Little boo's will find plenty of giggles at Spooky Saturday at Saint Louis Zoo.Photo by Robin Winkleman, Saint Louis Zoo.
Few holidays are more highly anticipated by kids — and kids at heart — than Halloween. Whether it's the excitement of shopping for the perfect superhero costume, the joy of celebrating at a not-too-scary monster mash, or the promise of that bag of trick-or-treat booty you'll be taking home at the end of the night, Halloween is big fun at any age. After some digging we've come up with the ghoulest — ahem, coolest — Halloween events in St. Louis and beyond for goblins of all sizes.
Little goosebumps for little spooks For families looking for some mildly spooky fun for young children, St. Louis' favorite attractions and destinations offer great options. Boo at the Zoo is a perennial favorite. Visit the Saint Louis Zoo from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Oct. 18 through Oct. 30 for spectacular Halloween decorations, spooky keeper chats and more. Admission is $7 for nonmembers and $6 for members; children in costume receive a $1 discount, and children under 2 are free. The Zoo also hosts a Spooky Saturday daytime event Oct. 29. The Magic House will use a little hocus-pocus to transform itself into a Not-So-Haunted House for Halloween. Kids are invited to an autograph party with their favorite storybook characters Oct. 21-23 and Oct. 28-30. The event is free with regular museum admission.
Kids can celebrate the spooky season with their favorite creepy crawlies at BOOterflies at The Sophia M. Sachs Butterfly House. Visitors can make crafts, play games and trick-or-treat at Treat Houses from 5 to 7 p.m. Oct. 22 and 23. Admission is $14 for adults, $12 for Missouri Botanical Garden members and free for children under 12 months; call 636-530-0076 to register. And for some furry frights, take a tour of the Haunted Hayloft at Purina Farms Oct. 21-23 and Oct. 28-30. Admission is $5 per car; call 314-982-3232 for reservations. Or, what about a Halloween Camp-In at the St. Louis Science Center? Children ages 6 and up are invited Oct. 28 for a costume contest and creepy chemistry.
Families can greet the ghosts of St. Louis past and learn a bit about local history at Spirits of the Past Saturday, Oct. 22, at the Daniel Boone Home in Defiance. Harvest big fun with a haunted hayride at Eckert's Millstadt location Friday and Saturday nights Sept. 9 through Oct. 29. Hayrides are offered on a first-come, first-served basis from sundown till around 10 p.m. One hayride per person is included with the Fun Farm admission, which is $12.50; additional hayrides are $5 per person.
For families whose love of Halloween can't be packed into one day, celebrate it with a whole weekend of fun at YMCA Trout Lodge Friday, Oct. 28, through Sunday, Oct. 30. With haunted hayrides for the older kids and trick-or-treating for the younger ones, spooks of all ages will find spirited fun.
Medium-sized chills for mature monsters If your little vampire has graduated past the trick-or-treating stage and is ready for a good fright, there are a plenty of pulse-pounding events and destinations that are sure to deliver. Intrepid monster slayers can brave the Night of Fright Haunted House at the Youth Activity Park in Dardenne Prairie Oct. 28-29; admission is $5. Visit Six Flags St. Louis weekends Sept. 30 through Oct. 30 for Fright Fest. During the day Fright Fest delivers kid-friendly fun with decorations, Halloween shows and trick-or-treating, but after 6 p.m. the place is crawling with zombies, vampires and other creatures of the night. Fright Fest is included with regular admission, but there is an additional fee for some attractions.
Those who prefer homespun horror will find it in the Great Godfrey Maze in Glazebrook Park in Godfrey, Illinois. During the day this corn maze provides family fun and adventure, but Friday and Saturday evenings in October the spirits come out to play. Admission is $6 for adults and $4 for children (5 and under are free).
Paranormal activity for sophisticated spirits Even mummies and daddies deserve a night of macabre mayhem, so for a truly memorable and quite possibly paranormal experience this Halloween, book a babysitter and do some local ghost hunting of your own. Syfy's "Ghost Hunters" team visited Historic Main Street St. Charles for an investigation; conduct your own supernatural research with a St. Charles Ghost Tour. Truly intrepid souls can spend a night at the historic McPike Mansion in Alton, Illinois, at the Ghostly Halloween Campout Oct. 22-23.
And finally, for the quintessential Halloween experience in St. Louis, check into the Lemp Mansion Restaurant and Inn. This beautiful historic property, another favorite spot for Syfy's "Ghost Hunters," is rumored to be home to some other-worldly revelry, making it the perfect spot for Halloween fun. Participate in an authentic ghost-hunting expedition, partake in a full-blown, grownup Halloween bash Oct. 29, or just drop by the restaurant for a great fried chicken dinner and a little casual people — er — ghost watching.
Editorial Assistant Tyne Benesek contributed to this article.
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