There was a lot more than just the usual things going bump in the night Saturday at the Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden.
The nocturnal critters that usually call the garden home were were joined by dozens of families who packed the 14th annual Things that Go Bump in the Night event, which gave guests rare nighttime access to the garden.
“This is one of our most popular events of the year,” said Pauline Nash, with the garden's Public Relations and Marketing department. “It’s so popular we had to expand it to two nights, Friday and Saturday.”
The event featured a number of educational stations with materials on everything from native owls and snakes to a variety of bugs, including hissing cockroaches.
Youngsters started the journey with a bag of free goodies and a “passport.” They received stamps at each station then turned in their filled passport into garden organizers for prizes.
More than 400 people streamed through the garden on Friday night. Before the end of Saturday night’s event, garden executive director Patrick Larkin said more than 700 visitors had come in.
“People know the garden for its focus on California’s plants,” Larkin said. “But this will bring out a whole other world.”