The week ahead: Family events


GREAT PUMPKIN FEST Hundreds of carved orange orbs fill 55 acres at the EcoTarium. Before the pumpkins are illuminated for the evening, you can visit the museum, grounds, animals, participate in the costume parade, and take wagon and train rides. Family-friendly costumes and flashlights are encouraged. Oct. 19 noon-9 p.m., rain or shine. $14, $15, free under 2. The EcoTarium, 222 Harrington Way, Worcester. 508-929-2700.

PUMPKIN DAY AT COGSWELL’S GRANT Take a hay ride through the fields to select a pumpkin from the patch to carve and decorate. Bring your appetite for the pumpkin pie-eating contest, and try some crafts, games, and cider pressing. Oct. 19 from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. $6, $4 ages 3-12. Cogswell’s Grant, 60 Spring St., Essex. 617-227-3956.

THE LITTLE RED HEN Mary Finch’s book gets a big celebration with readings, a baby animal petting zoo (yes, there will be a little red hen), and crafts. Oct. 19 at 10 a.m. $8 (petting zoo at 10:30 a.m.; reservations required), Free (story time at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.), $4 (crafts at 2:30 p.m. for ages 3 and older). Barefoot Books Studio, 89 Thoreau St., Concord. 978-369-1770.


WE ART BOSTON After the Boston Marathon bombings, Joe and Susan McKendry wanted to help, so they contacted children’s book authors and illustrators and formed We Art Boston. In addition to an online auction of original works by more than 50 illustrators (through Oct. 24), Sunday’s family event features art projects, music, and book signings. Oct. 20 from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. (rain date Oct. 27). Free (auction proceeds benefit the Emergency and Trauma Fund at Boston Children’s Hospital.). Rose Kennedy Greenway near Rings Fountain (use entrance across from the New England Aquarium),

June Wulff


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HAUNTED PLACES October is the scary month, and two authors help Bestsellers Café with its “Haunted Places” theme. Sam Baltrusis’s “Ghosts of Cambridge, Haunts of Harvard Square and Beyond” tells about spirits who live in Cambridge dorms, bars, and military structures. In “Haunted Colleges and Universities of Massachusetts,” Renee Mallett writes about apparitions of people who died on campus grounds including Eugene O’Neill, who died in Room 401 of the Sheraton Hotel in 1953 (now a BU dorm). Oct. 17 at 6:30 p.m. Free. Bestsellers Café, 24 High St., Medford. 781-391-7171.

BOOK OF AGES: THE LIFE AND OPINIONS OF JANE FRANKLIN We don’t hear much about Ben Franklin’s sister, Jane, but thanks to Jill Lepore and her book you’ll learn how the sibling influenced her brother’s life. Oct. 17 from 6-7 p.m. Free. Boston Public Library Abbey Room, 700 Boylston St., Boston. 617-536-5400.

BEER SUMMIT Maple Oat Ale, the citrus in IPA, the toasty flavors of Winter Session Ale, and the pine, spice, and citrus aromas in Fall Summit Ale. What’s happening to beer? Celebrate the Peak Organic Brewing Company while sampling suds and food. Oct. 17 from 6-8 p.m. $25 (reservations required at Moksa, 450 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge. 617-661-4900.

HEAD OF THE CHARLES REGATTA There are 61 events to keep the international rowers, ages 14-85, busy for two days. And there are activities, food vendors, and spectator duties to keep everyone else busy. Oct. 19 and 20 from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Free. Starts at Boston University’s DeWolfe Boathouse, 619 Memorial Drive, Cambridge (finishes at Artesani Park, 1255 Soldiers Field Road, Boston). 617-868-6200.

June Wulff