Ride to the Pumpkin Patch by Train

​Enjoy the best of Connecticut’s fall foliage and take a train ride to the Pumpkin Patch where the kids can select their own pumpkin and everyone can savor cider and donuts. This weekend the Railroad Museum Of New England’s Naugatuck Railroad kicks off its 10th Annual “Pumpkin Patch” Train Rides.

It’s a great opportunity for families to reconnect and take a fun trip back into years gone by. Parents and grandparents can bring their children and grandchildren along for a ride on Pumpkin Patch Train and watch them pick out their own pumpkin in the field. All will enjoy the magnificent foliage this time of year. Everyone should bring cameras to capture these wonderful memories.

Pumpkin Patch Trains are scheduled for Saturdays and Sundays, October 14, 15, 21, 22, 28 and 29 at 10am, 12 noon and 2pm. After the children select their pumpkins, and families take photos, passengers re-board the train for the ride back to the historic Thomaston Station.

The fares are $18 for Adults and $16 for Seniors (age 62+) and Children (ages 3-12). Children 2 and under are free. Purchase tickets online at www.rmne.org or phone 860-283-7245 anytime. All tickets are non-refundable and non-exchangeable.

Trains depart from Thomaston Station at 242 East Main St, Thomaston, Connecticut. Tickets are picked up at Thomaston Station’s “WILL CALL” window on the day of your train ride. Please arrive at the Station 30 minutes before departure time. Trains leave promptly at the scheduled times.

In addition to the “Pumpkin Patch Trains,” the RMNE schedule for October includes the “Scenic Train Tours” on Tuesdays at 10am. In late November and throughout December, the RMNE also will offer the “Santa Express” and the “Northern Lights Limited.”

The RMNE, located at the historic Thomaston Train Station, is a not-for-profit, all volunteer, educational and historical organization that dates back to January 1968. The mission of the RMNE is to tell the story of the region’s rich railroad heritage through our educational exhibits and operation of the Naugatuck Railroad. The museum concept is more than just artifacts; it’s also a story of the region and the development of society around the railroad. More information about the Railroad Museum of New England can be found at: www.rmne.org​.

Sharon Audubon Enchanted Forest & More

Family fun is in the works at the Sharon Audubon Center the last two weekends in October. A trio of events are “non scary” and geared toward families with children pre-K through 2nd grade.

The Audubon’s popular Enchanted Forest will be held on Saturday, October 21. Guided groups will meet friendly costumed animal characters along a candlelit trail and hear how the animals live their lives on the Audubon grounds. After the tour, which lasts approximately 45 minutes, participants can enjoy a cup of hot chocolate inside the Center building before taking a hayride back to the parking area. This non-scary program is ideal for children up to 8 years old and their families. Tours begin every 10-15 minutes between the hours of 6:00 and 7:30 p.m.. Participants should bring an extra flashlight. Admission is $4 per person. Children under 2 are free.

Wild Waterfowl Day is taking place on Saturday, October 28 from 8 am to 12 noon. Fall is one of the best times of year to witness amazing waterfowl migration. Many species come through Litchfield Hills, including Audubon Sharon and surrounding areas and we will have a great opportunity to view these marvelous fliers. We will begin at Audubon Sharon at 8 a.m. and explore a few of the ponds before driving to Bantam Lake, which is a stopover spot for migrating waterfowl. Transportation to Bantam Lake is not guaranteed, but carpooling is likely.

Audubon Kids’ Day is taking place on Sunday, October 29 from 12 noon to 3 p.m. This is a fun, autumn afternoon for young children and their families and features carnival-type games, kids’ crafts, a petting zoo, a hay bale maze, hay wagon shuttles, professional face painting and glitter tattoos, a large leaf pit for jumping, balloon twisting and good food such as burgers, hot dogs, chili, apple cider and homemade goodies. Children are encouraged to come in costume and join in the costume parade led around the Center grounds. The event is held rain or shine and is ideal for children PreK-3rd grade. Admission.

The Land We Love @ Sharon Historical Society

The Gallery @the SHS of the Sharon Historical Society & Museum presents the opening of its show of art works in The Gallery @the SHS, “The Land We Love”, an invitational exhibition and sale of landscape art in a variety of media running through October 27, 201

Artists have been drawn to depict the world around them for millennia but it is only in the last two hundred years or so that nature, the physical landscape, painted in the open air, has been thought worthy by itself as the subject of a work of art. Delacroix said that art was nature filtered through a temperament.
For this show, artists were invited to submit their vision of the natural world in which we live. The Land that We Love features the work of area artists Basia Goldsmith, Norma Kimmel, Ellen Moon, Patty Mullins, Ray Olsen and Babs Perkins.

Artifacts from the SHS collection (including photographs from the CR Robinson Archive of landscapes around Sharon Gardens of Stone House) will be on display to complement the artwork.

All purchases at The Gallery @the SHS support the Sharon Historical Society & Museum’s mission. The Gallery @the SHS is located at the Sharon Historical Society & Museum, 18 Main Street, Route 41, Sharon, CT. The gallery and museum are open Wednesday through Friday from 12-4, Saturday from 10-2 and by appointment. For more information and directions to The Gallery @the SHS, call (860) 364-5688. For additional information about the Sharon Historical Society & Museum, visit www.sharonhist.org

Howl-O-Ween and Boo @ the Zoo!

Howl-O-Ween is an annual Halloween themed event at Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo. This family fun event takes place on Oct. 16, 21, 27 & 29 from 6:30 p.m. – 10 p.m.

This family-oriented event features activities and attractions geared toward children from 8-15, although brave youngsters have found the event to be quite enjoyable.

For the more timid, there are events such as magic shows, face painting, fortune tellers, dancers and more. Braver children (and parents!) can enter the zoo’s special haunted attractions: The Haunted Hayride, Farmer Beardsley’s Farmstead, and the Ghastly Greenhouse.

Tickets for Howl-O-Ween are $12 presale & for Zoo members (see below to purchase) and $15 on the night of the event. Your ticket purchase includes two haunted houses, haunted hayride, all performances, face painting, carousel rides & more. Food and beverage are not included, but the Zoo’s Peacock Cafe is open during the event. Parking at the Zoo is free of charge. For tickets and more information http://beardsleyzoo.org/howl-o-ween.

While at the Zoo don’t miss the Parade of Scarecrows that line the grass by the Greenhouse as you enter the park and don’t forget to vote for your favorite that will be chosen on October 29 at the Boo at the Zoo event that will be held from 12 noon to 3 pm. If you are 12 and under and come dressed in a costume and are accompanied by a paying adult you will get in Free. There will be hayrides, activities, seasonal favorites and even candy!

Haunted Graveyards and Witches Dungeon Deliver Chills and Thrills

It is that spooky time of year again and Bristol Connecticut in the Litchfield Hills is “spook central”!

For chills, make haste to the Haunted Graveyard at Lake Compounce Family Theme Park in Bristol, which has been called “The granddaddy of the horrifically good time.” An unholy order of monks keep watch over the graves in the dark caverns of the Catacombs here and a dark and misty fog envelops the graveyard where zombies and night stalkers have wakened from the dead. Some are real, others are amazing animatronic creations made by The Haunted Graveyard’s crazed staff. Recommended for adults, teens and very brave children, the park opens at dusk weekends through October 29, and runs to midnight on Fridays and Saturdays, to 10 p.m. on Sundays. Lake Compounce will also be operating 17 thrill rides including Boulder Dash, Ghost Hunt, Down Time, and Zoomerang. Proceeds will benefit the American Diabetes Associations. For tickets visit https://www.lakecompounce.com or http://hauntedgraveyard.com.

This year, Lake Compounce is hosting a new event to celebrate the season…. a Boo Brew Fest from 5 pm. to 9 pm that will take place opening weekend of the Haunted Graveyard Friday, 9/29 & Saturday, 9/30! Festival goers can sample craft beer from their favorite local breweries, and taste some delicious fall fare! Show your Adult Combo Ticket (Rides and Graveyard admission) and get one FREE flight of local CT brewed beer! Breweries include: Two Roads, Thomas Hooker, Back East, Stony Creek, City Steam, Olde Burnside, Broad Brook, Half Full Brewery, and Firefly and others.

This will be the 51st year for the annual Witch’s Dungeon Halloween Classic Movies Museum in Bristol, the longest running exhibit of its kind started in 1966. This wax style museum is a tribute to the actors and make-up artists that gave audiences classic movie monsters. A highlight of the event is the guest appearance of Victoria Price, Vincent Price’s daughter on Saturday, October 21 from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.

The Graveyard Of Classic Ghouls sets the atmosphere as you enter the dungeon where accurate life-size figures of Boris Karloff, Vincent Price, Lon Chaney, Bela Lugosi, and others are featured in 13 scenes or dioramas based on the vintage movie chillers. Many of the figures are made from the actual life casts of the actor’s faces, plus some original costumes or props, in a wax museum style setting with special voice tracks by Vincent Price, Mark Hamill, and John Agar. Many Hollywood props are on display and vintage films will be shown in the auditorium on “real” film until 10 p.m.

While waiting for each wax museum tour, you can view actual film props, actor’s life casts and movie posters, or step into our film room, to view classic silent horror movies, shown on film, not video. Featuring far more life size figures & original movie props than we have ever had on display before! Figures based on the classic films of Vincent Price, Boris Karloff, Lon Chaney, Bela Lugosi and more.

The location for Witches Dungeon is 98 Summer Street in Bristol at the Bristol Historical Society. The hours are weekends in October, Friday through Sunday evenings, 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m., Oct. 22-27 through Oct. 31. The Museum is not recommended for children under age 7. A $6 donation is suggested. For additional information visit http://www.preservehollywood.org.

For a free newsletter on what to see and do in Litchfield Hills and Fairfield County visit www.litchfieldhills.com

“A Tour Of The Autumn Night Sky” – A Family Astronomy Program Offered by Flanders

On Saturday, October 14, the public is invited to come out to Flanders to enjoy an evening of exploring the Autumn Sky by telescope. The program is being led by Litchfield Hills Amateur Astronomy club members Russ Leonard and Jim Kandefer. Learn more about the constellations, enjoy the best views of the rings of Saturn since 2003, explore the many star clusters within our Milky Way Galaxy, observe the distant Andromeda Galaxy through the large telescope they will be providing for the night and view deep space objects in color with a live view video eyepiece which will allow the group to observe through a small color monitor at the same time.

Have a Canon or Nikon DSLR? Bring the camera body and use a telescope to take a photo of the great Hercules Globular Star Cluster. Have questions? Jim and Russ will be providing the insights and answers of 100 years combined experience of looking to the night sky!

The program will be held at 7PM at the Flanders Sugar House which is located a quarter mile up from the intersection of Flanders and Church Hill Road in Woodbury. Children are welcome. There is a rain date of Friday, October 20 at the same time.

The cost is Free for Flanders members and $5 for non-members. Those interested should register online at www.flandersnaturecenter.org or call 203-263-3711, ext. 10, for more information.

About Flanders
Flanders Nature Center & Land Trust acquires, preserves and manages land; and uses the land to promote understanding and appreciation of nature, art and the environment. Founded by artist, farmer and environmentalist Natalie Van Vleck, Flanders provides a variety of environmental education programs year-round, designed to bring a deeper understanding of art, nature and farming to children, youth and adults in the Woodbury region and throughout Connecticut.

Ride a Train to a Pumpkin Patch!

It’s the Fall harvest season so what better way to celebrate and welcome in the cooler weather than with a short ride on a vintage train to the Danbury Railway Museums Pumpkin Patch. This popular annual family event will take place on Saturday, October 14, 21 and 28 and on Sunday, October 15, 22 and 29 s from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. with the last train at 3:30 p.m. The train will depart hourly 12:30 pm – 3:30 pm. Admission is $12.00 for ages 2 and over; children under 24 months are free.

This ride includes a free pumpkin for every child plus free cider and cookies. Kids will ride the vintage train through the railyard see the restored 1903 station and rail yard,look at the museum displays and operating layouts. A highlight is the option to explore inside real trains and to have fun at the coloring station or to get a temporary tattoo.

Visitors will ride the Pumpkin Patch Train through the historic rail yard in a 1920’s passenger coach, pulled by a vintage ALCo RS-1 diesel-electric locomotive* to the special pumpkin patch where each child will receive a free pumpkin.

Of course, the exhibits, artifacts, and multiple operating model train layouts inside the restored 100-year old Danbury station will be open for your education and entertainment. The kids can also enjoy the free activities such as the “coloring station,” temporary tattoos, cider & cookies, and more. There is a fully-stocked gift shop on the premises. No reservations are required; the event will be held rain or shine. Children are encouraged to come in costume.

The Danbury Railway Museum is a non-profit organization, staffed solely by volunteers, and is dedicated to the preservation of, and education about, railroad history. The museum is located in the restored 1903 Danbury Station and rail yard at 120 White Street, Danbury, CT and has many artifacts of area railroading on display, including over 70 vintage railroad cars and locomotives.

For further information, visit the Web site at http://www.danburyrail.org, or call the museum at 203-778-8337.