SPANISH LAKE, Mo — The Missouri Department of Conservation's (MDC) Columbia Bottom Conservation Area is holding a Family Fun Night and Hayride on Friday, Oct. 14, from 6 to 9:30 p.m. The event offers an ideal way to celebrate the Halloween season in a family friendly and nature-oriented way.
“It’s a time to explore things that go bump in the night at Columbia Bottom Conservation Area,” said MDC Naturalist Natalie Johnson. Johnson is helping to organize the event, which is free and open to the public.
Visitors are encouraged to put on their favorite Halloween costumes and join in a number of nighttime activities that will include games, crafts and face painting, as well as campfire stories and making s‘mores around the fire. Live native Missouri venomous snakes will be on display for safe viewing. There will also be a bean-bag tossing contest for prizes.
Among the highlights of the event will be hayrides on the area at 6:30 p.m. and 8:15 p.m.
“Visitors will get the chance to see Columbia Bottom in a different kind of light — moonlight,” said Johnson.
The program will investigate the noises and creepy creatures of the night. Riders might catch the call of distant coyotes, owls, crickets, great blue herons, and perhaps even a persistent late-season frog.
“The Columbia Bottom Family Fun Night and Hay Ride will offer families a way to enjoy a fun kind of spookiness,” Johnson said.
No reservations are required for Family Fun Night activities. However, due to limited capacity, the hayrides do require advance registration by calling 314-877-6014.
Columbia Bottom Conservation Area is located at 801 Strodtman Road in Spanish Lake. It can be reached by taking the Riverview Drive exit off I-270 and travelling three miles north to the area entrance.