Halloween 2010 (Creatures of the Night)

So this year is the first Halloween for my kids who were born in the Dominican Republic and I’m going to miss it. Didn’t have a choice really — our long awaited visa interview is scheduled for 6am Nov. 3rd. I was going to fly out Nov. 1 but tickets jumped up $200 from the 31st. So… this year everything is on a budget and I need to think of another solution.

One of my favorite attractions in St. Augustine, Florida where I now live is the Alligator Farm. It is a wonderfully laid out zoo with a focus on alligators and crocodiles. They have a boardwalk which goes over a large pool of water frequented by numerous egrets and full, just full of alligators. You can walk over the boardwalk and know just a few feet below you are hundreds of alligators swimming about. That is cool.

So when I saw the advertisement for trick or treating at the Alligator Farm I thought this was the answer. I would miss the official Halloween but make up for it by taking the kids to this and that is what we did.

What an amazing experience… just before nightfall we go there with kids in costume: Elsa as Sleeping Beauty and Marcos as a skeleton. A line of kids in a  range of costumes with antsy parents went around the block. But the line moved quickly and once we got in we got to see up close so many alligators, birds, snakes and more. The kids loved it.

Along the way they had stops with snack giveaways for the kids and an animal for a touch and see experience. There was a turtle, two snakes, baby alligator, iguana and tarantula (that wasn’t touched).

The highlight was the underwater viewing of Maximo, their giant saltwater crocodile. When we first got to the underwater tank he had his head out of the water and we could only see his massive body and tail but then he turned around and the next time I looked he was coming right towards me, looking at me. He came as close as the glass would permit and then opened his jaws, eyes gleaming. I will never forget it.

What a wonderful way to celebrate Halloween with some truly marvelous creatures!

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