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OUTRAGEOUS OCTOBER

OCTOBER 1, 10 AM – 4 PM: Today they’re throwing the doors open at the LAMONT DOHERTY EARTH OBSERVATORY – an old mansion filled with the latest in Earth science technology tucked away in the Palisades. Come learn how scientists are helping protect the Earth, and then check out the world’s largest collection of samples of mud from the bottom of the sea. Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, 61 Route 9W, Palisades, NY.

OCTOBER 2, 12PM – 6 PM: Now that there’s a hint of winter in the air, it’s time to warm up at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s CHILE FESTIVAL. There will be music from Latin America, Africa and Cajun country (also known as Louisiana), dance and gardening workshops, chile-o-centric crafts and tattoos, and lots of spicy food. Brooklyn Botanic Garden, 1000 Washington Ave., Brooklyn.

OCTOBER 8, 10 AM – 12 PM: Today is family day at the Center for Architecture – and they’ve set up a hands-on exhibit devoted to BUILDING GREEN. If you’ve ever wondered about how to keep your home (or school) warm (or cool) without sending pollution into the air, this is the exhibit for you and your family. Center for Architecture Lecture Hall, 536 LaGuardia Place – for reservations, call 212 358 6133 or send email to ahitchcoff@nyfarchitecture.org.

OCTOBER 9, 10 AM: Learn how the Upper West Side went from horse trails to subway rails by joining the walking tour starting at the Soldiers and Sailors Monument at W 89th and Riverside Drive. And if you want to learn even more (or aren’t free in the AM), join the same gang at 1 PM at the southeast corner of W 81st Street and Columbus Avenue. The tours are aimed at kids 7 – 10, so you know they’re going to be fun. For reservations, email landmarkwest@landmarkwest.org or phone 212.496.8110.

OCTOBER 9, 16 and 23, 1 PM – 4 PM: Sunday doesn’t rhyme with fun day for nothing. Head down to the South Street Seaport for SUNDAY STORYTIME AT THE SEAPORT and listen to real fish tales on the decks of the tall ship Peking. There will be plankton-peeking through microscopes (look! A fluffy rotifer!) and aquatic art projects as well. Tickets for the museum and storytime can be acquired at 12 Fulton Street. For more information call 212 748 8758.

OCTOBER 15, 1 PM – 4 PM: Learn about how people in New York have fought fires for the last 400 years at the FIRE BUCKET AND RATTLE WATCH FESTIVAL at the South Street Seaport. There will be crafts, classes and stories all in honor of Fire Prevention Week. Tickets available at 12 Fulton Street. For more information call 212 748 8758.

OCTOBER 15, 1 PM – 2 PM: Take a teen-led tour of Central Park from the Dairy to Strawberry Fields and learn about the natural and not-so-natural history of the park. The DAIRY BERRY FIELDS TOUR is free, takes place rain or shine – and who knows? Maybe one day you’ll be leading the tour. Meet at the Dairy, mid-park at 65th Street.

OCTOBER 22, 1 PM – 4 PM: What? You don’t have your pumpkin yet? No prob - head to Staten Island for PUMPKIN PICKING at the Joe Holzka Community Garden. You’ll be able to paint your face and make a craft or two as well. Joe Holzka Community Garden - 1161 Castleton Ave. at Barker Ave. Contact Meg Grande at 718-447-3860 for more information.

OCTOBER 29, 2 PM – 6 PM: If you live near the Clifton Place Memorial Garden & Park in Brooklyn, it’s time for a HARVEST FAIR. There will be grapes to harvest, cider to drink and stories to listen to – and a bookmobile parked close by. Clifton Place Memorial Garden & Park - 1033-1037 Bedford Ave., at the corner of Clifton Place. For more information call 718 230-1917

OCTOBER 29, 2 PM – 5 PM: Celebrate Halloween by taking your pumpkin boating in Central Park. The 14th Halloween Parade and Pumpkin Sail at the Harlem Meer features prizes for best costume and jack-o-lantern and a candlelit launch of pumpkins across the Meer (that’s “lake” in Dutch). The Charles A. Dana Discovery Center, inside the Park at 110th Street between Fifth and Lenox Avenues. For more information, call 212-860-1370.

ALL MONTH: Would you believe it if someone told you there are tiny things living around you, on you and in your food right now? This is no creepy Halloween story, my friend: it’s all true. Find out more about our microscopic neighbors by heading to the New York Hall of Science’s HIDDEN KINGDOMS – THE WORLD OF MICROBES exhibit - Mon. -Thu. 9:30 am - 2:00 pm; Fri. until 5:00 pm; Sat. & Sun 10:00 am - 6:00 pm. New York Hall of Science, 47-01 111th St at 48th Ave, Flushing Meadows–Corona Park, Queens.

ALL MONTH: Ever wonder what causes our weather? Find the answers and try your hand at 33 interactive weather activities - including making snowflakes - by visiting KICK UP A STORM at the Children’s Museum of Manhattan any Wednesday – Sunday from 10 AM – 5 PM. Children's Museum of Manhattan, 212 West 83rd Street.

ALL MONTH: October is the driest month of the year – believe it or not – so it’s the perfect time to take advantage of Central Park. Head to Belvedere Castle any Tuesday -Sunday from 10 AM – 5 PM, for the WOODS AND WATER Exhibit, where hands-on displays tell you about the animals and plants in the park. And tell your parents to bring two pieces of ID so you can borrow a Discovery Kit for BIRDWATCHING in the tree (and bird)-filled Ramble near the Castle. Belvedere Castle, Central Park at 79th St. For more information, call (212) 772-0210.

ALL MONTH: And on those days when October isn’t so dry, the American Museum of Natural History’s DISCOVERY ROOM is the perfect place to do some natural science research with your slicker off. There you’ll find everything from hermit crabs to dinosaurs along with displays showing how grown up scientists study the very same critters. For children 5 – 12. American Museum of Natural History, W. 79th St. at Central Park West.