Mather Homestead offers safe trick or treating in Darien

DARIEN — Though COVID-19 put a crimp in candy collecting this year, The Mather Homestead hosted a fun drive-through event for kids on Halloween afternoon.

Saturday, Oct. 31, saw over 50 families roll through the facility, with a dozen or so costumed volunteers waving welcome and passing out bags of candy and more to young people.

“The idea of this is that kids don’t have fun things to do this Halloween,” said Heather Raker, interim executive director for The Mather Homestead Foundation.

Dressed in a colonial-era costume, she welcomed visitors alongside a bevvy of decorations, a spooky soundtrack and a fog machine too.

“You want to be able to celebrate Halloween for the kids,” said Carol Glassmeyer, a fellow board member, noting they were pleased with the large number of families that registered to take part.

“It’s a fun way to get people out and about, and to celebrate Americana,” she said, wearing a bee costume herself.

The Mather Homestead of Darien, Connecticut was built in 1778 and owned by the Mather family through seven generations, until 2017 when it was donated to The Mather Homestead Foundation thanks to the generosity of the McPherson family. The home is rich in history and open for public enjoyment and education. The Foundation recently completed a new "barn," the Elizabeth W. Chilton Education Center.

“We’re trying to keep it safe,” volunteer Stephen Berger said of the event, “but engaging the community in the wonderful space we have here.”

Visitors were equally as pleased with the event.

“It’s really a cute way to have some safe fun,” said Sara Santana of Darien, who drove through with her family to collect goodies, which included a Mather Homestead activity book.

“I think it’s great,” said parent Alyssa Mahoney of Darien.

“Anything we can do to make the holiday safe,” she said, “but still special for the kids, is a wonderful idea.”