Grandfather Mountain hosts Beary Scary Halloween, Oct. 27

Kodiak, one of Grandfather Mountain’s resident black bears, enjoys a pumpkin enrichment treat during the park’s Beary Scary Halloween festival. The event is set for Saturday, Oct. 27. Photo by Monty Combs | Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation

Press release from Grandfather Mountain:

At Grandfather Mountain, Halloween isn’t scary. It’s Beary Scary.

The Linville, N.C., nature park has mountains of tricks and treats in store for its annual Halloween festival, Beary Scary Halloween, returning Saturday, Oct. 27.

The special day features a spooky selection of nature programs, Halloween-themed crafts, a costume contest, animal enrichments and six trick-or-treating locations throughout the mountain. All activities are included with the price of admission, and kids in costume get in for half price.

“Not only is it fun to say, Beary Scary is a truly unique way to celebrate Halloween — with Grandfather Mountain’s resident party animals,” said Frank Ruggiero, director of marketing and communications for the Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation, the nonprofit organization that owns and operates the park.

The fun runs from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., starting off with craft tables in the Nature Museum, where kids can make their own spooky creations. Also during that time, participants can try their hand at autumn-themed games, including a bean-bag toss and pin-the-tail-on-the-bear.

From 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., guests can trick-or-treat through the animal habitats, meeting the furry and feathered residents and their keepers. The six trick-or-treat locations will be at the Entrance Gate, Half-Moon Overlook, the Nature Museum, the environmental wildlife habitats overlooks, the Top Shop and the Mile High Swinging Bridge.

From 11:30 a.m. to noon, junior guests can attend a Junior Ranger program, in which they’ll learn about Grandfather Mountain’s wondrous ecosystem through hands-on activities.

From noon to 12:30 p.m., the park’s naturalists will host a nature program, called “Are Bears Scary?” This program will take place in the Nature Museum and will be a talk about black bears, discussing such topics as myths about black bears and what to do if you encounter one, along with many other topics.

From 12:30 to 1 p.m., kids can help the keepers decorate Halloween pumpkins and other treats to offer the animals as an enrichment, or they can make something for themselves.

“Enrichments are special treats that help break up the animals’ routines, while keeping them active and intellectually stimulated,” chief habitats curator Christie Tipton explained.

“They’re particularly fond of their special Halloween treats,” Ruggiero added. “And yes, that includes special pumpkins for the bears.”

At 1:30 p.m., kids can show off their wild side with a costume contest, while vying for fun prizes.

From 3 to 3:30 p.m., participants can parade through the animal habitats area, where the keepers will present the animals their special Halloween enrichments.

“It’s a fun and festive way to celebrate the season, for kids and creatures of all ages,” Ruggiero said.

For more information, call (828) 733-2013, or email


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