Fall Family Time in Western Kentucky

By Misti Sandefur

It’s almost time friends… the decorations are coming out of storage as everyone is preparing for Christmas. Personally, Christmas is my favorite holiday, because it’s a time when we celebrate the birth of our savor, Jesus Christ. Christmas is also a time for families to gather and feast on turkey, ham, sweet potatoes, pumpkin pies, and much more. Mmmm… my mouth is watering just thinking about it.

There’s more to Christmas than gifts, decorations, untangling lights and family gatherings, it’s also a time for you to have some blissful “family time.” Pull your children and your hubby away from the video games and tell them it’s “family time.” Drag out the Christmas lights, make sure they work, and begin decorating your home for Christmas. As time ticks by, you might find yourself in the holiday spirit, so pop a Christmas CD into the stereo and sing along as you decorate.

Another activity you can enjoy with your family is crafts. How about sitting down together and making a beautiful Christmas wreath to add to your decor. Here’s how you and your family can create that beautiful Christmas Wreath…

What you need:

One wire coat hanger
Several boxes of small sandwich bags (not the ziplock kind)
Big red bow or red ribbon
Super glue


1. Without taking apart or disturbing the hook (you’ll need that to hang the project later), simply mold the triangular area of a wire coat hanger into a circle. Parents should probably do this so the younger children don’t get any ideas or hurt themselves.

2. Cut down the sides of each sandwich bag so it turns into one long, wide strip (similar to a cheese slice after it has been opened). For the younger kids that can’t use scissors, they can help by tearing down the sides of the sandwich bags if they’re careful.

3. Tie each bag into any kind of knot onto the circular area of the hanger. Be sure to pull the knot tight, and have the ends on separate sides of the hanger. Also, make sure you keep the baggies close together — push them together to fill in gaps as needed. You will need a ton of baggies (close to 200). The cheapest ones you can find are fine and still look just as nice.

4. Super glue one red bow at the top (centered). If you’re really creative, you can use ribbon to make your own red bow for the top. Parents should super glue the bow so the younger children don’t super glue themselves.

Once the project is completed, you will have a very cute Christmas reef that’s ready to hang on any nail or doorknob. It will last for years!

When you’re tired of being indoors, take the family outdoors and enjoy some of the festivities around the Western Kentucky area.

Have you ever worked through a maze on paper? Were you good at finding your way to the finish line? Opening September 16, test your maze skills off paper at the Corn Crop Human Maze event held every Saturday night… and Halloween night (5:00 p.m. – 10:30 p.m.).

At the Corn Crop Human Maze (beside Murray State University), you can attempt to find your way through six acres of 10 feet tall corn stalks that twists and turns for two miles. The occasion also includes activities, drawings and giveaways. For more information call 270-887-4290.

Beginning on September 29 Owensboro will celebrate fall with their fifth annual Pumpkin Fest. The town has loads of fun planned. There will be games for the children, a carnival, raffles, a motorcycle show, musical entertainment, pumpkin relay races, a challenge for scrapbookers and so much more. To find out more visit their Web site (http://www.owensboropumpkinfest.org).

The small community of Hazel, Kentucky will host its 17th Annual Hazel Day Celebration. The Hazel Day Celebration (http://www.hazelky.com/hazeldayrelease.htm) is held to commemorate their past and present. While there, you can view old photographs and memorabilia. Furthermore, there will be free horse and buggy rides, an open car show, an old-fashioned cakewalk, a washer pitching tournament, musical entertainment, pumpkin and face painting, train rides for the kids, a dunking booth, parade, quilt auction, antique tractor display, sorghum milling and a whole lot more!

The Aurora Country Festival takes places on the Kentucky Lake in Aurora. The festival starts on Friday, October 6 and ends on Sunday, October 8. Your family can enjoy sorghum squeezing, cooking, a talent contest, vendors, a parade (Saturday), a game of Bingo, free entertainment, country music, juried crafts, demonstrators and more. To find out more about this annual festival call 270-703-6060.

Gather the family for some good old-fashioned fun at Campfire Tales. Campfire Tales is held at the Nature Station in Western Kentucky. You and your family will gather around a fire to roast marshmallows and hear stories told by Letitia Usher. The hosts ask that you bring along a flashlight and blankets or lawn chairs so you’ll be comfortable. Moreover, there’s also a fee of $3/$4.50 per person. To make reservations call 270-924-2020.

For many years, Trigg County has been known for their country hams, and on Oct. 20 -22, 1977 they decided to hold their first annual Trigg County Country Ham Festival. Because the festival was successful, and has grown over the years, Trigg County continues to hold this annual event.

This year’s Trigg County Country Ham Festival will commence October 13 and come to an end on October 15. You can enjoy a petting zoo, vendors, food, rides and much more. Oh yes, we can’t forget the delicious ham. Therefore, before you leave be sure to sample the ham that the county is well-known for. For more information about the festival — including the festival’s history — visit their Web site (http://www.hamfestival.com/).

On October 21 is the Little Spooky Spooks festival at Kenlake State Resort. Dress in your spookiest costume and head for Kenlake State Resort for some frightening family fun. There will be spooky animals, a storyteller spinning scary tales, candy and refreshments. In addition to all this, your family can also create a unique craft. Everyone is welcome!

Also on October 22 is the Haunted Hallway Trail at Kenlake. If you and your family are up for a scare, you may want to inquire about this event while at the Little Spooky Spooks festival. For additional information call 800-325-0143, or e-mail Kenlake@ky.gov.

What does fall bring to mind? Hayrides, of course! At the Nature Station in the Land Between the Lakes, you and your family can experience an old-fashioned fall hayride through the woods. Led by staff, the fall hayride will include activities, games and nature-viewing opportunities for all ages! The hayride takes place on November 11 (9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.).

Dress your family for the weather and head to the Nature Station. $2 per person; register at the front desk on that day. Trips will depart throughout the day.

On Halloween night, some churches in the Paducah area will be hosting safe events for families with children. Lone Oak First Baptist Church has a Family Fun Festival. Lone Oak will feature several inflatable games including “Adrenaline Rush,” “Titanic Giant Slide” and “Moon Walk.” There will also be a basketball shoot, football throw, “Mouse House” putt-putt golf, Duck Pond, Grab-a-Pumpkin, Hit Me in the Kisser, Face Painting, Pit of Doom, Ring Toss and etc. Candy, balloons, popcorn and soft drinks are all free. As usual, they will also have a “Trunk or Treat” with hot-rod cars, antique cars and decorated vehicles.

At Lone Oak Church of Christ there is a Community Trunk of Treats with over 200 car trunks for trick-or-treating. (Lone Oak will be getting a lot of candy.)

Halloween Safe Night for Kids at Mt. Zion Baptist Church features a “Flashlight” Trick-or-Treat. For those of you nearer to Mayfield, check out the Trace Creek Baptist Church in Mayfield. They will be hosting Fun Night and will be offering games with prizes, a dunking booth, hayride, puppet show and more. This is designed for children through the sixth grade, but games and activities will also be provided for the very young. Each child attending will receive plenty of candy! Costumes are welcome, but as this is for younger children, please don’t dress as ghosts, goblins, witches or other scary costumes.

Get into the Christmas spirit at the Pennyrile Polar Express & Downtown Christmas Tree Lighting (free) event on December 9 — 4:00 p.m. to 6:45 p.m. 15 minutes before the event ends the tree lighting will take place at the Founder’s Square in Hopkinsville. For more than one hour, you and your family can enjoy stories, carriage rides, crafts, miniature trains and a whole lot more.
Location: E. Ninth Street between the L&N Depot and Founder’s Square.

Mark your calendars for Christmas in the Park at Kenlake State Resort Park! Area homemaker groups will be decorating Christmas trees in the upper lobbies, Santa will pay a visit to the kids, and there will be crafts, pictures, cookies and punch. Call 270-474-2211 to find out more.
Date: Dec. 10, 2006.

At last, does your family get a feeling of excitement when they think about haunted houses? Then you should definitely mark your calendars for a couple of the haunted house adventures in the Western Kentucky area!

Scream Fest 2006 will be on October 6 – 8, 13 – 15, 20 – 22 and 27 – 31. The location is in Paducah at Talon Falls Haunted Screampark, and as the name implies, it is sure to leave you screaming! If you survive the Screampark and think you can handle more, try the Dead End Haunted House located on I-24, exit 7, west of highway 62, six miles on left. Watch for the skull sign! To visit both the Screampark and the Dead End Haunted House the ticket price will be $20, but bring a Pepsi can or flyer and you get a discount. Portions of the proceeds go to benefit the West Kentucky Crime Stoppers, Child Watch, and West Kentucky Community and Technical College Scholarship fund. This years theme: “Crypt of the Vampire” — home of the un-dead.

For show times, pictures and other information visit the Scream Fest Web site (http://www.talonfalls.com).

Looking for a more original haunt with Ogres, Goblins and Killer Clowns? On Friday and Saturday nights starting in October, Oller’s Oddities Circus of Monsters, located at the old Gold’s Gym building near Kentucky Oaks in Paducah will give you that haunting amusement. Proceeds go to benefit Western Kentucky Easter Seals.

That brings to an end the fall fun that awaits you in the Western Kentucky area. Monday I will cover the Indiana area.

If there’s an area you would like me to cover — an area I’ve not done yet — let me know the area by posting your comment and I’ll cover it for you. If you’d rather not mention an area or events in the comment area, then you can send your request or event information to me via fax. My toll-free fax number is 866-653-9818. Be safe and enjoy the time with your family!

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