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Museum of Idaho prepping for Haunted History Tour, offers cool learning opportunities all year long

Idaho Falls

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Adam Forsgren, EastIdahoNew.com

IDAHO FALLS — There’s a chill in the air, the trees are shedding their leaves and nights are getting longer. The Museum of Idaho is getting into the spirit of the season by revealing spooky, sordid Idaho Falls stories the next two weekends on their Haunted History Tour.

Back for its fifth year, the Haunted History Tour is a doorway through which museum staff members lead history lovers into four Idaho Falls locations, revealing the real-life histories of these locations. On top of that, a medium and a ghostologist will join in on the fun, just in case things get supernatural.

“(Haunted History Tour) is so much fun every year,” Chloe Doucette, the museum’s Director of Education, told EastIdahoNews.com. “And it’s an actual learning experience, even though it’s absolutely disguised as some cool Halloween thing you can do.”

The tour has become the museum’s most popular program, so popular in fact that tickets for this year’s tours rapidly sold out.

“Each of the three years I’ve been here, it’s sold out more quickly each year,” said the Museum’s Director of Public Relations Jeff Carr. “We put the tickets out on Oct. 1 at midnight and by 2:00 pm, all 400 were gone. It’s become a hot-ticket item, which is kind of fun for us, that people ask us all year round ‘When are you going to do this? Where are we going to go this year?’”

Courtesy Museum of Idaho

The Haunted History Tour may be sold out for this year, but lovers of learning have plenty of other fun, cool programs throughout the year that can help satisfy their hunger for knowledge.

“Every single month now, we put on a variety of programs aimed at adults and they’re a lot of fun,” Carr said.

The museum’s staff has worked hard over the past several years to create programming that is not only fun but also plays to the full spectrum of ways in which different people learn.

“We want to give people these opportunities to learn in a lot of different ways because we know that not everyone is going to learn by reading a label at a museum,” explained Doucette. “But we also don’t want to make programs that require so much work that they’re really hard to maintain because we want it to be a regular thing that people can come back to all the time.”

One of those programs is “Museum After Dark,” a series of monthly events aimed at more mature themes for adults.

Adam Forsgren, EastIdahoNew.com

“We try to go out of our way to give something to everybody,” said Carr. “We have these things called ‘Slightly Irreverent Tours’ that we do several times a year. We talk about the history of wine and beer and vodka. We do trivia nights. We do all sorts of fun things that try to attract different audiences to come in and learn.”

Other programs the museum offers include “Museum Club,” twice-monthly events for citizens55 and over, and “Little Learners” and “Discovery Day”, which expose children to the wonders of science and introduce them to STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) fields. These events are held on a regular schedule and you can learn more by visiting the Museum of Idaho website.

Both Doucette and Carr hope their programs help the Museum of Idaho become a valuable source for information and learning while also being a fun place to take a date or hang out with friends.

“Our mission is to make learning, whether it’s science or history or whatever it is, relevant to the people in our community or the people that are coming in from out of town,” Doucette said. “The question we get all the time is ‘Why should I care?’ ‘Why does this matter?’ ‘When am I ever going to use this?’ We want to share with people the idea that you may not use this in your job, but you are going to be using this to have a laugh on a Friday night.”

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