Of gourds and mums

Get spooked with family fun at The New York Botanical Garden’s “Haunted Pumpkin Garden” through Oct. 31. Experience the thrills and chills of the season with a garden full of intricately carved pumpkin sculptures, bugs, bats, parties and parades. On Oct. 19 and 20, master carver Ray Villafane and his team will transform humongous pumpkins into carnivorous plants and unearthly creatures. Pumpkin sculptures of spooky scarecrows, frightening spiders, sneaky snakes and more await discovery at every turn in the Everett Children’s Adventure Garden. Every day, youngsters can play inside a “gourd-geous” Pumpkin House; look for wiggly worms under a rotting log; go on a scavenger hunt for fall fruits; put on a scary show at the Pumpkin Puppet Theater; and join a Halloween Parade. Weekends offer programs with live bugs and creepy creatures.

For those whose tastes do not run to creepy-crawly, there’s “Kiku: The Art of the Japanese Garden,” on view through Oct. 27. Kiku pays homage to hanami, the traditional custom of enjoying the ephemeral beauty of flowers, with magnificent displays of chrysanthemums in the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory. The show’s centerpiece is an unforgettable presentation of kiku, the Japanese word for chrysanthemum,the most celebrated of all Japanese fall-flowering plants, painstakingly trained to grow in a mesmerizing variety of shapes and styles. Special weekend events spotlight the arts of bonsai and ikebana, as well as taiko drumming, and celebrate the importance of flowers in Japanese culture. The amazing floral sculptures, combined with all of the Botanical Garden’s natural attractions, beckon visitors to indulge in fall’s exquisite yet fleeting beauty.

For more, visit nybg.org.

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