Free Stuff: The Wizard of Oz


If you believe there’s no place like home, then this weekend you are in for a treat. As part of the 70th anniversary celebration of The Wizard of Oz, Netflix will be streaming a digitally remastered version of the classic movie free for 24 hours beginning Saturday, Oct. 3, at 9 a.m.

Turn this freebie into a memorable family event with five Oz-inspired ideas that you can enjoy with your kids:

DIY Dorothy and Glinda

Dorothy wore braids tied with blue ribbons, a blue gingham dress, and of course those red sequined shoes. If you’ve got a daughter with long hair, you’re halfway there. Braids, plus yesterday’s sneakers reborn with a little glue and red glitter, and she’ll be over the rainbow.

Glinda wore a gauzy peachy white dress and a crown. The crown is easy with a little construction paper and glitter; and a wand requires the same plus a long chopstick or wooden skewer. Don’t underestimate that wand; they’re especially powerful in a child’s hand.

Have A Carpet Picnic, Because Dorothy Carried That Basket For A Reason

Auntie Em raised chickens, pigs and corn. You probably don’t. So head to your favorite fried chicken place like Kentucky Fried Chicken or Popeyes. Once you’ve got a bucket, plus cornbread and biscuits, you’ll feel just like you’re on the farm. In a pinch, pizza and soda for kids, or cheese, crackers and wine for adults will also work. You might not be in Kansas, but you’ll be happy.

Get Retro Candy

Are you a member of the Lollipop Guild? If not, become one with huge lollipops from your favorite candy store or Dylan’s Candy Bar (866-9-DYLANS). Dylan’s also carries an assortment of Wizard of Oz-themed Pez.

Or choose candies that were around when The Wizard of Oz premiered seventy years ago like Red Hots, Milky Ways, Necco Wafers, Milk Duds, Chuckles and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.

And Your Little Dog, Too!

If you have a dog, by all means include him in the fun. If you don’t, consider purchasing a stuffed one. In the book that motivated the movie, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, L. Frank Baum simply referred to Toto as the “little black dog.” On screen, we saw a black Cairn Terrier. A quick Web search yields dozens of options for finding a stuffed furball of your own; pick one up for your puppies.

Make Popcorn & Melted Witch

It’s a movie, folks. You’ve gotta have popcorn. And let’s forget the microwave this once. Heat two tablespoons of vegetable oil in the bottom of a large pot over medium-high heat, and add 1/3 cup popcorn kernels. Cover the pot and keep an eye on it, shaking back and forth once you hear the kernels start to pop. A big bowl of popcorn should take less than 5 minutes to prepare. Toss with melted butter and salt; and munch with confidence knowing that you’re not dreaming it is real butter!

For melted witch, doctor some lemon-lime soda with a little green food coloring. If you can find tiny witch hats, float them as a garnish.

Remember the first time Dorothy sees Oz, and the colors change from sepia to technicolor? That’s the difference between watching a movie and making it an event. Have fun with it, and your kids will too.

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