GASTONIA––Good grief, Charlie Brown!
With Hallowe’en just a month and change away, it’s not too soon to start preparing now. So grab Linus’s blanket and head over to the Schiele Museum of Natural History in Gastonia. According to museum spokeswoman Emma Pasour, the museum’s pumpkin patch has returned for another season of ghostly, ghoulish gourd-geous fun.
“Our pumpkin patch is back and better than ever!” Pasour said, adding that it opens Sept. 24. “The pumpkin patch has many events, programs and exciting offers through the fall season. We are also introducing our first-ever indoor pumpkin display: Rex’s Indoor Pumpkin Patch, as well as other events, such as our autumn festival, wine and beer-tasting in the pumpkin patch and the kick-off event––our pumpkin patch party. We are so excited for this fall season and can’t wait to share it with our community!”
A big party, Sept. 24, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., will début Rex’s Indoor Pumpkin Patch. It will let visitors select their very own pumpkins underneath the enormous tyrannosaurus rex replica. Each pumpkin ($5 or higher) purchased includes a ticket to the museum’s farm.
The Schiele’s head of interpretation, Tony Pasour, also commented.
“While we don’t have the property to grow our own pumpkins,” Mr. Pasour said, “we’re proud to work with regional partners here in our state to share the bounty and education of fall’s harvest with museum visitors.”
He added that the Schiele’s field trip and outreach pumpkin programs suit all students’ needs and curriculum objectives. These programs give students chances to choose their own pumpkins. Teachers may register for programs via the Website at www.schielemuseum.org, according to the Schiele’s farm program specialist, Nathan Chapman.
“Winter squash have a unique, natural and cultural history that’s explored in depth through our pumpkin patch programs,” said Chapman. “Students and teachers will love the feeling of choosing their own pumpkins and learning about the traditions behind them!”
He added that the Pumpkin Patch is open to field trips and group visits, Sept. 24-Oct. 30. Visitors are welcome to pick their own pumpkins and experience programs on event days, such as the pumpkin patch party and autumn festival.
“Museum guests can venture out to the farm during our pumpkin patch party to explore agriculture, seasonal gardens, interactive displays and live animals,” Pasour said. “Snap some family photos in our giant model pumpkin with our friendly goats and enjoy pumpkin programs throughout the day. These North Carolina-grown pumpkins are perfect for making jack-o-lanterns. They will be around our tyrannosaurus rex to create an indoor pumpkin display. We even have a dinosaur-sized pumpkin where visitors can estimate its weight for a chance to win it for their own personal display!”
The winner of that pumpkin will be announced at the Schiele’s autumn festival, Oct. 1, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Festival-goers will enjoy the pumpkin patch, crafts, fall treats and food, gemstone mining, animals and much more, according to Vanessa Gutierrez Chavez, the museum’s outdoor program specialist.
“It’ll be full of fun, family-friendly activities,” said Chavez. “The special surprise in store for this event is the grand opening of the natural amazement maze, sponsored by the Virgil P. Warren Foundation.”
Adults looking for an evening out can opt for the Schiele’s wine and beer tastings, Oct. 4, 6-8 p.m., in the pumpkin patch. This event will feature a relaxing night filled with music, drinks and friends, according to museum director of development Elysabeth Utick.
“We are so excited to be teaming up with Moss Realty to make this event possible,” said Utick. “These tastings are great for a girls’ night out, date night or a chance to make new friends.”