OGDEN — It’s the educational side of Halloween.
The Ogden Nature Center is bringing back its annual Creatures of the Night event, with activities that teach visitors about the animals that roam the state after the sun goes down.
The event takes place Oct. 11-12 at the nature center, 966 W. 12th St., in Ogden. Tickets are $8.
“It’s designed to be an educational outdoor fun event without fright — it’s non-scary,” said Brandi Bosworth, public relations coordinator for the Ogden Nature Center.
Among the activities offered are live animal presentations, carnival games and crafts, educational walks, fortune telling, food trucks and much more.
“It’s sort of the quintessential fall event, with carnival games, a campfire with stories, and trailside games and activities,” Bosworth said.
One of the favorite Creatures of the Night activities among ONC staff members is the “crepuscular creep,” according to Bosworth. Education staffers transform themselves into various native Utah animals, then tuck themselves into the woods along one of the center’s trails.
“Then, as visitors come by, they come out and tell their tale — whether it’s a raccoon, a moth or a skunk,” she said.
Bosworth, who in past years has dressed up as a feral cat, says she recently found a wolf costume at a garage sale.
“I’ve been a feral cat for years, but I’m upping my game this year,” she said.
Other activities will include animal presentations about snakes, spiders and owls; a peek inside a real tipi; a Spider Web Crawl; stories around a campfire; a fortune teller and other Halloween-themed fun. Bosworth says they’ll also offer make-and-take nature crafts.
Another popular activity is called the Squeak and Sneak. Using a flashlight, participants pretend they’re a mouse scurrying on a trail and encounter cutouts of predators they might spot along the way. Although the nature center will have a number of flashlights available, organizers encourage families to bring their own.
Bosworth says several food trucks will be on hand — including the El Bandito taco truck and the Harry Potter-themed Butter3eer truck on Friday; and Sgt. Pepper’s FAT Burrito, Taste of Louisiana and Butter3eer on Saturday.
Tickets for the Creatures of the Night event are $8, with a $2 discount for nature center members. The event will be held rain or shine, and as it will be outdoors, Bosworth encourages participants to dress for the unpredictable fall weather.
“I think once you attend, it becomes a built-in family tradition because it really is fun,” she said. “It’s a community-wide event that’s perfect for families, and it supports our educational mission by teaching about Utah native animals.
“And, it’s not scary at all,” Bosworth adds.