Haunted Garden and Monster Shindig

"Spooky Days at Allerton Garden"f un for the kids

A big Mahalo to the National Tropical Botanical Gardens for putting on a great family event! It was obvious that the staff at National tropical Botanical Gardens really worked hard to make this event a success, and it was such a treat to have Allerton Gardens opened up to the public for FREE!

This event had so many components I don’t know where to begin. I arrived with my son just a bit before 10 am, to find the parking lot packed. We headed to the tram thinking we would have to wait a long time, but NTBG planned for the crowd and ran the trams continuously. As we arrived in the Garden, the Queen of Hearts and her cards caught my eye playing croquet in the big field. This was not your standard version of croquet, after all it was intended for the little ones. Yoga balls could be kicked, bounced or rolled through child-sized arches. All sorts of silliness ensued on the playing field.

My son was so excited that upon entry, he ran right past the cemetery and the mad scientist in the mist house. A little ways down the garden path as the vegetation started to close in, we were ushered into a small gazebo area where Alice and the Mad Hatter were having a tea party. The children were offered cupcakes before being sent onto their next adventure.

Adventure it was, every boys dream: to be right in the middle of Jurassic Park. After all, this is where they filmed the movie. Among the over-sized tree roots, a dinosaur nest came to life. Giant eggs exposed baby dinosaurs and a life sized T-Rex peeked out from behind the roots. The children were instructed to hunt for plastic Easter eggs. Inside each egg was a pirate coin, and just around the corner were the pirates waiting to have this gold returned to their chest. They were so eager in fact that they were exchanging the gold for candy.

At the mesmerizing mermaid station, glittery mermaids assisted the children in fishing for treats before they were sent off to see the pirates who had set up camp in the shade of the bamboo. After exchanging the gold for candy, the children walked up a steep incline where they came across the bloody pools. Hands and legs could be found resting on the edge of the pool and a very scary witch handed out candy to any child that dare get close enough.

A walk through Ghost Alley lead the children to the haunted house. The little girls weren’t too fond of this feature, but the boys couldn’t get enough. Ghosts and goblins, blinking lights and spider webs dotted the halls of the creepy palace. The fog obscured a werewolf who had chained himself inside a gazebo. Creepy music played and screams could be heard just around the corner. We soon found out why! A ghoul jumped out and frightened the living daylights out of me. Just as I recovered, it happened again. Zombies and creatures of the dead hung out in dark corners leading you to the lab where some unfortunate experiment lay on the table and finally back to the garden. As soon as the sunlight hit my eyes I heard, “Mom, can we go again?”

All in all it was a wonderful event. We will be sure to attend next yearNational Tropical Botanical Gardens Free Event fo Halloween

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