By ROBIN WOODS
For Montclair Local
So much excitement about harvest time and Halloween, with pumpkins abounding and many events around town.
During a recent visit to CVS, I found an amazing seasonal selection of pumpkin-flavored food and drink items. I don’t know about you, but eating pumpkin is like candy corn to me. You either love it or hate it. If you’re a fan, a special themed section has pumpkin spice Milano wafers, soft baked pumpkin cheesecake cookies, pumpkin spice NutriGrain bars, Starbucks Hearty Spice fall blend coffee and pumpkin spice latte, Ghirardelli Squares milk chocolate pumpkin spice caramels, Nature Valley pumpkin spice crunchy granola bars, Larabar pumpkin pie, Cheerios pumpkin spice limited edition cereal and more.
Don’t forget to stop by St. Luke’s Episcopal Church Pumpkin Patch. It’s open seven days a week through Oct. 31, and you can find pumpkins for sale in many sizes and colors. Check the sample pumpkins on display in front for prices, and place your money, cash or check, in the mail slot at the house to the right of the lawn. It’s an interesting social experiment as well, using the honor system for payment.
We filled our car with white, blue, green and pink pumpkins. The kids enjoyed running around in circles and rolling in the hay while exploring. Proceeds support children’s and youth programs.
Plan to join us as well in St. Luke’s Great Pumpkin Patch on Sunday, Oct. 29, at 7 p.m., for a free showing of the 1966 animated classic “It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.” Popcorn, snacks, and cider will be provided. Feel free to bring your friends, lawn chairs, and blankets.
Once you’ve chosen your pumpkins and are ready to carve them into jack-o’-lanterns, here are some safety tips provided by Angela Fennelly, licensed Occupational Therapist at Pro Staff Institute:
“Stabilize the pumpkin by leveling it out on the bottom. Place it on a towel on a flat surface. Make sure that you have the right tools and use a special pumpkin cutting knife sharp enough to do the job.
“Don’t point the knife in the same direction as your hand. Dry hands are best, and don’t push or pull too hard on the knife.” Angela sees many patients this time of year who require therapy for tendon injuries and cut fingers: “An occupational therapist assists with skills for the job of living, and looks at all activities that occupy your time.”
For a festive, safe and controlled environment for trick-or-treating on Halloween day, Oct. 31, Montclair Center BID is sponsoring a family friendly event, “Halloween Stop,” from noon to 6 p.m. in the Central Business District. The event will span Bloomfield and Glenridge Avenues up through Church Street.
Diane E. Israel from BID said that “children accompanied by adults can walk around the area and stop in at any business displaying a Halloween Stop poster in their window. There will be candy and toys ready to welcome trick or treaters at each designated child friendly store or restaurant.” Bring big bags with you!
Are you tired of doing dishes and utensils after pumpkin carving? Go to Doin’ Dishes on Church Street to decorate Halloween-themed ceramics pre-made for children and adults alike. Luba Slepoi, co-owner of this business, said, “We have a selection of plates and mugs all ready with monsters, bats, coloring book themes and more. Allow for a week after creating your ceramics for us to fire them and have them ready for pickup. We use only child safe natural ingredients and materials.” Luba has plans for future programs for younger kids ages 3 to 5 to attend afternoon storytelling sessions, with name stickers ready to personalize one-of-a-kind art. Doin’ Dishes’ staff set you up with everything you need during your session, and supervise to make sure that the paint goes on the ceramics and not on the coveralls.
Why should kids have all the fun? Tuesday nights from 6 to 9, adults take over the studio for an evening of pottery painting and socializing. You bring your creativity, they provide the rest: wine and cheese, good music, and a selection of over 150 pieces to paint, all for a flat studio fee of $7 for the whole night; the cost of your piece is additional. Reservations are recommended. Adults are welcome to BYOB.
Nothing’s better than painting, provolone and Pinot Grigio. Bring a pumpkin spice beverage if you must.
In this article:
• St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, 73 South Fullerton Ave, 973-744-6220, slechurch.org
• Pro Staff Institute, 49 Claremont Ave., Suite 5, 973-680-8390. prostaffpt.com
• Montclair Center Business Improvement District (BID), 7 North Willow St., 973-509-3820, montclaircenterbid.com/
• Doin’ Dishes, 50 Church St., 973-744-8589, doindishes.com