An evening of campfire, crafts, treats — and a luminary-lit trail with human-sized creatures who share stories about their lives. What could be more “enchanting”?
All those experiences await you and the special young people in your life at the Audubon Nature Center’s Enchanted Forest on Friday and Saturday evenings, Oct. 2 and 3.
The adventure begins with stories and songs at a backyard campfire. Then participants are escorted around a luminary trail by volunteer “fireflies” that light the way with lanterns. Human-sized animals tell about their lives, sharing fascinating, fun and educational information through dramatic and entertaining stories.
The creatures along the trail this year will be Praying Mantis, Lightning Bug, Bat, Garter Snake, Monarch Butterfly, and Possum. They offer children and accompanying adults an opportunity to have a fun – but not scary – experience during the Halloween season. After about a 45-minute walk, there are refreshments and crafts inside, as well as a large animals cut-out photo op..
You can see a series of pictures from previous Enchanted Forests at www.audubonenchantedforest.wordpress.com. Click on “School Field Trips” there to watch a short video.
School groups, including day care and home schoolers, are invited to learn from Enchanted Forest creatures during Discovery Walks that can be scheduled between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 29-Thursday, Oct. 1, and then again the week of Halloween, Tuesday, Oct. 27-Friday, Oct. 30. For more information on these one-and-a-half-hour Walks, to which you can add extra time for a building visit and lunch, go to www.audubonprograms.com/fieldtrips. If your school participates in BOCES Co-Ser 438.010, as many Chautauqua County schools do, your field trip may already be in the budget.
Participants are reminded to dress for the weather. Long pants, long sleeve shirts, close-toed shoes and insect repellent are recommended. The program takes place rain or shine, and there are no refunds.
Prepaid reservations are required to reserve a specific time slot from 6 p.m. through 8 p.m., with tours beginning every 10 minutes. Preferred time slots fill up quickly, and there are no ticket sales at the door, so make your reservations today. The fee is $12, $8 for Friends of the Nature Center, $6 for children 3-15, and free for children two and under.
To make reservations, call (716) 569-2345 during business hours or print and mail the online form at www.audubonenchantedforest.wordpress.com.
Forecon is a major sponsor of the Enchanted Forest, as well as Michaels. Additional sponsors are Kings’ Heating, Carroll Rod & Gun Club, The Johanson Agency Inc., Stanton’s Garage, Daryl Huber/Huber Blacktop LLC, and Busti Cider Mill.
This event would not be possible without the dedication of many volunteers, some of whom are registered with RSVP, the Retired Senior Volunteer Program.
Enchanted Forest is funded in part by the New York State Council on the Arts Decentralization Regrant Program with support from Governor Andrew Cuomo and the NYS Legislature and administered by the Cattaraugus County Arts Council.
To learn more about Audubon and its many programs, call (716) 569-2345 or visit www.jamestownaudubon.org.