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Best things to do in Rhode Island this week: Oct. 27-Nov. 3

This week: Haunted mansions, grape-stomping, costumed full moon bike rides, and more!

The annual Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular at Roger Williams Park Zoo in Providence.Bill Gallery/Go Providence

Happy Halloween, Rhody. You can’t see it, but I’m here in my costume — an empty bottle of Autocrat because there’s nothing scarier in your fridge. I’ve got so much spooky to mention this week let’s make like a kid with a Halloween haul and dive right in.


The collab we didn’t know we needed: cheese x bingo. Yup, East Side Cheese & Provisions hosts old-school bingo with cheese, drinks and prizes. There are still seats for Oct. 27′s game as of this writing. Hop on it, bingo and cheese fans. Space limited. $35 per person. 17 South Angell St., Providence. Details here.



Last call for the Jack-o-Lantern Spectacular at Roger Williams Park Zoo, up through Halloween. This year’s theme: Pumpkins Around The World. Nightly 6-10:30 p.m. Online purchase only. Thurs. $18 adult, $15 child. Fri- Sun.: $21 adult, $18 child. 1000 Elmwood Ave., Providence. Details here.

More boos at the zoo: On Oct. 28, kiddos can don costumes for daytime trick-or-treating at “Spooky Zoo.” Expect treats, live musical entertainment, costumed characters, fall-fun animal enrichments, and more, according to billing. (Don’t bother knocking at the monkey house — they only hand out bananas.) 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Included with regular zoo admission; free for members.

A splurge, but if you’ve got pumpkin fever: On Oct. 29, learn how to carve the ultimate sloth-themed Jack-O-Lantern with a “master pumpkin carver” who’s carved for Jack-O-Lantern Spectaculars, according to billing. (A mystery guest!) Program registration includes pumpkin (with artwork pre-applied), carving tool kits, LED lamp/bulb, light refreshments and front-of-line VIP access to the Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular. See past examples here. 16-plus. 5-9 p.m. $180; $235 for two people to share a pumpkin. Details here.


Sneaking in just under the Oktober buzzer, Wakefield hosts a family-friendly Oktoberfest Oct. 28 from noon to 11 p.m. at the Contemporary Theater. Expect food, beer, wine, multiple stages of live music, Big Nazo puppets, RiverFire, artisan vendors and more, according to billing. 323-327 Main St., South Kingstown. Details here and here.



Ride if you dare…! It’s Hunter’s Moon on Oct. 28, and Bike Newport holds its Full Moon Bike Ride with an “adjusted route to combine the Full Moon Ride with our annual Halloween Tour de Fright Ride,” according to the website. Bike-safe costumes are encouraged. (Free full moon-themed costume idea: biking werewolf.) Free. Gather at 4:45 p.m., ride starts at 5:15 p.m., moonrise is 5:38 p.m. Helmet, front headlight, and rear red blinking light are required to participate. Details here and here.


A haunted mansion for grown-ups. Linden Place’s “Night at the Mansion Halloween Haunt” brings thrills and chills Oct. 28. Costume up and explore the mansion, “which will be transformed into a haunted wonderland,” according to billing. Plus “creepy creatures,” a magic show, treats and cash bar. $70, includes one free cocktail. 7-10 p.m. 500 Hope St., Bristol. Details here.


More mansion events? It’s true. Season 2 of HBO’s “Gilded Age” drops Oct. 29, and Preservation Society of Newport County invites Newport County residents to visit properties for free Oct. 28-29. Explore The Breakers, Marble House, The Elms and Rosecliff and get pumped for the show. Details here.



…I’m not kidding. More mansion fun. Well, I guess s’more mansion fun. Bristol’s Blithewold Mansion Gardens & Arboretum provides the fire pits, chairs, s’mores kits and mansion garden views — just grab your crew and get your s’mores on Oct. 28 and 29. 1-2 p.m. or 2:30-3:30 p.m. $55 for up to six people. 101 Ferry Road. Details here.


Calling all trick-or-treaters who can’t wait until Halloween: the 3rd Annual “Wicked Walk: A Trick-Or-Treat Experience” is a free public event in PVD for families Oct. 28 from 3-6 p.m. Explore “interactive themed Halloween Doors and StoryWalk” on the Van Leesten Memorial Bridge, plus crafts, activities, more. See photos from last year. Learn more here.


… Which leads up to the third installment of WaterFire’s series, “Starts At Sunset,” lighting up by said bridge at 6 p.m. Oct. 28. Expect live music, food, brews, “live art” and more, according to WaterFire. Details here.


Newport Vineyards hosts its 6th Annual Harvest Fest Oct. 28-29, billed as two days of grape-stomping, wine and beer-tasting, from-scratch fare and live music. With a stein-hoisting contest and costume contest, you’ll get both Oktoberfest and Halloween vibes. Designated driver? Fear not, the food alone is a draw: cowboy chili Frito pie with house-made Fritos, pumpkin cheese dip with cinnamon toast crostini. Chicken and waffle sandwiches with maple sage aioli. Pumpkin sausage with spiced apple relish. Smoked brisket sandwiches with sweet pickled onions. House gemelli with crispy sweet potato. Dessert? Apple cider donuts, pumpkin whoopie pies, or cinnamon sugar tortillas with sweet corn jalapeño ice cream and dulce de leche crema and more. (I’m not drooling, you’re drooling.) BYO chairs and blankets. Ticket includes souvenir vineyard logo glass and five tastings; food for purchase. Two sessions per day. $35. Kids 15 and under free. 909 East Main Road, Middletown. Details and register here.



Nope, they’re not two body parts from Dr. Frankenstein’s lab but indie folk-rockers headed to PVD: The Head and The Heart play a Halloween night concert at The Vets. You might have seen them on Austin City Limits, The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, CBS Saturday Morning, etc. It’s an apt night for them to play “Ghosts.” With Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors. Doors open 6:30 p.m., show 7:30 p.m. Tickets from $46. Details here. Learn more here.


‘Tis the weekend to scare the #$%* out of yourself. And we’ve got options:

Scary Acres RI dares you to hop a “The Dark Harvest hayride” through Haunted Town, brave the haunted burial grounds cornfield. Lastly, try to survive the curse of the bayou… Will you survive?” 2150 Scituate Ave., Cranston. Prices and hours vary. Details here.

BYOB on the Providence River Boat Company’s “Haunted Boat Ride.” According to the billing: “Surrounded by the moonlit bridges, cobblestone walkways and century-old architecture of downtown Providence, you will hear stories of our capital city’s dearly-deceased-but-not-so-departed residents; local literary giants and humble servants alike; their restless souls still stirring among the living.” Climb aboard… if you dare. Adults $35, kids 10-17 $33. Details here.


Providence Ghost Tours invites you to “enjoy the spooky side of history” in PVD. While Ghost Tours of Newport does the same for the gilded City by the Sea.

Find more Rhody spooky spots here. And if you’re headed on a road trip to Salem this week, check my guide here.


Speaking of Witch City…Trinity Rep hosts the black comedy “Becky Nurse of Salem” through Nov. 10, and “The Good John Proctor” through Nov. 12. Prices vary. 201 Washington St. Details here.


I’m a lifelong book lover and want to spread the Ocean State literary love. Rhody is so packed with authors and stories, I’ve started a little subsection of this column, Rhode Reads. If you’re a local author or a bookstore hosting a local signing, hit me up and you just might get featured. In this week’s Rhody Reading News…

Ink Fish Books in Warren hosts two author events: Rhody native author Kathryn Kulpa signs her new book, “Cooking Tips for the Demon-Haunted” with a pop-up mocktail bar Oct. 29 1-3 p.m. Then it’s cocktails and light fare Oct. 30 for the launch of “Blood Sisters” by Providence resident Vanessa Lillie. Details on both here.

Head to Watch Hill Nov. 1: Rhode Islander Julie Gerstenblatt discusses her debut historical fiction, “Daughters of Nantucket” with Ocean House owner/author Deborah Goodrich Royce at the Ocean House. Enjoy wine, light bites and get your copy signed. $38. 5-7 p.m. Details here.

Meanwhile, Barrington Public Library hosts a fall book sale Nov. 2-5. Details here.


Don’t throw away those Halloween costumes just yet. Meet celebs, comic book artists, cosplayers, tattoo artists, and more in PVD next weekend at RI Comic Con Nov. 3-5 at the Rhode Island Convention Center and AMP. We’re getting into next week’s territory here, but events include panels, geek speed-dating and more. Nov. 3 special event: “The Angry Geeks After Dark” with guests, prizes, and more during a during a live recording of The Angry Geeks show, according to billing. GA admission: $115 adult, $50 kids. Details here.


I rounded up more fall ideas around New England for you here, but for Rhode Islanders in particular, try these picks:

The Chanler at Cliff Walk’s Apple Cider Bar is open weekends through Nov. 19. Sit out in the crisp open air to sip mulled cider crafted from Rose Hill Heirloom apples to refuel after your Cliff Walk. Details here.

Fall means apple picking and cider donuts, and Rhody’s orchards are ripe with both. From Greenville to Little Compton to Cumberland, pick a peck of Fujis, Honeygolds and Empires — and grab donuts for the road — with our guide here.

It’s Corn! Dare to escape from the 8-acre corn maze at Escobar Farm in Portsmouth, then treat yourself. Concessions include popcorn, candy, raisins and “butterscotch flavored lollipops in the shape of an ear of corn,” according to website. Ages 12 and up $10, kids 4-11 $8; 3 and under free. Friday-Sunday 10 a.m.-6 p.m. GPS: 255 Middle Road, Portsmouth. 401-683-1444. Details and hours here.

Until next week, Rhody: Keep rockin’.

Lauren Daley can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @laurendaley1.