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Meet creepy creatures & cuddly critters

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The spookiest day of the year is right around the corner and, once again, Helen Woodward Animal Center’s Humane Education Department is offering a Halloween treat that will leave kids with something other than cavities! For the third year, the Center is opening up its Spine-Tingling Harvest Tour to individual families for one special day! Parents and kids of all ages are invited to explore an Eerie Estate, meet creepy creatures and cuddly critters in costume, and partake in a host of other great Autumn-inspired activities. Kick off Halloween at Helen Woodward Animal Center’s "Howl-O-Ween Harvest Family Day," Sunday, October 29th between 9am and 1pm at the Center’s Education Building – 6461 El Apajo Road in Rancho Santa Fe.

Every October, teachers and troop leaders look forward to booking their groups of kids for Helen Woodward Animal Center’s annual Howl-O-Ween Harvest Tour that combines laughter, thrills and animal encounters for a perfect Halloween-themed experience. Now individual families can get in on the fun, kick-off the “spooky” holiday, and create memories for years to come. Family Day attendees will create boo-tiful crafts, enter the “Eerie Estate,” journey through the mini pumpkin patch, and enjoy trick-or-treat stations, face painting, and a magical maze. The event also includes costume contests, pumpkin decorating contests, and pie eating contests.  NEW THIS YEAR: Attendees can partake in a scavenger hunt, a cake walk, and warm up with some hot cider!  Of course, a Critter Camp Autumn Harvest Tour wouldn’t be complete without a hair-raising array of slimy and slinky critters and the tour will feature plenty of those too.
“I love this event for two reasons,” explained Education Manager Haylee Blake.  “The kids, parents and staff all have a great time but it’s also a perfect way to address some common misconceptions about some of the ‘spookier’ creatures and teach kids about the wonderful things they provide for our environment.  Even though the theme is scary, we actually get to explain that a lot of the creatures we fear are not scary at all!”

The Family Howl-O-Ween Harvest Tours kickoff at 9am on Sunday, October 29th and run until 1pm.  The cost is $14.25 per child (which includes animal interactions, all activities, and a mini pumpkin to take home.).  Accompanying adults cost $5.   Visitors can plan their arrival time around meeting and greeting their choice of favorite critters. For more information on Helen Woodward Animal Center’s Howl-oween Harvest Family Day, call 858-756-4117 x 319 or visit

Information provided by: Helen Woodward Animal Center.

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