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    Halloween is objectively the darkest holiday of the year, and finding family-friendly events that allow everyone to enjoy the season is a mixed bag. Let's face it: some of the festivities for the upcoming weekend would scare even the stoutest of heart. Luckily for young families and children, the Creasey Mahan Nature Preserve in Goshen is once again hosting its delightful Halloween Harvest Party, a get-together that leaves no one out of the spooky loop.

    Today, October 28, from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., and tomorrow, October 29, from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m., the Creasey Mahan Nature Preserve will transform into a Halloween wonderland. Two popular haunted trails, which are hold-overs from the previous years' "Haunted Hike," will still be open for treks. One of these, called the "kid-safe" trail, leads hikers straight into Halloween Town, where children of all ages can explore the Fantasy Light Tunnel, the Ogre's Swamp, and the Yellow Brick Road. Entrance to this trail is $6, but seeing the glowing looks of excitement on your little ghouls' faces as they wander through the trick-or-treat stops and sit with Alice in Wonderland are well worth the price. For mom and dad, or perhaps an older sibling, the Forest of Fright (which costs $8 to enter) is a lengthier and scarier trail, full of truly bone-chilling stations like the Meat Market and Pitch Black.

    In keeping with Creasey Mahan's mission, there will be events completely free of charge for attendees. These include tethered hot air balloon rides (provided by the event's sponsor, RE/MAX), bouncies, hay rides, face-painting, and, of course, plenty of candy from the treat station. If you simply cannot choose one trail to hike, or one haunted house to wander, the Discount Halloween Pass is available for $15 and allows entrance to every attraction for the whole family.

    Creasey Mahan Nature Preserve is located at 12501 Harmony Lane, in Goshen, Kentucky. Children ages 3 and under are admitted free. Visit the Halloween Harvest Party website for more information and exclusive coupons. The Halloween Harvest Party is sponsored by Papa John's, RE/MAX, Mitchell Orthodontics, Pediatric Dentistry of Prospect, and many more.

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    About Karen Ellestad

    When I was seven and my brother was eight, we both wrote to 'Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?' for a free t-shirt. Two weeks later his arrived in the mail, signed by Carmen Sandiego herself, accompanied by an autographed picture of the cast, an official membership to the 'Gumshoe Club,' and a Rockapella casette tape. I got a postcard.

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