September 30, 2008

Touch of Nature to host Haunted Hallow

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- What frights lurk amidst the woods and waters along the shores of Little Grassy Lake? What adventures await visitors to Touch of Nature Environmental Center at this spook-filled time of year? The Haunted Hollow will reveal all this Halloween season.

The funfest dubbed Haunted Hollow runs from 3 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. Oct. 25 at Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s Touch of Nature Environmental Center, located about seven miles south of Carbondale off Giant City Road.

Haunted Hollow is really a family affair with activities for all ages. The “frights” in the forest are age appropriate as well as fun. For instance, older children and adults will visit a haunted cabin filled with spooky thrills while the tamer bat house welcomes younger children.

Youngsters and the young at heart are encouraged to dress in costume. The most bewitching kiddie costumes will win prizes. Haunted Hollow participants will enjoy spooky campfire stories, face painting, and seasonal arts and crafts. They’ll learn about a variety of creepy animals, including bats, snakes and owls from those who know them well.

Older kids and adults can enjoy supervised eerie canoeing. Youngsters can even test their prowess on the screams obstacle course, learning to work together with others their age. Capping off the fun is frighteningly delicious food including hot dogs, drinks and other treats.

Touch of Nature’s Haunted Hollow is a unique event, organizers say, in that it’s truly for the entire family. Moreover, in addition to enjoying some Halloween spookiness, participants emerge with a bit of new knowledge and perhaps having enjoyed some exciting new experiences too.

With advance reservations, tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children while ages three and younger get in free. At the door that evening, tickets are $15 for adults and $7 for children. For more information or to register call Touch of Nature at 618/453-1121.