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From Kansas to Missouri - What You Need to Know this Halloween

From Kansas to Missouri - What You Need to Know this Halloween

 Photo: NRF.com

Photo: NRF.com

Written by: Jen Johnson

According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), Halloween spending this year will reach a record $9.1 billion. Costumes make up the largest share of that, which doesn’t surprise me. I just shelled out $45 for a “Cheerless Cheerleader” costume for my 9-year-old (we seriously couldn’t find a regular cheerleader -- it was zombie or cheerless), and $22 for a genie costume for my 7-year-old. The NRF says action/superhero will be the most popular kids costume, while witches are the biggest for adults (pumpkin for pets!). This year, 17% of consumers report that pop culture would inspire their costumes, a 12% increase over last year (Game of Thrones anyone?).

Candystore.com says that $2.7 billion will be spent on Halloween candy this year. They even break down the most popular candy by state. If you’re on the Kansas side, M&M’s ruled last year, but a new champion has taken over. Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups are now the most popular. In Missouri, Milky Way bars are tops! If you’re heading up to Nebraska, grab Sour Patch Kids.

The NRF says around 22% of people who plan to celebrate Halloween this year will do it by going to a haunted house. There’s no shortage of those in KC! Visit America’s largest haunted house, The Beast, with its four-story slide exit. Or check out a spooky 1930s movie theatre at Macabre Cinema. If you’re braver than me, go see the longest snake ever in captivity, Medusa (reticulated python) at The Edge of Hell (Medusa just turned 13 on Friday the 13th—how creepy is that?!). On the Kansas side, head to Bonner Springs to the 3rd Street Asylum (I literally ran out screaming at the end).

I’ll be celebrating by enjoying my kids in their prime trick-or-treating years, and will continue my tradition of stealing their Twizzlers... aka “collecting my Halloween tax”.

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Jen Johnson co-hosts The Show with Jen and Truta on KC102.1 in Kansas City weekday mornings from 6-10 am. She lives in Overland Park with her husband and two daughters (ages 9 and 7). Random facts about Jen: she was an extra in the movie Derailed (with Jennifer Aniston), she lived in Alaska for a summer, she was a traffic reporter for NBC in Chicago, and she tore her ACL playing basketball in college. She’s passionate about fund-raising and participating in Walk MS (multiple sclerosis), Cure SMA’s (spinal muscular atrophy) Walk-n-Roll, and raising money for Variety KC. Twitter/Instagram @jenkc1021

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