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A ‘Beary Scary’ Halloween

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Article Published: Oct. 17, 2013 | Modified: Oct. 27, 2013
A ‘Beary Scary’ Halloween

Beary Scary participants help make special Halloween enrichments for the Grandfather Mountain animal habitat's black bears. After making the enrichments, the children are able to watch as their treats are given to the habitat animals later in the day.

Photo by Monty Combs

On Saturday, Oct. 26, Grandfather Mountain visitors will be in for a scare, as the park opens its doors to trick-or-treaters for a Beary Scary Halloween celebration.

Families and children of all ages will be able to experience the beauty of fall at Grandfather Mountain, while enjoying a full day of Halloween activities in addition to the mountain’s regular programming.

“It is such a treat to see kids having so much fun at Beary Scary,” said Christie Tipton, curator of the Grandfather Mountain Animal Habitats. “I always look forward to this one day out of the year, where our guests can be anything from princesses to superheroes or even ghosts and goblins.”

Halloween activities take place throughout the park from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and are included with regular admission. Kids in costume will get in at half price.

At 11:30 a.m., naturalists will meet by the Mildred the Bear statue in the Nature Museum to lead an interactive program, titled “Going Batty for Bats.” Participants will learn all about bats and their importance to the environment.

Folks can also stop by to see the mountain’s naturalists in the Nature Museum between 1 and 2:30 p.m. for the “Creepy, Crawly Critters!” program. Participants will learn about creatures of the night, creatures that bite and other spooky animals.

At 1 p.m., kids will have an opportunity to help keepers decorate pumpkins and other treats to be used during habitat enrichments at the animal habitats later in the afternoon. Enrichments are anything different that can help break up the animals’ day, such as a scent, a new toy or a treat, and typically offer prime opportunities to see each animal active and close to the overlook of the habitat. The keepers will begin special Halloween habitat enrichments at 2 p.m. at the Deer Overlook.
All kids wishing to participate in the annual costume contest are invited to join staff members in the auditorium of the Nature Museum at 1:30 p.m. There they will have an opportunity to parade in costume through the auditorium, and prizes will be awarded for different costumes.

The last of the day’s programming will take place in front of the Fudge Shop at 2:45 p.m. At this “Animal Encounter,” guests can meet and learn about the spooky nighttime prowlers that can be found in the High Country.

For the full schedule of Beary Scary events, visit

The Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation is a not-for-profit corporation established to preserve Grandfather Mountain, operate the nature park in the public interest and participate in educational research activities. For more information, call (800) 468-7325 or plan a trip at

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