What to do as those autumn leaves fall

Jenny-Byxbee-greenwich-voicesI’m happy to admit it. I love the fall. I love the deep rich colors, especially all things orange. I love the smell of cider, the crispness in the air and especially when pumpkin spice lattes make an appearance on the menu at my favorite java spot.

My wedding day was almost nine years ago and, of course, it was on a Halloween weekend. That’s how much I adore this season. And for all the autumn enthusiasts out there like me, mark your calendars because there are lots of festive happenings around town.

A popular day on the calendar isn’t Friday the 13th but rather Friday October 24th because it has a lot to offer almost everyone looking to get into the spooky spirit. Halloween Happenings will take place at the Bendheim Western Greenwich Civic Center at 449 Pemberwick Road from 6 to 8 p.m. Tickets are available now through the town’s Department of Parks and Recreation. But that’s not all that’s going on.

On the same night, the YMCA of Greenwich is offering a Halloween Bash from 6:30 p.m. all the way until midnight, with swimming, arts and crafts and even a DJ. This event is free to members and $5 for nonmembers. The contact is [email protected] Please note that adults must join the fun and accompany their kiddos. And if you want to do a little Halloween party hopping, the Boys & Girls Club of Greenwich is hosting its very own Halloween bash from 4 to 6 p.m. on the 24th. Details may be found at Bgcg.org/.

But it’s not just about the kids during this fall season. For us grownups there’s a lot of fun to be had, too. The Greenwich United Way Oktoberfest is set for Friday, Oct. 24, at The Loading Dock in Stamford. This is a great way to have a blast for a wonderful cause and support the United Way and its mission. Tickets range in price from $250 up.

This is a chance to enjoy a delicious German-inspired buffet dinner accompanied by various adult beverages. The event will begin at 7 p.m. and will include a DJ, the famous Cork Game, Heads or Tails and a fabulous silent auction. Casual attire is encouraged with dirndl skirts and lederhosen-clad guests making an appearance every year. More information can be found at Unitedway-greenwich.com/oktoberfest.

Beyond all the good times to be had, it’s critical to remember safety, especially at Halloween time. Whatever event or fall festivity you choose to partake in, make sure your little ones avoid masks if at all possible and make sure to use nontoxic paint for anything on their skin or faces. It makes breathing and seeing so much easier. Also make sure children are well supervised and go to well-lit areas, especially for all their trick-or-treating endeavors. They should have flashlights handy and, parents, remember to always check candy before letting children eat it.

Here’s some more candy for thought— with so many costume options out there, and I do love that creativity has no limits, you should make sure, from your little ones to older teens, that you help them make conscious choices and to avoid being hurtful or offensive. With all holidays, focus on the opportunity to be together as a family and have fun.

Now, I often say a little love goes a long way, and sometimes so does chocolate. If you find you have more then enough, spread the love and donate it to local nonprofit, such as Kids in Crisis, Community Centers Inc. or even your local fire department, GEMS, or our very own police department. A little sugar can definitely help those working on a night shift.

For more information on fall festivities this season, check out the Community Answers Calendar at Communityanswers.org.

Trick or Treat, everyone.

 

Jenny Byxbee is the Greenwich youth services bureau coordinator. She may be reached at [email protected] 

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