Fall festivals return to MurrayOct 04, 2021 02:02PM ● By Shaun Delliskave
The entrance to the Haunted Wood’s “Spooky Trail.” (Photo courtesy Sheri Van Bibber)
By Shaun Delliskave | [email protected]
With the return of fall colors also comes fall festivals that were absent last year. Murray’s perennial “Haunted Woods” and Wheeler Farm’s “Pumpkin Days” are back, except with COVID precautions.
Some people report a ghost lives in the woods of Murray Park, and during three days in October, there is a good chance you will spot one at the “Haunted Woods.” The annual event is hosted by the Salt Lake City-area Exchange Clubs, and all proceeds go toward the fight against child and domestic abuse in Utah. The “Haunted Woods” runs Oct. 25-27 at Murray Park. The not-scary, kid-friendly “Silly Trail” will run from 6-7 p.m. each night. Then, from 7-9 p.m. each night, the “Spooky Trail” will open for the more thrill-seeking guests.
“There are three Exchange Clubs across the valley (Taylorsville, Murray, and Bonneville) that help with the Murray Chamber of Commerce to support all the haunting that will be going on before, during, and after. And we have Murray High student clubs filling the woods, along with clubs from Skyline, American Prep, Granger, and West High Schools,” Exchange Club representative Cheri Van Bibber said.
New in 2021, each night of the event will feature a unique theme. For example, Monday is Superhero Night, Tuesday is Disney Night, and Wednesday is Star Wars Night.
Admission is $5 per person or $20 for families of five. Kids three years old and under get in free. Tickets are sold as timed ticket reservations, available online through Ticketleap. There are a limited number of tickets available for each half-hour time slot, and organizers expect that time slots will sell out.
Also included in admission is a doughnut and hot chocolate at the end of the trail. New in 2021, refreshments can be enjoyed in the remodeled Pavilion 5 or around the bonfire in Murray Park’s giant outdoor fireplace. Masks and social distancing encouraged.
Tickets and information are available at www.hauntedwoodsmurray.com.
October is not complete without visiting a pumpkin patch, and as Linus from the “Great Pumpkin” might declare, Wheeler Farm’s is the most sincere. “Pumpkin Days” runs from Sept. 24 through Oct. 31, Monday-Thursday: 11a.m.-8 p.m., Friday and Saturday: 9 a.m.-9 p.m, and Sunday: 9 a.m.-4 p.m. The $10 admission includes the playland and straw maze, a cow train, or a wagon ride.
“Our annual crowd favorite is back this year and better than ever. We will have a straw maze, corn pit, pedal tractor track, and more,” Wheeler Farm Program Coordinator Jane Wylie said.
Guests can visit the not-so-scary pumpkin patch and purchase their own pre-carved jack-o-lantern. They can also hop aboard a tractor-drawn wagon ride around the outer rim of the farm. The tour pulls you through Wheeler Woods. Wagon rides are wheelchair accessible.
The straw maze allows parents to watch children, just in case the maze proves too tricky. Children can also immerse themselves under bushels of maize in the corn pit. Finally, the cow train tows children behind a small tractor in an individual wagon decorated as a cow.
More information is available at www.slco.org/wheeler-farm/events/pumpkin-days/
Dog Dayz in the Maze
On Oct. 25, Wheeler’s “Pumpkin Days” literally goes to the dogs from 5-8 p.m.
“Here’s the scoop. You and your pup will enjoy our ‘Pumpkin Days’ Event and a trick or treat bag for your pet. Hone in your pup’s directional skills to find your way through the straw bale maze and enjoy a fall wagon ride. Your pup will also get to trick or treat down our Vendor Alley. While this is not a costume contest, please feel free to come in your finest Halloween attire,” Wylie said.
This event is pre-registration only at www.slco.org/wheeler-farm/events/dog-days-in-the-maze/.
Wrapping up fall and getting you in the mood for the holidays, Wheeler Farm invites local artisans and crafters to the big barn for a holiday market. This event is free and runs Nov. 26-28 Friday, 5-8 p.m., Saturday and Sunday 9 a.m.-5 p.m.