Enchanted night: Waldorf School presents a guided fairy tale adventure

Imagine your favorite fairy tales coming to life before your very eyes as you slip through a moonlit forest on a chilly late-autumn night. That’s pretty much what’s about to happen when the Enchanted Forest casts its magical spell over Clinton on Oct. 31.

In a charming twist on Halloween, the Whidbey Island Waldorf School is presenting a guided fairy tale adventure on a candlelit pathway that’s full of surprises for little wood-trompers. Though it’s geared to young children from early childhood through fifth grade, the fairy magic is known to pull folks of all ages into the family-friendly adventure.

The fun starts at 4 p.m. and lasts for about two hours, during which the woods rustle and bustle with hidden activity as fairy-tale vignettes are played out by costumed middle school students. With hot cider in hand, the little ones step gingerly onto the path and squeal with delight at every twist and turn.

The stories are a secret until the night arrives, but a sneak preview of forest hints include: “Can you spot the big not-so-bad wolf as he follows you through the woods?” and “Can you follow the breadcrumb trail through the woods to Hansel and Gretel’s cottage?”

Karina Bergen-Voigt from the Waldorf School explains why the school does Halloween a bit differently than usual, while also noting that many of their children take part in traditional trick-or-treating as well, including the downtown Langley Spooktacular event.

“Halloween is chock-a-block with candy and children in costumes,” said Bergen-Voigt. “For this reason, we wanted to present something else. Something unique, something different, an evening of fun that the whole family can enjoy together.”

She also notes that the Enchanted Forest is developmentally and age-appropriate for younger children and avoids the gore, violence and fright often associated with Halloween.

“We are about preserving childhood and like to offer this simpler experience for the children and the whole family,” she said, remembering taking her own child through the Enchanted Forest at age 4. “He was so delighted and thrilled that we had to go back through it four more times. He still talks about it today.”

Costumes are encouraged, giving kids the chance to go through the forest and then on to trick-or-treating or other events that night. A bake sale and hot cider will be available, which are part of the fundraiser for the Waldorf seventh- and eighth-grade field trips.

The Enchanted Forest takes place at 4 p.m. on Oct. 31 at the Whidbey Island Waldorf School at 6335 Old Pietila Road in Clinton. There is a suggested donation of $5 per person or $20 per family. For more information, call 360-341-5686 or email: enrollment@wiws.org.