Halloween coming early to Red Oaks Nature Center, Golf Course

Carve pumpkins and go trick-or-treating Oct. 24

By: Andy Kozlowski | Madison - Park News | Published October 10, 2015

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MADISON HEIGHTS — Oakland County Parks is planning a new event this year where guests will carve pumpkins, see live bats and creepy-crawlers, go on fall color hikes, work on arts and crafts, and go trick-or-treating on a path lined with the jack-o’-lanterns they made.

There will also be cider and doughnuts to enjoy during the day, and hot cocoa and marshmallows around a campfire at night. It all takes place Saturday, Oct. 24.

The daytime portion is Pumpkin Fest, from 1 to 3:30 p.m. at the Red Oaks Nature Center at Suarez Friendship Woods, 30300 Hales St. Participants must pre-register by Oct. 16 to guarantee a pumpkin. There will be a tent set up for carving in the event of rain.

“I’m especially excited about the carving,” said Sarah Hudson, naturalist at the Nature Center. “The other events are fun and get people outside, but the carving is the festive part. It’s something you only do once a year, and everyone is creative in their own way, which guarantees no two designs will be alike.”

The jack-o’-lanterns made at Pumpkin Fest will then line the paved cart path at the Red Oaks Golf Course, 29600 John R Road, for Trick or Tees. The trick-or-treating will take place from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., with members of local businesses and community groups dressed in costumes, handing out candy at decorated tables.

The cost is $8 per child and includes both events. Adults attend for free. Walk-ins for Trick or Tees cost $5 per child while supplies last. To register, call (248) 858-0916.

The Pumpkin Fest will also include a “creepy critter” talk, and there will be a live bat exhibit by the Organization for Bat Conservation, based out of the Cranbrook Institute of Science, complete with photo souvenirs. Guests can also take fall color hikes, enjoy cider and doughnuts, and work on make-and-take crafts.

At Trick or Tees, kids are encouraged to come in costume. Once they’re done trick-or-treating, they can enjoy hot chocolate and marshmallows around a campfire on the back patio of the clubhouse.

“It’s a great way to showcase the golf course at a time when it’s not being utilized much,” Hudson said.

There are still openings for businesses and community groups to participate in the event. Sponsors decorate their tables and come in costume to hand out candy.

“We thought this would be a great opportunity for Oakland County Parks to partner with local businesses and community organizations,” said Melissa Nawrocki, event coordinator.  “Pumpkin Fest and Trick or Tees are going to be a great family-friendly event for the community.”

Pumpkin Fest will take place from 1 to 3:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 24, at the Red Oaks Nature Center, 30300 Hales St. Pre-register by Oct. 16 to guarantee a pumpkin. Trick or Tees will take place from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. the same day at the Red Oaks Golf Course, 29600 John R Road.

The cost is $8 per child and includes both events. Adults attend for free. Walk-ins for Trick or Tees cost $5 per child while supplies last. Those interested in sponsoring can call (248) 858-5267.

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