- Brooklyn Botanic Garden

New York’s Hallowed Halloween Rumpus Returns: GHOULS & GOURDS

Saturday, October 27, 2012 | Noon–6 p.m.

Release Date: October 8, 2012

Brooklyn, New York— On Saturday, October 27, costume-clad families from across the tri-state area are invited to Brooklyn Botanic Garden (BBG) for Ghouls & Gourds: New York’s most madcap Halloween celebration! Against the dramatic backdrop of the Garden’s fall flora, visitors of all ages can enjoy boisterous music, hands-on workshops, larger-than-life puppets, a pretend petting zoo, and a children’s-book barn full of authors and illustrators—many of whom are returning to Ghouls & Gourds after last year’s event was canceled due to a surprise October snowstorm.

BBG will present an autumnal Victorian wonderland, featuring flamingo croquet; a flying flea circus; a Victorian toy parlor; and a monocle, mustache, and beard booth. The zany Mettawee River Theatre Company will perform at the “Throwback Theatre” and lead audience members in an old-time waltz with woodland creatures.

Ghouls of all ages can make their own egg-shaker maracas to play in the event’s celebrated costume parade, learn about lace making, pot up a creepy coleus plant, and visit the pretend petting zoo (back by popular demand!)—or just flaunt their costumes for all to see! The Children’s Book Barn will feature 15 renowned authors and illustrators—many based in Brooklyn—who will charm families with readings and book signings.

Visitors can enjoy musical performances as diverse as the Richmond Indigenous Gourd Orchestra, the Xylopholks, the Itinerants, and One World. The day will go out with a bang as Brazilian percussion group Maracatu NY and giant stilt dancers from Mortal Beasts & Deities lead the celebrated costume parade and drum circle.

Ghouls & Gourds activities will take place rain or shine on Cherry Esplanade. Admission is $15 for adults and $10 for students and seniors over 65. Admission for children under 12 and BBG members is always free.

For more information, visit bbg.org/ghoulsandgourds.

The day’s schedule includes:


  • Play Me a Story: African rhythms and a Caribbean spin reinvent the classic tales “The Hat Seller and the Monkeys” and “The Magic Goldfish.”
  • The Itinerants: Shake your caboose to this Cajun and Celtic clamor.
  • One World: Join the joyous jamboree of giant Tibetan trumpets and percussion from around the planet.
  • The Richmond Indigenous Gourd Orchestra: Paleolithic lounge music that’s off its gourd
  • The Xylopholks: Brooklyn’s own furry ragtime band
  • Mettawee River Theatre Company: Enjoy an old-time waltz with a woodland creature of your choice.


  • Monocle, Mustache, and Beard Booth: Get a turn-of-the-century makeover with friends from Curious Jane.
  • The Egg Shaker Shack: Make your own maraca to play in the parade.
  • Old-Spool Lace Making: The Textile Arts Center teaches you this olden-day way.
  • Spooky Plants: Pot up a creepy coleus to take home.
  • Pretend Petting Zoo: Come meet our imaginary menagerie.
  • Carouse with a Pack of Giant Puppets: Strut your stuff with our giant puppet posse.
  • Phydeaux’s Flying Flea Circus of Fate: Tiny acrobats hit the big top.
  • Victorian Toy Parlor: Quirky and quaint diversions and whatnots from the Museum of Early Trades and Craft
  • Larger-than-Life Stilt Dancers and Magical Creatures: Enjoy the stilt dancers of Mortal Beasts & Deities as they prance around Cherry Esplanade.
  • Leafy Literature on Loan: Explore a library of pumpkin pages and folios of foliage!

Meet today’s most exciting children’s-book authors and illustrators as they share their work with fans! The lineup features new additions and returning favorites:

  • Shana Corey  Author of Barack Obama: Out of Many, One and Here Come the Girl Scouts
  • Nina Crews  Author and illustrator of Neighborhood Mother Goose and Jack and the Beanstalk
  • Alison Ashley Formento Author of This Tree Counts, This Tree 1, 2, 3, and These Bees Count!
  • STRONG>Deborah Gregory  Author of Catwalk Trilogy and The Cheetah Girls series
  • Diane Kredensor Author and illustrator of Ollie & Moon and Ollie & Moon: Fuhgeddaboudit!
  • Huy Voun Lee  Author of In the Leaves, Magic Brush, and Honk, Honk Goose!
  • Diane Muldrow  Author of We Planted a Tree, Where Do Giggles Come From?, and Somewhere So Sleepy
  • Johan Olander  Author and illustrator of A Field Guide to Monsters and A Field Guide to Aliens
  • Robert Kimmel Smith  Author of Chocolate Fever, The War with Grandpa, and The Squeaky Wheel
  • David Ezra Stein  Author and illustrator of Because Amelia Smiled, Interrupting Chicken, and Leaves
  • Javaka Steptoe  Author and illustrator of Jimi: A Story of the Young Jimi Hendrix, Rain Play, and In Daddy’s Arms I Am Tall
  • Paul DuBois Jacobs and Jennifer Swender  Authors of My Subway Ride, Abiyoyo Returns, and Fire Drill
  • Lauren Thompson  Author of Mouse’s First Halloween, The Forgiveness Garden, and Apple Pie That Papa Baked
  • Dimitrea Tokunbo  Author and illustrator of Sidewalk Chalk: Poems of the City, Together, and The Sound of Kwanzaa
  • Tim Young  Author and illustrator of Shadows on My Wall, They’re Coming, and I’m Looking for a Monster

Major sponsorship for Ghouls & Gourds 2012 is provided by Con Edison; media sponsorship by Park Slope Parents.