Frights and fun await kids at the Beary Scary Halloween festival Oct. 25 at Grandfather Mountain.
The celebration offers a full day of nature programs about creepy, crawly critters, Halloween-themed crafts, animal enrichments and trick-or-treating — all included with park admission. Kids in costume enter the park for half price!
“Beary Scary Halloween is a great chance to meet the Grandfather Mountain animals and learn about some of the creatures that you might consider creepy or scary,” said Christie Tipton, curator of the Grandfather Mountain Animal Habitats. “The staff joins in on the fun by dressing up in costume, and the Mountain is decorated just for the occasion!”
The day kicks off at 10:30 a.m. with a craft booth in the Nature Museum where kids can make spider houses or bats. Between 11 a.m. and noon, guests can trick-or-treat with the Grandfather Mountain animals and their keepers in the Animal Habitats.
At 11:30 a.m., join a fun interactive program called “Going Batty for Bats” in the Nature Museum Sunroom to learn about these flying creatures and why they are so important in nature.
At the “Fatten Up for Fall” program at 12:30 p.m., figure out what it takes for bears to survive the winter by becoming a bear yourself! Meet at the Mildred the Bear statue in the Nature Museum.
At 1 p.m., help the keepers decorate Halloween pumpkins and other treats to give to the animals during Animal Enrichments, or make an “enrichment” for yourself. These Animal Enrichments help break up the animals’ routines and encourage them to stay active and intellectually stimulated.
A Kids’ Costume Contest begins inside the Nature Museum Auditorium at 1:30 p.m. with prizes awarded for the winning costumes!
Stop by the Nature Museum starting at 1 p.m. to see a booth of “Creepy, Crawly Critters” to learn about creatures of the night, creatures that bite and other “spooky” animals.
At 2 p.m., walk along with the habitat keepers as they deliver the Halloween treats prepared earlier in the day. The enrichment session begins at the deer habitat before visiting the otters, cougars and bears.
The day concludes by putting you face-to-face with a few spooky prowlers in an Animal Encounter at 2:45 p.m. in the Nature Museum Auditorium.
All programs are included with park admission. For more information, visit grandfathermtn-staging.v38mw8dg-liquidwebsites.com/events/beary-scary-halloween/ or call (828) 733-2013.
The not-for-profit Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation strives to inspire conservation of the natural world by helping guests explore, understand and value the wonders of Grandfather Mountain. For more information, call (800) 468-7325 or visit www.grandfathermtn-staging.v38mw8dg-liquidwebsites.com to plan a trip.