The Lehnis Railroad Museum in Brownwood is celebrating Halloween every Saturday this month with a game of scavenger hunt bingo, featuring spooky symbols hidden throughout the museum.
    Children who visit the museum will receive a four-by-four Halloween-themed bingo card with symbols corresponding to hidden items. Children who find the items and check off a row of the card can redeem it at the front desk for a bag of candy. Hidden symbols and items include candy corn, a pumpkin, an owl, a ghost, a witch’s hat, a spider web and a piece of candy.
    Beverly Norris is the curator of the Lehnis Railroad Museum. She said she created scavenger hunt bingo as a fun game for all ages to play at the museum.    
    “We’re always looking for fun and new ways to engage visitors of every age,” Norris said. “This was a nice thing because even children so young that they can’t read yet can identify with the visuals and be able to play the game and be part of the museum.”
    Museum employee and Howard Payne history major Dustin Crawford said the program was designed to engage the community.
    “We’re trying to promote ourselves a little more and get some more visitors in,” Crawford said. “This is something that will appeal to the younger crowd. Something interactive, something fun.”
    Norris said the museum was always a hit with kids and spoke to their inherent interest in trains.
    “The topic itself just fascinates the youngest children from toddlers on,” Norris said. “They love trains.”
    The Lehnis Railroad Museum was built in 2007 and houses the personal collection of the late Martin Lehnis, a railroad employee.
    “He collected through the years as he saw the old steam trains going away,” Norris said. “He kept everything.”
    Norris said the history of the railroad was vital to understanding Brownwood and the American West.
    “We still have about 15 freight trains a day go through Brownwood,” Norris said. “A lot of the industry in Brownwood depends on rail service, so the railroad is still really a part of our lives, but it was also very much a foundation of how the country was built.”
    The museum features a salvaged caboose, a Pullman car, an old train depot, various artifacts from the era and a collection of working model trains on miniature landscapes. Several bingo clues could be seen hiding among the miniature train sets.
    The museum also has a designated area for kids to interact.
    “We do have a play area in the back of the museum where children can build their own railroads,” Norris said. “They really enjoy the hands-on aspect of that.”
    Scavenger hunt bingo will be available at the museum every Saturday in October from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The museum’s Mini-Train, available to ride for kids and adults, will also operate on Saturdays during the same hours. Admission to the Lehnis Railroad Museum is $3 for adults and $2 for children over five, while younger kids get in free.