Mathers Museum brings Halloween early to local families

Families around Bloomington had the opportunity to enjoy crafts and monstrous games with their children Sunday to celebrate Halloween a day early.

Halloween Family Fun Fest: Monsters, a free event open to the public, rang in the Halloween season with families and community members gathering at the Mathers Museum of World Cultures on Sunday 

The fest included pin the eye on the monster, monster bowling, bean bags through a makeshift haunted house and crafts for the families to make throughout the event. Kids ran around the museum, alternating between trying to pin the eye on the monster and use pipe cleaners to make bats.

Jean Graves, IU professor and volunteer for the fun fest, said there are activities and crafts for all ages with something for everyone.

“Today we’re here celebrating Halloween,” Graves said. “We’re hoping lots of families will turn out and enjoy the museum today.”

Head of Programs and Education Sarah Hatcher said the event has been around for almost 15 years.

She said more than 200 people attended the family fun fest last year.

“It’s a long-standing tradition,” Hatcher said. “We try and provide a variety of crafts that are appropriate for a wide range of ages and then we also have games.”

She said the museum has added two new activities this year, a scavenger hunt for the families to search for items around the museum and a mad scientist demonstration performed by the IU chemistry department.

“In many ways it would be easier if Halloween was on the weekend, but we can’t control the calendar,” Hatcher said. “So this is a nice way of gliding into the holiday.”

The museum puts on multiple events for children each year, including a winter fest in December with different themes every year, she said.

She said outside of herself and her graduate assistant, the event is volunteer-based with members in the community.

Graves said she volunteers every few events throughout the year.

“It’s a really nice way to relax,” Graves said.

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