Celebrate Halloween Nature Style at Jones Park

Although people often associate Halloween with pumpkin carving, costumes and trick-or-treating for candy, there are many other ways of enjoying the All Hallow’s Eve festivities. Jesse H. Jones Park & Nature Center offers programs for young and old during a Pumpkin Pandemonium puppet program Saturday. October 27 at 10 a.m., followed by Nature’s Creepy Crawlies at 11:30 a.m. and Lanterns and Lore at 5 p.m. And those wanting to learn more about the nighttime sky can enjoy a Stargazing program Sunday, October 28 at 7 p.m.

Have you ever wondered about the history of Halloween and the jack-o-lantern? Or perhaps you’re looking for a way to have some “fright-free” fun for younger children? On Saturday, October 27 at 10 am., East Texas puppeteer Raymond L. Eastman, Jr. will bring his many puppet friends to life in “Pumpkin Pandemonium,” a 30-minute puppet production featuring large hand and rod puppets, bright colorful sets and props and even an original Calypso song. Through the masterful animation of a pumpkin puppet, Willie O’Whisp, viewers will learn about the history of the jack-o-lantern as Willie makes his costume for a Halloween party at Pumpkin Manor. Please note that this production is intended for pre-kindergarten to second-grade children; no witches or skeletons will be used.

Eastman is the owner of Puppet Wise Productions, a Nacogdoches-based company that specializes in providing high-quality puppet programs for younger audiences.

At 11:30 a.m. be sure to visit the nature center for Nature’s Creepy Crawlies, a live specimen display showcasing an interesting array of slithery, slimy critters and multi-legged creatures. Snakes, spiders and more will be used to fascinate and educate the audience about some of the more unique animals often associated with the Halloween season.

That evening at 5 p.m., join staff naturalist Anita Casarona for a family oriented spook-tacularly fun time. The program starts with an opportunity to carve turnips into miniature Jack-o-lanterns, and continues with a walk by lantern-light to our homestead, where a delightfully spooky campfire story awaits you. Reservations are required and may be made beginning Wednesday, October 17.

On Sunday, October 28 at 7 p.m., join Jesse Jones Park volunteer Ron Carman for a telescopic tour of the sky during an evening of Stargazing. This program will give participants of all ages an opportunity to see a variety of stars, planets and other astral features, Participants are welcome to bring their own telescope or binoculars, but it is not required. Reservations are required and may be made beginning Wednesday, October 17.

Jesse H. Jones Park & Nature Center, a Harris County Precinct 4 facility, is located at 20634 Kenswick Drive in Humble. All programs are free of charge and open to the public. Harris County Precinct 4 programs serve people of all ages regardless of socioeconomic level, race, color, sex, religion, national origin or disability. For more information on the park or any of its programs, call 281-446-8588.