Halloween falls on a Saturday this year, which means that your kids will have a full day to celebrate this haunted holiday. But don’t limit yourself to just one day of celebration! With so many family-friendly Halloween events taking place in St. Louis during the month of October, your little ghosts and goblins have tons of opportunities to show off those costumes and collect plenty of tasty treats.
Here are our top 10 Halloween picks for St. Louis families in 2015:
1. Halloween at Grant’s Farm. Ride through a decorated Deer Park, listen to music in the Bauernhof and see special themed shows, in addition to enjoying all of your regular Grant’s Farm favorites. Halloween at Grant’s Farm takes place on select evenings in October from 6 to 9 p.m. Parking is $20 per car; walk-ins will be charged $5 per person. Children under the age of 2 are free.
2. Not-So Haunted House at the Magic House. Are your kids ready to go trick-or-treating at The Magic House? They’re invited to dress in their most “boo-tiful” Halloween costumes and trick-or-treat through four levels of this more than 100-year-old Not-So Haunted House. Along the way, they’ll have the opportunity to meet and get autographs from storybook characters from The Wizard of Oz, Harry Potter, Peter Pan, Alice in Wonderland and more.
The Not-So Haunted House takes place Oct. 23-25 and Oct. 30-Nov. 1. The event is free with regular museum admission.
3. Science Spooktacular at the Saint Louis Science Center. Science gets spooky at the Saint Louis Science Center on Thursday, Oct. 29 from 5 to 8 p.m. Spell-binding science is the name of the game at this annual Halloween party, where visitors can get spooked in the Haunted Lab, see pumpkins fall from the Highest Floor of the Science Center, observe the First Quarter Moon through a telescope, see Halloween-themed movies in the OMNIMAX Theater and more.
General admission for the Science Spooktacular is free, though fees may apply for some activities. Kids are encouraged to come in costume. (Anyone over the age of 12 is asked not to wear a mask.) Additional information can be found at slsc.org.
4. Booterflies Halloween Party at the Butterfly House. From creepy critters to beautiful butterflies, the Booterflies Halloween Party at the Butterfly House on Saturday, Oct. 24 from 5 to 7 p.m. features spooktacular fun with some pretty amazing creatures. Kids will get to spy on insects, spiders and Owl Butterflies, and then play games, make crafts and visit special Treat Houses located throughout the butterfly garden.
Reservations are required for this event and can be made at butterflyhouse.org. The cost is $8/person; $4/person for members of the Missouri Botanical Garden. Admission to the Butterfly House, activities, crafts, treats and goodie bags are all included.
5. CAM Family Day Block Party. You probably have plans for Halloween night, but if you’re wondering how to spend your day, look no further than the CAM Family Day Block Party. On Saturday, Oct. 31 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., join the Contemporary Art Museum, the Pulitzer Arts Foundation and the Sheldon Concert Hall for face painting, storytelling, art activities, live performances and more – and be sure to wear your costume!
All Family Day activities are free and open to the public. Most are geared towards children ages 3-12. To learn more, visit camstl.org.
6. Monsters on the Meadows. Trick-or-treating, pumpkin painting, hayrides, balloon art and even live Bluegrass music are scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 24 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at The Meadows in Lake St. Louis. And – its name aside – Monsters on the Meadows promises to be a not-so-scary, family-focused event that kids of all ages can enjoy. Plus, it’s one more opportunity for little ones to wear their costumes.
7. Haunted Hayloft at Purina Farms. A pre-Halloween trip to the Haunted Hayloft at Purina Farms is a tradition for many St. Louis families. Kids will enjoy puppet shows, trick-or-treating, pumpkin painting, magic shows and fun of the farm – and this event features the added excitement of canine performances and adoptable dogs too. There’s also a Costume Contest where children ages 12 and under have a chance to win a $25 Purina Farms gift card.
You can visit the Haunted Hayloft in the Purina Farms Visitor’s Center on the weekends of Oct. 16-18 and Oct. 23-25, with Friday and Saturday hours running from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. and Sunday hours running from 2:30 to 5:30 p.m. Event admission is free, but parking is $5/car. (Bring a can of dog or cat food to donate to a local pet food pantry to receive $1 off parking.)
8. Jumpin’ Pumpkin Jamboree at Eckerts. On Saturdays and Sundays during October, Eckert’s Belleville location pulls out all the stops for Halloween. A visit to their Jumpin’ Pumpkin Jamboree – weekends only from Oct. 3-25 – includes pony rides, live entertainment, children’s activities, carnival rides, a petting zoo and wagon rides to the fields where you can pick out that perfect pumpkin.
While you’re there, don’t forget to shop for specialty items like apple butter and homemade baked goods in the Country Store and dine on down-home dishes in the Country Restaurant. For more information, call (618) 233-0513 or visit eckerts.com.
9. Ghost Stories. If you have kids who aren’t easily spooked, get in the Halloween spirit with some Ghost Stories. For $5/person, the St. Louis County Parks Department features two separate ghost story events; one at the General Daniel Bissell House on Friday, Oct. 16 and another at Jefferson Barracks on Saturday, Oct. 24. Story times at both locations are held at 6:30 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.
This event is open to all ages, but limited space is available and advance registration is required by calling (314) 544-5714 or emailing [email protected].
10. Boo at the Zoo Nights (and Spooky Saturday). How often do you get the opportunity to explore the Saint Louis Zoo after dark? Don’t miss Boo at the Zoo, a non-scary celebration – and annual family-favorite – at the always amazing St. Louis Zoo. Boo at the Zoo takes place nightly from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. from Oct. 16-30, and costumes are, of course, encouraged.
From Halloween Hank’s Haunted Adventure at the Emerson Children’s Zoo to creepy crafts in the Lakeside Café, fireside stories, a mystery straw maze, decorated Zoo grounds and more, there’s much to see and do at Boo at the Zoo. Tickets are $6 for Zoo members and $7 for non-members, and can be purchased at the door, online or by calling (314) 646-4771.
And if you’re looking for a daytime Halloween celebration at the St. Louis Zoo instead, be sure to check out Spooky Saturday on Oct. 24 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. This safe and free trick-or-treating event features all kinds of surprises and goodies for kids (and with all the haystacks, pumpkins and Zoo animals around, plenty of amazing Halloween photo ops for parents).
Want to find even more Halloween fun in St. Louis? Visit our Things to Do calendar for even more Halloween events (and many other fun family activities) taking place throughout the area.
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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