Nfld. & Labrador

MUN Botanical Garden transforms for annual Halloween Howl

As the days move closer to Halloween, Memorial University's Botanical Garden is being transformed into a scary good time for costumed kids and their families.

'You might find some zombies in the fen,' Kim Shipp says

The MUN Botanical Gardens was filled with costumed kids, zombies and ghouls as the garden transformed for the annual Halloween Howl. (Jeremy Eaton/CBC)

As the days move closer to Halloween, Memorial University's Botanical Garden is being transformed into a scary good time for costumed kids and their families.

The garden is hosting its annual Halloween Howl on Saturday and Sunday, as well as the following weekend, helping children get into the spirit of the season.

"We have some spooky things popping up in the ground here and there," garden director Kim Shipp said Saturday.

"You might find some zombies in the fen. Around the garden here you'll find some scarecrows. There's a scarecrow hunt and a pumpkin hunt."

Other activities include a guided walk around the garden and storytime sessions.

Olive Fortune dressed as a pirate for the guided walk through the garden to match with her grandmother. (Jeremy Eaton/CBC)

Olive Fortune, 11, went to the Halloween Howl for the first time over the weekend, wearing a full pirate costume to match with her grandmother.

"I'm really enjoying doing the Halloween walk with my grandmother and her friend," she said. "The bat cave looked really fun."

Due to restrictions surrounding COVID-19, Shipp said the garden switched to timed ticketing for this year's event.

Tickets can be purchased online in advance for 90-minute visits in the garden. The garden is hosting both day and night sessions, but Shipp said night sessions went quickly.

Kim Shipp is the director of the MUN Botanical Garden. (Jeremy Eaton/CBC)

"There aren't too many things more fun than walking through the woods at night," she laughed. "We have some sounds and howls that come through the woods.

"It's so much fun, and you can get some pretty creative costumes when the staff of volunteers come around. We all love the botanical gardens and it's fantastic to see people out skipping around and enjoying it."

On top of sharing the joys of the spooky season, Shipp said the event also gives an opportunity for children to learn about how the garden changes though the fall.

"The signs of the season are poking all around the botanical garden this time of year," she said. 

"It's fun to talk about how the garden changes, and how the seasons change from one to another."

Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador

With files from Jeremy Eaton