Tasty DIY Halloween Treats to Try

Halloween treats
Halloween is just a couple weeks away. We’re sure by now you can’t wait to put on a costume and head to your party. Don’t show up empty handed! Instead, try out one of these fun and creative Halloween-themed dishes!

Mummy Dogs:

Who doesn’t like hot dogs? Anyone can easily grill up some dogs, bring a bag of buns and call it a day. But with just a little extra effort, you can transform generic hot dogs into these tasty mummy dogs. Wrap crescent rolls around the hot dogs as bandages, leaving enough room at one end for a face. Bake until the dough is golden brown. After they’re out of the oven, use mustard to draw the eyes and you’re good to go!

Evil Eye Deviled Eggs:

Deviled eggs are always a nice healthy snack option, and can be a great dish to bring for parties. Put a little Halloween spin on your deviled eggs by adding avocados(or green dye), black olives and red food dye to turn them into scary evil eyes!

Terrifying Taco Dips:

You can never have too many dips at a party. Make your dip stand out from the bunch by making it Halloween themed. Cut and bake tortillas to make tombstones and turn your dip into a spooky graveyard, or use chips and black olives to transform your dip into a Jack-O-Lantern!

Sinister Sweets:

Don’t forget about dessert! Put a fun little spin on one of your childhood-favorite desserts with these Halloween themed ideas! You can use green food coloring, melted chocolate and candy eyes to turn normal Rice Krispies treats into little Frankenstein’s. Or for an even easier dessert, drizzle some white icing on top of brownies to make some spider webs

Do you have any simple Halloween dishes that you like to make? Let us know in the comments below!

Trick-Or-Treat Safety Tips

Halloween safety

Trick or treating on Halloween is a fun experience for you and your kids to share. But cranky, tired, and over-excited kids can sometimes lead to safety issues.  Here are some kids to help keep you and your kids safe and make your trick or treating experience go as smoothly as possible.

Check the Weather:

Kids are going to be outside for a few hours, so make sure they are dressed accordingly. Of course, your child wants everyone to see that cute costume, but if it’s going to be cold, think about having your child put a sweater on under their costume. Add leggings, and maybe some waterproof boots or thermal underwear, hats, and gloves to keep your kids comfortable for a long night.

Stash the Fancy Footwear:

Children are going to be walking around for hours, so make sure they put on the right pair of sneakers to avoid blisters and other foot problems. Also, make sure the costume isn’t too long and there aren’t loose pieces attached. A costume that’s too long can cause a kid to trip and fall, and loose articles of clothing can get caught on branches, bushes, etc. Also, make sure that any mask or makeup they have doesn’t obstruct their vision.

Plan the Route Ahead of Time:

Planning out a route will help children know where they’re going in case they get separated from the pack. It is also a good way to make sure that your child crosses as few streets as possible for their safety. Maybe do a practice run with your kids so they are familiar with their route. Of course, having an adult or two present should help keep kids from getting lost.

Light up the Night:

If your child will be out trick or treating after dark, be sure to add reflective tape to their costumes or have them bring a flashlight, glow stick, etc. with them. Even the most careful driver can have trouble seeing at night, so make sure that your child stays illuminated for their own safety.

Keep Your Eyes on the Road:

On the same note, if you’re going to drive during the trick-or-treating hours, be sure to pay attention! Expect the unexpected. Many pedestrians will be hard to see, and with their masks on they might not even see your car coming. Keep your eyes on the road, stop at each cross walk, and be sure to look both ways before taking your foot off the brakes.

Check the Candy:

Finding razorblades and needles in Halloween candy is rare, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t check the candy anyway. Go through your kid’s collection and throw away any candy that is unwrapped or has a broken seal, as these can be unsanitary or dangerous.

Stay safe out there and have a Happy Halloween!

5 Fall Decorating Ideas

Fall has arrived! Not only is it finally time to break out the flannels and the apple cider, but it’s also a great time to get creative with your home decor. Here are a few fall decorating ideas for you to try this season:

Table Decor:

A table centerpiece is a great way to transform a space! We have a great selection of artificial floral centerpieces to choose from. Place these on a dining room table or end table and let them bring a fall feel to any room.

Fall Table Decor

Fresh From the Garden:

One of the best parts of fall is the colors, and our garden centers are the place to go to lively colored fall plants! Our selection of pumpkins, hay bales, fall squash, mums and other natural fall decorations will make it easy for you to design your autumn theme.

Fall Garden

Wreaths and Garland:

Don’t think of wreaths and garland as Christmas specific decorations! Wreaths and garland are a great way to decorate your home for fall, Halloween and Thanksgiving!

Fall Wreaths

Get Cute With Your Halloween Decor:

While spooky Halloween decorations tend to only be brought out around Halloween time, cute Halloween decor can be used all season long! We have a great selection of cute Halloween decor available like these costumed dog figurines and pumpkin jars.

Halloween Decor

Autumn Lanterns:

A great decoration for autumn is to fill up a decorative lantern. Add in some mini-pumpkins or candles to complete the look. This simple and versatile fall decoration is perfect add some curb appeal outdoors or to be used as part of a table centerpiece!

Fall Lantern

Dave’s has everything you need for fall decor and more. Stop by one of our locations today!

How To Close Your Pool For Winter In 7 Steps

pool closing tips

It’s been a warm September, but it looks like the weather is finally starting to cool down. Soon you’re going to have to close up your pool for the winter. It might seem like a difficult task, but it doesn’t have to be. Follow the steps below to easily get your pool ready for the winter.

1: Check Your Supplies:

Before starting the pool closing process, make sure that you have all the supplies that you need. You’ll need a winter chemical kit, which we have available at Dave’s. You’ll also want to make sure that you have all of the necessary winter tubes and plugs to properly close your pool. Now would also be a good time to check your winter pool cover and make sure it’s in good shape.

2: Clear Out Equipment From Your Pool & Deck:

Take out ladders, rails and other accessories from your pool. Getting these out of the way early will clear out space and make the other steps easier to complete.

3: Clean & Balance Your Pool Water:

Clean your pool as you normally would. Removing as much debris as possible will make it easier to open up your pool next summer. You’ll also want to make sure your water is properly balanced to prepare it for the next step.

4: Add Your Winter Chemical Kit:

Once your pool is properly balanced, go ahead and add the chemicals from your winter closing kit. These chemicals help to keep your water as clean as possible over the wintertime.

5: Prepare Your Pool Filtration System:

How you prepare your filtration system for the winter varies depending on the filter that you have. It’s best to follow the instructions of the manufacturer for this step.

6: Lower The Water Level & Add Freeze Plugs:

It’s recommended that you lower your water level to 6 inches below the skimmer opening. This will prevent your pool water from causing damage when it freezes and expands. Once you’ve lowered the water level, add your winter plugs.

7: Cover Your Pool:

Add your winter pool cover and make sure it is secured to keep debris and more from getting into your pool. Depending on your pool size, this may be a multi-person task.

Once your pool is properly covered, it should be ready for the winter! We would recommend that you occasionally check your pool throughout the winter to make sure it hasn’t been damaged.

4 Haunted Places in Buffalo

Haunted Places in Buffalo

Halloween season is the perfect time to get a little spooked. There are plenty of haunted houses to walk through and scary movies to watch, but what about real haunted places? If you’re someone who believes in the paranormal, Buffalo, NY has a number of haunted spots available. Take a look at our list below for some great haunted places to check out.

Richardson Olmsted Complex:

With its gothic architecture and history as an abandoned asylum, many stories have been told of strange noises and sightings at the Richardson Olmsted Complex. Closed in the 1970s, through the years it became derelict and severely damaged, but eventually plans to rehabilitate the building came through. Today the main part of the complex has become Hotel Henry, a hotel and conference center, but many claim to still hear screaming and moaning from the abandoned sections of the complex!

Book a room and stay overnight at the hotel to see if anything appears, or take a walk around the complex to see the outside of the abandoned wings. There are also in-depth tours available.

Richardson Olmsted Complex

Buffalo Naval & Military Park:

The Buffalo Naval & Military Park is home to several decommissioned Navy vessels, three of which claim history of the paranormal. For example, the USS The Sullivans was named after the five Sullivan brothers who were killed during World War II. Some believe that their spirits linger in the park. Not to be outdone, many have also noticed strange occurrences aboard the USS Little Rock and the USS Croaker. Some guests claim they’ve heard phantom voices and footsteps.

Buffalo Naval Park

Central Terminal:

The Buffalo Central Terminal is also known as one of the most haunted buildings in Buffalo. Originally built in the 1920’s, the terminal was abandoned for decades and gradually began to fall into a state of disrepair. In more recent years, the Central Terminal has been restored and has been home to some exciting events. Even with its recent revitalization, claims of spirits still exist and ghost tours are still offered for those who are brave enough.

Buffalo Central Terminal

Town Ballroom:

Formerly a speakeasy during the prohibition, the basement of the Town Ballroom was used for gambling and illegal meetings. It’s been rumored that Al Capone even went there a few times! Today this venue is mainly used for concerts, but every now and then people hear sounds of gambling and parties coming from the basement. Some have even claimed to have seen ghostly apparitions!

Do you know of any other haunted places in Buffalo? Leave a comment and let us know.

Dave’s September Gardening Tips

September gardening tips
Summer may be ending soon, but that doesn’t mean that it’s time to call it quits on your garden! Here are 5 gardening tips for September to keep your plants looking great.

Keep On Weeding:

While you can’t get them all, the more weeds you take care of in the fall, the less you’ll have to handle come springtime. Consistently weeding can prevent the weeds from seeding and help to keep your garden healthy for next year.

Repot Your Houseplants:

Fall is a great time to repot your houseplants before winter sets in and check them for pests to keep them healthy. Make sure your plants are placed in a window that gets a good amount of sunshine so they will last throughout the winter months.

Plant Your Bulbs:

It’s nice to plant flowers that are already ready to bloom, but there’s a real feeling of accomplishment that comes from seeing a bulb that you planted begin to sprout once winter is over. Spring flowering bulbs like daffodils must be planted in the fall before the first freeze. Wait until the soil is around 45 degrees so your bulbs don’t sprout early. Then plant your bulbs and add fertilizer to help it grow.

Divide and Transplant:

With the cooler weather, now’s the time to divide plants that are not blooming as well and transplant your spring and summer perennials to keep them from overcrowding the rest of your garden. You can repot them or move them around throughout the garden. Just make sure that you water your transplanted plants thoroughly.

Add Some Mums:

You might start to notice the color fading from your garden this month. Don’t worry though, because mums have arrived! Well-established mums can be safely planted up to the end of October. The blooms of mums last for weeks, and the amount of flowers per plant give off a solid pop of color. We currently have 9” mums available at Dave’s. Stop by today and pick up some mums to bring some color back to your yard!

Fall DIY Ideas For All Ages

When the colder air starts moving in, you know the changing leaves are soon to come. Embrace the change of seasons by making your own fall decor accents. You don’t need to be an experienced professional. These crafts are perfect for little hands or adults. Here are four simple, festive, and fun DIY craft ideas that you can try out this fall.

Candy Corn Candle Holders:

Perfect for Halloween or Thanksgiving, you can add a festive look to your home by adding a bit of candy corn to your candle holders. Simply, pour a few around the base of your candle. Just make sure not to fill it too high and pay attention to how low your candle gets to prevent the candy from burning, or opt for flameless candles if you have little ones who want to help fill up the candle holder.

Mummify Your House:

Kids will love this one. Hand them a roll of toilet paper or tape and (together) wrap it around household objects to instantly “mummify” them. This works well for bottles, candle jars, or even pumpkins! For an added extra touch, glue on some googly eyes.

Spooky Glowing Eyes:

This is one of the easiest and inexpensive DIY ideas I’ve come across. Perfect for any beginner. Save your empty paper towel or toilet paper rolls. Take out some scissors and cut holes in the rolls for eyes. Put a glow stick inside each roll and place them in your bushes for creepy eyes that can watch anyone walking by. This also makes a fun party craft. Tip: Place tape over the sides to prevent the glowsticks from falling out.

Leaf Mason Jar Luminary:

For this project, either take a leaf or trace and cut out a leaf on loose leaf paper. Tape your leaf onto a mason jar and paint over your jar with acrylic paint. When you finish painting, peel your traced leaf off of the jar and touch up any rough parts with paint. You can apply multiple leafs before painting to obtain a brighter luminary. Place a tealeaf or battery operated candle in the jar when finished. This could also make for a great fall vase.

You can mix these DIY crafts with the rest of your fall decor for a great seasonal look. Shop the selection of fall decor at Dave’s today!

6 Fall Activities in WNY

fall activities in WNY

The days may be getting shorter, but that doesn’t mean it’s time to stay inside. There are still plenty of great fall activities for you and your family to enjoy! Take a look below for a short list of fall activities available in Western New York.

Go Apple Picking:

Are you looking for a way to get your kids to eat healthy? Going apple picking could do the trick. A great family activity, apple picking let’s your kids see how apples grow, and select their own. Places like Baker Farm in Lockport and Becker Farms in Gasport are great apple picking stops.

Head To A Pumpkin Patch:

Similar to apple picking, a pumpkin patch is another great outdoor family experience for fall. Pumpkinville in Great Valley is a wonderful spot filled with family activities, as is Wheatfield Pumpkin Farm and The Great Pumpkin Farm in Clarence. Then, bring them home and have fun carve or color it for a creative activity.

Walk Through A Corn Maze:

There are a number of corn mazes available in the Western New York area, all with varying degrees of difficulty. Some can even be done at night! Your best bet is to call ahead to make sure the course won’t be too easy or too hard for you and your kids.

Check Out A Haunted House or Hayride:

Fall is the season of Halloween, so don’t forget to get spooky! See if you can survive going through Frightworld without chickening out or take one of the many haunted hayrides found around the Western NY area.

Check Out Becker Farms:

Becker Farms offers more than just apple picking. Looking for a haunted hayride, apple picking and a brewery all rolled into one? You can find all of this and more at Becker Farms. This farm and bakery also hosts a number of events during fall including Oktoberfest, The Pumpkin Fiesta and more.

Take A Hike:

With all of the changing colors of the leaves, even hikes that you’ve already walked over the summertime will look a whole lot different during the fall. Take a look at our previous blog for a short list of great hikes in Western NY.

Make Life Easier With These Pool Noodle Hacks

Pool noodles are simple, cheap and fun pool accessories. But did you know that they’re also quite versatile? With a few small tweaks, you can transform your pool noodle into a tool to help with everyday life. Here are 6 pool noodle hacks to try.

Wrist Rest:

Using your keyboard for a long time can lead to wrist pain, but you can avoid hurting yourself while typing by turning a pool noodle into a wrist rest. Cut a piece off the length of your keyboard, then cut the noodle in half to make 2 wrist rests (a spare or one to share)!

pool noodle wrist rest

Protect Your Luggage Rack:

Are you worried about supplies scratching up your luggage rack? You can cover your luggage rack bars with pool noodles to keep them from scratch-free. Cut your noodle the length of the rack bar, make a slit down one side of your noodle and slide these on. Add some duct tape to keep them from falling off and you’re good to go!

pool noodle car rack

Equipment Organizer:

An easy organizing hack, this will help you keep your equipment in order. Do you have a lot of fishing poles, hockey sticks, or shovels in your garage? Cut slits across your foam noodle and tape or screw your noodle to your garage wall. Fishing poles, hockey sticks, shovels and more can be placed in the slits to keep them organized and prevent you from bumping into them and knocking them over.

pool noodle organizer

Keep Your Boots Looking Great:

Your boots need to stay upright to keep their shape when you’re not wearing them. Pool noodles can make great inexpensive boot shapers. Cut off a noodle piece long enough to keep your boots upright and slide them into your boots.

pool noodle boots

Do You Feel a Draft?:

You can easily turn your pool noodle into a draft stopper. Simply cut off a piece of pool noodle the length of your door, add a slit down one end and slide it onto the bottom of your door.

pool noodle draft stopper

Childproof Your Home:

Do you have furniture with sharp corners? You can use a pool noodle as a bumper. Pool noodles work great for childproofing furniture and can be added to coffee tables, bed frames, counters and more.

Who knew there were so many ways that pool noodles could make life easier? Stop by one of our Dave’s locations to shop for pool noodles and more!

5 Facts You May Not Know About Buffalo

Here at Dave’s, we’re proud to be based out of the great city of Buffalo. This city is filled with a rich history and some memorable facts. Our city is known as the home of wings and Dyngus Day, but there is more to city  that you may not have heard before! Here are some great obscure facts about Buffalo that you may not know:

City of Buffalo

1: City of Light:

Many people know Buffalo as “The Queen City”, being the 2nd largest city in New York. But Buffalo also can be referred to as the “City of Light”. This is because Buffalo was one of the first cities to have electric street lamps, thanks in part to the hydroelectric power we were able to get from Niagara Falls.

2: No Snowballs Allowed:

Although we’re known for being pounded with lake effect snow every year, you can’t legally throw this stuff around. City law actually prohibits the throwing of snowfalls except for in certain designated areas.

3: The Turkey Trot

Can you remember a year where the YMCA Turkey Trot didn’t exist? We’re sure you can’t! The very first Buffalo Turkey Trot was in 1896 and has continued on every year since then, making it the oldest and longest running public footrace in the United States!

4: We’re Actually Quite Rich in Presidential History:

We’re sure most people know that President McKinley was fatally shot in Buffalo. What’s less often talked about is that afterwards, Teddy Roosevelt was sworn in while in Buffalo, becoming one of few presidents to be sworn in outside of Washington D.C.

On top of that, two Buffalonians also served as president: Millard Fillmore and Grover Cleveland. Both spent many years building their political careers in Buffalo before becoming president.

5: Our City is Part of the Strangest Sentence You’ll Ever Hear

“Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo.” That is a real sentence, and it’s grammatically correct! It uses variations of the word “buffalo”: the city, the animal, and as a verb meaning “to confuse, intimidate, or bully”. I’d love to explain more about what it means, but trying to fully understand it gave me a headache.

buffalo buffalo buffalo

With all these great facts and such a rich history, there are plenty of reasons to love the city of Buffalo, so why not flaunt it? Stop by our locations in Cheektowaga or Depew and browse some of the Buffalo memorabilia and gifts that we have available to choose from.

buffalo merchandise