8 Essential Events for St. Louis Families in October

Halloween may be the ultimate October event for many families, but don’t forget that there are many other kid-friendly events taking place throughout St. Louis this month too. Our top picks for October include:

1. October Owls and Orchids (Tuesdays through Sundays, 10/1-10/31)

October Owls and Orchids returns to the Butterfly House this October for its fifth season of entertaining children and adults alike. From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. every Tuesday through Sunday (and on select Tuesday and Thursday evenings too), don’t miss this opportunity to be surrounded by more than 1,000 owl butterflies and 100 blooming orchids. Owl butterflies are known for the large black and yellow spots on their wings, which bear an uncanny resemblance to the eyes of an owl. It’s the perfect eerie sight for the month of October!

All October Owls and Orchids activities are included with regular Butterfly House admission. Learn more at butterflyhouse.org.

2. Ripley’s Believe It or Not! at the Saint Louis Science Center (Opens 10/1)

You have until January to see this special, three-month exhibition at the Saint Louis Science Center, but when it’s the strange and bizarre world of Robert Ripley on display, can you really wait that long? October is a great time to view some of Ripley’s legendary oddities and anomalies up close, and explore the science that explains the seemingly unexplainable.

Crawl through a life-size replica of the world’s largest snake, see a portrait of Justin Bieber made entirely of candy, “meet” the Alton, IL man who grew to be almost nine feet tall and more. Admission for Saint Louis Science Center members is $6.25 for adults and $5.25 for children and seniors. For non-members, ticket prices are $12.50 for adults; $10.50 for children and seniors. Catch a sneak peek of this amazing exhibit at www.slsc.org/Ripley's-Believe-It-Or-Not.

3. Best of Missouri Market (10/2-10/4)  

The first weekend of the month welcomes the annual Best of Missouri Market, a three-day event at the Missouri Botanical Garden that draws over 25,000 visitors each year. Shop for items like fresh produce, baked goods, fresh and dried flowers, herbs, handcrafted items, wooden toys and custom jewelry from over 120 food and craft vendors and enjoy live music and a Kids’ Corner with various crafts and fall activities.

The Best of Missouri Market is open Friday, Oct. 2 from 6 to 9 p.m. and on Saturday and Sunday Oct. 3 and 4 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (with special members’ only hours on Saturday morning from 8 to 9 a.m.)

Admission for this event – which will take place outdoors under tents, rain or shine – ranges from $5-12. To learn more, visit www.mobot.org.

4. Go! St. Louis Halloween 10K, Fun Run and Costume Contest (10/11)  

Whether you’re ready to run a 10K or just want to take part in a 1-Mile Fun Run, the Go! St. Louis Halloween Race at Soldier’s Memorial on Sunday, Oct. 11 is open to runners and walkers of all ages and abilities. Dress up and compete with more than 5,000 other participants for fun, cash and, yes, pumpkin pies. Kids and families particularly enjoy the 1-Mile Fun Run, but there are 10K, 5K and Half Marathon options too. And no matter which race you enter, be sure to show up in costume, because a costume contest is held at the end of the race.  

For complete details and registration fees, visit gostlouis.org.

5. A Very Eric Carle Breakfast at The Magic House (10/18)

Bring your appetite – for breakfast and books – because this event is all about one very hungry caterpillar! From 9 to 11 a.m. on Sunday, Oct. 18, kids can enjoy a delicious brunch, participate in hands-on activities inspired by Eric Carle’s Very Hungry Caterpillar book collection and have The Magic House to themselves to enjoy some private playtime in the visiting Very Eric Carle exhibit. The cost for A Very Hungry Breakfast is $20/person; $15 for members. Reservations are required and can be made online.

And if you have little people who love big trucks, don’t forget about Big Truck Day at The Magic House on Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 3 and 4. Kids can get up close and personal with a cement mixer, crane, scoop truck and more.   

6. Harvest Festival at Laumeier Sculpture Park (10/18)

Celebrate all that autumn has to offer at the 2015 Harvest Festival at Laumeier Sculpture Park. Fill up on delicious fall foods from St. Louis’ top restaurants, shop a farmers’ market for fresh local produce and locally made arts and crafts, listen to live music, take part in family and kids’ activities and enjoy a (hopefully) gorgeous fall day in Laumeier’s beautiful outdoor setting.

The Harvest Festival takes place on Sunday, Oct. 18 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tickets are $10 for adults; $8 for members and can be purchased at the door or in advance at laumeier.org. Children ages 10 and under can attend for free.

7. Family Hayrides (Select Dates in October)

With so many hayrides taking place during the month of October, it’s impossible to choose just one. From a Haunted Hayride at Eckerts to a History Hayride in Faust Park to a Fall Family Hayride with Bluegrass Music at Jefferson Barracks, these special seasonal events are fun for the entire family. Many area hayrides take place in the evening, but there are a few with daytime options as well, and most are followed by live music, bonfires and the chance to toast your own marshmallows over an open flame. What kid – or adult – can pass up that opportunity?

See a complete list of Fall Hayride Events in St. Louis County here.  

8. MATILDA the Musical at the Fox Theater (10/21 – 11/1)

Your kids have probably read the beloved novel by Roald Dahl (and if not, they should!), so they’re likely to love the musical version – especially if marks their first visit to the Fabulous Fox Theater. Time magazine has named MATILDA the Musical the #1 show of the year, and now is your chance to see this story about one extraordinary little girl on its first national tour.

Show times are Tuesday through Saturday evenings at 7:30 p.m., Saturday afternoons at 2 p.m. and Sunday afternoons at 1 p.m. and 6:30 p.m., with ticket prices ranging from $25 to $88. MATILDA opens Oct. 21 and runs through Nov. 1. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit fabulousfox.com



Photos courtesy of the Saint Louis Science Center and the Fox Theater.

Related Stories:

Top 10 Halloween Events in St. Louis for Families

Fall Into Fun at These Popular St. Louis Pumpkin Patches

How the Teal Pumpkin Project is Making Halloween Safer for Kids with Food Allergies


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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


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