Halloween time in the ‘hood: hayrides, pumpkins, and piñatas

The annual Great Pumpkin Float on the Neponset River is set for Halloween eve, Oct. 30.

Hayrides through the cemetery, costume contests and even a candlelit pumpkin float on the Neponset River. Dorchester does not play when it comes to Halloween.

• The Harvest Festival hosted by Cedar Grove Gardens has become a favorite for families. The event runs from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Sun., Oct. 26, and includes a scarecrow contest and candy-stuffed piñatas that kids love. The festival also features free hayrides through Cedar Grove Cemetery, which will be glowing with fall colors later this month. Bring the kids in their costumes. The popular garden store is located at 911 Adams St.

• Families in Savin Hill will be parading through their neighborhood on the morning of Oct. 25. The costume parade starts at Savin Hill Beach at 10:45 a.m. and follows a short route to Savin Hill Park, where games and ice cream will be waiting.

• The Lower Mills Library has several special events planned, including a pumpkin carving party on Sat., Oct. 25, at 12 p.m. Bring your creativity and a sturdy scooping spoon. Cutting utensils and decorative materials are provided along with pumpkins donated by Cedar Grove Gardens. All children must be supervised by an adult. The library will also host a Halloween Pajama Story Time on Mon., Oct. 27, 6 p.m. for children 3 and older; a crafts event for kids to make bat clips on Oct. 28 at 3:30p.m. and a Halloween trivia contest on Oct. 29 at 4 p.m. for kids ages 10-15. A magic show rounds out the Lower Mills lineup with Tom Foolery at 6 p.m. on Thurs., Oct. 30. Costumes are encouraged! Large groups, please register at 617-298-7841.

• The Adams Street branch of the BPL will host a Trick or Treat Magic Show at 6 p.m. on Wed., Oct. 29 featuring stage magic, physical comedy and tap dancing with lots of audience participation to make this show perfect for young Halloween revelers ages 3 to 9. The branch is located at 690 Adams St., Dorchester.

• The Mattapan Patriots will host a Halloween Party for kids and adults at the Mattahunt Community Center, 100 Hebron St., from 5:30-7:45 p.m. on Tues., Oct. 28.

• A unique Halloween-related event, one of the most popular events in the city – the DCR Neponset Great Pumpkin Float – will take place on Thurs., Oct, 30 beginning at 5:30 p.m. at Pope John Paul II Park in Dorchester. Hundreds of costumed children and their families, as well as other enthusiastic individuals will participate in the floating parade of illuminated jack-o-lanterns down Davenport Creek to the Neponset River.

Participants can bring a 6 - 8 inch hollow pumpkin that has been carved at home to the Hallet Street entrance to the park to be mounted on a special individual float.

Each jack-o-lantern will have a candle inserted and lit before being launched en masse in the water at 6 pm. Floats and candles will be provided, along with hot cocoa and candy treats. The event is free and no registration is required. Pumpkins will be collected for composting and floats will be recycled for next year’s event, making this a green tradition. If inclement weather intervenes, call DCR at 617-333-7404 for updates.

• On Sat., Oct. 18, the Friends of Geneva Cliffs, Bowdoin Street Health Center and C-11 Boston Police co-sponsor a "Haunted Forest at the Cliffs" event from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Intersection of Bowdoin and Geneva. Rain date: Oct. 25.