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Scared? Head to the woods
Elachees Family Fall fest is Saturday
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Elachee Nature Science Center Family Fall Festival

When: 2-5 p.m. Saturday

Where: Elachee Nature Science Center, 2125 Elachee Drive, Gainesville

Tickets: $3 per person for Elachee members; $5 for nonmembers. Children younger than 2, free.

More info: 770-535-1976

Experience autumn in all its glory this weekend in Chicopee Woods as Elachee Nature Science Center introduces the Family Fall Festival. Load up the kids and come to Elachee for a fun and educational afternoon - a non-scary, natural alternative to traditional Halloween events scheduled for 2-5 p.m. Saturday.

A falcon and a Eurasian eagle-owl named "Kratos" will be the stars of the day as master falconer Debbie Tennyson, a bird handler and trainer for Medieval Times, will be on hand to share her knowledge of birds of prey and demonstrate her expertise. Tennyson has 18 years combined experience with birds of prey in the field of education, falconry, rehabilitation and exhibition.

There also will be two performances by the Woopets - of the Wooten Performance Company. Ranging from finger-size to larger than life, Woopets are puppets that are entertaining to all ages. Woopets dance, sing, play music, dramatize myths and legends and perform original skits.

Be sure to save time to meet (and collect treats) from costumed animal characters and learn about animals' lives in the Chicopee Woods. Kids can have their face painted with their favorite animal and make an autumn-themed craft to take home.

The Elachee Nature Shop will be open with a variety of nature-oriented gifts. Pizza, soft drinks and more will be available for sale. Guests are invited to wear their favorite costume.

One of the largest greenspaces in the state, Chicopee Woods Nature Preserve features four diverse habitats - woodland, lake, stream and wetland.