Celia Steigerwald, 20 year veteran volunteer of Halloween Hikes at the Chattahoochee Nature Center, describes her experience with this unique local family friendly event. “Halloween Hikes is something that was a wonder to me when I first encountered it. Having just moved back to the States, after many years abroad, the concept of Halloween was a bit daunting and culturally alien to both me and my 2 young children. Therefore, when this great alternative, one full of education under the magical guise of giant talking creatures, came along I just had to be a part of it.”
“I have been many characters through the years; frog, opossums, firefly, kingfisher, spider, squirrel to name a few. The memories that linger are the camaraderie of the folk who volunteer to be characters. They are a special breed of individual that takes their commitment to the children very seriously with a large ladle of hilarity whirled on top. There are the folk that take the Advil before they begin, because they know the repetitive motion or strain will require payment the next day. Those that bring special garments for under the roasting hot costume or to cover their face in a manner that allows breathing or to hide that skin that might give away their human origin.”
“There are a few stand out years. One would be when, as a person with some acrophobia, I had to climb into a deer stand and have a bat head hanging off my feet to give the appearance of hanging upside. Once I was up, all was well, except that the head was rather heavy and I lost feeling in my legs and was unable to climb down. This was solved the following night by putting a rolled up sleeping bag under my knees and allowing me to express my strong tree hugging urges both on the way up and down. I felt some accomplishment that year. One year the person who was supposed to play Mother Earth, an indispensable and incredibly important character, didn't show up. My 11 year old daughter put the costume on, worked on some lines for the half hour before the public came through and did a stunning job. It was one of those wonderful parent moments. She went on to play other characters when she was older and I once had the privilege of sharing a dual character spot with her as a dragonfly and firefly. We had such fun together those nights. The role that seems to have fit me best is that of Howie Pollute, a pile of trash. I love this character, the message and the children's and parent's reactions to him. Best of all is listening to the chatter that occurs, about what their family does to save on waste, as they leave this station. There is something uniquely inspiring when you hear a boy, dressed as Batman, discuss his recycling habits.”
“I have since learned to appreciate a traditional Halloween, but give me Halloween Hikes every time. Walking through the woods at night is something few people experience and to have it sprinkled with a series of surprises with a powerfully positive message can not be beat.” Celia Steigerwald is one of those volunteers we have come to rely on year after year, said Rebecca Gilbert, Director of Community Programs at the Chattahoochee Nature Center, she brings such talent and dedication to everything she does here. It is hard to imagine that she has been doing this for twenty years now. It just goes to prove what a wonderful tradition Halloween Hikes has become!”
Halloween Hikes- A Family Friendly Alternative Adventure!
Friday and Saturday, October 18, 19, 25, 26 ( 7-10 PM)
If you are searching for a unique Halloween adventure, we have the event for you. Take your child on a well-lit hike through the forest to meet woodland creatures and hear about their lives. It’s the perfect non-scary alternative to traditional Halloween events all while supporting CNC. Join us for a full evening of fun activities!
·Shane’s Rib Shack will be dishing out some delicious BBQ this weekend! Plus we’ll have the kids’ favorites, Hot Cocoa from Whole Foods Market and Candy Corn Cookies and Popcorn, so be sure to bring extra bucks for snacks!
·Experience the mystery of a guided night hike! Each group of 20 - 25 people will have a guide lead them safely on a lighted trail.
• Meet nature-costumed characters including everyone’s favorites, the Box Turtle and the Water Drop.
• Create fun crafts in Kingfisher Hall such as bat puppets, mysterious masks, and more.
• Show off your Halloween spirit by having your face painted with one of our “wild” Halloween designs.
Thrill to lively musical entertainment.
Admission: $9, Children 2 and under are free (Trails are not suitable for strollers.)
Ticket sales begin at 6:30 PM each night and end at 9:00 PM. Groups of 10 or more and CNC members can purchase tickets in advance at the Discovery Center during regular hours. Hikes begin at 7 PM and run continuously. For more information, please call (770) 992-2055 ext. 236 or send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org