The (not so scary) Scarecrow Trail
I don’t know about you – but when the words “Scarecrow Trail” come to my mind I automatically think of a field of scary crucified straw men and the Children of the Corn (and if you’re too young to know about that movie, imagine rows and rows of that freakshow monster from Jeepers Creepers).
What to Expect When You’re Expecting… Creepy Stuff
When I decided to take my daughter to the Botanical Garden’s annual Scarecrow Trail, you could probably imagine what my mind had in store for me. It was a beautiful afternoon and despite the bitterly cold morning, the temperature was surprisingly perfect. Even my seasonal allergies were totally under control.
Sounds like the beginning of a horror film – everything seems almost so perfect that it’s a little eerie… Well, it turns out that our little adventure was anything but scary! In fact, it was the most fun that we have had in a long time!
About The Scarecrow Trail
The Botanical Gardens has always been one of my favorite attractions in town. In fact, it’s a family tradition to load everyone up around Christmas time and tour their Galaxy of Lights. Every fall, they feature a Scarecrow Trail that gives local businesses, organizations, philanthropists, and just plain lovers of scarecrow crafting the opportunity to participate.
Each year showcases a different theme and participants even get a chance to win prizes for their creations. This year’s theme is “Fabulous Fall”. There are certainly some fabulous scarecrows out there. In addition to scarecrows, there are also hay bale art displays. It’s amazing to see all the creativity and hard work that goes into these.
Wandering the Garden
As a first timer, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Well, except other than my initial weirdo thought. Rest assured, it is nothing like that. The setup is actually almost like a scavenger hunt within a maze. The scarecrows weren’t lined up in rows of scariness at all! YAY!
Once you set foot on the grounds, there are so many different paths you can take. They do give you a map at the front desk and are really helpful in pointing out all the “hot spots”. Here’s the thing, though. I don’t do maps. So, we just decided to see where our little journey would take us.
Our Favorite Scarecrows
One of the first ones that stood out to us (and my daughter’s personal favorite) was done by Belk at Parkway Place titled “Every mummy loves shopping at Belk”. Very clever. There were a lot of those.
Now, I’m not going to say they didn’t have any “scary” ones… because there were definitely some that I wouldn’t want to show up in my dreams or in my backyard. One that comes to mind mimics that of Maple Hill Cemetery and the “Haunted Playground Legend”. That one definitely took a lot of work. The tombstones added a nice spooky touch. But isn’t that the point of a scarecrow? Or at least they’re meant to spook out crows…
You actually learn some pretty interesting “‘Crow Facts” on the trail. Here are some we learned:
- Early Greeks and Romans carved Scarecrows out of wood
- Roman armies carried ‘crows into Europe
- Scientists think that the human scent on ‘crow clothes is what scares the birds away
- First Scarecrows date back to early Egypt – nearly 3000 years ago
We especially loved the variety of the very artful hay bale art. There is a pretty epic dragon that is a MUST-SEE, a massive coffee cup that fashioned the look of an all-too-familiar chain, AND, despite all the recent controversy surrounding his neighborhood posse – even Elmo was there sporting a smiling face with open arms!
More than Scarecrows
It was tons of fun roaming the grounds because in addition to the Scarecrow displays, you had plenty of gorgeous foliage and natural life surrounding you as well. From chasing the resident garden cats (my daughter, not me) to visiting the Nature Center – there’s so much to see and do while you’re there so you might as well make the most of it!
So, if you’re looking for a fun way to enjoy the wonderful fall weather with your family – not to mention get the kids to put down their DS’s and go outdoors for a change — or if you just want to unleash your inner child and go on a little adventure, you should definitely head to the Gardens.
BONUS: You can also count it as your workout for the day. You need to hurry, though, because it’ll only be around until the end of October!
Dates and Times:
Monday-Saturday: 9:00 am-5:00 pm
Sunday: 12:00 pm-5:00 pm
Event runs through October 31st
Location: Huntsville Botanical Garden
- Bootanica: Saturday October 20th from 10:00 am – 2:00 pm. A family friendly day will be spook-tacularly fun for the whole family.
- Hay rides: Saturdays from 10am-4pm and Sundays from 1-4pm
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