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Family Time: Get your family off the couch and into nature

September 7, 2018

Gabriel Wallenfeldt, 8, looks for his next hand hold as climbs the Prairie Walls Climbing Tower during the annual Quarry Hill Fall Festival in 2016.

Say goodbye to summer at Quarry Hill Nature Center’s Fall Festival. An annual community favorite, there’s something fun for every member of the family.

“It’s one of those annual traditions that families love,” said Lori Forstie, Quarry Hill Nature Center’s public relations and outreach coordinator. “It’s something people look forward to and seem to enjoy that it doesn’t change a lot from year to year.”

Designed to get families off the couch and into nature, families are invited to climb, row, and win at games and activities scattered throughout the park.

“It’s a great opportunity to canoe together as a family, rock climb — and yes, adults can do it, too, and there’s a variety of nature-themed carnival games for all ages,” said Forstie. “And make sure you make your way out to the cave for a tour.”

Families looking for sit-down fun are invited to check out the pumpkin decorating, beeswax candle rolling, and nature-themed crafts.

“Outside, we’ll have live animal presentations including turtles and snakes from Quarry Hill on Saturday, and live bald eagle programs from the National Eagle Center on Sunday,” said Forstie. “Inside the nature center, make sure you stop by the cookie decorating. It’s always a fan favorite. We go through 100 dozen sugar cookies every Fall Festival.”

Admission to the Fall Festival is free. Tickets are $1 each or $20 for 25 of them. They can be used for games, activities or food. Food (hot dogs, caramel apples, popcorn) and activities range from 1 to 4 tickets.

“Come on out. Bring the whole family. There’s something for everyone,” said Forstie. “It’s a lot of fun. It’s what our staff calls the big nature-themed party with all of our good-natured friends.”

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