For many, Halloween is the favorite non-holiday holiday. Kids and adults get revved up to join in the fun, with more families than ever participating as a group. That makes it the perfect time to celebrate early at the Huron-Clinton Metroparks. Select parks have something going for several weekends prior to the big day, and here's a list of events to get geared and costumed-up for.
New this year, trick-or-treat along the trail at Kensington Metropark’s Nature Center, or dress up for a Halloween Party at Indian Springs Metropark. Discover Halloween fun this season at these Metroparks:
- “Spooky Gingerbread House,” Sunday, Sept. 22 at 10 a.m., Farm Center at Wolcott Mill Metropark in Ray Township. Come on out and make a spooky gingerbread house. Everything you need to decorate and create your spooky masterpiece will be supplied. Fee: $6 per gingerbread house. Preregistration required. For more information call 586-752-5932.
- “Tot Time: ‘Creepy Crawlers,” Saturday, Oct. 5 at 10 a.m., Environmental Discovery Center at Indian Springs Metropark near White Lake. Do some creatures give you the creeps? Little learners will discover how some animals may not be as scary as they think. For ages 3 and 4. Fee: $5 per child. Preregistration required. For more information or to register, call 248-625-7280.
- “The Great Pumpkin Hunt,” Saturday, Oct. 12 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Meadowlark Picnic Area of Indian Springs Metropark near White Lake. Join an interpreter for an old-fashioned neighborhood gathering with food and fun sponsored by the Huron Valley Optimist Club. Enjoy crafts, face painting, food vendors and more. As the main event, kids can search for clues on pumpkins to solve the puzzle that is “The Great Pumpkin Hunt.” For more information, please visit www.huronvalleyoptimist.com or call 248-625-6640.This program is free – vehicle entry permit is required.
- “Evening Lantern Tours,” Fridays and Saturdays, Oct. 12, 13, 19 and 20 at 7 and 8:30 p.m., Nature Center of Oakwoods Metropark near Flat Rock. Take a hayride followed by a lantern-lit hike around the nature trails, where a host of interesting characters are sure to make you and the kids laugh, learn and have a great time. Enjoy cider and cookies in the Nature Center before taking another hayride back to your car. Tickets: $12 per person; advance ticket sales only. For more information or to purchase tickets, call 734-782-3956.
- “Haunted Halloween Houses,” Sunday, Oct. 13 at 11 a.m. & 2 p.m., Historic Center of Wolcott Mill Metropark in Ray Township. Decorate a two-story edible haunted house while watching a Halloween movie. We provide the frosting and goodies to decorate the house with you as the artist. Fee: $5 per house. Preregistration required. Call 586-749-5997.
- “Halloween Fun,” Sunday, Oct. 20 at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m., Activity Center at Hudson Mills Metropark in Dexter. Join us for some Halloween fun! Make cider, decorate doughnuts, create “spooky” crafts, and take a hayride. These kid-friendly activities are sure to get you and them into the Halloween spirit. Admission is by advance ticket purchase only. Fee: $6/child, under 1 free (includes all activities and hayride) and $3/adult (includes cider, doughnuts and hayride). Tickets are limited and available for purchase beginning October 1 at the park office, in person or by phone. For additional information contact the Hudson Mills Metropark at 734-426-8211.
- “Farm Halloween,” Sunday, Oct. 20, from noon to 4 p.m., Farm Center at Wolcott Mill Metropark in Ray Township. Fun and games await you! Make a craft, visit the Boo Barn, and wander through the five-acre corn maze. Don’t forget to try the relay races and the pumpkin drop. Cider, a donut and a wagon ride to the pumpkin patch (pumpkins priced according to size) rounds out your afternoon. Food will be available for purchase. Fee: $5 per person, plus $1 per person for the maze. For more information call 586-752-5932.
- “Haunted Halloween Party,” Sunday, Oct. 20 at 1 p.m., Historic Center of Wolcott Mill Metropark in Ray Township. Guests will decorate a two story edible haunted house while watching a Halloween movie. The frosting and goodies to decorate the house will be provided but you’ll be the scary artist. There'll also be Halloween Bingo, the Bone Game and goodies. Wear costumes if you like. Fee: $7 per person. Preregistration and prepayment required. Call 586-749-5997.
- “Family Nature Club – Halloween & Campfire,” Friday, Oct. 25 at 7:30 p.m., Nature Center of Lake St. Clair Metropark near Mount Clemens. Spooky stories are always better with a toasty fire and yummy treats! Celebrate the season with an evening around the campfire. If it rains, the fun moves inside to the fireplace! Dress to be outdoors. Ages 6 and up. Fee: $5 per person. Preregistration required. For more information or to register, call 586-463-4332.
- “Trick or Treat Along the Trail,” Saturday, Oct 26, Nature Center of Kensington Metropark, near Milford/Brighton. Call for times. Costume-clad little ones can stop along the nature trails and meet Halloween animal characters. Upon returning to the Nature Center, enjoy cider and donuts, as well as Rosco the Clown. This program is geared toward small children. Fee: $6/child; $3/adult. Preregistration required. For more information or to register, call 810-227-8917.
- “Halloween History,” Saturday, Oct. 26 at 10 a.m., Marshlands Museum and Nature Center of Lake Erie Metropark near Brownstown. Journey through time to visit the origins of Halloween to discover the myths and legends of all the ghosts, ghouls and goblins. Fee: $3 per person. Preregistration required. For more information or to register, call 734-379-5020.
- “Halloween Characters, Fun & Games,” Saturday, Oct. 26 at noon, Nature Center of Stony Creek Metropark near Rochester/Washington Township. Wear a costume and enjoy an afternoon of games, crafts, and a chance to learn about (and see up close) some of Halloween’s spookiest animals. Fee: $5 per child, $3 per adult. Preregistration and prepayment required. For more information or to register, call 586-781-9113.
- “Trick or Treat at the Farm,” Saturday, Oct. 26, from 5 to 9 p.m., Farm Center at Wolcott Mill Metropark in Ray Township. Dress in your favorite Halloween costume to trick or treat at the farm. Visit with the animals at each of the farm buildings and wander through the slightly haunted “Boo Barn” to collect treats. Participate in the candy scramble, make a craft and enjoy fresh cider and donuts. Fee: $5 per child. Adult admission and parking are free. For more information call 586-752-5932.
- “Haunts and Hoots Halloween Party,” Sunday, Oct. 27 at 1 pm, Environmental Discovery Center of Indian Springs Metropark near White Lake. This fun-filled Halloween event will encourage ghosts and goblins, 3rd grade and younger, to dress in their best costume for an afternoon filled with bewitching activities. Fee: $5 per child. Preregistration required. For more information or to register, call 248-625-7280.
- “Preschool Nature Club – Tots’ Halloween,” Sunday, October 27 at 1 pm, Nature Center of Lake St. Clair Metropark near Mount Clemens. Children 3 to 6 years, accompanied by an adult, will have fun learning about pumpkins and Halloween through stories, activities and crafts. Snacks and cider will be part of the fun. Fee: $4 per child. Preregistration required. For more information or to register, call 586-463-4332.
- “Fun on the Farm Halloween Party,” Thursday, October 31 at 10 am, Farm Center of Kensington Metropark in Brighton/Milford. This program is especially for the little ones. It’s time for toddlers to trick or treat all around the farm. Play a Halloween game or two and visit a “haunted” barn! This special party also includes a hayride and an animal parade! Costumes are encouraged. Fee: $5 per child; includes a pumpkin. No registration is necessary. For more information call 248-684-8632.