Is Halloween canceled? One Brooklyn mom’s answer: a resounding “no.”

Amanda Sue Nichols was brainstorming alternatives to trick-or-treating for her three daughters when she remembered the Rainbow Map. For those who aren’t familiar, the Rainbow Map was a scavenger hunt for which children made drawings and paintings of rainbows and displayed them for people to see while walking — one of the only acceptable activities during the early days of lockdown measures. 

“One of the best things about Halloween is that you can put in minimal effort and your kids will still have fun,” Nichols told us. “With so many parents pulling double or even triple duty right now, asking them to plan extravagant haunted houses and scavenger hunts on top of everything else seemed excessive.”

Thus, the Halloween Pumpkin Hunt 2020 was born. Similar to the Rainbow Map, children are encouraged to create pumpkin artwork, hang it in a window and then submit their location to the map Nichols created. Then, on Halloween, parents can use the map to create a scavenger hunt for their children — in costume, of course.

After realizing giving out candy might draw crowds and require too much coordination, she decided to focus on costumes. But, Nichols said, “what’s the point of dressing up if no one is going to see?! I needed something that kids could do socially distanced, but which maintained the commonality of experience and sense of community that makes Halloween so much fun.”

That being said, Nichols recommended parents having a candy “prize” on hand. 

The Halloween Pumpkin Hunt 2020 website launched just a few days ago. More than 50 households in several Brooklyn neighborhoods, Queens, Philadelphia and Westport, Connecticut, have signed up. The beauty of the hunt is that it can quite literally be done anywhere. If you are interested in participating you can learn more here.
Halloween Pumpkin Hunt 2020

The Amazing Maze:
 A three-acre corn maze? In New York City? It’s true! Visit the Queens County Farm Museum to partake in this quintessential fall activity. Tickets must be reserved in advance.

Urban adventuring: One of the perks of writing this newsletter is that we get to learn about the variety of organizations working to improve different parts of our city. Like the Bronx River Alliance, which is dedicated to improving and restoring the Bronx River corridor in order to make it a recreational, educational and economic resource to the surrounding communities. This Saturday, October 17, the group is hosting a two-hour kayak or canoe paddle (equipment is provided) along the river’s estuarine areas. Due to the challenges of paddling in potentially windy conditions, this event is adults only. Reserve tickets

“NYC Is Dead”: We certainly don’t think so, do you? Whatever your opinion, that’s the name of a free comedy show this Thursday, October 15, and Saturday, October 17, at 8 p.m. in Central Park. The lineup will feature comedians from Comedy Central, Netflix, “The Tonight Show” and more. Reserve your spot (donations accepted!).

This content is run in collaboration with the Epicenter-NYC, a newsletter launched at the height of Covid-19 to surface and meet the needs, expand networks and create more connectivity among neighbors in New York City. We are written by the community, for the community. Welcome.

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