During the day, Lancaster Science Factory strives to satisfy the STEM curiosity of children with its varied hands-on scientific activities.
But on Saturday evening, the science center on New Holland Avenue will play host to costumed grownups who will sample spooky and autumnal offerings from local eateries and enjoy adult beverages, music and dancing.
The fifth Taste of Science event, featuring small plates from area restaurants and “mad scientist” cocktails, is the biggest fundraiser of the year for the nonprofit science center, Executive Director Emily Landis says.
Landis says the nine eateries serving up small plates and desserts at Taste of Science were asked to make sure their dishes have a spooky, scientific or simply autumnal element to them.
Participating food service businesses include Quips Pub, Four54 Grill, Decades Lancaster and The Commons Co. — which includes Passenger Coffee Roasters and Prince Street Cafe.
The “mad scientist” adult beverages for the evening are being created by a mixologist who’s an actual scientist: Lauren Elliott of Eurofins Lancaster Laboratories. Elliott got her mixologist license during her senior year as a chemistry major at Juniata College.
Elliott says she’ll be serving a spooky Mad Scientist cocktail for the event.
“It’s going to be vodka based, with Chambord, blue curacao and cranberry juice,” Elliott says. The spooky effect will be enhanced with smoke from dry ice.
Two other signature cocktails for the event are Dark and Stormy, featuring spiced rum and ginger beer, and a fall sangria with “red wine, pears and apples and all kinds of good stuff in it,” Elliott says.
With drag entertainer Kahmor Vixenn — dressed as the Bride of Frankenstein — emceeing the proceedings, the event also will include a costume contest; “spooky, scientific and funky tunes” spun by DJ Smiles; and a silent auction of jewelry, artwork and certificates for regional experiences.
Costumes are encouraged but not required; attendees can make a glowing mask — using LED lights and other supplies — in the expanded Science Factory’s new Maker Space.
Those attending also can check out the science center’s STEM activities.