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5 things to do this November

From a first-ever pumpkin lighting to a gift show that’s nearly 40, these November events will inspire, enlighten and give you a head start on your holiday shopping.

Nov. 1: Pumpkin Lighting Party

The Foundry

Give your pumpkin a second chance to shine and check out the mad carving skills of other Jack-O-Lantern enthusiasts at Buffalo’s first-ever pumpkin lighting at The Foundry. Stroll around the gardens filled with illuminated pumpkins and enjoy games, Halloween-themed photo booth, interactive stories and tour of The Foundry at this family-friendly event. All pumpkins will be left in the garden to nourish the soil. Bring your pumpkin and a candle at 6 p.m.; event runs until 8:30 p.m.

Admission: Free

Nov. 7: Great Western New York Kidney Bean Cook-off

Atrium of Erie Community College

A fundraiser for The Kidney Foundation of Western New York, this third annual event will showcase imaginative dishes incorporating kidney beans (all non-chili recipes) created by culinary students and chefs from SUNY Erie. The cook-off will feature a celebrity guest judge contest as well as Fan Favorite award chosen by attendees. Guests will also enjoy refreshments, music and a basket raffle. Event runs 5:30-8 p.m.

Admission: $25

Nov. 10:  Larkin Square Author Series with "All About Dinner"

Larkin Square

Buffalo native and award-winning author Molly Stevens will chat with The Buffalo News Food Editor Andrew Galarneau about her new cookbook, “All About Dinner,” at this anticipated author series talk. Molly’s previous two cookbooks, “All About Roasting” and “All About Braising,” were both James Beard award winners. Books sales and signing at the event, which runs 3-4 p.m.

Admission: Free

Nov. 15: Bottles & Bites: Flavors of Fall

Buffalo RiverWorks

Not just a summer event, Bottles & Bites also brings its sampling soiree to the masses each autumn, with your chance to taste the best wines, craft beers, locally distilled spirits and culinary concoctions Western New York has to offer. Guests will also be treated to a solo performance by Ed Wyner, lead vocalist for Nerds Gone Wild. A portion of the proceeds will benefit The Arc Erie Country, which supports children and adults with disabilities. General admission to this 21+ event starts at 6 p.m. with VIP admission at 5 p.m.

Admission: Presale: $35 general; $55 VIP. Day-of: $45 general; $65 VIP. Presale tickets can be purchased through Eventbrite or at the 104.1 WHTT studios.

Nov. 16: Lemon Twist Gala for Cerebral Palsy

Asbury Hall

Held at the historic Asbury Hall, this inspirational gala to benefit the Make Lemon Aide Foundation for Cerebral Palsy will feature hors d’oeuvres, cocktails, music, dancing, silent auction, basket raffles and a special ballroom dance performance starring coach and choreographer Mayo Alanen, who has appeared on “Dancing with the Star.” Alanen is partnering with foundation founder Lauren Wailer, who was diagnosed with CP at age one and is fulfilling her lifelong dream to ballroom dance. The black tie-optional event runs 7-11 p.m.

Admission: $125

Nov. 22-24: Kenan Arts Center Holiday Gift Show

Kenan Center

Please everyone on your shopping list at this 39th annual event whose festive decorations are sure to get you in the holiday spirit. Two historic buildings will house handcrafted gifts and decor by juried designers and artisans. Attendees will also enjoy a catered cafe, gourmet goodie booth, herb sale and quilt raffle. Entry fee supports the Kenan Center as well as their scholarship program and art educational grants to area schools. Shop Fri., 5-9 p.m.; Sat., 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sun., 11 a.m-5 p.m. No strollers please.

Admission: $4

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