Costumed families gather for fun learning at Fall Fest

Dozens of families gathered today for the annual Fall Family Fun Fest at the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center.

After passing through a spooky tunnel of spiderwebs and fog, visitors were treated to the Visitor Center decked out in full Halloween glory.

Ranger Jane Terry, in costume as naturalist John Muir, played a big part in putting the event together. Terry says the event is great for combining educational experiences with the festive mood of the holiday season.

“It’s really a fun way for parents and kids to learn together,” Terry says.

“We provide a fun way to learn about the natural world,” says interpreter Laurie Craig.

This year’s fest follows a decade of festivals, with educational games including mask-making, print-making, an ice tunnel crawl, petroglyphs, and dissecting owl pellets.

Craig and Terry say that the event is all about the people with volunteers from the Park Service and the Visitor Center leading kids through fun events.


Irene Morrise and Nugget the barn owl teach children about owls.

Hayden, 6, (orange and yellow dinosaur) and Brenne,5, (green dinosaur) dissect owl pellets.

Families gather to receive their maps of activities. Kids got their maps stamped at each station and turned them in for treat bags.

A family of fun: Carly and Brian brought Rhys, Batman, and Dylan, the Hulk.

Mary, 5, paints a rubber fish to make a print.

Jasimine, 6, and Autumn, 4, make rubbings of petroglyphs.

Logan Underwood and Elise, 5, learn about habitat.

Emmitt Allen, 2 1/2, learns about bears.

Costumed children gather around the mask making table.

Gainni, 4, came as a ghost. His favorite part of Halloween is going trick-or-treating.

Keeli, 5, waits for her turn at the face painting table.

Kids gather around the petroglyph table.

The mask making table gets busy.

Hunter, 4, shows off a bat painted on his hand.