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Take an enchanted walk at the Audubon. Courtesy photo.




Enchanted Forest

Where: NH Audubon McLane Center, 84 Silk Farm Road, Concord
When: Saturday, Oct. 24, 4:50 to 7:50 p.m., and Sunday, Oct. 25, 4:30 to 7:30 p.m.; Rain or shine event (outdoor skit sites are covered).
Who: Children should be age 4 or older. Scout and youth groups also welcome.
Cost: $6.50 per person for NH Audubon members, $9.50 per person for nonmembers. Discounts for large groups are available. Pre-registration is required. 
Visit: nhaudubon.org, or call 224-9909 ext. 313 




Wooded wonderland
NH Audubon offers enchanted nature walk

10/22/15
By Angie Sykeny asykeny@hippopress.com



 As an alternative to scary haunted houses and walks, New Hampshire Audubon is hosting The Enchanted Forest, a family-friendly educational Halloween walk that will take participants on an evening stroll through the woods with fun skits and campfire stories.

It will be held Saturday, Oct. 24, and Sunday, Oct. 25, at the McLane Center in Concord.
“A lot of other events are more frightening, haunted-type things, but [Enchanted Forest] is for anyone looking for a non-scary activity to enjoy,” said Ruth Smith, event coordinator. “It’s a fun alternative for families that won’t send children into tears, and they’ll learn tidbits about nature.”
Participants must sign up for a one-hour time slot between 4:50 and 7:50 p.m. on Saturday, or 4:30 and 7:30 p.m. on Sunday. Each walk will be led by two guides — one in front of the group, one at the end, so no one gets left behind. The wooded trail will be dimly lit by jack-o-lanterns and glow sticks to give it an enchanted ambience. The group will make three stops to watch educational skits about nature.
“It will be something like two characters, for instance, a hawk and an owl, talking to each other about their differences or people’s misconceptions about them,” Smith said. “It’s fun and entertaining dialogue that also teaches information.”
At the fourth and final stop, the group will gather around a campfire where a storyteller will give an animated narration of stories based on Native American legends.
This event is not only for families. Adults without children are welcome to join as well.
While the walk itself has no scary elements, Smith recommends that families with younger kids who get spooked easily sign up for the earliest time slots when the woods won’t be completely dark.
“For some people, just being in the woods in the dark is scary enough,” she said. “But it’s the New Hampshire Audubon’s [mission] to encourage people to come back to the woods, so we don’t want it to be too scary.”
There will also be ongoing activities happening inside the Audubon building during the walks. These include crafts like puppet- and mask-making and games related to Halloween and the skits on the walk. Homemade baked goods and apple cider provided by local orchards will be available for purchase as well.
The Enchanted Forest began in 1987 and was among the first woods-based Halloween walks. Smith said some of the volunteers and skit actors this year had gone through the Enchanted Forest when they were kids and want to help keep it alive for future generations.
“‘Enchanted Forest’ is the perfect name for it; it’s truly enchanted,” she said. “Sometimes we’ll hear the owls, and it’ll be close to a full moon, so it’s just a special, magical experience to be in the woods at night.”  





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