Enjoy some fall fun in Missouri state parks and state historic sites

For more information: 573-751-1010
Volume 37-361 For Immediate Release: Oct. 2, 2009

JEFFERSON CITY, MO. -- Enjoy an evening of spooky stories or have some fall fun at events in Missouri state parks and historic sites. Sponsored by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, the events are open to the public. The following state parks and historic sites are hosting fall or Halloween-related activities:

· Oct. 17 -- Know the Dark, Rock Bridge Memorial State Park, Columbia, 573-449-7402. Participate in hands-on activities on this hike to learn about night creatures; how your night vision works; how light pollution impacts plants, animals and people; and about other mysteries of the night. This event, which is free, will run from 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. and is recommended for ages eight to adult. Reservations are required.

· Oct. 24 -- Halloween Happenings, St. Francois State Park, Bonne Terre, 573-358-2173. "Halloween Happenings" will feature ghoulish and ghastly comedy during the Halloween Vaudeville at 7 p.m. in the park's amphitheater, which is in the campground. After the vaudeville, you will be led on a hike to meet some creatures of the night. Advance registration is required for the hike.

· Oct. 24 -- Weston Bend Storytelling, Weston Bend State Park, Weston, 816-640-5443. At this event, which is from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., decorate your own pumpkin using food and other objects to create a pumpkin to put on your porch for Halloween. There will be coloring sheets and word searches. A storyteller will be there telling stories that are not always what they seem! Wear a family friendly costume.

· Oct. 24 -- A Haunting at the Montauk Mill, Montauk State Park, Salem, 573-548-2201. Beginning at 6:30 p.m., you can experience a unique night tour of Montauk Mill. The past will come to life at the old gristmill.

· Oct. 24 -- A Jack-O-Lantern's Tale: History and Traditions of Halloween, Onondaga Cave State Park, Leasburg, 573-245-6576. This event will feature crafts, food and fun Halloween activities from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the park's visitor center. Learn about Halloween's past and present. Onondaga Cave tours will be scheduled throughout the day...and yes, the bats will be expecting you. Don't worry, your guide will also tell you the true story of Missouri bats. Stick around for a special evening Halloween program at 7:30 p.m. in the amphitheater. The normal fee applies for Onondaga Cave tours, which is $10 for adults and $5 for kids ages six to 12.

· Oct. 24 -- Spirits, Shadows and Secrets of Arrow Rock: a Halloween Event, Arrow Rock State Historic Site, Arrow Rock, 660-837-3330. Between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m., join in on hay rides, a kid's carnival, s'mores around the campfire, storytelling, cemetery tours and much more. Reservations are recommended. The fees for this event are $10 for adults and $7.50 for children under 12. Children under the age of two are free.

· Oct. 30 -- Ha Ha Haunt, Ha Ha Tonka State Park, Camdenton, 573-346-2986. The Spring Trail will be decorated and lined with about 100 jack-o-lanterns from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. There will be treats and activities at the mill shelter.

For more information about these events, call the individual park or historic site or contact the Missouri Department of Natural Resources toll free at 800-334-6946 (voice) or 800-379-2419 (Telecommunications Device for the Deaf). For more information about state parks and historic sites, visit the Web at www.mostateparks.com.