80's Day was something I started a few years ago to show my kids how cool the decade was. I share some of my favorite 80's music, movies, video games and food with them and they seem to really enjoy it! Typically we head out and take part in some activities that I liked as a kid, but of course, again this year we had to make some changes and I think we were able to pull it off and everyone seemed to have a good time. Here's what we did!
We started the day as most kids in the 80's did, eating cereal in front of the TV while watching cartoons! This year was extra special because I was able to track down some Ghostbusters cereal thanks to an acquaintance on Twitter. The taste was good and fruity, but I just wish they made the cereal pieces look like the "No-Ghost" symbol like the original cereal had. I guess nothing is perfect and I should be thankful Ghostbusters cereal is a thing at all in 2021! I did enjoy the Ghost shaped marshmallows though!
Anyway, to the cartoons! My son chose the Boogeyman episode of The Real Ghostbusters, my youngest daughter and wife chose My Little Pony and my oldest daughter chose Jem! My choice for the morning led to some head scratching as the kids and even my wife had never heard of the Centurions! I seem to do this to them every year and pick a semi-obscure cartoon from my youth. After all was said and done, I don't think I created any new fans to the sci-fi super hero series. The kids had so many questions and could not grasp the concept of an outer space base that beams down parts of an exo-suit to our heroes back on Earth when they yell "POWER EXTREME"! Also, they questioned how the bad guy set the atmosphere on fire and why there was a monkey. My response to that was "Why not?". Anyway, you can view a clip of the episode we watched at the YouTube link below:
Even though they did not care for the Centurions, I did discover that they all have a lot of love for the "Where's The Beef?" lady! I added some 80's commercials in between cartoons and they thought Clara Peller's portrayal of an annoyed fast food customer was hilarious. I told them how popular she was and that I even had stickers of her saying her well known catch phrase. This truly was the golden age of advertising.
After cartoons it was time to throw on some of our best 80's licensed character t-shirts, so we could go out and hit the town! Represented in my kids' attire were the Ghostbusters and Care Bears. I chose to wear my Masters of the Universe shirt and my wife had her My Little Pony shirt on.
Looking good and ready for some adventure! We hopped in the van and the soundtrack for the day would be a random assortment of CDs containing some of the biggest hits from the 80's! My kids favorite, which led to a car ride sing along, was "Careless Whisper" by George Michael!
Our first stop was the local mini-golf course! On our way in we were greeted by what we thought was an abandoned dog with 3 legs and one eye. He was sweet and we thought he was probably a dog from one of the nearby ranches. So we went inside and hit the mini-links!
I usually kick everyone butts, but this time around my wife was on fire and I only beat her by 2 strokes! Too close for me. We left and that dog was still outside and my daughter and her big heart did not want to leave the dog by himself without water, so I dug through the van and found a bowl and she poured the water from her water bottle out so the dog could have a drink. We let the folks inside know about the dog and as we were leaving a bunch of what can only be described as "Yokels" came out of the arcade area and it was their dog! Ugh! BTW, that is my son wearing the Proton-Pack Backpack.By this time we were ready for lunch, so we hit up McDonalds and the kids all grabbed cheeseburger Happy Meals, my wife got a spicy chicken meal and I got a Double Quarter Pounder Meal with a Hi-C Orange Lavaburst for my drink! I loved this stuff when I was a kid and I am ecstatic that it is back at McDonalds restaurants!
We fueled up and were ready for our next stop at the local comic shop! I picked a Spider-Man book and let the kids each pick out an item. Their picks included an IDW Godzilla comic and a Pokemon binder. It had been a while since I had taken them to the comic shop and they had fun perusing the shelves and looking for something new to read and help with their overflowing Pokemon collection.
After the comic shop we decided it was time to head home and play some retro video games. We played many NES classics like the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles arcade game, Super Pit Fall and the kids favorite of the day Bubble Bobble!
We had a great time playing games and I was able to share some of my old favorites with the kids, but we were getting hungry, so it was time to head to the hut...Pizza Hut that is!
Every year I gush about how much I loved our local Pizza Hut in Newton, NJ back in the 80's. It had a Rygar arcade cabinet and a juke box loaded with all the hits. I still vividly remember going there one afternoon after my Mom took us shopping.
I had just bought the Inhumanoid Auger action figure and I made him dance to "Burning Down The House" by The Talking Heads on our table while we waited for our pizza! Too bad this Pizza Hut didn't have a juke box or arcade, but at least we got what we wanted, a Stuffed Crust Pizza!
We chowed down and after dinner, we got ready for the night's movie. Our local zoo does a "Movies Under The Stars" series each summer where people can go to the zoo and view some movies in the common area of the zoo. This past weekend was supposed to be "The Never Ending Story", but at the last minute the zoo pulled a switcheroo and instead ran Disney's "Lilo & Stitch". This is one of my daughter's favorite movies and she had never seen it on a big screen before, so that was cool. Just kind of bummed that the 80's vibe went a few years off track.
It was late when we got home, so myself and my wife put the kids to bed and we watched the 1988 horror classic "Pumpkinhead". My wife had never seen it before and it had been decades since I last saw it. The wife was surprised at how good it was and wondered why Pumpkinhead doesn't have the same type of following as Freddy or Jason? We'll have to add the sequels to our Halloween watchlist this year. Overall a pretty successful 80's day was enjoyed by all. Hopefully next year we can make it bigger and better! Thanks for taking this journey with me. I hope you'll start your own 80's Day traditions.