MDC offers Halloween season nature treats in the Kansas City area

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Kansas City
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Kansas City, Mo. – Two Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) sites in the Kansas City area are offering special Halloween season programs combining nature with fun. The Anita B. Gorman Discovery Center and the Burr Oak Woods Nature Center annually offer special events in October. This year, staff are offering new programs that also implement COVID-19 safety precautions.

MDC’s Discovery Center will host a family friendly wild treat hike from 5 to 8 pm. on Friday, Oct. 16, at 4750 Troost Ave. in Kansas City. This event is a partnership with the Kansas City Police Department and neighborhood businesses and organizations. The Discovery Center sidewalk and the trails in the native plant garden will be lined with partners providing treats and fun activities for all ages. Registration is not required for this walk-in event. However, masks are strongly encouraged and physical distancing will be observed as COVID-19 precautions.

Also, Discovery Center will host a track-or-treat event for all ages on Saturday, Oct. 31. The event will be offered in three sessions starting at 10 a.m., 11:30 a.m., and 1 p.m. Registration is required. Participants will learn the fun facts about snakes, spiders, and bats. Kids will make a fun Halloween bag using animal tracks. To register, visit

How about some family fishing as a treat? MDC’s Burr Oak Woods Nature Center in Blue Springs will host a special fishing event from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 31. Families are welcome and costumes are encouraged. MDC can provide tackle, bait, instruction, and coaching assistance for fishing newcomers. A fishing permit is not required for this catch-and-release event. Children under 15 must be accompanied by an adult.

Burr Oak staff and volunteers will also have a bonfire burning for warm ups in case the day is chilly. Activities will also include fishing-themed games and prizes for the biggest fish and the best costume. As at all MDC events, COVID-19 safety precautions will be followed. Each participant must be registered separately. Contact the lead instructor via the registration page if any assistance is needed. To register and for more information, visit

Burr Oak Woods visitors can also hit the Spooky Prairie Clue Trail for a fun event for all ages. Participants will learn about nature’s “creepy” critters and the valuable role they play in Missouri’s grassland ecosystems. Four separate half-hour hikes will be offered from 1 to 3 p.m. MDC staff and volunteers at stations along the trail will host exhibits and answer questions. Registration is required. To register or for more information, visit the MDC events page for the Kansas City region,

To learn more about autumn adventures in Missouri’s scenic outdoors, visit