Dozens of things to do for you and your whole family.

In 2003, Starbucks introduced a new seasonal drink called the Pumpkin Spice Latte, and suddenly, the humble, portly pumpkin rolled its way into the seasonal spotlight.

Nowadays, it's hard to go anywhere in October without running into a pumpkin. It's almost as if The Great Pumpkin has actually arrived, bearing pumpkin-y gifts, just in time for Halloween. There are shelves full of pumpkin bread and pumpkin muffins. There are pumpkin cookies, and pumpkin-flavored coffee creamer, pumpkin ice cream, and pumpkin bread pudding to go along with it. You can have pumpkin waffles for breakfast and finish your day with a plate of pumpkin ravioli while sipping a pumpkin-flavored beer. And of course, there are the pumpkins themselves, in an array of different shapes and sizes, perfect for plunking on the porch.

As is the case with any hot trend, the popularity of the pumpkin is bound to fade, but one thing will never change. Fall will always include pumpkins, and a trip to the pumpkin patch will always be one of fall's great pleasures. There are some great ones to choose from this year, so whether you're on the hunt for your own Great Pumpkin, or you're just happy to stroll the patch – PSL in hand – you'll get your fill of pumpkin-spiced fall fun.

Head out to Cal Poly Pomona for the 28th Annual Pumpkin Festival from October 2nd - 31st. The fun includes a corn maze, music, games, a petting zoo, and hayrides. You can get your creepy crawlies at the Insect Fair, where thousands of live and preserved insects will be on display. But the stars of this show are the thousands of pumpkins covering the gently rolling patch. They are a steal at $5-$7 each, and better yet, all proceeds support the College of Agriculture and farm operations.

Before the New Year's festivities take over the Rose Bowl, Kidspace Museum throws one heck of a Halloween Bash to kick off the season. The Kidspace Halloween Event will be held on October 12th - 31st. Kids and their parents are invited to march or strut their way down the orange catwalk in the Kidspace Halloween parade (and, yes, costumes are encouraged). In addition, there will be pumpkin decorating, silly stories, and up-close visits with their "hairy-not-scary" spider friends. 

If you're less of a country mouse and more of a city mouse, you'll love Mr. Bones Pumpkin Patch in Culver City, which is open now through October 31. This pumpkin patch has been around since 1987 and comes complete with valet parking. (It's LA. What did you expect!) You'll find all the pumpkin patch bells and whistles here, including giant rocking horses, a petting zoo, bounce houses, super slide, hay bale maze, and pumpkin decorating. You can also book your own private pumpkin carving party in the private party tent. 

Park yourself in a pumpkin patch this Halloween. Seems like Ol' Linus had the right idea!


– Julie


30th Anniversary Celebration for the Bob Lucas Library

The Altadena community - and library lovers everywhere - are invited to come out for some free carnival-style games, prizes, crafts, music, balloons, and food on October 16, starting at 10:00 AM. It's all in celebration of the 30th anniversary of the re-opening of the Bob Lucas Memorial Library and Literacy Center. Learn more about Bob Lucas and get details on the happenings online.



Windows and Mirrors Book Club

The book club for your 5th through 7th graders is back discussing another contemporary realistic book about kids from diverse backgrounds and life experiences. The whole idea is for them to see themselves (mirror) in the story or reflect on others' experiences (window). This month, the book is the scary tale Spirit Hunters by Ellen Oh. Your kid should try to read it before the meeting to be better able to participate. The book club meets at the Lamanda Park Branch Library every other month from 4:30 PM till 5:30 PM. Registration is required.



Take & Make: Haunted Beads

Get your Tween and Teen ready to make some spooktacular melty bead designs with the Santa Catalina Branch Library. Signups for supply kits open on October 14 and run through October 31 or while supplies last.

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the orange cat bookshop
Featured in this issue of The Orange Cat, Spirit Hunters and other great books featured in previous issues are available from our online book shop. And, if that wasn't good enough, every purchase supports a local, independent book store.
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Take & Make: Alpaca Activity

This weaving activity is inspired by the alpacas indigenous to the Peruvian Andes. Open to the whole family. Registration begins September 15 with limited kits available from the Santa Catalin Branch Library. The project continues through October 15.



Take & Make: Papel Picado

Your whole family can learn to make these festive, traditional Mexican decorations out of tissue paper and string. Supply kits are available at Hill Branch Library starting October 1 while supplies last. Call the library with any questions at 626-744-7264



Talk Like a Pirate Day Celebration

I can't come up with anything better than what the Santa Catalina Branch Library posted: "Come all ye mateys and walk the plank to fun-filled pirate-themed activities and stories. Arrrr you ready?!" The pirate fun runs from September 16 through October 15. Kits are available while supplies last. Everyone on your ship is invited.



La Pintoresca LEGO Club

Your LEGO builders, ages 5-12 years old (and the adults who are just forced to accompany them - darn it!), come together on Mondays from September 13 through October 11, at 4:30 PM at the La Pintoresca Branch Library to show off your building skills in weekly challenges. Masks are required.



Afternoon Games

The whole family is invited to the Villa Parke Community Center Branch Library to play games, from board games to giant dominos. The fun happens on October 12 and 26, from 2:00 PM till 4:00 PM.



Stay & Play

La Pinoresca Branch Library is putting out an open call to all caregivers (grandfolks, aunts, uncles, nannies, etc.) to join them and a resource professional for an hour of play, learning, singing, reading, and fun! Bring your 0-5-year-old on Thursdays through October 14, at 10:30 AM.



Family Fun Films

Villa Parke Community Center Branch Library is queuing a movie good for the whole family on Thursdays from 3:30 PM till 5:30 PM. Call the library at 626-744-6510 for the specific title.



Take & Make: Mini Pumpkin Decorating

Families are invited to pick up a decorating kit and join the pulp-free fun of decorating mini pumpkins in October all month long. Kit reservations open on October 1 online and continue while supplies last.



Sketches & More: Mailable Moths

Your Teen (ages 12-18) can head to the La Pintoresca Branch Library for a painting workshop led by the staff from the Armory. The theme this month is based on the work of Alison Saar. It all happens on October 14, from 4:30 PM till 6:00 PM.



Super Smash Fridays!

In the Altadena Libary's Community Room, teens (grades 8-12) smash the competition every other Friday starting October 1, from 4:00 PM till 5:00 PM. Console and controllers are provided by the library. Teens just bring their friends!



Tween Switch Hour

Suppose you have a Tween (ages 8-12) who enjoys playing a Nintendo Switch. In that case, the Altadena Library has some fun for them every other Thursday through November 18, from 4 PM till 5 PM. Things kick off with Mario Kart racing on September 23. The library has a limited number of loaner Switches and copies of Mario Kart for kids to use at the event on a first-come, first-serve basis. 

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NOTE: Story times are subject to change. Please check the sites. Recorded story times are generally available on library YouTube channels.

Teen Inspiration

Check out Altadena Library's Teen Instagram account for BTWN TiTLES, their biweekly posts of book reviews, creativity experiments, and more.

Pasadena Public Library regular storytimes:

Social Media Storytime: Preschool on Mondays at 10:30 - 10:50 AM on Facebook Live and Thursday at 3:00 - 3:20 PM on Instagram Live


Social Media Storytime: Toddler on Tuesdays at 10:30 - 10:50 AM on Instagram Live


Chinese Mandarin Storytime on Wednesdays at 3:00 PM on Instagram Live


Social Media Storytime: Hora de Cuento en Español on Wednesdays at 4:00 - 4:20 PM on Facebook Live


Social Media Storytime: ASL (American Sign Language) on Friday at 4:00 - 4:20 PM on Instagram Live

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