Van Raalte Farm has a great Halloween event each year on the Friday before Halloween. Parking is available at the 16th Street entrance, with a short walk up the hill towards the old farmhouse, where you pay the small admission fee (Adults $3, Kids $2, Leah=Free) and get your map to the activities.
The first stop is an old barn, to color or otherwise decorate a paper trick-or-treat bag, where Aly spends too much time and Leah complains about having to wait so long. This year, Leah didn’t mind waiting so much, because they had a motion-sensing scarecrow character that entertained her with its singing and dancing.
The next stop is a short walk away through the woods to the old sugar shack, where the kids selected and colored an animal mask.
The next station took us further into the woods, where we learned about owls (the volunteer had an adorable small owl on her arm) and Aly made an owl with birdseed and glue. Leah loved watching the little owl look around, and we met our friends Jill and Gene at this station (we were running late, so they did a second loop with us).
Next up is the animal spotting task, where the kids get a checklist of animals to find hidden among the trees. Leah found it easier to spot the animals with her eyes covered.
The face painting station this year offered a substitute choice of a temporary tattoo, which suited our impatient kids better than waiting in line to have someone up in their face for a few minutes. While we awaited the hayride at the next stop, Aly chased Gene around, at least until she face planted because she was running in her winter boots.
At least the sky made a nice backdrop for her crash (she was fine, Grandma Jan, you can sleep tonight). I took some pictures of the lovely twilight sky while the others rode the wagon.
Leah discovered the joy of popping bubble gum bubbles as Rachel blew them while we walked to the bat station. She particularly enjoyed popping them with her own cheek. Side note: I cannot blow bubbles, so my child will be deprived of that experience with her father.
The final station had a few live animals, including a rat:
Aly also held a giant Madagascar hissing cockroach (no thanks) and a corn snake:
Leah thought it was really cool that Aly was holding a snake, so Rachel took her by Aly to see it. Leah immediately starting protesting and took a swing at the snake, but thankfully missed.
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