Happily Haunted at Children’s Storybook Garden & Museum

Oct 8, 2022 | 2022 Articles, Arts & Entertainment

by KJ Roberts

The Hanford Children’s Storybook Garden & Museum in Historic Downtown Hanford, CA will host Happily Haunted on October 22, beginning at 5:30 p.m. until 8 p.m. This family event – though designed for the kids’ enjoyment – will be a fun-filled spooky (but not creepy-ghoulish) evening adventure with T-Rex and a pirate as well as contests for kid’s costumes (costumes are not required) and Jack-o’-lanterns. There will, of course, be Trick or Treating, so attendees should bring their own bag or sack to collect goodies.

The event is targeted for children 9 and younger.

The ticket price breakdown is as follow:
Member: $10 child & $5 adults
Non-member: $12 child & $5 adults
Children two (2) and under: Free
Children & adults with disabilities are always admitted free of charge.

Children’s Storybook Garden & Museum
175 E. Tenth Street
Hanford, CA 93230
(559) 500-9966
Storybook is located at the corner of Harris and Tenth streets at 175 E. Tenth Street, one block from the Hanford library and Superior Dairy.

Website: Children’s Storybook Garden & Museum
Email: gardenhanford@gmail[dot]com

Storybook Garden & Museum was the brainchild of Judy Wait, a retired Hanford teacher. She researched and brainstormed her site by visiting children’s gardens throughout the United States before returning home to being work. Storybook is a 501(c)3 non-profit children’s literature-themed botanical garden, farm history museum, field trip destination, and event space in Historic Downtown Hanford. Memberships and venue rental fees help sustain the botanical gardens, the museum, and its ambitious year-round calendar of educational programs for the community. Private Events & Party Rentals are available both during and outside of regular hours.

Peter Rabbit’s Sweater-Coat

“The Garden likes to offer fun seasonal activities and events for the community in addition to the regular educational school field trips. The Garden is great for children to learn about nature and enjoy reading or being read to by their parents,” said Susie Chavez, who coordinates site programs.

The site and its vast array of programs and activities remains debt-free due to an impressive series of donors and sponsorships, and is staffed with an enviable group of over eighty community volunteers. In addition to adult volunteers, those lending a hand include student (ages 13-18) volunteers through the Green Teens Club. They are trained and serve as docents and readers for story times and receive community service hours. A 4-H club tends to some of the gardens, as well as members of World Link Volunteer, a foreign-exchange group.

Seasonal crops were originally planted in the Teaching Garden during an initial field trip, and later groups help tend to the garden and later harvest, clean and prepare the crops. The Tank House, which came along with the Burr House, is used to teach water conservation.

Some of the activities offered include oil and pastel painting, projects with mixed media, clay, jewelry-making, origami, cooking demonstrations, story time, and drop-in days. Activities can be for both children and adults.

“As the Garden has grown we are able to offer more activities now. Especially year round with our new buildings. So far this year we have hosted a fun Peter Rabbit’s Birthday Party, An Easter Bunny Brunch, Red White and Blue Day, Dino Day, A Book Fair, Tea Parties, movie nights, and more,” Chavez said. “We now have space available for children’s birthday parties and even weddings,” the first of which was just held, according to Wait.

“Things are really growing at the Garden. We are hoping to complete our Morning Glory tea house soon so we can host high teas,” said Chavez.

Blue Star Memorial

The original Victorian Burr Home was donated by Bill Clark and serves as the museum and gift shop. It was upgraded with new paint, updated plumbing and electricity as well as heating and air conditioning. It houses various antiques donated by members of the community.

Storybook has been able to hire a couple of employees: an educational director and teaching assistant, who provide expertise for the programs.

Aspects of the site include Peter Rabbit’s Burrow, Mr. McGregor’s House, Charlotte’s Dairy Barn, the Woodland Log Cabin and Garden, a Salsa Garden, the Teaching or Kitchen Garden, Nolan’s Critter Creek & Pond, the Topiary Garden, a Pizza Garden, the Three Little Pigs homes, and Monet’s House. Each garden has unique elements to explore, with adjoining book boxes containing books pertaining to the inspiration for each feature.

Any area school can schedule a field trip/tour as well as clubs and other groups.

Storybook is also open to the public.
Hours:Mon-Fri: 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.Saturday: 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.Sundays: Closed

Check out more local Halloween events on KRL’s Halloween and Fall Festival event page!

KJ Roberts was conceived in San Francisco, but born in Hanford, where her extended family farmed. She is a UCLA alum, has skied in five continents, loves to travel, cook, knit and spend time with her cats.


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