Fall-O-Ween at the New York Botanical Garden.

New York Botanical Garden’s annual fall celebration is back – and this year, they’ve gone all out. 

The garden will be hosting many events and activities throughout October, from pumpkin painting and carving for kids and families, to bales and ales local brewery tastings and the weekend beer garden for adults.

The weekends leading up to Halloween will get really busy, like the spooky garden nights on October 21st and 28th, where kids will be able to visit in costume, get spooked by scarecrows, and collect treats.

The garden also welcomes back pumpkin carving sensation Adam Bierton to show off his skills and share some tips and tricks live on stage, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m, every Saturday and Sunday until Halloween. 

During the last weekend before Halloween, on Oct. 27-29th, Bierton will carve a 2,000 pound pumpkin. 

Price of admission to the Botanical Garden is reduced for city residents, and it is free for Bronx residents 

Bierton became a pumpkin carving legend after winning the Food Network’s Halloween Wars in 2015, but he began working with the garden just a few years ago, when Fall-O-Ween was still new. Since then, the scale of the program and Bierton’s pumpkin carving event have grown tremendously.

“It started really small,” Bierton said. “I used to be over here on a fold-out table, and now we have this huge, grandiose display.” 

Huge and grandiose is right. Bierton’s stage is the reflecting pool directly in front of the garden’s main entrance, which was drained and filled with hay bales and hundreds of pumpkins, gourds and squashes. Similarly extravagant, fall-themed decor can be found all around the Garden at this time. 

On a recent weekend, visitors and their families crowded around the repurposed reflecting-pool-stage to watch Bierton painstakingly carve a highly detailed face into a pumpkin. 

Traci and Kevin White from Long Island, hadn’t been expecting the Fall programming and decor, but they were especially surprised to see one of the winners of Halloween Wars.

“Adam looked pretty familiar,” Traci said. “I’m a big Food Network fan, and I watch Halloween Wars, so I was like, ‘wait this is so similar to what I see on TV,’ and when I saw the little poster with his QR code, I was like,’ holy cow, it’s him!’” 

Other visitors, like Amy Kopchains, a teacher at P.S. 171 in Manhattan, have been visiting the Botanical Garden’s fall programming for years, even before it was called Fall-O-Ween. Kopchains was totally aware that Bierton would be there, and she visited as much for him as the rest of the Garden. 

“It’s really fun to watch the TV shows and then come and see the real people,” she said. “They’re so friendly.” 

About Post Author

By Eliot Force

Eliot Force is a reporter for the Mott Haven Herald and the Hunts Point Express. He received his Bachelor’s degree in English and modern European history from Columbia University, and he is currently a student at the Craig Newmark Graduate Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY. Eliot has worked for multiple publications as a multimedia journalist creating both video and print content.