So Much To Explore In October
By Lara Donnelly
It’s October and autumn is circling its arms around the charming village of Yellow Springs. Leaves are turning, combines are making their way through the fields, and everyone is putting together their coolest Halloween costume yet. Visitors to Yellow Springs this month will find any number of fall-themed entertainments, from gentle hikes to spooky wagon rides, to get them into the spirit of the season.
Glen Helen, always an autumn destination for tourists and Yellow Springers alike, is turning from a shady green bower into a blazing canopy of every fall color. The Glen Helen Association is taking advantage of this natural beauty to lead themed hikes. Some of the offerings include a Fall Migration Bird Hike, lead by Glen Helen Director Nick Boutis, Autumn Wildflower hikes every Sunday, and a photo hike with photojournalist Rebecca Ingebo that will take participants to some of the most picturesque areas in Glen Helen. These aren’t the only organized hikes. There are also stargazing adventures, edible plant education, and nature immersion, among others.
Some of Glen Helen’s other October activities include their annual birdseed sale, the Raptor Center open house, and a brand new offering, Glen Helen Family Fall Fun Night. The annual birdseed sale, slated for October 16, has been very popular in the past. “It’s a long-time fundraiser for us,” says Project Manager Liz Schneiders, “and it’s proved to be very popular if you’re a bird fanatic. Not only do we offer seed and suet, but books and feeders too.”
The Raptor Center open house also draws in lots of guests. “We get around 150 to 200 people coming to see the birds,” says Schneiders. The Raptor Center is home to one bald eagle and fourteen other species of native hawks, owls, falcons, and vultures. “Our director will often bring the birds out on her arm, and talk about what makes the birds of prey unique. It’s an outstanding opportunity to see these birds of prey up close.” The open house will be held on Oct. 17 from 2 to 4 p.m.
For families, the Fall Fun Night is a must. “It’s something new we’re doing for the first time this year,” says Schneiders. “Family events are something we love to focus on, and if it’s successful, we’d love to do it again.” Participants will carve their own jack o’ lanterns, make pumpkin seed birdfeed, and roast marshmallows. Prizes will be awarded to the best pumpkin carvers. Bring your own pumpkin and knives, and get ready for a good time. Pre-registration is required, and pre-payment is encouraged. It will only cost you $20 per family if you call ahead of time, but $25 at the door.
For more information on any of the Glen Helen autumn events, visit www.GlenHelen.org or call (937) 767-7648.
Young’s Halloween Fun
According to Dan Young, Halloween happenings have been taking place at Young’s Jersey Dairy “One version or another, for about 15 years.” The haunted wagon ride has certainly been a favorite of area children for years. It’s scary, but it’s not too scary. Before embarking on the wagon, be thrilled by a creepy yarn told by The Yellow Springs Tale Spinners, a local professional storytelling group. The wagon will then take you through a cornfield full of goblins and ghouls. The wagon ride is weather dependent, though, so check the forecast before heading out. If an unexpected shower does pop up, you can always console yourself with a helping of Young’s delicious ice cream.
If a haunted wagon ride isn’t quite your speed, Young’s also offers Cowvin’s Corny Maze and a Pick Your Own Pumpkin patch. For a mere $5, Cowvin’s Corny Maze offers as many hours of entertainment as it takes to escape from the twists and turns and dead ends that make it up. Once you find your way out, head to the pumpkin patch. Wagons shuttle pumpkin pickers back and forth throughout the day, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., and pumpkins are $7 each.
As the actual date, October 31 approaches, the village of Yellow Springs is trying something completely new to celebrate. A traditional Halloween in Yellow Springs consists of some decorations, bonfires, and trick-or-treating, but this year, Mindy Harney and the Dayton Street Alliance have planned a weekend full of events to get everyone into the spooky swing of things.
“The Dayton Street Alliance,” Harney explains, “is a merchant’s association for Dayton Street and Corry Street, to pull together with ideas and resources.” They are the group behind this summer’s wildly successful Cirque Carnivale, and Yelloween Weekend is shaping up to be a similar downtown extravaganza. On Oct. 29, the Antioch College Resurrection Party will kick off the fun. Costumes are required at this late-night boogie, where local bands will rock out on the steps of Kelly Hall and DJs will play until all hours in the amphitheatre. “It’s a way to welcome back the college,” says Harney, “and for the college to say ‘we’re back!’”
Come Saturday, trick-or-treaters will have the run of the town from 6 to 8 p.m. Corry and Dayton streets will be partially blocked off for a Mad Tea Party down the center of the road, where you can wish everyone a very merry un-birthday, and insist that your neighbors “move down, move down, clean cup, clean cup!” “There’s going to be a huge Mad Hatter tea table down the middle of the street,” says Harney. “It’s $5 for a seat, and there’s tea, coffee, tea cakes, and cup cakes, and all kinds of little treats.” If you don’t want to pay for a seat, you can still sit in the piazza and enjoy the party. Local band The Groove Prophets will play an Alice in Wonderland-themed set, in full costume. There will also be a Gravedancer’s Ball at the Corner Cone, where revelers can dance to the strains of Full Circle.
From the woods, to the farms, to the streets, October is packed with goings-on. In short, there’s no excuse to stay in and watch scary movies this Halloween. From now until All Saint’s Day, Yellow Springs is the place to scare up some autumnal
Reach DCP freelance writer Lara Donnelly at email@example.com