BENTON TOWNSHIP – Visitors will be able to take a train ride and roast marshmallows over the next two weekends at Eden Springs Park at House of David.
Described as “creepy” and not spooky, the House of David is accepting guests for this year’s Halloween model train rides.
“We strive to make it a new experience every year, so we revamp things,” said volunteer Cindi Nowlen. “You will never see groupings in the same place twice.”
Even though there are a lot of ghosts and skeletons, she said it was family friendly.
The park, which is located at 739 M-130 in Benton Township, is open for train rides from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and Sunday and October 29 and 30. The cost of a train ride is $4, cash only.
“We have hot apple cider and hot chocolate and cotton candy, caramel corn, caramel apples, food and drink,” said volunteer Cindy Eisenhart. “We have a bubble maker here and the kids have fun walking around here looking for bubbles.”
That’s in addition to a bonfire and s’more kits, she said.
Nowlen said train rides have the same entrance on M-139, but a new parking area is based on the left of the driveway which is marked with a sign.
The Christmas train rides will be available for three weekends, 4-8pm, December 3-4, December 10-11, and December 17-18.
Brothers Mark and Victor Smith said they had volunteered at the park for years. Victor Smith said they are the ones who keep the tracks clear of debris, especially after windstorms.
As young children, Mark Smith said they used to get ice cream at the House of David’s Britain Avenue depot on Sundays during the summer.
“Then my dad would follow the train in his car until we couldn’t go any further,” he said. “Then we would wait and follow him the other way and then we would go home.”
Her brother added that they also liked to watch the train.
“We had the windows down and that was the coolest thing,” said Victor Smith.
A few times over the summer, he said their father would let them get on the train.
Earlier this year, Nowlen said the park had been recognized by the state as a historic site. Now she said they are applying for national status so they can hopefully start applying for grants.
She said they were working on renovating the old lion house so that shows could be held there.
More information can be found on their Facebook page, Eden Springs Park at House of David.