Thursday, October 7, 2010
October 1-30, 2010
3606 W. Center Street in Provo
$7 per person or $28 per family
Mon. – Thurs. 6:30-9:00pm
Fri. and Sat. 6:30-10:00pm
Rainstorms whipped through Provo during the day, but by nightfall, the clouds had cleared and it was a perfect night to navigate by starlight, so we three intrepid travelers ventured down to the Provo River to take the Halloween Cruise sponsored by CLAS Ropes course. Cruises leave every half hour, and we’d just missed the 8:30 boat, so we settled down on the wooden benches to wait for their last cruise at 9:00. While the outdoor set up is fun and festive it is not heated, so we were grateful for the lap blankets we’d brought along.
By the time our pirate captain came stalking down the tree-lined lane to fetch us, it was evident that we’d be his only cargo. However, he was more than happy to take us out on the river for a private ride. The real attraction of this cruise is its amazing ambiance. This isolated stretch of the river is overhung with tree branches and is practically pitch black, but strings of Halloween lights and one hundred lit pumpkins keep the ghosts at bay.
Our captain regaled us with a recitation of The Cremation of Sam McGee. He also warned us that the river was guarded by a fearsome pirate who didn’t care for trespassers. Right on cue, our pirate made an impressive attempt to board the vessel by swinging down from a tree on a rope. However, he failed to clear the river, so he quickly jumped into a canoe and came after us. Turns out he simply wanted to share some candy and a few pirate jokes. (Hint: a pirate’s favorite letter is not “R.”)
The 25-minute cruise is mild, enjoyable entertainment, perfect for young kids. This would make an excellent family activity. The atmosphere is slightly spooky without being scary—no werewolves jumping out from behind trees or chainsaw-wielding drama students. Floating down a dark river lit with pumpkins is a novelty that most children will enjoy, and it’s a variation from the usual land-locked Halloween activities (i.e. trick or treating and haunted houses).
I’d recommend going around 7:00 or 7:30. The later it gets, the darker it gets, and little children might get spooked by some of the Halloween decorations. Dress warmly, and if you have individuals prone to getting cold, bring along a blanket. It’s cold on the river, so having a thermos of hot chocolate or apple cider waiting in the car would be ideal.