Halloween falls on a Wednesday this year, which means that the majority of St. Louis kids will spend the day in school — most of them eagerly anticipating the glorious night of trick-or-treating ahead (and ignoring their teacher’s desperate but futile attempts to squeeze in any actual learning).
It also means that, since Halloween falls on a school night, parents will most likely be forced to cut the evening’s festivities short, thanks to that pesky little nuisance known as bedtime.
The good news? There’s one more weekend left before Halloween, and it’s the perfect time for St. Louis families to celebrate the holiday in style. With all the events the St. Louis area has to offer this weekend, you’re sure to find one -- or several -- that will make your Halloween “spook”-tacular!
Boo Bash at the St. Louis Carousel in Faust Park
What child (or adult) can resist the promise of a Halloween-themed puppet show and unlimited carousel rides? You’ll find both at this year’s Boo Bash at the St. Louis Carousel in Faust Park. The event takes place on the evening of Friday, October 26, with a puppet show starting at 5 p.m. and unlimited rides on the St. Louis Carousel – which will be specially decorated for Halloween – lasting until 7 p.m.
Tickets for this family-friendly event are $7 in advance and $9 at the door, and can be purchased by calling (314) 615-8383. Doors open at 4:45 p.m., so be sure to arrive early for the best seats!
The Haunted Hayloft at Purina Farms
Don’t let the name fool you -- The Haunted Hayloft at Purina Farms is a perfect source of not-so-scary Halloween entertainment. Enjoy trick-or-treating in the hayloft, magic shows, canine performances, and face painting, and don’t forget to wear your costume! Children 12 and under can enter a Costume Contest for a chance to win a $25 Purina Farms gift card.
The Haunted Hayloft will be open to little ghouls and goblins on Friday, October 26 and Saturday, October 27 from 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., and on Sunday, October 28 from 2:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Admission is FREE (parking is $5/car), but reservations are required by calling (314) 982-3232. And you can save $1 on parking by texting PFARMS to 313131.
Boo at the Zoo Spooky Saturday
Get your trick-or-treating in during daylight hours with Boo at the Zoo Spooky Saturday. On Saturday, October 27 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., your favorite costumed cuties are invited to the St. Louis Zoo for a free day of crafts, games, and safe trick-or-treating along the Pumpkin Trail. The best part? You’ll be home in plenty of time for bedtime.
For more information about Boo at the Zoo Spooky Saturday (and the Boo at the Zoo Nights which continue nightly through October 30) visit the zoo’s website.
Grant’s Farm Halloween Celebration
Get in the Halloween spirit with an evening visit to the Grant’s Farm Halloween Celebration. From 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. (no admittance after 9 p.m.) on Thursday, October 25 through Saturday, October 27, take a moonlit tram ride through the decorated Deer Park, visit with Halloween characters, and see your favorite animals in the dark. Admission to the Grant’s Farm Halloween Celebration is free, but parking is $20/car. Adults over 21 get two free beer samples – which may or may not be why this event proves to be so popular among parents.
Note: Grant’s Farm has been one of my absolute favorite St. Louis destinations since I was about 8 years old, but the huge crowds and long lines made it difficult for my family to enjoy this event this year. If you go, plan to arrive as early as possible, and be aware that food sales (and the all-important samples of free beer) shut down just after 9:30 p.m.
Not-So-Haunted House at the Magic House
At the Not-So-Haunted House at the Magic House, kids are invited to wear their Halloween costumes, go trick-or-treating, and get autographs from some of their favorite storybook characters. Older children (ages 5-14) can also twist and turn through the darkened mazes of the Haunted Trail. The Not-So-Haunted House takes place on Saturday, October 27 from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Sunday, October 28 from 11:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and is free with regular museum admission.
Children’s Garden Closing Weekend
The Doris I. Schnuck Children’s Garden is about to shut down for the season, but not before one final fall hurrah! Not into the ghosts and goblins of Halloween? Then head to the Missouri Botanical Gardens to celebrate autumn at the Children’s Garden Closing Weekend.
On Saturday, October 27 and Sunday, October 28 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., families can gather fall bouquets, plant daffodil bulbs, make seed packets, sample food from the edible garden, and more. Fall-themed face painting will also be available. All activities are included with the cost of Children’s Garden admission; for more information on pricing, visit www.mobot.org.
Looking for even more fall fun? Be sure to visit the Things To Do section for more family-friendly events taking place throughout the St. Louis area this weekend.
By Alyssa Chirco, Smart Mama blogger for SmartParenting
Alyssa Chirco is a freelance writer, mother and margarita lover, not necessarily in that order. In addition to writing for STL Parent, she is Contributing Editor at Parenting Squad, and covers parenting, health and lifestyle topics for publications across the country. She recently moved from the suburbs of St. Louis to a small town in rural Jefferson County, where she is learning to survive with no Target or Starbucks in sight. Follow her on Twitter @AlyssaChirco