This fall, get up close and personal with some creepy crawlies–and we’re not talking about that line of ants in the backyard! The Tarantula Trek on Mount Diablo in Walnut Creek takes advantage of the tarantula’s mating season (early fall) to give families a unique opportunity to experience these fear-inducing creatures in their natural habitat. Explore Mount Diablo, get some exercise, and maybe even hold a tarantula–it’s bound to be a unique and fun day.

When to go: September 29 and October 6, 4:30-7:30 pm.

What to do: Gather up the kids and head to Walnut Creek for the 1-2 mile hike. Keep an open mind as naturalist Michael Marchiano dispels many of the commonly believed myths about tarantulas (hey, maybe they’re not as vicious as everyone says!). For your little scientist’s sake, explain that the animals shouldn’t be touched unless an experienced adult gives the okay. By the end of the hike, you’ll be able to identify not only tarantulas themselves but also their burrows–talk about a practical lesson!

How to dress: Hiking boots are a must, plus loose clothing for maximum mobility during the hike.

Need to know: The hike is best suited for kids 7 and up, but younger kids can also participate if they’re up for it. We suggest that if you’re bringing the tots, putting them in a carrier, which provides easy transport for them and a bit of exercise for you. Also note that it’s a 1-2 mile hike, so consider your kid’s skill level before committing. There are only 20 spaces per hike, so call 925-947-3535 or email smdinfo@savemountdiablo.org to reserve your spot.

Cost: $10 per car.

Online: savemountdiablo.org/Activities_HikeSchedule.htm

Is your kid a fan of the creepy crawlies? Fill us in below!

— Susie Foresman

photos courtesy of Save Mount Diablo

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