8 spooky (and not so spooky) Halloween activities around Eastern Jackson County

By The Examiner staff
Missouri Town 1855 in Fleming Park near Blue Springs brings to life the frontier days just before the Civil War. But ghosts? An event Saturday will explore that notion.

Are there ghosts at Missouri Town 1855? With Halloween falling on the weekend, that's just one of many things to be explored at events across Eastern Jackson County.

Most events are free. Some require signing up in advance. They include: 

• Paranormal Investigation at Missouri Town 1855: 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. and 7:30 to 9 p.m. Saturday, Missouri Town, 8010 E. Park Road, Lee's Summit. 

The site is a re-creation of pre-Civil War frontier life, but Jackson County, which operates the site, points out that it’s made of buildings and artifacts with their own histories. 

So what about ghosts? Trained ghost hunters will help participants search for paranormal activity. Advance reservations are required and may be purchased at https://www.makeyourdayhere.com/Event-Calendar/Paranormal-Investigation-at-Missouri-Town-1855. 

For further information, call the visitor center at 816-524-8770. 

 Trail or Treat: 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., Friday, Butterfly Trail Park, Grain Valley. A family-friendly event with treats along the trail. There will be a haunted hayride and a gruesome graveyard. 

 Enchanted Forest: 7 to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday, George Owens Nature Park, 1601 S. Speck Road, Independence. An outdoor family-friendly, stroller-friendly Halloween celebration where storybook, fairytale and popular characters come to life. 

More:Enchanted Forest returns to Independence's George Owens Park

If you are in line by 9 p.m., you will be able to enter the forest. Admission is $3 per person. Please no alcohol, no smoking, no pets, no weapons. Call 816-325-7115 for further information. 

• Spooky Springs: 6 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Wilbur Young Park, 1200 S.E. Adams Dairy Parkway, Blue Springs. Food trucks, vendors, ghouls and ghosts, trick or treat, crafts and games. There will also be a “spooky trail.” 

Entrance is free. There is a $15 fee (cash) at the door for a pumpkin-decorating event for children ages 2 to 10, as long as supplies last.  

There will also be a Ghouls and Ghost Hunt (similar to an Easter egg hunt) for children to find candy-filled ghosts. 

• Spooky Nature Clue Trail: 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday, Burr Oak Woods Conservation Nature Center, 1401 N.W. Park St., Blue Springs, 816-228-3766. All ages; no registration needed. Search for clues to guide you on a unique exploration while meeting costumed and real-life creepy critters along the trail. 

The total walking distance is about one mile. Start at the Missouri Tree Trail trailhead to pick up a clue sheet. Staff will be at various stations with “creepy” critters to help guide you.   

• The Independence Halloween Parade: 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, starting at the corner of Walnut and Pleasant, will continue around the Independence Square, and end at McCoy Park. 

More:Halloween parade returns to the Independence Square

• Dark Forest at Powell Gardens: 7 to 11 p.m., Thursday through Sunday, 1609 U.S. 50, Kingsville, about 20 minutes east of Lee’s Summit. This event is from a partnership between Powell Gardens and Quixotic Dancers. The doors open at 5 p.m. for refreshments. This is a journey through a magical landscape brimming with performances, music and creative technology. This event might be a little spooky for young children. To buy tickets and to get further information, visit https://powellgardens.org/  

• Boo At the Zoo: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at the Kansas City Zoo, 6800 Zoo Drive, Kansas City. A not-so-scary event at which kids can come in costume and enjoy safe trick-or-treat. Bags will be provided. 

There will also be a dance party with DJ Joe, a pint-sized hay maze, and pedal tractors. Th animals will receive “pumpkin enrichment” too. Buys tickets at the door or  at https://www.kansascityzoo.org/tickets-and-pricing/