Friday, October 18, 2013

Fall Fun at Happy Hollow

Toddler X and his buddy hit up Happy Hollow today for their "Fall Fun at Happy Hollow" celebration, which runs Friday-Sunday, 11:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m., this weekend and next. Here's my report:

The Fall Fun activities -- which are located primarily in the Crooked House Meadow -- include two bouncy houses (one for ages 4 and under, so reasonably toddler-friendly), a hay bale amphitheater for stories, a craft area where we made a cute little bat craft (which Toddler X is trying to eat in the picture above), a dress up/costume area (bottom left), a throwing game where kids could win stickers or pencils, and a wheel of fortune-type game where Toddler X won a free pumpkin (yep, just what we need -- number 15!). They were playing music through speakers on the stage in the meadow, and toddlers were up there bopping about and having a great time (top left). 

There is also face painting for a separate charge, and a little pumpkin patch where toddler-size pumpkins could be selected for $2 each (they are a size that I've found for $3 or $4 at many patches, so this is a great deal). Up in the area above the meadow, there is a corn maze in a sunken section so that parents can see in as their kids run about. 

There are apparently special animal meet and greets, and entertainment at 1:00 and 3:00 p.m., but by that time we were heading home for nap, so sadly I can't report on those activities. The schedule shows The Phil Cornish Band playing at 1:00 and 3:00 on Saturday, October 19th, and Reluctant Dragon playing at 1:00 and Harlequin and the Gift of Many Colors playing at 3:00 on Sunday, October 20th.

The kids had lots of fun at HH today, but to be honest, it wasn't all that different from the fun we have at HH on any old day. Of our three hours at the park, we probably spent about 15 minutes in and around the Fall Fun location, and the rest of the time enjoying all the things we normally do. In other words, while the Fall Fun doesn't in any way detract from the usual joy of Happy Hollow, it doesn't add a whole bunch either. If you were hoping to find the whole park and zoo converted to a Halloween wonderland, you may be disappointed.
What did add to the experience -- for me, at least -- was the costume-clad crowd. I love seeing little kids dressed up, and there were a good number of adults in costume (or at least Halloween-themed gear) as well. It leant an air of festivity to the park. 
The Haunt the Hollow event, scheduled for October 27th, includes all the activities mentioned above, as well as a "Halloween Spooktacular" show and, from 1-4 pm, trick-or-treating throughout the park. If your toddler's nap schedule allows, that sounds like a really fun event. 

Admission to the park is $13 (kids under 2 are free, and there are discounts for AAA, military, seniors, etc.), and of course it's free for members. Through the end of October, you get $2 off if you wear a Halloween costume (I believe that applies to everyone, parents or kids), except for October 27th, the day of Haunt the Hollow. 

The park is open from 10-4 this Friday and next, and from 10-5 on Saturday and Sunday, but the Fall Fun activities only run from 11-4. 

If you go, have a wonderful time, and be sure to say hello to Toddler X's favorite pal.

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