Free Family Halloween Event Features a Hay Maze Oct. 29 and Oct. 30 At Bartlett Arboretum & Gardens

The Bartlett Arboretum & Gardens at 151 Brookdale Road in Stamford becomes home to a huge hay maze, fun activities for kids and other Halloween happenings on Saturday, October 29, 2011 and Sunday October 30, 2011 from 12 p.m.- 4 p.m.

The event, AMAZEing Halloween, also features free admission to The Bartlett Arboretum & Gardens and its new Outdoor Explore Classroom, as well as the “Monster Mash” costume parade at 1pm and 3pm, face-painting, magicians, pumpkin carving, and many other kid-friendly activities.

“We wanted to showcase our grounds at a free Halloween event to let people see how wonderful the property looks in the fall” said Peter Saverine, Bartlett Arboretum’s Executive Director of Operations. “We’re excited about the hay maze and we’ll have lots to do for kids and their families.

With the recent opening of our new Silver Educational Center and its outdoor complement, the new Nature Explore Classroom, we are sure the Bartlett Arboretum will become a must-visit location for families to learn about nature together.”

The event is FREE and open to the public. It is being held in partnership with Stamford Recreation Services and supports the Food Bank of Lower Fairfield County. Families are encouraged to bring any non-perishable items they would like to donate to help others in our community.

Register at http://stamfordhalloween.eventbrite.com for your child or children to receive a free Halloween goody bag on the day of the event.

About The Bartlett Arboretum & Gardens:

The Bartlett Arboretum & Gardens is located at 151 Brookdale Road in Stamford, CT and is a natural preserve like no other in this region. The property features 91 acres of irreplaceable open space highlighting the best of what Connecticut’s

Native landscape has to offer: magnificent award-winning Champion trees, charming gardens, wildflower meadows, red maple wetlands and boardwalks, woodland walking trails, varied wildlife and native habitats. A wonderful getaway from the hustle and bustle of daily life, it serves as a leading recreational and educational resource for area residents and visitors of all ages. For weekend gardeners to budding young botanists, the Bartlett offers a place to relax, learn and play. The mission of the Bartlett Arboretum & Gardens is to inspire the community to explore, examine, understand and appreciate the natural history of the botanical world and its place in our lives. It is open to the public 365 days a year. Children under 12 are always free, adult entry is $6. Individual, family, and senior memberships are available for free access year round and discounts to programs, special events and local merchants. Visit www.bartlettarboretum.org or call 203-322-6971 for more information.

Photo Credit: P. Pogo

Ready for Halloween? A Haunting at Mill Hill in Norwalk October 15 and 22

As the sun sets, on Mill Hill in Norwalk, the spirits come out to play. Take a lantern-light tour through the historic Mill Hill graveyard and hear chilling tales from the spirits of Norwalk’s past on Saturdays, October 15 and 22 (rain or shine). Tours are scheduled at 5:30 p.m., 7:00 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. Each tour will be followed by refreshments in the old one-room schoolhouse. This pre-Halloween event is organized by the Norwalk Historical Society.

During “A Haunting at Mill Hill,” participants will hear stories of murder, death, destruction and more while they meet renegade Tory Easias Bouton, Chester, the haunted Civil War statue, and other entities from Norwalk’s colorful history. The cemetery is located at 2 East Wall Street, Norwalk, CT 06851.

Space for each tour is limited so reservations are recommended (203-846-0525). Advance tickets are $10 for adults/teens and $6 for children ages 8-12 (not recommended for children younger than 8). Tickets at the door are $12 for adults/teens and $8 for children. There is a $2 discount for Norwalk Historical Society members. For more information visit http://norwalkhistoricalsociety.org.

About Mill Hill Historic Park

The Mill Hill Historic Park consists of three historical buildings and the third oldest Burying Ground in Norwalk.

The Burying Ground on Mill Hill dates to 1767 and was originally called Whitney’s Hill after a miller that opened a mill on the site. A list of those buried in the Mill Hill Burying Ground was recorded in 1924 and consisted of the names on the headstones that were clearly readable. Not all that are buried on Mill Hill are accounted for because in the Colonial Period less than a third of the burials were marked with an inscribed headstone. Some of the time, a simple rock was used.

Several notable buildings are located on the grounds of the Mill Hill complex. The federally styled brick Norwalk Town House dates to 1835 and served a multiple of purposes over the years as a gathering place for special groups.

The Law Office of Governor Fitch is also on the grounds. Thomas Fitch was Governor of the Colony of Connecticut from 1754 to 1766. Restored in 1971, the small colonial style building I saw on the grounds was reconstructed as a colonial law office. Originally, it was part of the kitchen wing of Governor Fitch’s house. I was told that it was the only portion of the house that survived the burning of Norwalk by the British on July 11, 1779. The house that stands on Mill Hill today, was once located in East Norwalk. It was moved in 1956 because it was in the construction path of the Interstate 95.

The red-clapboarded building known as the Downtown District School House is also located in the complex and was built in 1826. The building was used as a school until 1871. The British destroyed the original school, and the present schoolhouse was built on the lines of the first utilizing its original foundation.

16th Annual Colonial Fair at Woodbury CT’s Glebe House Sept. 18

Woodbury, whose name means a dwelling place in the woods was settled by 17 colonists in 1659 making it one of Connecticut’s oldest western inland towns. In 1673, Woodbury was purchased from Chief Pomperaug of the Pootatuck Indians. The present day Main Street (Rte. 6) was laid out in the 1670’s along an old Indian trail where Chief Pomperaug is buried.

Woodbury was always a prosperous town. By the end of the 18th century, it was a thriving center of agricultural trade. In the early 19th century, industrial growth led to a building boom and many of the houses and four of the five churches along Rte. 6 date from this period.

One of Woodbury’s architectural gems is The Glebe House Museum & Gertrude Jekyll Garden dating from the 1740’s. The Glebe House became a minister’s farm or glebe for Woodbury’s first Episcopal minister, John Rutgers Marshall. Only weeks after American Independence was secure, a group of clergy met secretly at the Glebe House, to elect the Reverend Dr. Samuel Seabury as the first Bishop in the new nation, a decision that assumed the separation of church and state, and religious tolerance in the new nation. This event established the Glebe House as the birthplace of the Episcopal Church in America.

On September 18th the Glebe House is gearing up for its 16th annual Colonial Fair & Muster Day in the Hollow on Sunday, September 18 from 1:00-5:00.

The Pisgah Mountain Primitives will return to demonstrate blacksmithing, rope making and colonial cooking. Other colonial craft demonstrations will include spinning, quilting, wood working and basket making.

Children will have the chance to make candles, practice quill writing and churn butter. Colonial stories will be told by professional storyteller Joyce Marie Rayno and Sandi Eustace from Double D Pony will hitch up Dixie and Diego to their cart for pony rides.

The museum has special tours planned along with food, music and much more colonial era fun for the entire family. The Fair is free for children under 18 and $5 for adults.

FEARSOME OR FRIENDLY, FUN FILLS THE LITCHFIELD HILLS FOR HALLOWEEN


Dracula, Frankenstein and other heroes of the horrors will be on hand, while spooks and spiders, ghouls and goblins will abound in haunted graveyards. The Litchfield Hills of Northwestern Connecticut will be filled with unique ways to celebrate Halloween throughout the month of October. Families can choose from fearsome to friendly, with many chances for younger children to don their costumes and parade in happy small town celebrations.

Scary Scenarios

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 from September 30 to October 31, and runs to midnight on Fridays and Saturdays, to 10 p.m. on Sundays. The Haunted Graveyard will not be open October 2 and rides will not be open on October 31st. Lake Compounce will also be operating 17 thrill rides including Boulder Dash, Wildcat, Down Time, and Zoomerang. Proceeds will benefit the American Diabetes Associations. (www.lakecompounce.com)

This will be the 45th year for the annual Witches Dungeon Halloween Classic Movies Museum in Bristol. 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 may be shown outdoors, weather permitting. A special highlight this year is the display of the classic 1966 “Batmobile” for the opening weekend of Sept. 30 to October 2. Hours are Friday through Sunday evenings, 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m., September 30 to October 31. The Museum is not recommended for children under age 7. A $2.00 donation is suggested for all ages! (www.preservehollywood.com)

Historic Happenings
At the historic Glebe House Museum in Woodbury on Saturday, October 22 costumed spirits will lead the way through the Ancient Burying grounds, where 20 of Woodbury’s most famous and infamous ‘spirits’ await at their gravesites to relate tales from the darker side of 18th and 19th century Woodbury. There will be a spooky candlelit tour in the museum itself and stories and tales from Moll Cramer, the Witch of Woodbury, told in the Museum cottage. Madame Suzolo will be offering Tarot Card readings and there will be free fall refreshments for all. The Hollow will be closed to traffic and the area, including the walk to and through the cemetery will be lit with over 200 luminaries. Hours are 5 pm to 9 p.m. The rain date is October 29. http://www.theglebehouse.org.

The night of October 29 also brings the Halloween Spooktacular at the Tapping Reeve Law School on Rte. 63 South Street in Litchfield beginning at 6:30 PM.. The Litchfield Historical Society has partnered with the White Memorial Conservation Center for a spooktacular that promises candlelight reading of excerpts from the Washington Irving classic, “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” interpreted by local thespians, Ilvi Dulac, Jane Coughlin, and Michael Medeiros. Next get ready to take a guided walking tour along Gallows Lane, site of the hanging and death of America’s first mass murderer. The evening ends at White Memorial’s A.B. Ceder Room with spooky treats. Here kids will also meet an owl and a bat and watch out for other things that go bump in the night! Bring a flashlight! Halloween costumes are suggested but not required! (860-567-0857). http://www.whitememorialcc.org

Once again this year, the festively decorated Railroad Museum of New England in Thomaston is scheduling Halloween Weekend train rides on its vintage trains on Saturday, Oct. 29 and Sunday, Oct. 30. The Halloween Express will take costumed passengers on a scenic 20-mile round-trip ride that runs along Mattatuck State Forest to the Brass Mills of Waterbury and back to the spectacular Thomaston Dam amid splendid fall foliage. Free pumpkins are given to every child as long as the supply lasts. (860-283-RAIL; http://www.rmne.org).

Hunt Hill Farm on Upland Road in New Milford is hosting “The Silo and the Supernatural” on October 30 from 4pm to 6 pm. Participants will enter the realm of the paranormal with The Northwest Ct Paranormal Society’s professional investigator John Zontok and Bob Mills, a professional photographer who helps the team differentiate true paranormal pictures from forged images. Tools of the trade, the history of paranormal photography, and audio of ghostly voices and videos of what could be a revolutionary soldier will be shared and experienced. Local hauntings, including a Barkhamsted barn investigation featured on the Animal Planet’s “The Haunted” series and “My Ghost Story are highlights of this macabre evening of paranormal fun. Due to the nature of this program, ages 12 and up please. (860-355-0300). http://www.hunthillfarmtrust.org.

Small Town Fun—for Free!!

Everyone is invited to join the 35th Annual Kent Pumpkin Run on October 30th. The festivities begin with a Kids Fun Run at 11:15 AM followed by the 5 mile run / walk at noon. The spectator friendly certified course starts and finishes at Kent Green in front of Town Hall. Festivities include music, refreshments (including Billy’s famous Pumpkin Soup!), face painting, Halloween fun and much more.

The 19th Annual Halloween on the Green in Danbury will take place on Saturday, October 29 from 2 pm to 4pm with a Costume Parade scheduled for 3:30 pm. Prizes will be awarded for Most Original, Scariest, Cutest and Funniest get-ups. Children will have their own costume parade and games and get to decorate a pumpkin. (203-792-1711; http://www.citycenterdanbury.com).

Bristol is hosting the 17th Annual Free Halloween Carnival and Costume Parade for boys and girls up to 5th grade that will take place on October 30, from 11:45 to 3 p.m. at Rockwell Park. The parade begins at noon and Amazing Andy’s Magic Show follows. Carnival games, arts and crafts, Big Daddy’s Racing, an old fashioned photo booth, Twinkles and Jingles the clowns and Train Rides are also on the agenda. Each child will receive a free reflective trick or treat bag. Children participating in the Costume Parade will receive a small bag of treats. There is no charge to participate in the Fall/Halloween Carnival. (860-584-6160)

The Big Day

On October 31, beginning at 4:30 pm, the annual Halloween Costume Party for Children will go on at the New England Carousel Museum in Bristol, with the costume contest scheduled for 5 p.m. Ghoulish games and fun are promised, along with a crazy costume contest and what is billed as “frightening foods.” Kids are free, but adults are asked to contribute $1.

Finally, anyone who is in the area on Halloween night is invited to join the Safe Halloween fun at the Terryville Fairgrounds in Terryville from 6pm to 10pm. Sponsored by the Terryville Lion’s Club, it will feature hayrides, games, food and treats. All you need to participate is a non-perishable food item for the Plymouth Food Pantry.

For more information about Halloween happenings and other fall events and a free copy of UNWIND, a 112-page color guide to lodging, dining and all the attractions in Western Connecticut, contact the Western Connecticut Visitors Bureau, PO Box 968, Litchfield, CT 06759, (860) 567-4506, http://www.visitwesternct.com.

Wine & Roses Celebrates The Jekyll Garden in Woodbury CT

It is hard to resist a glass of wine in a beautiful garden on a perfect summer evening. That is what you can expect at the Glebe House Museum on Hollow Road in Woodbury, at its festive lawn party, WINE & ROSES, in the Gertrude Jekyll Garden from 5:30 to 7:30 pm on Saturday, July 16. Surrounded by bursts of summer flowers in the garden and bouquets of roses, guests can sample Gertrude’s Garden, a white wine named for Gertrude Jekyll and bottled by Walker Road Vineyards in Woodbury.

Hors d’oeuvres and other wines will also be served. There will be a silent auction and special items for sale including rose bushes for your home garden. The museum will be open for the evening. Tickets for the garden party are $20.00 per person and all proceeds for the event will support the renovation and preservation of the Gertrude Jekyll Garden.

Set in the picturesque Litchfield Hills in historic Woodbury’s village center, the museum welcomes visitors for a glimpse of Revolutionary War era Connecticut. The simple but elegant 18th century farmhouse is furnished as the home of the Reverend John Rutgers Marshall, his wife Sarah, their nine children and three slaves who lived in the “glebe” during the turmoil of the American War for Independence. The Glebe House was restored in 1923 under the direction of William Henry Kent, pioneer of early American decorative arts at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. One of the early historic house museums in the country, The Glebe House opened its doors to the public in 1925.

In 1926, the famed English horticultural designer and writer was commissioned to plan an “old fashioned” garden to enhance the newly created museum. This year we celebrate the 85th anniversary of the garden design. Gertrude Jekyll had a profound influence on modern garden design and is widely considered the greatest gardener of the 20th century. Although a small garden, when compared with the 400 more elaborate designs she completed in England and on the Continent, the Glebe House garden includes 600 feet of classic English style mixed border with sweeps of red, yellow and gold and cool waves of lavender and blue hues, and foundation plantings. It is the only remaining example of her work in the United States today. The garden is open during daylight hours and the museum is open Wednesday through Sunday from 1-4 pm or by appointment.

To reserve tickets for WINE AND ROSES please call the Museum Director at 203-263-2855.

Halloween in Litchfield Hills CT

Find accurate life-size figures at this seasonal museum written up in Believe it or Not!

FEARSOME OR FRIENDLY, FUN FILLS THE
LITCHFIELD HILLS FOR HALLOWEEN

Dracula, Frankenstein and other heroes of the horrors will be on hand, while spooks and spiders, ghouls and goblins will abound in haunted graveyards. The Litchfield Hills of Northwestern Connecticut will be filled with unique ways to celebrate Halloween throughout the month of October.  Families can choose from fearsome to friendly, with many chances for younger children to don their costumes and parade in happy small town celebrations.

Scary Scenarios

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 from October 1 to 31, 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, Downtime, and Thunder and Lightning.  Proceeds will benefit the American Diabetes Associations. (www.lakecompounce.com)

This will be the 44th year for the annual Witches Dungeon Halloween Classic Movies Museum in Bristol.  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 may be shown outdoors, weather permitting.  Hours are Friday through Sunday evenings, 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m., October 1 to 24. The Museum is not recommended for children under age 7. (www.preservehollywood.com)

Historic Happenings

At the historic Glebe House Museum in Woodbury on Saturday, October 23 costumed spirits will lead the way through the Ancient Burying grounds, where 20 of Woodbury’s most famous and infamous ‘spirits’ await at their gravesites to relate tales from the darker side of 18th and 19th century Woodbury.  There will be a spooky candlelit tour in the museum itself and stories and tales from Moll Cramer, the Witch of Woodbury, told in the Museum cottage.  Madame Suzolo will be offering Tarot Card readings and there will be free fall refreshments for all.  The Hollow will be closed to traffic and the area, including the walk to and through the cemetery will be lit with over 200 luminaries.  Hours are 5 pm to 9 p.m. (203-263-2855; http://www.theglebehouse.org).

The night of October 23 also brings the annual night Haunted Trail Walk from 6 to 10 p.m. at The Institute for American Indian Studies Museum and Research Center in Washington.  The Institute promises spiders, ghosts, goblins and monsters spooking the half-mile walk, which ends at the museum’s Indian village where apple cider and marshmallows roasted over the campfire await. (860-868-0518; http://www.birdstone.org).

For the first time, the Railroad Museum of New England in Thomaston is scheduling Halloween Weekend train rides on its vintage trains on Saturday, Oct. 30 and Sunday, Oct. 31.  The 20-mile round-trip ride runs along the Mattatuck State Forest to the Brass Mills of Waterbury and back to the spectacular Thomaston Dam.  Check for further details on Halloween Weekend happenings. (860-283-RAIL; http://www.rmne.org).

Small Town Fun—for Free!!

Everyone is invited to join the Naugatuck Park and Recreation Department and Connecticut Signcraft at the “Children’s Halloween Village” at Naugatuck Park on 258 Rubber Ave., the weekend of October. 22-24th, and the following Thursday to Saturday October 28-30.  Children can have their photos taken with costumed Halloween characters.  Kurt Beckley from Balloon Benders will be creating balloon sculptures on Saturday, Oct. 23rd and Friday, Oct. 29th.  Hours are 5:30-7:30 p.m.  Cocoa, coffee and cider will be served. The only admission is a non-perishable donation for the food bank.

The 18th Annual Halloween on the Green in Danbury will take place on Saturday, October 30 from 2 pm to 4pm with a Costume Parade scheduled for 3:30 pm.  Prizes will be awarded for Most Original, Scariest, Cutest and Funniest get-ups.  Children will have their own costume parade and games and get to decorate a pumpkin.  (203-792-1711; http://www.citycenterdanbury.com).

The Big Day

Two special events will mark Halloween day in Bristol. The town’s free Halloween Carnival and Costume Parade for boys and girls up to 5th grade will take place on October 31, from noon to 3 p.m at Rockwell Park.  The parade begins at noon and Amazing Andy’s Magic Show follows.  Carnival games, arts and crafts, Big Daddy’s Racing, an old fashioned photo booth, Twinkles and Jingles the clowns and Train Rides are also on the agenda.  Each child will receive a free reflective trick or treat bag. (860-584-6160)

On October 31,beginning at 4:30 pm, the annual Halloween Costume Party for Children will go on at the New England Carousel Museum in Bristol, with the costume contest scheduled for 5 p.m. Ghoulish games and fun are promised, along with a crazy costume contest and what is billed as “frightening foods.”  Kids are free, but adults are asked to contribute $1.

Finally, anyone who is in the area on Halloween night is invited to join the Safe Halloween fun at the Terryville Fairgrounds in Terryville from 6pm to 9pm.  Sponsored by the Terryville Lion’s Club, it will feature hayrides, games, food and treats.  All you need to participate is a non-perishable food item for the Plymouth Food Pantry.

For more information about Halloween happenings and other fall events and a free copy of UNWIND, a 112-page color guide to lodging, dining and all the attractions in Western Connecticut, contact the Western Connecticut Visitors Bureau, PO Box 968, Litchfield, CT 06759, (860) 567-4506, http://www.visitwesternct.com.