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Fall and Halloween festivities are in full swing

The days are shorter and the nights are longer, shorts have been put away for the season, and the sweaters and jackets are out. The leaves are fiery beneath our feet. Fall is here, and with it an abundance of activities for people of all ages from one end of the borough to the other.

In Coney Island, Luna Park will be hosting Halloween Harvest every weekend in October.  Enjoy costumed characters and painting pumpkins as well as seasonal food and beverages. Upon entering the park each weekend, guests will be greeted by a giant pumpkin and will have the opportunity to win $500 cash if they correctly guess its weight.  On October 26, the winner will be announced and Food Network star Marc Maniac and his team from Maniac Pumpkin Carvers will carve the giant gourd into a Halloween masterpiece. There will also be a family pumpkin carving contest and pie-eating competition.

Join Narrows Botanical Garden on Sunday, October 13 for its Harvest Festival and Canine Costume Contest, free of charge! The festival will feature a canine costume contest, dancers, crafters and artists and a pumpkin patch. The event will take place at Narrows Botanical Gardens at Shore Road and 70th Street inside the park. For more information, email linda@narrowsbg.org.

The Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy will host its annual free Harvest Festival on October 19 from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Music performances from the Bilingual Birdies (10:30 to 11:30 a.m.) and AudraRox! (12 to 1 p.m.) will complement the face painting, mask-making, storytelling, art activities, and craft workshops, and Zumba for kids of all ages. Brooklyn Bridge Park is located at 334 Furman Street; the festival is on Pier 6. For further information, log onto www.brooklynbridgepark.org.

Crest Arts presents its 4th Annual Pumpkin Carving Contest inside the Urban Garden Center at Crest Hardware, located at 536 Metropolitan Avenue in Williamsburg on October 19, from 6:30-10 p.m.. Entry is free, but pumpkins–up to four entries per person–must be carved BEFORE the event. Voting is up to the public and prizes will abound in several categories: Best In Show, Most Creative, A for Effort, and NYC Footy (soccer-themed). Food and drink will be available: gallons of regular and hard cider, Sam Adams’ Octoberfest, chicken/country tofu-and-waffle cones, and more! For more info, visit http://cresthardwareartshow.com/other-events/pumpkin-carving-contest.

What better way to celebrate the month of October than a tour through a haunted hotel?  The Gravesend Inn, Theatreworks’ high-tech haunted hotel, will offer tours that showcase the work of students from New York City College of Technology. Tickets are $8 for general sales and $5 for students with an I.D. The “hotel” is open October 23-26, and October 31-November 2 at 186 Jay Street; for more information, visit www.gravesendinn.org.

On October 25 and 26, the Brooklyn Children’s Museum will host a Monster Mash from 4 to 8 p.m. There will be family friendly Spooky Street trick or treat, a Michael Jackson “Thriller” tribute, a museum-wide costume parade, and spooky arts and crafts. Children of all ages are welcome and encouraged to wear their costumes. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit the museum at 145 Brooklyn Avenue or email birthdays@brooklynkids.org.

On October 26, get ready for the Prospect Park Halloween Haunted Walk where zombies, witches, fairies, and scary creatures come out on a harrowing hike to Lookout Hill. Enjoy the carnival on the Nethermead, featuring all kinds of fun, gams, pony rides, face painting and seasonal treats. Both events begin at noon and last until 3 p.m. Enter at Prospect Park Southwest and 16th Street. Open to all, and free of charge!

The annual Ghouls and Gourds Festival is another exciting way to spend the weekend. From noon to 5:30 p.m. on October 26, take in a puppet show, a gourd orchestra and get a chance to chat with children’s book creators while visiting a Victorian Toy Parlor at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, 1000 Washington Avenue. Kids under 12 get in for free, students with I.D. and seniors $5, adults $10. Visit www.heartofbrooklyn.org/events/ghouls-gourds for further details.

Brooklynites can’t leave the furry creatures out of the fun! On October 26, bring your pooches to the Great Pup’kin Dog Costume Contest at Fort Greene Park. Organized by Fort Greene Park Users and Pets Society (PUPS), the contest begins at noon, but a registration desk (at the monument plaza) will open at 11 a.m.

Get ready for a thrilling evening of dancing, eating, drinking and A MURDER MYSTERY — Murder at the Masquerade! Can you figure out who did it, where, and with what? On October 26, at 7 p.m., at Gargiulo’s Restaurant, 2911 West 15th Street.

Parades are a must! The Greenpoint Children’s Halloween Parade will take place on October 26. It commences at 3 and lasts until 5 p.m., beginning at 176 Java Street.

The New York Aquarium offers up its fair share of spook with its Ascarium Weekend, a witch and wizard-themed event, Saturday and Sunday, October 26 and 27. The Aquarium is located at Surf Avenue and West Eight Street. Admission is $9.95. For more information, go to www.nyaquarium.com.

Also on the 26thand 27th of October, from noon to 5 p.m. the historic merry go round in Prospect Park will be transformed into a Haunted Carousel (rides are $2). At the nearby Lefferts Historic House, inside Prospect Park’s Willink Entrance, scary stories will be recited at 2 and 3 p.m. $3 suggested donation.

The Prospect Park Zoo, 450 Flatbush Avenue, will host its annual Boo at the Zoo Weekend on Saturday and Sunday, October 26 and 27.  Zoo festivities on both days will involve Wild Life Witch shows, face painting, bat chats, costumes parades and dance parties and many more child-oriented activities. Tickets are $8 for adults, $6 for seniors 65 and older, $5 for kids age three to 12, and free for children under three. Events last from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.  For further information, visit www.prospectparkzoo.com.

The Audubon Center at the Boathouse in Prospect Park will feature Creepy, Crawly Halloween on October 27. From 1 to 4 p.m., take a look at creatures that give you the creeps—see spiders and worms up close. Crafts and experiments will be available for all. Admission is free; the boathouse is on East Lake Drive. Go to www.prospectpark.org for more information.

Finally, it’s Halloween. We dare you to get bored with so much going on!

The Park Slope Civic Council’s Halloween Parade is an annual staple. Two ambulances filled to the brim with abundances of candy will lead the parade as technicians and dedicated volunteers will hand out bags full of candy to attendees. The parade rolls down Seventh Avenue from 14th Street to Third Street beginning at 6:30 p.m.. Email Halloween@parkslopeciviccouncil.org for further info.

In Bay Ridge, the annual Haunted Walk and Fairytale Forest in Owls Head Park will take place from 3:30 to 9:30 p.m. on October 31. The event, sponsored by the Shore Road Parks Conservancy and State Senator Marty Golden, is a family favorite, with one of the spookiest strolls in the borough, as well as a carnival designed to appeal to all ages, with food for sale, rides and a pumpkin patch.

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