Beary Scary Halloween returns to Grandfather Mountain

Last Updated on October 25, 2022 10:14 am

LINVILLE, N.C. – Halloween isn’t just fun at Grandfather Mountain, the not-for-profit nature park run by the Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation – it’s also “beary” scary!

On Saturday, Oct. 29 from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., the park is inviting families to come and celebrate Halloween during the mountain’s annual Beary Scary Halloween event.

Throughout the day, guests will be treated to a spooky selection of fun, including trick-or-treating at locations across the park, nature programs about animals that some consider “creepy and crawly,” fun activities inside the Wilson Center for Nature Discovery and getting to see the resident animals receive some special Halloween-inspired enrichments.

Best of all, kids who come dressed up in costume will receive half-priced admission, and they will have the opportunity to showcase their Halloween spirit in a costume contest.

After a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic, Christie Tipton, animal habitats curator for the Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation, says that she is looking forward to the return of the event and shared that the habitat staff will even be dressed up as some of their favorite animals.

“It will be exciting to see all the kids back up here in their costumes and trick-or-treating around the animal habitats,” Tipton said.

In addition to the Halloween festivities going on around the animal habitats, the Classroom in the Clouds will be full of games and activities throughout the day, including cornhole, pin-the-tail-on-the-animal and crafts such as the crowd favorite: pipe cleaner animals.

The habitat staff will also bring out their creepy critter tables, which feature snakes, tarantulas, frogs, and variety of other terrarium-inhabiting creatures. Acorn the Opossum will also make an appearance.

Later in the afternoon, the resident habitat animals get a treat of their own. Guests are invited to watch as the habitat keepers provide special enrichments for the bears, otters, elk and cougars.

“The bears love pumpkins,” Tipton said. “It’s not usually something they would eat out in the wild. However, if they happened to come across one, it would make for a pretty easy meal.”

Enrichments don’t stop with the animals. Fun, educational programs will be available for kids to take part in, with prizes awarded to those who can best answer questions about the creatures that call the mountain home. Prizes include behind-the-scenes tours of the Mildred the Bear Animal Habitats.

The full schedule is below.

2022 Beary Scary Schedule:

Time | Activity | Location

  • 11 a.m. – 2:15 p.m. | Test Your Animal Knowledge Contest | Classroom in the Clouds in the Wilson Center
  • 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. | Fun Animal Games and Craft Table | Classroom in the Clouds
  • 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. | Trick-or-treating at the Entrance Gate House, Wilson Center (Classroom in the Clouds and the Gift Shop) and the Top Shop
  • 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. | Trick-or-treating at the Animal Habitats and Swinging Bridge (Outdoor locations are weather dependent and will move indoors, if needed.)
  • 12 – 12:30 p.m. | “Are Bears Scary?” Program | Location TBA
  • 1 – 3 p.m. | Creepy Critter Corner (See some of the mountain’s more creepy animals!) | Classroom in the Clouds
  • 1 – 1:30 p.m. | Animal Encounter (Meet some of our resident animals, including snakes and an opossum.) | Classroom in the Clouds
  • 1:30 – 2 p.m. | Costume Contest | Classroom in the Clouds
  • 2:15 p.m. | Contest Drawing | Classroom in the Clouds (Contest winners get the rare opportunity to go behind the scenes to visit the animal they were knowledgeable about! Winners are allowed to take family members with them. Participants must be present to win.)
  • 2:45 – 3:30 p.m. | Enrichment Parade in the Habitats (Animals receive special Halloween enrichments.) | Starts at the Elk Habitat

Meanwhile, Grandfather Mountain’s slate of daily programs will be occurring, as well.

Beary Scary is included with park admission. Since this event takes place on a busy fall Saturday, it is strongly recommended that visitors book tickets for adults in their party online in advance at www.grandfather.com/tickets. Any children in costume will then be admitted at half-price at the Entrance Gate.

To learn more about Beary Scary Halloween at Grandfather Mountain, visit www.grandfather.com/event/beary-scary-halloween.

The nonprofit Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation strives to inspire conservation of the natural world by helping guests explore, understand and value the wonders of Grandfather Mountain. For more information, visit www.grandfather.com.

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