Tag Archives: halloween costumes

Halloween Haunts

What’s this! Your cheeks sense chill air, crisply scented with leafy decay as a slow creeping sensation causes the hairs on the back of your neck to rise… it’s Halloween!! State parks are the best year-round, but are also the SP🎃🎃KIEST way to get a taste of nature as the days shorten. We thought we’d list prime, kooky ways to get your heart rate up!

Trains and Treats in California

There’s festive fun aplenty to get your autumn on track at the California State Railroad Museum in Sacramento. Park goers should prepare themselves for a freight–er.. fright! on the Spookomotive Ride, leaving the station hourly this Saturday and Sunday, the 29th and 30th, from noon to 4 p.m. The 45-minute, 6-mile (round-trip) train ride is $15 for adults, $8 for young people aged 2-17, and free for children two years old and younger. A mad scientist will be on board to startle and delight passengers, as well as to field questions regarding how to reanimate sewn-together people, or use lightning as a renewable energy source for your own secret laboratories!

The theme for the weekend is Witches & Wizards, but if you’ve been waiting for the perfect moment to reveal your zombie train conductor costume with all its bells and whistles (overalls are back in a big way this fall, after all), the CSRM would probably be it. There’s trick-or-treating at the museum on Saturday, Oct. 29th, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. with plenty of sweets and knowledge to be had for magic folk and ghost engineers alike.

Chugging right along…

[Image: hiddensandiego.net]

Once called Día de los Muertos, Dia de los Muertos or Day of the Dead, is a pre-Columbian tradition which has its roots in central and southern Mexico. Today, the macabre-yet-bright skeletal imagery and the spirit of venerating deceased loved ones marks a holiday celebrated across cultures here in the United States. [Image: hiddensandiego.net]

If you can’t make the Halloween events at the CSRM and find yourself in southern California, you can check out the Día de los Muertos celebrations at Old Town San Diego SHP. On November 1st and 2nd, there will be historical and modern altars set up around the park to commemorate the inhabitants of Old Town. Visitors can take an altar tour to learn about this tradition, and themselves contribute to the “Tributes & Sentiments” chalk graveyard to remember their own loved ones.

Wicked Woods in New York

A halloween hallow?

Serene or sinister? The more you know, the more your answer will crystalize. [Image: www.pinterest.com]

In keeping with the haunted themes of the season, Green Lakes State Park in Central New York is welcoming one and all to their event, Wicked Woods. On October 29th, from 4 to 8 p.m., admission to the park is free. There will be beachside mini-golf and costumed trick-or-treating, a haunted trail, crafts, a photo booth, and a large bonfire to cap it all off. You can learn more about the event here. As an added bonus, you can work some feel good magic into your eerie festivities by bringing along a non-perishable food item to donate to the local food bank.

Owl-O-Ween in Tennessee

Owls have long been as much a part of Halloween imagery as pumpkins, ghosts or witches. It’s possible this is because of their domination of the nocturnal world, which they survey with their piercing eyes and well-informed demeanor. If you’ve ever taken a break from personifying these mighty nighttime hunters and wondered about the distant hollow hoots one occasionally hears on dusky hikes, Owl-O-Ween at Long Hunter State Park in Hermitage, Tennessee is just the ticket. For $3 per individual, or $5 per family, hikers can explore nature after sundown, while learning about the Barred Owl and its unique night-song from a knowledgeable ranger! October 29th, 7:30-8:30 p.m., guests are encouraged to make a reservation by calling 615-885-2422 or visiting the Long Hunter State Park website, here.


Uh oh...

This would look a whole lot more terrifying if you were a field mouse… [Image: www.birdwatchingdaily.com]

Whether you’re looking to take on Halloween fully costumed, or simply enjoy the smells of autumn, there is an inexpensive or free way to satisfy your Halloween cravings at a state park near you. There’s no time like the present to download a Pocket Ranger® mobile app and explore what’s going on!

Halloween Costumes: Nature and Fantasy

Halloween is a couple weeks away, but for anyone creating their costumes from scratch it means planning ahead, rummaging through closets, borrowing from friends, and going to thrift stores. After all what is Halloween without a treasure hunt to create your own version of classic characters. If you’re still scratching your head for ideas, here are some nature and fantasy-inspired Halloween costumes.

Artemis is the ancient Greek deity of the hunt, wilderness, and childbirth. She is also known to be close to women and children. In classic statues she is depicted as a huntress carrying a bow and arrows, along with a friend deer, a sacred animal, since it was her first capture. When channeling Artemis one needs to be ethereal, wise, caring, and close to nature. Her classic portrayal is simple.  You’ll need: a head piece, hair pins, simple makeup, light cream-colored or white dress, romanesque sandals, and a waist belt. Extras: a deer, lyre, and gold bracelets.

Image: www.museumsyndicate.com

Image: www.museumsyndicate.com

Gandalf is the most recognizable wizard from J. R. R. Tolkien’s novels The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. There are other wizards: Samuran, Radagast, and the Blue Wizards, but Gandalf is known for his wisdom, courage and beautiful language that inspires, so the wearer of this costume needs to possess these qualities. He also communicates with animals, some who save him from danger. For the basic Gandalf the Grey costume: Layer a cloak, robe, gray belt and a light satchel. And don’t forget to add the white hair and the white beard! Also a walking stick and the famous gray hat. Extra: mittens, a sword, pipe, and a gray scarf. Make your finger nails as dirty as you want them. This guy is hiking, horseback riding and killing orcs; he’s not suppose to be super clean.


Tomb Raider’ s Lara Croft of the reboot game is based on the origin stories. This newer version released last year features a realistic touch to the classic adventure gal. Unlike the previous version, Lara Croft’s outfit is wearable for all, and you can even add your own touches by adding less or more tears and blood to your clothes and skin. Play the archaeologist exploring the kingdom of Yamata (Japan) in a true survivalist outfit by wearing: a gray tank top, cargo pants, boots, plus arm and leg bandages.  Extras: bow and arrows, firearms, belt and gun holsters, archery glove, ax, among others.


Rick Deckard from the dystopian film, Blade Runner is a fun part to play; he’s always in motion, either chasing someone or being chased, yet has time to be reflective. Though the film is purely science fiction, it does deal with themes about human nature and morality. Rick Deckard is a veteran police officer hunting down replicants (androids), who escaped a space colony, and are illegally hiding on earth. Deckard is faced with a choice of whether or not to destroy a replicant who shows human empathy. Deckard wears: a trench coat, deckard-type shirt and tie, brown dockers, brown belt, black sneakers or shoes. Extras: pistol, holster and inside jacket.


Tauriel is a woodland Elf whose name means “daughter of Mirkwood.” She appeared in The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug for the first time, which confused some fans since she didn’t originate from J.R.R. Tolkien’s world. That being said, it’s a wonderful creation that adds a much needed female character to the series. From what we know about her, she is adventurous, impulsive and rebellious. She doesn’t always follow the social order of the Elves or listen to her elders, but follows her young 600-year-old mind. Cosplaying as Tauriel requires time and determination! She has stark auburn hair with a braid design. She wears: a long green cloak over a green shirt, arm braces, brown boots, brown leggings, and carries a bow & arrow. Extras: Elf ears, leather bodice and two daggers.


When you’re ready to wear your nature-fantasy costume, check these haunted hikes and trick-o-treating events! For more information on Halloween festivities see the Events Calendar in the Pocket Ranger® app.