Halloween Fun at the Haunted Pumpkin Garden

By: Nicole Perrino

I often say that we should take some weekends from a month we don’t really need and add them to October. So many fun fall events and places to visit to cram into 4 weekends! One tradition my family has taken part in since my oldest was born is the Haunted Pumpkin Garden at the New York Botanical Garden. The Children’s Adventure Garden is already such a great place to spend time with the kids and from September 20th to Halloween, it becomes that much more fun.

We ventured to the garden this weekend with friends and let the kids run around and decide what activities they wanted to partake in. Decorated throughout with tables of activities spread along the way, kids can enjoy simply hanging out in the fun nature play areas or join in on the fun.

Briana is 6 and Gia is 2, so we have to keep the age difference in mind when we choose where to spend our day. The garden is always a perfect place because both girls can enjoy themselves within the same area. The girls enjoyed putting on a puppet show, playing in the pumpkin house, taking home a pumpkin seed necklace to sprout, and more.


Ongoing Haunted Pumpkin Garden Activities

Tuesdays–Fridays; 1:30–5:30 p.m.
Saturdays and Sundays, and Monday, October 13; 10 a.m.–5:30 p.m.
In the Everett Children’s Adventure Garden

  • Put on your own performance in the Pumpkin Puppet Theater.
  • Play inside the Pumpkin House.
  • Watch a pumpkin seed sprout.
  • Go on a scavenger hunt.
  • Join a Halloween Parade at 1 or 3 p.m. (on weekends, and including October 13 and 31).


Creepy Creatures of Halloween

Saturdays and Sundays, September 21–October 27
and Monday, October 13; 12 & 2 p.m.
At the Clay Family Picnic Pavilions (October 18, 19, 25, & 26 on Daffodil Hill)
Some of the animals that make us scream are actually the coolest animals around. Meet some new critters from our big backyard and beyond during this live presentation and discover the unique adaptations that help them survive in their habitats.

Pumpkin Picasso with Master Carver Ray Villafane

Thursday, October 16; 10 a.m.–5 p.m.
Master Carver Ray Villafane has amazed the public with his spectacular pumpkin creations for more than a decade. Back by popular demand, Ray will use this intensive one-day workshop to show participants his carving techniques so they can sculpt their own amazing pumpkin masterpieces. Participants will also get a sneak peek of the massive pumpkin Ray will be carving for the upcoming Giant Pumpkin Carving Weekend on October 18 and 19. Reservation includes a pumpkin; all necessary tools, including Ray’s signature carving kit; parking; and a bagged lunch.

$120 Member / $125 Non–MemberLimited to 18 carvers.
To reserve call 718.817.8703 or e-mail membership@nybg.org

Spooky Nighttime Adventures

October 18, 24, 25, & 31; 6:30–8:30 p.m. (timed entries at 6:30 & 7:15 p.m.)
Throughout the Everett Children’s Adventure Garden
Spooky nights just got spookier! Grab a ConEdison flashlight and explore the exhibit as you travel along the Whole Foods Market® Trick-or-Treat Trail after dark. Listen for critters of the night or sit in on a spooky ghost story. Capture a family photo with larger-than-life skeletons and costumed characters. For those who dare, see the giant pumpkin displays illuminated in the darkness and journey along the meandering Mitsubishi Wild Wetland Trail. Programming is geared for children 4–12 years old.See more details.

Budding Masters Creepy Pumpkin Carving Adventure

October 18 & 25; 10 a.m–12 p.m.
MasterCard cardholders get insider access to The Haunted Pumpkin Garden with carving tips, an introduction to the artists, and the opportunity to create their own jack-o’-lantern masterpiece. The $50 workshop covers all materials and includes an All-Garden Pass for one adult and one child. Programming is geared for children 8–15 years old. For more information, visitpriceless.com/ny or purchase your tickets here.


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