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Boy! Has it been a busy few weeks! We were in North Dakota three weeks ago for a Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) Conference/Tour (yes, you’ll hear a bit more about that later!), and when we got back, it was time for Farm Science Review! Someday I need to remember “not” to schedule myself to work all-day-every-day at the Review so I can see some of it!!

The Houston FFA Chapter, Shelby County SWCD and the Miami Conservancy District are holding a “Shelby County Test Your Well Event” on Tuesday, Oct. 13. This “free” confidential nitrate screening and well maintenance information program is available to anyone whose well is more than 40 years old, is less than 50 feet deep, and/or hasn’t been tested in over a year. You can take your samples to the Hardin-Houston Local School anytime between 4 to 6 p.m. You will want to collect your water sample on Oct. 13.

Use a clean jar that seals tightly; avoid touching the inside of the jar or the lid. Remove any filters from your faucet and let the water run for 5 minutes. Fill the bottle and cap it firmly. Keep the sample refrigerated until you take it to the school. Samples from multiple sources can be tested (kitchen, barn, etc.) For more information, contact Houston FFA Advisor Derek McCracken at [email protected] or 937-295-3010.

A Beginner’s Beekeeping Class is being held in Miami County beginning Oct. 13. This four-week series will meet at the Extension Meeting Room in the Courthouse in downtown Troy, each class to begin at 6:30p. During this course, experienced beekeepers will review what you need to know about starting your own bee business. The cost is $50 which includes handouts, refreshments, and a beginner’s beekeeping book. For more information, you can contact Amanda Bennett at 937-440-3945.

The Ohio Woodland Stewards Program will be holding “Capturing Nature’s Wonders,” a one-day class plus an evening field trip on how to take outdoor photography to the next level. This class will be held on Saturday, Oct. 17, at the OSU Mansfield Campus, beginning at 9 a.m.; the field trip will begin at 6:30 p.m. You will learn ‘real time’ instruction in the field as well as intensive classroom preparation, such as the simple steps that make the difference between ordinary snapshots and extraordinary photos.

To get the most out of the workshop you will need a camera that allows you to manually control apertures, shutter speeds, and ISO settings. A lens that has manual focus is also a plus. Any recent model digital single lens reflex or interchangeable lens compact, will work. The cost is $90 which includes morning snacks, lunch, and dinner for the day. Class size is limited to the first 12 registrations to allow more interaction between the instructor and the students. For more information or to register, you can call 614-688-3421 or go to

The Shelby County Forestry Field Day will be held on Sunday, Oct. 18, at the Bornhorst Woods on Staley Road between Wells and Amsterdam Roads near Anna. This event will run from 1 to 4 p.m. that afternoon. This is a “free” family event open to the entire community.

In addition to seeing a portable sawmill in operation and the opportunity to hike woodland trails, there will be chainsaw sculpting, wood carvers, a honey bee display, and the chance to learn about habitat improvement for wildlife. Kids will be able to do crafts, participate in a candy scramble at 2:15, and visit with Smokey Bear at 2:30! In addition, there’s free food: hot dogs, apples, beverages. You can find more information at

By Deborah Reinhart Brown

Ag update

The writer can be reached at the OSU Extension office (937-498-7239) or by email at [email protected]


The writer can be reached at the OSU Extension office (937-498-7239) or by email at [email protected]

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  • Rommelroute Waterwijk

  • Finale Miss Beauty of the Netherlands

  • workshop Zonnegroet

  • 2 Kleine Kleutertjes

  • Gezelligheid in cafe “het steegje” Almere Buiten

Meer agenda

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sail paradeWhile researching a book on ‘Why the Dutch are Different’, Ben Coates realised that an amazingly large number of the things which an outsider might think of as ‘typically Dutch’ could be explained at least in part by a single factor: water.

First, of course, there is the Dutch landscape itself. The Netherlands famously is not just fronted by water but permeated by it – a fifth of the total surface area consists of water. That figure would even higher were it not for the intricate lacework of dikes and canals, and thousands of water-pumping windmills, which liberated land from the waves. As a result, Dutch topography is among the most unique in the world: acres of flat grassland, rolling windmills, hunchbacked dikes, and barely a hill in sight.

The fact that reclaimed land is both flat and fertile has also influenced many other things which help keep the Dutch tourism industry afloat. Tulips thrive in the silty reclaimed soil, while thick wooden clogs keep farmers’ feet dry when trudging through boggy fields.

Tall buildings divided into tiny apartments help recoup the cost of building deep foundations. Red-brick roads prevent tarmac cracking on soggy subsiding ground. And then, of course, there are the bicycles: the perfect way of getting around a place where the steepest hill is usually a tiny bridge. Were it not for the water, the icons printed on Dutch postcards would look very different indeed.


Less obviously, omnipresent water also influenced Dutch diets. As land was reclaimed from the sea, Dutch farmers quickly realised that the silty soil left behind was perfect for growing rich grass; and that this grass in turn made perfect food for cows. Milk produced by the cows became a popular drink when clean water was in short supply.

Whatever wasn’t drunk was churned into another product which soon became a national obsession: cheese. Today, the average Dutch person eats nearly a third more dairy produce than the average Brit, and high dairy consumption is one reason why the Dutch are the tallest people in the world.

Without all the water, and the resulting deluge of dairies, the Netherlands might well be filled with short people eating croissants for breakfast.


Water also changed the course of history by lubricating the so-called Golden Age; the extraordinary era when the seventeenth-century Dutch lead the world in commerce, art, architecture and science.

With a long coastline lying at the nautical crossroads of Europe, the Netherlands was perfectly placed to become one of the continent’s greatest trading nations. Even far inland, a dense network of canals and waterways enabled German merchants to travel all the way to Amsterdam, Antwerp or Bruges without ever breaching the stormy North Sea.

As a result, the country not only developed Europe’s largest port, but controlled an empire stretching from the Caribbean to Africa and Indonesia. Today, the legacy of the Golden Age is clear: without seagoing trade, cities like Amsterdam couldn’t have afforded their tall townhouses and beautiful churches, and Rembrandt and Vermeer might be long-forgotten cobblers or blacksmiths.

Were it not for the water, this tiny nation would never have become the tenth richest in the world.


In the political sphere, too, the watery landscape had a profound impact on the Dutch. Historically, the fact that one person’s land was liable to flood if another person failed to maintain their dikes meant that decisions had to be made jointly wherever possible.

People therefore became used to negotiating to get their way. National governments were usually coalitions, and most political decisions based on compromise. The fact that even small minorities had an equal voice was one reason why the Netherlands developed famously liberal laws concerning things like drug use and prostitution, and why minority groups were awarded equal rights.

To outsiders used to seeing politics as a blood sport, Dutch politics can seem either very sensible or very boring. And the damp terrain is at least partly to blame.


Finally, the Dutch themselves have also been shaped by their landscape. All that empty sky and flat reclaimed land seems to have flooded their souls, making most Dutch as open and accessible as the landscape they live in.

Travelling around the Netherlands, I was routinely amazed by how direct the Dutch were, and how little value they attached to quaint notions like privacy or solitude. Try as I might, I never found a shy or introspective Dutchman, and the waterlogged terrain was again partly responsible.

As the great novelist Cees Nooteboom once wrote: ‘Holland doesn’t have mountains. Everything’s out in the open. No mountains, no caves. Nothing to hide. No dark places in the soul.’

There is, of course, far more to the Netherlands than just clichés like clogs and windmills. In the strange alchemy of national culture, many other influences have played a role – from the war against the Spanish to the religious divide between north and south, from the invasion by the Nazis to the influx of immigration.

However, the deeper one digs, the more likely one is to strike liquid. In the Netherlands, water really is everywhere.

‘Why the Dutch are Different: A Journey into the Hidden Heart of the Netherlands’ by Ben Coates is published by Nicholas Brealey Publishing.

Ben Coates will soon be appearing in a series of events in Rotterdam, the Hague, Amsterdam and London. For more information, see his website

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Elke 22e van de maand een nieuwe editie van Almere Magazine, en het is nog gratis ook!

Wanneer je gratis abonnee wordt, maak je ook nog eens kans op leuke prijzen.

Naar het magazine »

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On his way home from class, Jurriën Mentink takes a slight detour to pick up some fresh fillets from the fishmonger. His neighbor has an affinity for fish and, since he cycles by the market anyway, it’s really no trouble.  

After paying, he hops back on his bike and heads home. He’ll visit his neighbor, have dinner, maybe do some studying or kick back to watch TV. Much like any other university student.

Except home is a nursing home. And his neighbor just turned 93.

Mentink is one of six students living at Residential and Care Center Humanitas, a long-term care facility in the riverside town of Deventer in the eastern part of the Netherlands. In exchange for 30 hours of volunteer work per month, students are able to stay in vacant rooms there free of charge.

Students in the Netherlands spend an average of 366 Euros (roughly $410) each month on rent, up from 341 Euros in 2012. Student housing is often cramped or dingy, and is increasingly difficult to come by. Amsterdam, for instance, was short almost 9,000 student rooms last year.

Meanwhile, long-term care facilities in the country are facing problems of their own. In 2012, the Dutch government decided to stop funding continuing care costs for citizens over the age of 80 who weren’t in dire need. A large group of aging adults, who had once benefited from a free all-inclusive ticket to a home like Humanitas, found themselves unable to shoulder the costs.

The new ruling resulted in fewer people seeking long-term care communities, making it difficult for those communities to stay afloat. In order for Humanitas to survive in this new environment, it needed a unique selling point. One that wouldn’t cost residents any more than they were already paying.

“That’s when I thought of a group of other people—in this case, students—that also don’t have much money,” says Gea Sijpkes, director and CEO at Humanitas.

“If they could get a room in Humanitas, they wouldn’t have to borrow so much money for their study. At the same time, I have some young people in the house, which makes Humanitas the warmest and nicest home in which everybody who needs care would want to live.”

Jurriën Mentink helps one of his neighbors at the intergenerational home. (Humanitas)

As part of their volunteer agreement, Mentink and the other students spend time teaching residents new skills, like email, social media, Skyping, and even graffiti art.

For the residents, the students represent a connection to the outside world. When the students come home from a class, concert, or party, they share those experiences with their elderly neighbors. The conversation moves from aches and pains to whether a student’s girlfriend will be staying the night.

Research links loneliness to mental decline and increased mortality, and regular social interaction with friends and family has been found to improve health in older adults. Saying hello, sharing a joke, bringing fish from the market: It’s the little joys of everyday life that the students bring to the seniors at Humanitas. But it isn’t always just the little things.

Mentink recalls being woken up in the middle of the night by a staff member. One of the residents had attacked a nurse. The resident was extremely agitated and nothing the staff did seemed to help.

“When she saw me, it was like 180 degrees around,” Mentink recalls. “She was instantly relaxed and happy to see me.” Mentink had gotten to know her while giving her computer help. They spent the rest of the night watching Dirty Dancing before Mentink headed off to work.

The intergenerational living model is beginning to gain in popularity. Since Humanitas opened its doors to students in 2012, two more nursing homes in the Netherlands have followed suit. And a similar program was recently introduced in Lyon, France.

In the United States, the Judson Manor retirement community in Cleveland started accepting students from the Cleveland Institutes of Art and Music several years ago. As at Humanitas, the students are integrated among the resident population and have access to all the same amenities.

To earn their keep, they participate in the musical arts committee, assist staff therapists, and volunteer at various events throughout the year. Judson also requires them to give quarterly performances at each of their three campuses.

One student at Judson interviewed every resident, spending over an hour with each one, and compiled a keepsake book. She’s now working on a second volume to include additional residents.

Another student became so close with a resident that she asked her to be the flower girl at her wedding. The older woman declined, physically unable to make the trek to the West Coast, but threw a party for the couple at Judson instead.

Matthew Kaplan, a professor of intergenerational programs and aging at Pennsylvania State University, says these relationships can acquire far more depth than is possible with “the one-shot-only activity, where kids come into the long-term care facility, sing a song and then go home.”

That may be nice, he says, “but it’s not until [the older and younger people] have a real relationship—which takes a lot of interaction—that it becomes meaningful.”

Article source:


October 3, 2015 by norman lebrecht

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Nicolas Mansfield, director of Holland’s Reisopera, writes exclusively for Slipped Disc about a co-pro he was planning with Gotham Chamber Opera – a production that may never see light of day after Gotham’s sudden closure.


I saw the news today, oh boy.

Another opera house shuts down. And although such events are sadly not rare these days, the news struck me hard. The Nederlandse Reisopera had made a brilliant plan with Gotham Chamber Opera.

Alessandro Stradella was stabbed to death at 42, but before that fateful event he was a hugely successful composer . His ‘San Giovanni Battista’ was the perfect opera for our co-production. A relatively unknown work which more than deserved production today. With a reasonably small cast and orchestra it was perfectly suited for performance in churches, industrial spaces and other unusual locations. To my mind this is one of those operas that needs to be freed from the constraints of the classical theatrical environment that we built in later centuries.

I first met artistic director Neal Goren and financial director David Bennett at a conference called APAP, in New York in 2013. The Association of Performing Arts Presenters is best regarded as a global speed date for everyone involved in the performing arts. As usual at these gatherings, the real inspiration is often not to be found at the numerous sessions and lectures, but during chance meetings around coffee tables or at local lunch flirts. Neal and David spoke with me there about their feisty little opera setup in New York. Ambitious and attractive productions in unusual spaces. Literally designed to inspire present day audiences to appreciate the wonderful live art form that opera can be.

Sitting in the shadow of the Metropolitan Opera we discussed the fact that opera should not only be about spending millions on the wealthy, but also about spending love on the rest. Those who haven’t necessarily developed an acquired taste but are open to anything. I remember briefly touching on the tragic demise of New York City Opera, and wondering whether or not this may somehow boost financial support for Gotham.

The Nederlandse Reisopera is an advocate of co-productions. Co-productions are not only about saving money, but also about sharing. Sharing audiences, expertise, employees, artists and even cultures. And above all, about making the world a smaller and better place through opera. That’s basically all we do.

Both Neal and I were interested in the young American director, Timothy Nelson. Timothy resides in Amsterdam and had already directed a few smaller projects for our Resident Artist’s Programme. I had recently decided to trust him with Bizet’s Pearl Fishers. Neal and I, an American director living in the Dutch capital, and two opera companies with similar philosophies. The boxes were ticked and a co-production was born.

Found my coat and grabbed my hat.

Three years had passed since our first discussions. We had agreed on the cast which we would use for the performances both in New York and for the tour in The Netherlands. Timothy Nelson was busy with his concept and here at the Reisopera we were hunting down eccentric and suitable locations throughout the country in which to perform in 2017.

Yesterday’s news about the sudden demise of Gotham Chamber Opera saddened me enormously. It’s these little jewels of opera companies that keep our art form so alive. Gotham Chamber Opera may have been just a drop in the ocean of the opera world, but at the end of the day every opera company, regardless of its size, exists by grace of an art form, and is only as good as its last emotion.

‘And though the holes were rather small

They had to count them all

Now they know how many holes it takes to fill the Albert Hall.’

The Nederlandse Reisopera will search for another co-producing partner, or replace this production. However disappointing, that’s nothing more than a minor inconvenience for us. If these sad events remind us of anything it is that attention to detail in every aspect of our work can be a matter of life and death. Our thoughts right now are with our friends in New York who loved their work and brimmed with pride every time we spoke.

And also, maybe more importantly, with the audiences which now will not be.

Here’s a link to the second act duet “Che gioire, che contento’ in which Salome and Herod sing of the emotions of foreboding and joy at the impending beheading of John the Baptist.



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  • Enraged elephant lowers its head and collides with the safari vehicle
  • Tourists scream as the mammal lifts the truck and turns it sideways
  • Visitor said elephant pierced a tyre and went through metal with tusk

Jake Polden For Mailonline



This heart-stopping footage captures the moment an enraged bull elephant rammed into a safari truck full of helpless tourists and lifted it into the air.

The video was captured by a visitor to the Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe who was inside the vehicle at the time of the attack.

In the clip, the African bull Elephant lowers its head while running towards the safari truck at speed and colliding with the front of it, narrowly avoiding injuring a passenger.

The African bull Elephant lowered its head while running towards the safari truck at high speed

The African bull Elephant lowered its head while running towards the safari truck at high speed

The enraged elephant collided with the vehicle and narrowly avoided injuring one of the passengers 

The enraged elephant collided with the vehicle and narrowly avoided injuring one of the passengers 

It then uses its sheer strength to lift the vehicle into the air and turn it around so that it is facing sideways on the path.

All the while, the frightened tourists can be heard screaming in panic and no doubt suspecting the worst is yet to come.

According to the video maker the elephant pierced one of the tyres before ‘breaking through the metal like butter’ with its tusk.

Writing online, the visitor added: ‘No-one was harmed but the safari truck sure took a beating!’

According to the video maker the elephant pierced one of the tyres before 'breaking through the metal like butter' with its tusk

According to the video maker the elephant pierced one of the tyres before ‘breaking through the metal like butter’ with its tusk

The elephant used its sheer strength to lift the vehicle into the air and turn it around so that it was facing sideways on the path

The elephant used its sheer strength to lift the vehicle into the air and turn it around so that it was facing sideways on the path

The video concludes with the elephant retreating while making a trumpet sound with its trunk and heading back to its herd.

Elephants are generally peaceful animals but bulls are known to become aggressive when in musth – a sexually aggressive period among males.

Hwange National Park is the largest game reserve in Zimbabwe.

There have been a number of poaching incidents at the park over the years, most notably Cecil the lion, who had lived on Hwange for 13 years before he was killed in July 2015.

The frightened tourists could be heard screaming in panic and no doubt suspecting the worst was yet to come

The frightened tourists could be heard screaming in panic and no doubt suspecting the worst was yet to come

The video concluded with the elephant retreating while making a trumpet sound with its trunk and heading back to its herd

The video concluded with the elephant retreating while making a trumpet sound with its trunk and heading back to its herd

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St. Paul is the best city for Halloween. WalletHub, a social media company that lets users search for deals, declared St. Paul the top Halloween location in the United States in 2014 — and projected this year to be just as spooktacular. Using a variety of U.S. census data — including candy stores per capita, crime rates, number of events and average ticket prices — WalletHub ranked 100 cities and found St. Paul tops, followed by Minneapolis.

But don’t let a survey tell you, go see for yourself. There is a plethora of Halloween activities in and around the Twin Cities — from family-friendly trick-or-treating to haunted houses. Grab your friends and family, your goblins and ghouls, and check out this year’s events, many of which start early in the month.

If you know of an event that’s not on this list, there may still be time to get it online at Email with the details.

OCT. 4-11

BooFest. Enjoy special sales and fun activities — like a petting zoo, trick-or-treating and Oktoberfest gardens — at Grand Avenue’s fall celebration. 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Oct. 10; free; Grand Avenue, St. Paul;

Fall Color Cruise. Catch a ride on Minnehaha Steamboat’s last cruise to take in the colors of fall from the waters of Excelsior Bay. Cruises leave at 11:40 a.m., 1:15 p.m. and 2:50 p.m. Oct. 4; $15 for adults, $5 for children; 400 Lake St., Excelsior; tickets,

Fall Festival. This free family event invites you to join in with fun fall games, including playing in a giant pile of leaves, a scavenger hunt, fall crafts and a story corner. 2-4 p.m. Oct. 10; free; Willow River Nature Center, 1034 County Road A, Hudson, Wis.; 715-386-9340;

Food Allergy Resource Fair. Dress up and trick-or-treat from vendors with candies free of the top eight food allergens. Come in costume. 9 a.m.-noon Oct. 10; free; Eisenhower Community Center, 1001 Minnesota 7, Hopkins;

Harvest Fest. Giant pumpkin weighing, chili cook-offs, kids’ games and live music make up Stillwater’s annual festival. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Oct. 10-11; free; 101 Water St. S., Stillwater;

OCT. 12-18

Haunted Hay Run. Register for the Haunted Hay Run 5K or the Haunted Mile for a Halloween race that will have you spooked. Stay after for attractions at the Nightmare Hallow-Scream Park. 5:15 p.m. 5K, 5:40 p.m. mile run, Oct. 17; $65; Running Aces, 15201 Zurich St., Forest Lake; 612-669-5627;

Harvest Days. Participate in the Kelley Farm harvest in preparation for winter. Help finish field work, put food away in the root cellar and play 19th-century games. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Oct. 15-17, noon-5 p.m. Oct. 18; $6-$9; Oliver Kelley Farm, 15788 Kelley Farm Road, Elk River; 763-441-6896;

Harvest Moon Festival. Step back in time to the 1900s and get a hands-on experience of harvest time with activities and games for the whole family. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Oct. 16-17; $6 for 13 and older, $3 for 4-12, free for ages 3 and younger; Dakota City, 4008 220th St. W., Farmington; 651-460-8050;

Howl-loween Bash Dinner Dance. The St. Croix Animal Friends hosts a night of entertainment and family-friendly activities. Food provided before dancing begins. 5-9 p.m. Oct. 17; $35-$40; Hudson House Grand Hotel, 1616 Crest View Drive, Hudson; Wis.; 715-749-3763;

Old-Fashioned Trick-or-Treat. Follow a candle-lit path for historic trick-or-treating beginning on a horse-drawn trolley. Cookies, cider and entertainment included at the end. 4:30-8 p.m. Oct. 17; $5-$10; The Landing, Minnesota River Heritage Park, Shakopee; 763-559-6700.

Pumpkin Patch Splash. Make a splash for Halloween with a search for the “perfect pumpkin.” Swim for your pumpkin, decorate it and play games. Ages 4-10 years. 10 a.m., 10:15 a.m., 10:30 a.m. and 10:45 a.m. Oct. 17; $10; Lake Middle School, 3133 Pioneer Drive, Woodbury; 651-435-6600; register at

Pumpkin Train. Take a train to the pumpkin patch on the Osceola and St. Croix Valley Railway for a free pumpkin, games, face painting and more activities. Trains depart at 9:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. Oct. 16-18; $25 adults, $15 children, $5 toddlers; Osceola Depot, 1114 Oak Ridge Drive, Osceola, Wis.; 417-755-3570;

Zombie Pub Crawl. Slather on some blood and gore for the world’s greatest undead party — as determined by the “Guinness Book of World Records.” Ages 21 and older. 4 p.m.-midnight Oct. 17; $26.66 and up; downtown Minneapolis;

OCT. 19-25

Big Woods Halloween. Play carnival games for prizes, go on a pumpkin scavenger hunt and participate in other spooky and fun activities. For those a bit braver, visit the Gross-out-Grotto with creepy sites and slimy challenges. 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Oct. 24; $5-$8; Eastman Nature Center, Dayton, Minn.; 763-559-6700.

Boltz’s Family Martial Arts Academy 10th annual Halloween Bash. Members and the public are invited to this free family event featuring a costume contest, carnival games with candy prizes, haunted maze and outdoor laser tag ($10). 5-8 p.m. Oct. 24; Boltz’s Family Martial Arts Academy, 780 S Plaza Drive, Mendota Heights, 651-683-0355;

Boo Run Run 5K. Harriet Island’s annual Halloween 5K and half-mile Kid’s Fun Run along the Mississippi River. Costumes welcome. Kids’ run starts at 8:30 a.m., 5K starts at 9 a.m. Oct. 24; Harriet Island, St. Paul; 651-688-9143;

Ghouls and Giggles. Enjoy family-friendly arts and crafts, live music, costumed trick-or-treating nd a semi-spooky trail walk. 3-6 p.m. Oct. 24; $5; Oswald Visitor Center, Minnesota Arboretum, Chaska; 952-443-1400;

Halloween at the Art Park. Trick-or-treat around the park with spooky sculptures and fun costumes for an afternoon of family fun. 1-4 p.m. Oct. 24; free; Caponi Art Park, 1220 Diffley Road, Eagan; 651-454-9412;

Halloween Extravaganza. Walk a trail — the friendly trick-or-treat trail or the scary trail — enjoy face painting, scary hair, storytelling, music, wagon rides and a costume contest while learning about nature. 5:30-10 p.m. Oct. 23; $6-$9; Dodge Nature Center, 1701 Charlton St., St. Paul; 651-455-4531;

Haunted Forest. Are you brave enough to walk through the forest? A spooky trail along with other tamer activities for kids like trick-or-treating and friendly-costumed characters make up this year’s Haunted Forest. 5-8:30 p.m. Oct. 24; $3 per person, $10 per carload; Steve Michaud Park, 17100 Ipava Ave., Lakeville; 952-985-4600,

Haunted Woods Trail. This spooky trail is for kids ages preschool through middle-school and includes treats and tricks for the whole family. 6-8 p.m. Oct. 24; free; 2893 145th St. W., Rosemount; 612-840-9016;

Hilltop Pumpkin Party. For family fun in the outdoors, this pumpkin party has numerous events, including wagon rides, a pumpkin patch, games, ghost stories, the fire department, crafts, a petting zoo and more. 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Oct. 24; free; YMCA Camp St. Croix, 532 County Road F, Hudson, Wis.; 751-386-8411;

Horror Festival. Prepare yourself for 11 horrifying days of theater, dance, music and film at the Southern Theater with 12 shows playing throughout the festival. Times vary Oct. 22-Nov. 1; $15-$150; Southern Theater, 1420 S. Washington Ave., Minneapolis; 612-340-0155;

Lowry’s Enchanted Forest Halloween. The Lowry Nature Center transforms into an enchanted forest for this one-day-only event with trick-or-treating on the trail, skits, stories by the bonfire, the chance to meet a live owl and more. 5-9 p.m. Oct. 24; $9; Lowry Nature Center, Victoria, Minn.; 763-694-7650.

Monster Mash. Bring the family and join in for live music and dancing, family-friendly games and entertainment. Please no scary costumes. 6-8 p.m. Oct. 23; $3 per person, $9 per family; Woodbury Senior High School, 2665 Woodland Drive, Woodbury; 651-768-4400.

Spooktacular Concert. A music concert of Halloween favorites performed by the Minnetonka Symphony Orchestra. 3-4:30 p.m. Oct. 25; $12, children younger than 12 free; Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, Chaska; 952-443-1400;

Tamarack Trick-or-Treat. Low-key and non-spooky, this event provides plenty of fun Halloween activities, including hand-pressed cider and live animals. 3-5:30 p.m. Oct. 24; $7.50-$3.25; Tamarack Nature Center, 5287 Otter Lake Road, White Bear Township; 651-407-5350.

Thrill the World Minneapolis. Hosted by beARTrageous and the Minneapolis Parks and Recreation Board, be part of a Halloween-style block party. Come in costume and take part in a worldwide simultaneous dance of “Thriller.” 3-6 p.m. Oct. 24; free; 2121 W. 21st St., Minneapolis; 612-423-7554;

Trick-or-Treating on Main Street. Dress up in costume and spend a day discovering the treats of downtown Stillwater’s independent businesses. Noon-4 p.m. Oct. 24-25; free; downtown Stillwater, 100 Main St., Stillwater; 651-342-1386;

Trunks ‘n’ Treats. Enjoy food, games and live music at a family-friendly event. Treats from decorated trunks for kids in costumes, too. Food shelf donations accepted. 1-3 p.m. Oct. 24; free; St. Stephen Lutheran Church, 1965 E. County Road E, White Bear Lake; 951-777-1107;

OCT. 26-31

Ar-BOO-retum! Gather your little ghosts and witches for a day at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum with free admission for those in costume. 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Oct. 30; free in costume; Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, Chaska; 952-443-1400;

Burlesque Burlesque. Celebrate Halloween with Le Cirque Rouge Cabaret’s burlesque show with comedy, song and dance. 9 p.m. Oct. 31; $15-$100; Amsterdam Bar Hall, 6 W. Sixth St., St. Paul; 612-285-3112;

Boo-ology. Experiment with hands-on Halloween-themed science activities for an afternoon of learning. Costumes encouraged. Noon-4 p.m. Oct. 31; $13, $10 ages 4-12 and seniors, kids 12 and younger free with costume; Science Museum, 120 W. Kellogg Blvd., St. Paul; 651-221-9444;

Dia de los Muertos. Celebrate Mexican culture and tradition with the Day of the Dead. Learn an Aztec dance, look at decorated altars, see a puppet show and enjoy hands-on activities. Noon-4 p.m. Oct. 25; $6-$12; Minnesota History Center, 345 W. Kellogg Blvd., St. Paul; 651-259-3000;

Halloween Bash. This family-friendly event is all about Halloween games. Munch on spooky snacks, listen to storytelling, take home crafts and more. 5:30-7:30 p.m. Oct. 30; free; Willow River Nature Center, 1034 County Road A, Hudson, Wis.; 715-386-9340;

Halloween Bash with Kind Country Frogleg with Headband Jam. Parkway Theatre’s Halloween Bash promises a night of music. Ages 21 and older. 8 p.m.; $12-$15; Parkway Theater, 4814 Chicago Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612-822-3030;

Hijinks Puppet Show. Watch a wild animal puppet show about autumn and stay after to hike outside. Best for ages 2-5. Shows at 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. Oct. 28; $5; Maplewood Nature Center, 2659 E. Seventh St., Maplewood; 651-249-2170;

Howl-O-Ween. Grab your mummies and daddies and join a trick-or-treating celebration at participating shops at the Mall of America. 4:30-7:30 p.m. Oct. 31; free; Mall of America, Bloomington; 952-858-8500;

Pumpkin Carving. Find inspiration for a pumpkin masterpiece with carving, sculpting and creative jack-o’-lantern samples and tools. After the pumpkins are completed, enjoy a mass pumpkin lighting and marshmallow roasting. 5:30-7:30 p.m. Oct. 28; $8; Silverwood Park, 2500 County Road E., St. Anthony; 763-694-7707.

Pumpkin Patch Party. Celebrate on roller skates at this kid-friendly Halloween party. 7:30-10 p.m. Oct. 30; $6, $2-$3 roller-skate rentals; Saints North Roller Rink, 1818 Gervais Court E., Maplewood; 651-770-3848;

Skate-O-Ween. Lace up your skates for a morning of family fun. Treats and crafts included, and costumes encouraged. Bring your own skates. 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Oct. 31; free in advance, $3 at the door; Augsburg College Ice Arena, 2323 Riverside Ave., Minneapolis;

The Great Pumpkin Chase. Tie up your running shoes and prepare for a 5K, 10K or Kids Dracula Dash Fun Run at Lake Elmo. 10K at 8:30 a.m., 5K at 10 a.m. Oct. 31; Lake Elmo Park Reserve, 1515 Keats Ave. N., Lake Elmo; 651-430-8370;

Trunk or Treat at Community of Hope Church. Trick-or-treating for the whole family. 4:30-6:30 p.m. Oct. 31; free; Community of Hope Church, 14401 Biscayne Ave. W., Rosemount; 651-322-5679;

Trunk or Treat at Emanuel Lutheran Church. For the seventh annual event, expect plenty of treats and fun games. Costumes welcomed and food shelf donations taken. 6-8 p.m. Oct. 30; free; Emanuel Lutheran Church, 2075 70th St. E., Inver Grove Heights; 651-457-3929;

Trunk or Treat in Red Wing. Two streets in Red Wing close and trunks open up with costumes, candy and festive activities for kids, such as pumpkin carving, train rides, a petting zoo, dancing and more. 3-5 p.m. Oct. 31; free; Red Wing Downtown Main Street, Red Wing;

Trunk or Treat in Sandburnol Park. Bring your little ghosts and goblins dressed in costumes for trick-or-treating from decorated trunks. 5:15-6:30 p.m. Oct. 31; free; Sandburnol Park, 520 Sandburnol Drive, Spring Lake Park; 763-780-1619;

Turnblad Mansion Halloween Tours. Explore the Turnblad Mansion with its creaking doors, sudden blasts of cold air and ghostly evidence collected by the Twin Cities Paranormal Society while you nibble on light bites and sip Halloween-inspired cocktails. Ages 21 and older. 6 p.m., 7:15 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. Oct. 30; $27; American Swedish Institute, 2600 Park Ave., Minneapolis; reserve your spot 612-871-4907;

Witch Hazel Hustle 5K. Throw on your costume and get ready to run this fun race around the thee-mile drive at the arboretum. 8 a.m. Oct. 31; $30-$35; Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, Chaska; 952-443-1400;

Kelcie McKenney can be reached at 651-228-2093.


Anoka Haunted House. Get your spook on at the Anoka Haunted House. 7-9 p.m. Oct. 15-17, Oct. 22, Oct. 29; 6-10 p.m. Oct. 23-24 and Oct. 30-31; $8-$10, bring a nonperishable food item for a $2 discount; Anoka County Fairgrounds, Anoka;

Big Zombie Hunter Paintball. Gear up and grab a paintball gun to help clear the infestation of zombies. No equipment needed. Dusk-10 p.m. weekdays, dusk-11 p.m. Fridays-Saturdays Oct. 2-3, 9-10, 14-17, 22-24, 29-31; $15; Zywiec’s Landscape and Garden Center, 10900 E. Point Douglas Road, Cottage Grove; 651-459-3001;

Butcher Shop House of Gore. One of the longest-running independent backyard haunts in the Twin Cities, the Butcher Shop is filled with gore and horror. 6-11 p.m. Oct. 9-11, 16-18, 23-31; $7 cash; 1444 Reaney Ave., St. Paul;

Caves and Graves Tour. Hear the tales of spirits, murders, ghost sightings and graveyards around local St. Paul sites during a two-hour bus tour. Reservations required. Call for times, Oct. 9, 16, 23, 27, 29, 30, Nov. 1; $25; Wabasha Street Caves, 215 Wabasha St., St. Paul; 651-292-1220;

Fall Family Fun 2015. Stop by the Badlands Sno-Park for family fun with hayrides, farm animals, mini-golf, crafts, games and more. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays Oct. 10-25; $10; Badlands Sno-Park, Hudson, Wis.; 715-386-1856;

Frankenstein’s Laboratory. Watch the spooky lights and sounds show of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein’s laboratory at the Bakken Museum. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesdays-Saturdays, open until 8 p.m. Thursdays; $10 adults, $8 students and seniors, free for ages 3 and younger; The Bakken Museum, 3537 Zenith Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612-926-3878;

Fright Farm. Are you feeling brave? Test your wits in this haunted farmhouse filled with frightening scenes of horror, local legend and folklore. 7-11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays through Oct. 31; $10; 2020 White Bear Ave. N., Maplewood; 651-428-1382;

Fright Nights Film Series. Watch your favorite horror films, such as “The Shinning” and “The Exorcist,” on the big screen at discounted prices. 7 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays, 10 p.m. Thursdays-Saturdays Oct. 12-31; $5; participating Marcus Theatre locations;

Govin’s Corn Maze. Come for the Garth Brooks-themed corn maze and stay for the family activities, including a pumpkin patch, cannon, hayrides, mini golf, jumping pillow, farm animals and more. 4-10 p.m. Fridays, 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturdays and 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sundays through Oct. 31; $10.50, $4 ages 2-4; Govin’s Farm, N. 6134 670th St., Menomonie, Wis.; 715-231-2377;

Halloween Haunt. Ghouls and monsters roam the haunted houses and mazes at ValleySCARE, with rides open, too. 7 p.m.-midnight Fridays-Saturdays, (and Thursday, Oct. 15) through Oct. 31; $33.99 and up; Valleyfair Amusement Park, Shakopee; 952-445-7600;

Halloween Lights on York Avenue. Drive through the neighborhood of York Avenue to see more than 15,000 lights strung between seven neighbors’ houses. Lights are choreographed to music that broadcasts from the car stereo. Dusk-10 p.m. through Oct. 31, weather permitting; free; 1526 York Ave., St. Paul;

HallZOOween. It’s the Minnesota Zoo but with Halloween-themed treats and activities that let families learn more about the animals. Visit the website for daily schedules of events and activities. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Oct. 24-25 and 30-31; $12-$18; Minnesota Zoo, 1300 Zoo Blvd., Apple Valley; 952-431-9200;

Haunted Basement. Designed by artists, the Soap Factory’s annual haunted basement combines art and horror in a maze of twists and turns that leave you desperately searching for an exit. Ages 18 and older. Times vary, Wednesdays-Sundays through Nov. 1; $25-$27; The Soap Factory, 514 Second St. S.E., Minneapolis;

Haunted Tours. Tour the Mounds Theatre to hear ghost stories and histories of the theater’s past paranormal activity in near-darkness. Ages 16 and older. Times vary, Fridays and Saturdays through Oct. 30, excluding Oct. 16; $20; Mounds Theatre, 1029 Hudson Road, St. Paul; 651-772-2253;

Haunted Trail at Dixon Creek. For a scary haunting with a PG-rating, visit Dixon Creek’s Haunted Trail. Full concessions available. Dusk- 9 p.m. Oct. 9-10, 16-17; $10 adults, $8 students, $5 ages 12 and younger; 8240 250th St. W., Morristown, Minn.; 507-210-5208.

Haunting Experience on Hwy 61. Two haunted houses and a hayride to frighten the hearty. Less scary events include a corn maze and “lights on” experience with kid-friendly activities. Dusk-10 p.m. weekdays; dusk-11 p.m. Fridays-Saturdays Oct. 2-3, 9-10, 14-17, 22-24, 29-31; $20; Zywiec’s Landscape and Garden Center, 10900 E. Point Douglas Road, Cottage Grove; 651-459-3001;

Military Zombie Hunt. In this intense zombie hunt, shoot paintball guns while riding in military trucks to help curb the zombie problem. 7-11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays Oct. 9-31; $20; Washington County Fairground, 12300 40th St. N., Lake Elmo; 612-666-5820;

Monster Bash. Silly, spooky hosts, such as disco zombies and mad scientists, take over Nickelodeon Universe at the Mall of America for rides, treats and spooks. 5-10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays Oct. 16-17, Oct. 23-24, Oct. 30-31; $23.99 ride wristbands; Nickelodeon Universe, Mall of America, Bloomington; 952-883-8800;

Nightmare Hallow Scream Park. Terrifying haunted houses, a scream-worthy hayride and a zombie hunt, among other activities, make up this “Scream Park.” 7-10 p.m. Sundays-Thursdays, 7 p.m.-midnight Fridays and Saturdays Oct. 9-10, 14-18, 21-25, 28-31; $19-$40; Nightmare Hallow Scream Park, 15201 Zurich St., Columbus, Minn.; 612-462-7279;

Rockpoint Fall Festival. Family-friendly fun for all ages without the scare can be found at this event with activities including a corn maze and new corn cannon that let’s you shoot corn cobs at distant targets. 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Oct. 10, 17, 24, 31; free; 5825 Kelvin Ave. N., Lake Elmo; 651-770-3172;

Scream Town. Eight massive, themed and horrifying attractions to scare you breathless with two new houses this year — Phobia House and alien-themed Crop Spawn. 6:30-11 p.m Thursdays-Saturdays, 6:30-10 p.m. Sundays Oct. 9-10, 15-18, 23-25, 30-31, Nov. 1; $25-$30; 7410 US 212, Chaska; 612-562-6409;

Severs Fall Festival and Corn Maze. Come for the corn maze — this year’s theme honors firefighters — stay for the activities, including an exotic animal petting zoo, corn pit, giant slide and camel rides. 1-8 p.m. Fridays, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturdays, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sundays through Nov. 1 and 10 a.m.-8 p.m. MEA weekend Oct. 15-16; $15, free for ages 3 and younger; 1100 Canterbury Road, Shakopee; 952-975-5000;

The Great Pumpkin Fest. Visit for not-so-scary daytime family fun with the Peanuts gang for rides, live entertainment and fall activities. 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturdays and 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Sundays through Nov. 1; $35.99 and up; Valleyfair Amusement Park, Shakopee; 952-445-6500;

Trail of Terror. Find terror for all with spine-chilling attractions and scare-free events, including the howling pines wood walk, haunted houses, zombie paintball, the phantom’s feast, screw loose pub crawl and more. 7 p.m.-12:30 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 7-11 p.m. Sundays Oct. 9-31; $19.95; 3525 145th St. W., Shakopee; 952-445-7361;

Twin Cities Harvest Festival and Maze. Celebrate fall with Minnesota’s largest corn maze — this year’s theme celebrates the Minnesota Wild’s 15-year anniversary. Enjoy corn pit, live music, petting zoo, hayride and more. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays through Oct. 25 and MEA weekend, Oct. 15-16; $12, children shorter than 36 inches free; 8001 109th Ave. N., Brooklyn Park; 952-992-9326;

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AmNews Food Editor

Saturday, Oct. 3, 4 p.m. to 9 p.m., our friends at Harlem Shake NYC (@HarlemShakeNYC) are hosting a fried chicken primer, featuring “The Food Lab: Better Home Cooking Through Science” author, Serious Eats culinary director and former Harlem local Kenji Lopez-Alt.

Early birds can feast their eyes on an hour-long culinary demo in which Kenji will share tips and tricks on how to achieve restaurant-quality fried chicken at home. After the demo, Kenji and the Harlem Shake team will serve up Southern fried chicken with chile-infused Mike’s Hot Honey (@MikesHotHoney) and a variety of sides.

Signed copies of Kenji’s book will be available for purchase, as will Harlem Shake’s full menu. Ten percent of all food and book sales for that day will benefit the local charity Mama Foundation for the Arts’ Gospel for Teens program.

Oct. 5 to 11, in celebration of this year’s New York Super Week and the 10th edition of New York Comic Con (@NY_Comic_Con), iconic city eateries and hot spots such as Eataly, Two Boots Pizza, Serendipity 3, No. 7 Sub, Brooklyn Brewery and the Bistro at Courtyard Marriott Central Park are “SUPER-sizing” their menus. From beer to subs, pizza to ice cream and more, the ultimate geek-inspired foods will be available at each location, along with some special discounts for the 150,000-plus people taking over New York City during one of the biggest pop culture events of the year.

Italian food hall Eataly will be offering a free Dr. Cone-Evil mini gelato cone filled with Nutella and rolled in hazelnuts with the purchase of their Nutella Crepe Crusader during their regular Nutella Bar hours. Just flash your New York Super Week Card or New York Comic Con Badge for this sweet deal.

For more information about how you can bring some pop culture to your palate throughout New York Super Week and NYCC, visit and

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Let’s begin by stating the obvious: “The Diary of Anne Frankâ€? is not a play you look forward to seeing.

The fame of the book, the drama, the movie and the Anne Frank House Museum in Amsterdam has made it almost impossible not to know the outcome before you go.

Over the two-and-a-half hours, plus intermission, of Pittsburgh Public Theater‘s production, you become a silent and powerless observer. During 25 months between 1942 and ’45, the Frank and Van Daan families and Mr. Dussel — all Jews — live together in a cramped Amsterdam attic space while supplied with limited news and rations by two of Otto Frank’s friends.

Unable to leave Amsterdam, their only hope to avoid transportation to the Nazi concentration camps is to stay hidden until the German invaders are conquered.

Even if you enter the theater completely uninformed, the opening scene reveals the fates of everyone involved with abundant clarity.

For those watching events unfold against that backdrop, the petty squabbles and mini dramas of domestic life that erupt during their confinement are a constant reminder of how inconsequential those moments are in their lives and in ours.

Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett’s play focuses not on where the characters ended up, but the lives they lived and the journey they took together.

Michael Schweikardt’s multilevel set offers a fairly accurate re-creation of the tightly confined attic space they inhabited, right down to the covered windows that prevented light leaks that might give them away.

Playing young Anne Frank is no easy task. But 26-year-old Remy Zaken handles Anne’s transition from outspoken, self-involved child to a more sensitive, thoughtful but still-lively 15-year-old with seamless plausibility.

Christine Laitta brings reality to Mrs. Frank, Anne’s overwrought, anxious mother.

Randy Kovitz, as Otto Frank, serves as the group’s calm, central stabilizing force who intermediates the typical mother-daughter rancor and does his best to be the voice of reason for every moment of peril, panic or discord.

Helena Ruoti tackles the judgmental, self-impressed Mrs. Van Daan with aplomb, sanding down her rough edges with touches of humor. As her husband, David Wohl increases the tension with his personal imperfections. David Edward Jackson plays their teenage son Peter, whose solitary ways make a nice foil for Anne’s pranks.

As Anne’s older, studious, more mature sister Margot, Erica Cuenca is a strong but often silent presence, watching and listening before speaking.

Daniel Krell is delightfully cranky, awkward and distant as the reclusive man forced to share a room with the boisterous Anne.

Ken Bolden and Kelsey Carthew play the two courageous outsiders, Mr. Kraler and Miep, who arrive periodically with news and supplies.

Pamela Berlin’s precise and focused direction and a uniformly skillful cast turn this dark and difficult production into a gripping, sometimes-funny and emotionally powerful evening of true drama.

“The Diary of Anne Frank,â€? produced by Pittsburgh Public Theater, continues through Oct. 25 at 7 p.m. Tuesdays, 8 p.m. most Wednesdays-Fridays, 2 and 8 p.m. most Saturdays and Oct. 22, and 2 and 7 p.m. most Sundays at the O’Reilly Theater, 621 Penn Ave., Downtown. Admission: $30-$65. Details: 412-316-1600 or

Alice T. Carter is the theater critic for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-320-7808, or via Twitter @ATCarter_Trib.

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