Thursday, October 25, 2012

Local Fun for Halloween

photo from wwarby,
Ok, so between a surprise business trip overseas and a sick baby at home, I've been a Grade A slacker on the blogosphere, but with Halloween tricking and treating its way to my door, I had to make some time. 

So you're wondering what you can do to pumpkin spice up your season?  Here are a few ideas:

- The Great Jack O'Lantern Blaze requires a little bit of a drive, but it's worth it if you have the time. If you can get yourself up to the Hudson Valley, about half an hour away, you'll see over 5,000 jack o'lanterns carved by hand displayed in crazy shapes and configurations.  There are pumpkin skeletons, pumpkin underwater scenes and pumpkin vampires flying overhead. Ok, some of the pumpkins are not-so-much-real-as-fake but the effect is amazing.  The whole landscape just glows with Halloween ghouliness. You can also get seasonal snacks and gifts. Last time we went (not last year - I was too pumpkin shaped myself to enjoy it), we had a blast. It sells out quick, so get those tickets soon! Right this minute there are tickets available for Oct 31 and Nov 4, 9, 10 and 11.

- The Bartlett Arboretum & Garden (151 Brookdale Rd) is hosting its second annual AMAZEing Halloween. Apart from the misspellings, it looks like an excellent event. Underway on October 27-28 from 11am-4pm, it features a Halloween maze, a "Monster Mash" costume parade for kids and pets, an Outdoor Explore Classroom, face painting, magic shows, pumpkin painting, balloon animals and other fun kiddie craziness. It's free with a suggested donation of $5/car. You can also learn more about the Wolf Conservation Center in South Salem NY and meet its wolf mascot, Atka (for an additional fee of $6 for adults and $4 for kids; call for tickets to that event: 203-322-6971). 

- Looking for something decidedly less kid friendly and more twisted? A bit outside the season, but creepy enough to carry over, The Avon's (272 Bedford St) Cult Classic "Wake in Fright" is on display Thursday, Nov 29th at 9pm. $6 for members; $8 for students/seniors; $11 for non-members. Apparently the long lost negatives of the 1970s film were found in Pittsburgh, PA just before they were to be destroyed, and the film's been completely restored. The theater describes the movie as follows:

"Alongside MAD MAX and WALKABOUT, WAKE IN FRIGHT is widely acknowledged as one of the seminal films in the development of modern Australian cinema. Directed by Ted Kotcheff (RAMBO: FIRST BLOOD), the film tells the story of a British schoolteacher’s descent into personal demoralization at the hands of drunken, deranged derelicts while stranded in a small town in outback Australia. Virtually unseen in the United States and renowned in its home country after years of neglect, WAKE IN FRIGHT is ripe for rediscovery and returns to cinemas beginning this

WAKE IN FRIGHT originally made its debut at Cannes in 1971, where it earned a Palme D’Or nomination. The film made its return to the festival in 2009 courtesy of guest-curator Martin Scorsese, following the completion of a comprehensive restoration. It was there where WAKE IN FRIGHT held the honor of being one of two films to have been shown twice in the history of the festival. The film is lauded for its stark and uncompromising vision by champions such as Roger Ebert who said it is “powerful, genuinely shocking and rather amazing,” and celebrated musician/songwriter/screenwriter Nick Cave, who said the film is “the best and most terrifying film about Australia in existence.”