THE KIDS MENU: Get out your Gourdes! Halloween season in high gear

By Maureen Forry-Sorrell
Reporter Staff

Welcome to the first installment of our newest feature, the Kids Menu. Here we will round up all the family friendly events you’ll enjoy around Dorchester. Got any events or tips for us? Email me at

I’m not going to lie: I think I enjoy the Halloween season more than my kids do. Yeah, they love the candy and the costumes and the...candy. But my favorite things about this time of year center around the history and beauty and community of our little corner of the world. That, and also playfully pushing my unsuspecting husband into the piles of leaves he’s spent several hours painstakingly raking in the yard.

Nothing brings out the kid in me like Halloween. So here’s a round up of some wicked fun events around Dot that are sure to get your inner child revved up for the big extravaganza.

Oh, don’t forget to bring the kids with you. They’ll enjoy themselves too. All events are free unless otherwise specified.

Neponset Pumpkin Float— Thursday, October 26, 5:30 p.m. Amazingly, this beloved event is now on it’s 16th year! It attracts bigger crowds to the banks of Davenport Creek at Pope John Paul II Park. What to wear: your costumes (consider it a dress rehearsal for next Tuesday.) Bring a small (8” or smaller) carved jack o’lantern. Volunteers will pop in a candle, put it on a raft, and we’ll all stand in awe watching the orange orbs floating eerily down the river. It’s a great chance to get out and meet your neighbors. Parking is available at the Hallet St. lot outside the park- or you can walk or bike down the Neponset Bike Trail.

Foliage Friday at Boston Nature Center— Friday, October 27 at 3 p.m. at the Mass Audubon Boston Nature Center, 500 Walk Hill St, Mattapan. Free, fall inspired, family walking series at the Boston Nature Center! All families welcome and children must be accompanied by parent or caregiver. Contact Emily at with any questions.
B-3 Halloween Haunted House— Friday, October 27 from 4-8 p.m. at the stationhouse, 1165 Blue Hill Ave., Dorchester. Boost your sugar-crash tolerance a bit before the big day with our friendly neighborhood police force. Food, entertainment, music, roller skating and of course, Halloween candy! Costumes are encouraged!

Halloween Carnival & Haunted House at the Academy of the Pacific Rim Charter Public School — Friday, October 27, 6-8 p.m. All-ages carnival games for kids and families. Scary Haunted House for the most brave! Tickets: 50 cents-$1 for games & food! $3 for the haunted house. One Westinghouse Plaza, Hyde Park.

Pumpkinfest at the Boston Nature Center — Saturday, October 28 1-3 p.m. at 500 Walk Hill St., Mattapan. If you haven’t been here yet, you’ve got to check it out (and, nudge nudge, buy a membership to support all the good work they do here.) Celebrate the fall harvest by creating your own carved pumpkin, playing pumpkin games, and enjoying some fine fall food. Learn about the history of pumpkins and the Jack-O-Lantern story. Admission: Member $8, Non-member $10 Registration is required. Call 617-983-8500.

Halloween Hike at Dorchester Park
— Saturday, October 28, 10 a.m. Take in the beauty of our very own Olmstead-designed park during its prettiest season. Meet at Dot Ave entrance 2180 Dorchester Ave., Dorchester, MA, next to Boston Youth Sanctuary (BYS). Costumes welcome! Presented by Outdoor RX.

Irish sports for kids— Saturday October 28. Have your kids ever wanted to try out Gaelic Football and Hurling? Well dust off your hurlies and sliotars and take a jaunt down Route 138 to the Irish Cultural Centre in Canton to give the sports a whirl. Maybe even sign up for the Dorchester team as they gear up for indoor training beginning in the New Year. U6-U12 from 4pm to 6pm on Saturday, U14-U18 from 4 p.m.-6 p.m. on Sunday. Free. Bring a friend.

Ninth Annual Savin Hill Little Kids Halloween Parade— Saturday, October 28 at 1:15 p.m. As if a Costume Parade geared towards the much smaller kiddos wasn’t enough awesomeness for one afternoon, the organizers have lined up Keytar Bear as part of the entertainment! This event is aimed at kiddos 8 and under (and their adult handlers), but siblings are welcome. Line up at 1:15 pm at the playground at Savin Hill Beach. Parade leaves at 1:30 pm. Parade route goes up Denny Street, to Savin Hill Ave and ends at Savin Hill Park. Music by Keytar Bear, Art Activities with Dot Art, Giant Bubbles with Jim Dichter, Ponies, and more!

Castle Island Association Halloween Celebration— Sat., Oct. 28— Sun., Oct. 29 from noon to 4 p.m. both days. Put on those costumes and head to Southie for a chilling tour of spooky Fort Independence! This is a really fun event for the whole family and kids must have a grown up with them to check out the haunted castle. Soothe your nerves after the sometimes-scary, sometimes-silly tour with a soft serve swirl cone (or two because we need something to tide us over the coming winter months) at Sully’s afterwards.

Annual Ashmont Adams Neighborhood Association pumpkin carving— October 29, 2-4p.m. Meet at the lot opposite All Saints Church parking lot. We provide the pumpkins, you bring your carving tools and creativity. Games, food and fun, fun fun. Please remember children must be accompanied by an adult.

Cedar Grove Gardens Harvest Festival— Sunday October 29, 1-3 p.m. Come for the Pinatas and stay for the Clydesdales. This delightful little neighborhood event really highlights the beauty of our neighborhood- between the treats at Cedar Grove Gardens and the horse-drawn hayride through the idyllic Cedar Grove Cemetery, this one is not to be missed. Costumes encouraged!

Magic Show at Codman BPL— Monday October 30. The Codman Square branch of the Boston Public Library will host a spooky magic show featuring Magician Debbie O’Carroll. Starts at 6p.m.

Halloween Party at Standish Village Assisted Living and Memory Support Community,1
190 Adams St., Dorchester on Tues., October 31. Refreshments, tricks, and treats galore, as well as a costume contest! For more info,