Arts & Entertainment

'Once Upon a Time' Opens at Lasdon Park in Somers

Micheal Moretti, 9, has no hard feelings after this scary pumpkin thing gives him a good scare. Credits: Photo by Gabrielle Bilik
Volunteers Linda and Dominica Lovallo dressed as the Queen of Hearts and Alice from "Alice and Wonderland." Credits: Photo by Gabrielle Bilik
A girl plays at an interactive station which, at the push of a button, squirts water into the window of a "burning" building. Credits: Photo by Gabrielle Bilik
Sarah Hitner and Sophie Hitner, 3, pointing the way. Credits: Photo by Gabrielle Bilik
Mark Tolf walks his three-year-old T. rex, Louie. Credits: Photo by Gabrielle Bilik
Mateo and Nikolina Palushi, ages 5 and 1, taking a ride. Credits: Photo by Gabrielle Bilik
Face painted and "Down the Rabbit Hole." Credits: Photo by Gabrielle Bilik
Enter the "Rabbit Hole" if you dare... Credits: Photo by Gabrielle Bilik
Talloulah Goode, 3, is happy with the results of her makeover. Credits: Photo by Gabrielle Bilik
Kids making their way through the hay maze. Credits: Photo by Gabrielle Bilik
A scene on the Halloween train. Credits: Photo by Gabrielle Bilik
The Halloween train display has grown each year. Credits: Photo by Gabrielle Bilik

SOMERS, N.Y.--The annual Halloween Train Show at Lasdon Park and Arboretum in Somers kicked off its train and fall festival last weekend. 

This year’s theme is “Once Upon a Time” and features fantastically decorated halls and forests, including a “Down the Rabbit Hole” trail through the property’s gardens, and a “Jack and the Beanstalk”-themed room. 

Inside the main house, visitors are greeted by volunteers Linda and Dominica Lovallo, a mother-daughter duo dressed as the Queen of Hearts and Alice from “Alice in Wonderland.” After entering, guests can explore a series of decorated rooms and hallways and along with the main attraction, the multi-tabled, intricate model Lionel Train exhibit. In the reading room, the youngest visitors can enjoy having stories read to them.

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Festivities were set up near the conservatory for the exhibit’s opening weekend. A food truck provided refreshments and musician Gary Anderson added to the ambience with his musical stylings. There was face painting and a hay maze, and the conservatory was open so guests could tour its tropical flower exhibit.

Paul Zahn, the assistant manager of Lasdon Park and Arboretum and the primary train exhibit creator, began building the display 10 years ago. Back then, it featured a single train going around a creepy coffin. Now, the exhibit has grown to include several trains weaving through various fantasy worlds, vividly brought to life by detailed figurines, smoke, blinking lights and interactive buttons. Zahn describes the Lasdon team’s efforts to build the train display each year as a labor of love.

Zahn said he hopes it will continue to grow. Guests are encouraged to walk around the display several times, he added, to take in all the details.

The event is open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. again on Oct. 7, 8, 9; 14, 15; 21, 22; 28 and 29.

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