Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Adirondack Family Activities: Haunted Halloween Fests

My family puts a lot of time into children’s Halloween costumes. It seems that my kids start planning the next year’s theme the moment they take off the previous year’s getup. They continue to use those costumes in an ever growing and more sophisticated dress-up bin.  Though most scary Halloween events may not be for the very young, we look for opportunities that entertain a wide variety of ages where we can showcase the new costumes.

In the Champlain Valley, the Lakeside School at Black Kettle Farm in Essex has a wonderful treat planned. Award winning author and illustrator Steven Kellogg will be onsite from 10:30 am – 12:30 pm on October 20th.  Adults and children alike will enjoy Kellogg’s storytelling as he draws on an oversized drawing pad, quickly sketching one of his stories through a series of vignettes.

For this event Kellogg will bring the pages of A Beasty Story to life, a book written by Bill Martin Jr. and illustrated by Steven Kellogg.

According to Emily Abruzzi, Lakeside School’s Harvest Hallo’ween Festival event coordinator, copies of the book can be purchased and autographed by Steven Kellogg during the Festival.

“Children can dress up and have fun,” says Abruzzi. “ Steven Kellogg will kick off the event and afterwards people can get their books signed during the other activities. There will be gourd and pumpkin painting, a corn mill grinding as well as wind wand making, where the children can decorate a stick with silk and be able to run around with it.”

There will also be baked goods and apple cider. Admission is $7/adults, $5/children, $20/whole family. Lakeside School is located at the corner of Cook and Leaning Roads in Essex.

Not too far away, the Haunted 1812 Homestead in Willsboro will take place the same day. Part of the Pok-O-MacCready Outdoor Education Center, this event takes place at two separate times. The first timeslot is geared for “the little spooks.” From noon to 4:00 pm there will be tractor rides, face painting, games, search for hidden haystack treats, and a 1:00 pm costume parade. The focus of the earlier time is for the younger family members to have a fun time with just a few ghost stories. At 6:30 pm the Haunted 1812 Homestead does a complete turnaround and earns its “haunted” name.

Pok-O-MacCready Outdoor Education Center Director Brian DeGroat says, “This year we have a forest logging camp theme. We are going more along with a particular storyline and having the scary elements tie it all together. Similar to last year, there will be plenty of tension-filled parts, chainsaw sounds and some surprises. People will still be lead by a guide.”

DeGroat and his helpers plan on having plenty of popping out and scaring for the bolder crowd through the forested walk. The Haunted Homestead is $8/pp and located at the corner of Route 22 and Reber Road in Willsboro.  Enjoy!

Original poster by Steven Kellogg.

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Diane Chase is the author of the Adirondack Family Activities guidebook series, Adirondack Family Time. She writes about ways to foster imaginative play through fun-filled events and activities in the Adirondack region.

From her home in Saranac Lake, Diane also writes a weekly family-oriented newspaper column for the Adirondack Daily Enterprise and keeps her own blog Adirondack Family Time. Her writing and photography has appeared in numerous newspapers, magazines, marketing companies and advertising agencies.

She even finds time to assist her husband with Adirondack Expeditions guiding families and young adults in the High Peaks.

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