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3 min Read
Published October 22, 2015

Holderness Family Shares Halloween & Holiday Hotspots

The Holderness family may be all over the internet, but they hail from here in Raleigh. Their whimsical videos are comically relatable to nearly every frazzled parent, touching on topics like the mammoth task of preparing the Thanksgiving turkey, or that special feeling when your kids finally go back to school after a week of snow days. #MoButter

Although their videos have universal themes that have earned national attention, the family has roots in a city with as much personality and quirk as a pair of X-Mas Jammies. They’re hanging out with the kids at Hill Ridge Farms, eating veggies at Fiction Kitchen, and enjoying our world class Bluegrass Festival.

RELATED: How Well Do You Really Know Raleigh? Take the Quiz and find out!

So check out this Kim & Penn tour of family-friendly Halloween and Holiday activities and traditions. Bonus: You’ll hear about how Penn has already destroyed his very scary Halloween costume, and Lola’s fantastic Princess Vader.

Raleigh's Penn & Kim Holderness - 2
The Holderness family, Penn, Kim, and kids, Lola and Penn Charles.
  • Candid Slice
  • What are you favorite kid-friendly places in Raleigh? Where should all the other cool parents be hanging out?
  • Kim
  • First of all, we aren’t cool. At all. We love the parks in Raleigh, the museums across the area, and love finding new restaurants. Our favorites are Garland, Fiction Kitchen, and Sitti. I’m a pretty terrible cook so the kids celebrate when we go out for meals.
  • Penn
  • We live in North Hills, it is a great place for kids. They must know it because even the swanky restaurants have kids menus. Me and the kids are getting hooked on Triangle Rock Club. They are starting to Boulder (climb without a rope). It drives Kim nuts. Whatever. They are doing great. Agree we are not cool. The cool parents are probably going to be wherever we aren’t.
  • Candid Slice
  • Do you have any spooky Halloween traditions? Favorite local Haunted Houses or Festivals?
  • Kim
  • We try to make it Hill Ridge Farms but we stray from anything spooky… I can’t take it. Penn and the kids love to scare me, I’m such an easy target. I’m sure they’d love a haunted house experience but I refuse. I’m a wimp.
  • Penn
  • We have this tradition, I don’t know if anyone has ever heard of this, probably not, where the kids come home and inhale like 43 pieces of candy, lose their minds, then crash and need a defibrillator to wake up in the morning… oh wait, that’s every family.
  • Candid Slice
  • What are your Halloween costumes this year?
  • Kim
  • Lola wants to be a “Darth Vader Princess.” Basically we are sticking jewels to a Darth helmet, and I’ll make a no-sew tulle skirt to fancy up the store bought costume. Penn Charles wants to be a ninja because the costume came with a sword (which he has already broken). Penn is waffling between a giant banana or a giant inflatable baby. I’m thinking I’m wearing a bacon costume with a name tag that reads “Kevin” so I’ll be “Kevin Bacon.” Get it?
  • Penn
  • Inflatable baby in a landslide. If any of your readers can help me fix the inflator fan, I’d be super grateful. I broke it doing the worm (true story).
  • Candid Slice
  • What’s your favorite thing about North Carolina in the Autumn?
  • Penn
  • EVERYTHING. I grew up here and it’s my favorite season and it isn’t even close. The leaves, Football, the cold mornings and warm afternoons, Bluegrass Festival, Halloween Block Parties, Hayrides, Football, outdoor dining, not sweating through my clothes, running outside, and Football.
  • Candid Slice
  • Our readers love a good scary story. Do you have any favorite local ghost stories or legends?
  • Penn
  • When I was at camp Kanata as a kid, the counselors told me about Gertrude the Kitchen Lady. She worked in the Kanata Kitchen in the 70’s, and bled to death after trying to sharpen one of the knives and couldnt get to the hospital soon enough. But she still haunts the woods at Kanata. every time out of the corner of your eye if you see a flash of light, during the day or night, that’s Gertrude, with her knife. MWWWAHAHHAHAHA!
  • Candid Slice
  • I know I’m thinking ahead–forgive me!–but do you have any favorite Raleigh-area, or even North Carolina-based, Thanksgiving and Christmas traditions?
  • Kim
  • Penn and I host our family and friends for Thanksgiving. It’s the one time of year I actually follow a recipe and do well in the kitchen. (Or maybe that it’s we serve enough wine that no one can tell how terrible it is). I start watching Christmas movies as soon as the Thanksgiving dishes are done. It really annoys Penn.
  • Penn
  • Correct.
  • Candid Slice:
  • On a separate note, I know you guys are huge Star Wars fans. What did you think of the Star Wars trailer? Do you ever think of spoofing it?
  • Kim
  • We love, love the new trailer. They kids have watched it about a thousand times. I would be fearful about spoofing Star Wars.
  • Penn
  • IT IS GOING TO BE UNREAL. Trailer was great. #wheresluke. If Lola wants to spoof it, and write it, and record it, it’s all hers. She’s the real fan. I will help her out.

Kim & Penn are having a giant Halloween–Oops, Holderween!–Party on Friday, October 23rd. You’re invited to attend by watching their televised special, airing at 9pm on UP. Honestly, I’d watch just to see Lola’s Princess Vader and Penn’s poor destroyed inflatable baby.

The Halloween promo. We hope you’ll join us on this crazy journey. Learn more.

As for their claims of being “not cool” — I’m pretty sure all my geek friends would disagree. And we know cool. We’re super cool. My mom says so.

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  • heather


  • I sincerely believe that through the power of storytelling, I can make social issues become more than a set of statistics. My expertise is in community leadership, non-profit work, event coordinating, networking, and storytelling. All my articles.

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