgia. Click HERE for more information and locations.
Geocaching is a real-world, outdoor treasure hunting game using GPS-enabled devices. Participants must navigate to a specific set of GPS coordinates and then attempt to find the geocache (container) hidden at that location. Once found, participants must write down what treasure they found by using a logbook or log sheet provided on site. If participants take something, they must leave something of equal or greater value for other participants.
The Duluth GeoTour stretches across ten square miles of Duluth, GA showcasing their unique history, award-winning parks and must-see hot spots! You will experience quite a bit on this tour from hidden gems within the City and new adventures.
For more information about “Caching Duluth” and to join in on the fun, visit https://www.geocaching.com/play/geotours/duluth-Georgia
October 11: International Day of the Girl
This year's theme identified by UNICEF is "Digital generation," and UNICEF and other organizations are using the platform to talk about gender inequality in technology and highlight girl tech trailblazers, like Nina, who lives in Brazil and teaches computer science on her YouTube channel and interviews female scientists from both Brazil and the African continent on her podcast.
October 13 & 14: Chalktoberfest - Chalk & Beer Festival
Enjoy your afternoon watching over 80 nationally recognized professional Chalk Artists create beautiful drawings including some amazing 3-D images! You can also enjoy listen to great music, grab some food from the food trucks and taste over 120 kids of craft beer and 25 varieties of wine as you stroll around the quaint downtown Marietta Square. This great day out for all the family is FREE to attend.
October 21: National Reptile Awareness Day
October is spooky season. For some people, reptiles fall into the creepy category. Maybe that's why October 21 was chosen as National Reptile Awareness Day, but are reptiles actually scary — or just misunderstood?
It's estimated that 5-10% of people experience some form of herpetephobia (a fear of reptiles). Many scientists believe the fear is evolutionary. Early humans encountered snakes and other venomous reptiles, and bites of these animals were almost always fatal.
While there are venomous reptiles, they are relatively rare. Less than 7% of snakes are harmful to humans, and the Gila monster is the only venomous lizard native to the United States.
National Reptile Awareness Day is the perfect time to learn about and appreciate the diverse world of reptiles — including snakes, turtles, lizards, crocodiles, and alligators. These creatures are quite fascinating and play an essential role in our ecosystems. We have five delightful ways to celebrate reptiles on October 21... or anytime you feel like slithering into some fun!
1. Start with a giggle.
We hope you think this joke is as hissss-terical as we did!
Q. How do turtles communicate with each other?
A. With shell-phones!
2. Educate yourself.
Reptiles share several key characteristics that distinguish them from amphibians, mammals, and other classes of animals.
- Skin: Reptiles typically have dry, scaly skin.
- Blood: Reptiles are considered cold-blooded, meaning they rely on external sources of heat to regulate their body temperature,
- Eggs: Reptiles lay eggs with tough shells on land.
- Lungs: Reptiles primarily breathe through their lungs.
3. Make a craft.
Crafts provide a hands-on activity where kids can be creative while learning about different reptiles. Plus, you can use googly eyes, the best thing about any craft, IMO!
Cut a paper plate into a spiral shape to resemble a snake's body or make snake sock puppets.
Paint your child's hand with different colors like green, red, and brown, then press onto a piece of paper. Draw a mouth and add googly eyes, and you've got a colorful chameleon.
Use leftover egg cartons, paint, construction paper, and googly eyes to make adorable egg carton turtles.
4. Meet some live reptiles.
The Atlanta area offers several places to see and learn about reptiles. Here are our favorites:
- Autrey Mill Nature Preserve in Johns Creek- Guests get a hands-on opportunity to learn the husbandry techniques for Autrey Mill’s animals on Feeding Fridays. We feed the snakes, turtles and frogs, along with rabbits and chickens. Registration is required for all participants, including accompanying adults. Please note this is a “grown-up and me” experience.
- Elachee Nature Center in Gainesville- See 25 native Georgia reptile and amphibian species in curated habitats. Note: A Naturalist is on-site Saturdays to facilitate live animal encounters.
- Chattahoochee Nature Center in Roswell- From snakes to box turtles, there is so much to see and learn about these creatures. Did you know several native, non-venomous snakes are on exhibit at CNC? Learn how the corn snake got its name and why we have Florida pine snakes in Georgia. Also, learn all about the many hard-shelled creatures like the eastern box turtle, the only land turtle in the northern half of Georgia. They can live more than 75 years and only travel 5 miles their whole life!
- Zoo Atlanta- Visit the Scaly Slimy Spectacular in the state-of-the-art amphibian and reptile complex that features more than 70 species.
Are you planning a trip to Rapid City, SD, to see Mount Rushmore? Add a visit to the Reptile Gardens to your itinerary! This family-owned destination has more reptile species than any other zoo or park in the world. We couldn't get enough of the giant Aldabra and Galapagos tortoises!
5. Make it a movie night.
There are several movies featuring various reptilian characters that provide entertainment and adventure!
- Finding Nemo (G): This classic family film features Crush, everyone's favorite sea turtle.
- The Land Before Time (G): Starring the original reptiles, this animated film is about a group of young dinosaur friends journeying to find a new home.
- The Princess and the Frog (G): While not focused on reptiles, this animated movie includes Louis, an adorable alligator who dreams of being a jazz musician.
- The Bad Guys (PG): Based on Aaron Blabey's hilarious book, the "seen-it-all safecracker Mr. Snake" is just one of the funny stars in this animated comedy.
- The Crocodile Hunter: Collision Course (PG): A comedy-adventure film featuring the real-life "Crocodile Hunter" Steve Irwin, as he tries to save a crocodile from poachers.
- Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile (PG): Based on the best-selling book by Bernard Waber, this live-action movie is about a crocodile who lives in New York City.
- Rango (PG): An animated comedy-adventure film about a chameleon who becomes the sheriff of a Wild West town.
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (PG-13): This live-action film stars the popular crime-fighting turtles: Leonardo, Michelangelo, Donatello, and Raphael.
October 21: Make a Difference Day
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The fourth Saturday in October is devoted to helping others by doing volunteer work in the community. Find a project you and the kids can volunteer for and make a difference today! Our family loves finding family volunteer projects through Pebble Tossers Inc.
Tossing Pebbles. Watching the ripples. It’s fun to see how that tiny pebble can have such far-reaching impact. Similarly, one child and one act of service can create far-reaching ripples of giving that span their family, community, and lifetime. But finding a meaningful service project for kids can be tricky and time-consuming. That’s why in 2008 two Atlanta women created Pebble Tossers Inc., a nonprofit youth service organization and family volunteering resource that makes it easy to find fun, age-appropriate service projects for kids and teens in the greater Atlanta area.
Click HERE to find out about volunteer projects for kids and teens.
October 30: National Candy Corn Day
An easy, delicious recipe combining two favorites is CANDY CORN POPCORN!
October 31: Halloween
One of the most anticipated holidays of the year for many kids! Dressing up in fun costumes, fun treats, and candy... what's not to love? Be sure to check the Macaroni KID event calendar to find all of the great local Halloween activities and events happening today!
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