Ghouls & Gourds: Halloween Festival for Families

Sat

28

Oct
Family Fun
Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s zany and colorful festival celebrating Halloween and the harvest season, Ghouls & Gourds

Ghouls & Gourds: Halloween Festival for Families

Brooklyn Botanic Garden | Park Slope
Saturday, October 28, 2017

Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s zany and colorful festival celebrating Halloween and the harvest season, Ghouls & Gourds, returns Saturday, October 28, 2017. Visitors of all ages are invited to enjoy this cornucopia of spectacular shows, weird workshops, and Brooklyn’s wackiest costume parade.

Live musical performances by The Persuasions, Jeffrey Broussard and the Creole Cowboys, Brooklyn United Marching Band, Rana Santacruz, Jenny Hill and Liquid Horn, DJ Ecotone, and Street Mule get costumed visitors grooving. Festivalgoers can delight in the magical sights of Mortal Beasts & Deities’ troupe of magnificent stilt dancers, Mettawee River Theatre Company’s Victorian creatures, Phydeaux’s Flying Flea Circus of Fate, and KENYC’s dashing demonstration of the Japanese ball-and-cup toy, kendama.

Kids of all ages can get into the Halloween spirit with insects and critters both real and imaginary—meet an entomologist and her amazing bugs at Dr. Rutledge’s Insectorium and Petting Zoo, check out composting demonstrations with adorably icky worms, make new friends while crafting a giant spider web, and, just for toddlers, cuddle up with farm friends in the Pretend Petting Zoo. Other hands-on activities include the Vegetable Midway, with Brussels Sprout Bowling, Rutabaga Skee-Ball, and more! Author Avenue features readings and book signings by more than a dozen local children’s book authors and illustrators and a pop-up book shop from Community Bookstore. At the end of the day, everyone is invited to join stilt walkers, giant puppets, and other mythical creatures in Brooklyn’s wackiest costume parade and a drum circle led by Brazilian percussion band Maracatu NY.

Mortal Beasts & Deities at Ghouls & Gourds at Brooklyn Botanic Garden. Photo by Mike Ratliff

 

Shelley Goldberg describes Ghouls & Gourds on NY1

 

2017 GHOULS & GOURDS SCHEDULE OF EVENTS:

All performances and activities take place on Cherry Esplanade unless otherwise noted.

PLANET PUMPKIN STAGE

RANA SANTACRUZ: Noon–12:45 p.m.
Mexican son jarocho rhythms meet blistering bluegrass.

THE PERSUASIONS: 1–2 p.m.
Brooklyn’s legendary a cappella kings

JEFFREY BROUSSARD AND THE CREOLE COWBOYS: 2:15–3:15 p.m.
Red-hot zydeco, straight from Opelousas, Louisiana

BROOKLYN UNITED MARCHING BAND: 3:30–4:30 p.m.
7- to 17-year-olds serve up a jaw-dropping synchronized celebration.

HAYLOFT STAGE

Noon–1 p.m.: JENNY HILL AND LIQUID HORN
Brazilian jazz grooves with a hometown twist

1–1:15 p.m.: PHYDEAUX’S FLYING FLEA CIRCUS OF FATE
Tiny acrobats hit the big top.

1:15–2 p.m.: METTAWEE RIVER THEATRE COMPANY
Victorian creatures invite you to their woodland waltz.

2–2:15 p.m.: PHYDEAUX’S FLYING FLEA CIRCUS OF FATE
Tiny acrobats hit the big top.

2:15–3 p.m.: DJ ECOTONE
Beatboxing and birdcalls with wildlife DJ Ben Mirin

3–3:15 p.m.: PHYDEAUX’S FLYING FLEA CIRCUS OF FATE
Tiny acrobats hit the big top.

3:15–4 p.m.: STREET MULE
Dynamite didgeridoo by groove-master Mark Mueller

CLUB BUG | NOON–4 P.M.

DR. RUTLEDGE’S INSECTORIUM AND PETTING ZOO
Pet a hissing cockroach, feed a hornworm, and meet an entomologist!

BUILD A GIGANTIC SPIDER WEB
Use ribbon and fabric scraps to create a home for the world’s largest arachnid.

SQUIRMY WORMIES
Enjoy these wiggly worms and behold their composting skills!

POLLINATOR TREAT
Make your own blossoming insect goody for springtime.
This activity takes place in the Discovery Garden Pavilion.

VEGETABLE MIDWAY | NOON–4 P.M.

RUTABAGA SKEE-BALL
Step right up and play this classic arcade game—with a veggie twist.

BRUSSELS SPROUT BOWLING
Try your hand at this crazy cruciferous game of skill.

YOU LOOK RADISHING!
Veg out at one of our selfie photo stations.

THE WOW FACTOR | NOON–4 P.M.

MORTAL BEASTS & DEITIES
Magnificent stilt dancers and magical puppets stroll the Esplanade.

KENDAMA: JAPANESE TOYS OF SKILL
Traditional wooden cup-and-ball toys are set into motion with members of KENYC.

PRETEND PETTING ZOO FOR TODDLERS
Come play in our imaginary menagerie.

AUTHOR AVENUE | NOON–4 P.M.

  • Featuring the Community Bookstore Pop-up Shop
  • Take a stroll, get an autograph, and enjoy readings by local authors and illustrators.
  • Author-illustrator Selina Alko reads from B Is for Brooklyn.
  • Author Anica Mrose Rissi reads from The Teacher’s Pet.
  • Author-illustrator Nancy Carpenter reads from A Letter to My Teacher.
  • Author-illustrator Nina Crews reads from Jack and the Beanstalk.
  • Author Anna Forrester reads from Bat Count.
  • Author-illustrator Melanie Hope Greenberg reads from Down in the Subway.
  • Authors Paul DuBois Jacobs and Jennifer Swender read from My Subway Ride.
  • Author Jane Kelley reads from Octo-Man and the Headless Monster.
  • Author-illustrator Michelle Knudsen reads from Marilyn’s Monsters.
  • Author-illustrator Huy Voun Lee reads from Honk, Honk Goose.
  • Author Diane Muldrow reads from We Planted a Tree.
  • Author-illustrator Johan Olander reads from A Field Guide to Monsters: Googly-Eyed Wart, Floppers, Shadow-Casters, Toe-Eaters, and Other Creatures.
  • Author-illustrator Sean Qualls reads from Why Am I Me?
  • Author-illustrator Esme Shapiro reads from Ooko.
  • Author Cindy Sommer reads from Saving Flowers.
  • Illustrator Naoko Stoop reads from Pup and Bear.
  • Author Lauren Thompson reads from Mouse’s First Halloween.
  • Author-illustrator Iza Trapani reads from Haunted Party.

COSTUME PARADE & DRUM CIRCLE | 4:30–5:30 p.m.

Brazilian percussion corps Maracatu NY leads Ghouls & Gourds’ celebrated costume parade and dynamite drum circle. March to the beat of bodacious bands, strut your stuff with silly stilt dancers, shake your bag of bones, or just show off your costume for all to see! Parade kickoff is at the Planet Pumpkin Stage at 4:30 p.m.

Ghouls & Gourds activities will take place rain or shine on Cherry Esplanade. Admission is $20 for adults and $15 for students and seniors over 65. Admission for children under 12 and BBG members is always free.