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Monday, October 12, 2015

A howling good Halloween awaits in Ontario Parks, Bingemans and at Pumpkinferno

   One-Tank Trip for Oct. 10/15

   (c) By Jim Fox

   If the spirits move you, head out to an Ontario provincial park for a howling good Halloween.
   Numerous Ontario Parks plan spooky Halloween events throughout the month.
   Kids even go trick or treating in the parks as campers decorate their sites.
A Halloween-inspired camping site at Algonquin Provincial Park. (Ontario Parks photo)
    There are pumpkin-carving events, costume contests and scavenger hunts but the parks’ Andrew Chambers says the coolest Halloween events are the naturalist-led evening activities.
   These focus on creatures with scary reputations such as spiders, bats and owls.
   Park naturalists dig up “weird and wonderful facts” about these creatures and share them during spooky night hikes, owl prowls and coyote and wolf howls.

   Special haunted events are on from this weekend at Wheatley, Emily, Grundy Lake, Six Mile Lake, Point Farms, Rock Point and Rondeau provincial parks.
   Camper Halloween happens Oct. 16 to 18 and Oct. 23 to 25 at Bronte Creek Provincial Park in Oakville.
   It starts Friday nights with a campfire open to campers and day visitors.
An elaborately decorated campsite ready for Halloween at Point Farms Provincial Park. (Ontario Parks photo)
   For registered campers on Saturdays, there are prizes for best decorated campsite, trick or treating and a spooky guided evening hike.
   Witches in the woods are at MacGregor Point Provincial Park on Lake Huron near Port Elgin on Oct. 17 and 18.
   There is trick or treating, campsite decorating and pumpkin-carving contests, scavenger hunts and walks along the haunted trail.
   Craigleith Provincial Park in the Blue Mountains presents Shivers on the Shale to “get your scare on” Oct. 17 and 18.
   There will be trick or treating, costume and campsite decorating contests, terrifying ghost stories, pumpkin carving, spooky scavenger hunts and a haunted picnic shelter.
   Join park naturalists for special Halloween-themed interpretive programs at the Pinery Provincial Park on Lake Huron near Grand Bend on Oct. 23 to 25.
Fall campers take part in pumpkin carving at Emily Provincial Park. (Ontario Parks photo)
   Experience autumn camping and learn to differentiate between spooky myths and facts, decorate your campsite, go trick or treating and create a scarecrow using natural objects nearby.
   The fun begins on Oct. 23 and continues until Oct. 25 at Algonquin Provincial Park’s Mew Lake with an owl prowl.
   There are events with the park naturalists, “pick of the patch” pumpkin carving, spookiest campsite and best costume contests.
   Go trick or treating among the campsites, join a wolf howl at the old airfield and roast creepy-crawly spider wieners and ghostly marshmallows.
   For the list of Halloween events: ontarioparks.com/parksblog/have-a-howling-good-halloween

   Experience true horror
   They’re turning up the terror a notch this year at Bingemans’ Screampark in Kitchener.
   “Throughout the month, visitors to Bingemans will be exposed to things straight out of nightmares,” said publicist Stephen Murdoch.
   Now in its 10th year, Screampark is bringing terror to the next level with the haunted houses –
Freakshow, Cabin in the Woods and the Dormitory, he said.
Experience terror at Bingemans Screampark in Kitchener.
   This “interactive horror experience” continues until Halloween and new is the Red Room.
   “There are two rooms, 6,000 seconds, numerous clues and one very disturbed creature making this the ultimate escape room that will test teamwork, quick thinking and the ability to keep your heart rate down.”
   The brave can join the fight against zombies in the Zombie Outbreak Zone where they will embark on a kilometre-long journey in a genuine M35A2 military cargo truck equipped with paintball shooters and lots of real zombie targets.
   The Bingemans’ camping package includes an overnight and two triple house passes from $79.95, based on double occupancy. Dates, prices and details: bingemans.com; screampark.ca

   Beware of the lurking ghouls
   Pumpkinferno at Haunted Harbour takes place Thursday to Saturday from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. through Oct. 31.
   It happens at historic Discovery Harbour in Penetanguishene where there are “amazing” carved pumpkin displays set against the night-time backdrop of the port.
Carved artificial pumpkin displays are at Discovery Harbour in Penetanguishene.
   The realistic, artificial pumpkins have been shaped from molds of real pumpkins by a group of young artists.
   Mazes and crafts provide fun, but beware as zombies and ghouls lurk in the all new “Terror Zone (not suitable for young children).”
   Admission is $8 a person (no charge for children five and younger) with a non-perishable item for the local food bank. discoveryharbour.on.ca


Jim Fox can be reached at onetanktrips@hotmail.com
For more One-Tank Trips: http://1tanktrips.blogspot.ca

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