Kids reap fun at Autumn Harvest Celebration
By Janna Odenthal Post-Tribune correspondent October 30, 2012 3:16PM
Lilly Kowalke, 3, of Whiting, carries a pumpkin for the head of a scarecrow as program lead Debbie Cambron (far left) helps at Bellaboo's in Lake Station, Ind., Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2012. | Stephanie Dowell~Sun-Times Media
If you go
What: Bellaboo’s Play and Discovery Center
Where: Three Rivers County Park, 2800 Colorado St., Lake Station
Hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday; 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday
Contact: 963-2070 or see website www.mybellaboos.com
Cost: Toddlers 1-2 years, $4.95; children 2-9 years, $6.95; children 10 years; adults, $4.95; and infants free.
Worth noting: Weekend prices increase by $1; children 2-9 years increase by $2
Updated: December 1, 2012 4:36PM
Not-so-scary skeletons, pumpkins and other Halloween-themed creatures have been a part of the Autumn Harvest Celebration at Bellaboo’s Play and Discovery Center in Lake Station. Children created edible campfires, drank cider, played games and more.
In the art room, children took off their shoes and socks. After covering the bottom of one foot with white paint, they stepped onto a piece of colored construction paper. When the paint dried, they used black markers or crayons to form circular eyes and a mouth in the heel to form a ghost image.
Other art projects included cornstalk coloring pages, campfire creations with red, orange and yellow tissue paper “fire” and more.
In the kitchen area, children made a different sort of campfire. Using yellow frosting, they attached three candy corn “flames” to pretzel rod “logs.” Other harvest-time foods, which were served in the café, included caramel apple dippers, pumpkin muffins, a sandwich nicknamed “The Bat Cave” and more.
Amanda Kline of Chesterton watched as her daughter, Emma, 2, participated in the art project and cooking class.
“Emma couldn’t resist eating her (candy campfire) before she was finished,” said Kline. “She also did an imprint of her foot to make a ghost. It’s adorable. I can’t wait to frame it.”
Sitting upon small stools in front of a long mirror, children transformed themselves into jack-o’-lanterns and other Halloween creatures, using face paint in the makeup room. Later, they held flashlights in a darkened area as they listened to Halloween stories, including “Trick or Treat, Little Critter” by Mercer Mayer.
Sydney Varnak, 8, of LaPorte, pretended to be a cashier in the child-sized grocery store. Earlier, she painted orange and black stripes on her face to look like a tiger that day.
“I’m going to be a horse for Halloween,” Sydney said. “I came here for my cousin’s birthday. I get to be with my cousins, make new friends and get to go in all the different rooms. I had fun.”
Outdoors, piles of hay lay scattered upon the lawn. Children grabbed old blue jean and flannel shirts from a nearby stack. They stuffed the arms and legs with hay to form scarecrows.
Other activities included Shake and Rattle Your Bones, pumpkin yoga and a Halloween freeze dance in which the children pretended to be mummies, werewolves, mad scientists and other creatures.
Next month, children will have fun learning about explorers, the harvest moon and more. Turkeys will be celebrated during Gobble, Gobble, a Turkey Fun Fest, Nov. 20-25.