Five fun things to do in October

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The Jack O’Lantern Spectacular at Roger Williams Park Zoo. (MCT Campus)

Don’t have a reason to look forward to the weekend? Here are a few ideas that will help you find local thrills throughout the month of October:

1.  Jack O’Lantern Spectacular at Roger Williams Park Zoo

The annual Jack O’Lantern Spectacular is returning to illuminate the woodland trails of the Roger Williams Park Zoo. This must-see display features approximately 5,000 glowing jack o’ lanterns that are brought to life nightly from October 6 – 31, 6:00 – 11:00pm. The pumpkins on display come in all shapes and sizes, ranging from tiny sugar pumpkins to 1,600 pound gigantic gourds, and are decorated with painstaking detail by a crew of jack o’ lantern artists each year.

Last year this event enchanted more than 107,000 visitors, and this year’s Spectacular, with the new theme “A Journey Around the World,” is sure to attract many. This year’s display will include scenes depicting the Seven Wonders of the World and will transport visitors to various nations throughout the night. Visitors will be especially dazzled by a trip through the Great White North that is said to come complete with falling “snow.”

Don’t miss out on this unique event that will “glow your mind.” Admission Monday through Thursday nights is $12, and from Friday through Sunday tickets are $14 (arrive early to avoid lines). For more information visit www.rogerwilliamsparkzoo.org/.

2.  Providence Bruins 20th Anniversary Season

Calling all hockey fans! I’m sure most of you saw the Boston Bruins become the reigning Stanley Cup      champions this past June. Hockey season is back and it’s time to kick off the historic 20th Anniversary   Season of the Providence  Bruins (the farm team for the Boston Bruins). The Providence Bruins play at the Dunkin Donuts Center, which is conveniently located by the Providence Place Mall.

Home games in October are on Friday and Sunday nights and tickets start as low as $18. On Friday October 7th the Bruins will play the St. John’s IceCaps at 7:05 pm for the season opener. Come to the games for fun giveaways, awesome fights, and a great time! Check out www.providencebruins.com to see the Bruin’s full schedule.

3.  Local Haunted Attractions

As Halloween night approaches, the urge to experience a scare or two creeps into the minds of many. Fortunately for those eager for a fright, there are quite a few terrifying attractions in the area where brave souls can let their imaginations run wild. The following list provides a few local attractions where one can best get into the holiday’s spooky spirit.

 

Field of Screams

     Watch your nightmares come true before your eyes at Field of Screams in West Greenwich. For the price of $18 (get $2 off if you wear a great Halloween costume), you can experience three interactive haunts: The Haunted Insane Asylum, Dead River Haunted Hayride, and the 4-D Cirque Du Souls Haunted Maze.

Field of Screams is open Thursday – Sunday nights through October 30th. Thursday and Sunday hours are 6:30 – 9:00pm and Friday and Saturday hours are 6:30 – 10:00pm. Go to www.hauntedhayride.net for more information on Southern New England’s premier Halloween event.

Scary Acres

     Experience a haunt that covers an area larger than three football fields and is only twenty minutes from Bryant. Open Friday – Sunday through October 31st (dusk until 10:00pm), Scary Acres at Confreda Greenhouses and Farms in Cranston includes a Haunted Hay Ride and Haunted Corn Maze that will provide you with both tricks and treats. Admission is $18 and, if you make it out alive, Confreda Farms has a variety of fall produce, cider, pumpkins, and other treats to purchase. For more information, go to scaryacresri.com.

Trails to Terror

     For its 15th season, Trails to Terror brings fright fans two new ghostly delights.  Delamorte’s thirty minute Haunted Hayride is themed Freak Street this year and its second attraction, the Forest of Fear walkthrough, will allow visitors to take part in various activities from donating at the Blood Bank to exploring Cannibal Canyon. The Trails, however, warn visitors not to “lose your way or it’s your execution”.

Trails to Terror is at Highland Farm in Wakefield, and is open Fridays, Saturdays, and most Sundays through October 30th. Hours are 7:00 – 10:00pm, with tickets sold beginning at 6:30pm ($12 for single attraction or $18 for both). Go to trailstoterror.com for more information.

Providence Ghost Tours

     Who doesn’t like a good ghost story? Both skeptics and believers and invited to take part in a Providence Ghost Tour to investigate the haunted historic neighborhood that is now home to Brown University and the Rhode Island School of Design. The tours have been developed around research and historical documentation of where murders, suicides, and accidents took place and aim to resurrect resident’s stories and immerse sightseers into the action of being ghost hunters.

Tours meet at the Roger Williams statue at Prospect Terrace on Congdon St., leave at 7:00pm, and are approximately an hour and a half long. Tickets can be purchased online (www.providenceghosttour.com) for $15 per person or in-person, on the night of the tour, for $18 per person. Tour-givers claim to “get a lot of interesting and unexplained camera phenomenon on the tour” so they encourage you to join them and see what you can find.

4.  International Oktoberfest

Newport’s annual International Oktoberfest, held on Columbus Day Weekend   (October 8 – 10), celebrates the best of all things German. From the authentic Austro-German cuisine of returning concessionaires SCHNITZels & GIGGLES to live music by Bavarian bands and yodelers, the festival ensures fun for all. Beer fans (who are of age) can experience the spirited International Biergarten and sample over twenty deliciously crafted seasonal brews.

The popular Oktoberfest Kindergarten Tent is another great attraction that provides seasonal crafts and activities for all ages. Keep your lederhosen handy for this three-day bash that begins at noon each day of Columbus Day weekend at the Newport Yachting Center. Tickets can be purchased for $20 for admission on Saturday or Sunday, and $12 for admission on Monday. Visit www.newportwaterfrontevents.com/international-oktoberfest/ for more information.

5.  Pick-Your-Own Apples

An orchard manager prepares for the apple picking season. (MCTCampus)

Apple picking is the perfect activity for a crisp autumn day. Did you know that 2,500 varieties of apples are grown in the United States? Since October is the perfect time to pick a variety of apples in Rhode Island, take your pick from some of the farms below and make a day of apple picking with some friends.

Hill Orchards

     Hill’s pick-your-own orchard is open weekends and holidays throughout   October (10:00 – 5:00pm). The orchard grows many varieties of apples that ripen at different times, so check out their website (www.hillorchards.com) to see which apples are best for picking in October. Don’t miss this picking experience that comes complete with scheduled hayrides through the orchard on most weekends.

Jaswell’s Farm

     Aptly located in the heart of “Apple Valley” in Smithfield, Rhode Island, Jaswell’s offers apple picking as well as a farm stand and bakery that is open daily from 8:00 – 5:00pm. This farm is the oldest operating apple orchard in Smithfield and is currently run by the fourth generation of the Jaswell family. Not only can you pick fresh apples, Jaswell’s also makes handmade candy apples (can you say delicious?) on a daily basis as well as eight varieties of gourmet apples. Jaswellsfarm.com has more details.

Steere Orchard

     As the largest orchard in Rhode Island, Steere Orchard features apples in about a dozen varieties, including Macoun, Cortland, Red and Golden Delicious, and Macintosh. Their farm stand is open every day from 9:00 – 5:00pm and offers Apple Cider, Jams and Jellies, Apple Cider Donuts, Pumpkins, Gourds, Squash Mums and much more. Free weekend hayrides are available too. Check out www.steereorchard.com for more information.

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