"Check out our friends at STL Parent's for the List of the Top 10 Halloween Events for Kids"

Top 10 Halloween Events in St. Louis

October is, without a doubt, my favorite month of the year. From the changing leaves to the cooler weather to the indulgent aroma of a pumpkin spice latte, all signs are indicating that fall is here to stay. Even better, October brings with it the mystery and magic of Halloween- and lots of slightly spooky (but mostly not-so-scary) Halloween events that are perfect for St.Louis families to enjoy.

Wondering how to get in the Halloween spirit this October? Here are ten of the most popular Halloween events in St. Louis:

1. Haunted Hayloft at Purina Farms

For a not-so-scary, family-friendly Halloween event, hit the hay in the Haunted Hayloft at Purina Farms. Activities will appeal to visitors of all ages, and include a costume contest, puppet shows, storytelling, trick or treating, pumpkin painting, and magic dash; not to mention the fun of seeing the many animals on the farm.

Haunted Hayloft will be held over two weekends, October 18, 19 and 20, and October 25, 26, and 27. Hours are 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, and 2:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Sundays. The event is free to attend, but you'll need to make reservations by calling (314) 982-3232.

2. Halloween Free Family Day at the Contemporary Art Museum

Want to get your little ghosts and goblins excited about modern art? Then take them to Halloween Free Family Day at the Contemporary Art Museum. On Saturday, October 26th at 1:00 p.m., families are invited to CAM to tour current exhibitions and enjoy face painting, storytelling, music and dance performances, and a wide range of artist-led workshops. And don't forget to dress in your Halloween best dash; all visitors who arrive in costume will be entered to win a special prize. For more details, visit www.camstl.org.

3. October Owls and Orchids at the Butterfly House (and the Booterflies Halloween Party)

Have a little one with a fear of Halloween? Now through October 31st, try celebrating the season withOctober Owls and Orchids at The Butterfly House. More than a thousand owl butterflies will peer through the petals of hundreds of blooming orchids, creating an eerie sight that's perfect for the month of October dash; and kids who don't like monsters.

If you're looking for a bigger Halloween bash at The Butterfly House, then the Booterflies Halloween Party is the event for you. From 4:30 to 7:00 p.m. on October 25, 26, and 27, kids ages 2-12 (with their families) can wear their Halloween costumes, go on a glow walk and trick-or-treat through the garden, play insect-inspired games, and enjoy lots of 'spook'-tacular activities. The cost for this event is $15 for children and $20 for adults.

4. Halloween Weekend at Trout Lodge

Hair-raising Halloween fun is the name of the game at Trout Lodge's Halloween Weekend. From Friday, October 25 through Sunday, October 27, YMCA of the Ozarks transforms into your spooky, all-inclusive destination for haunted hayrides, trick-or-treating, pumpkin carving, costume contests and even a Monster Mash Carnival. Make reservations to stay at the lodge and spend the whole weekend getting spooked, or just attend your favorite activities during Community Halloween Days on October 25, 27, and 28.

5. Jumpin' Pumpkin Jamboree and Haunted Hayrides at Eckert's

The Halloween fun at Eckert's is an October tradition for many St. Louis families. With wagon rides, pumpkin patches, country music, pony rides, festival foods, a petting zoo, live entertainment, children's activities and more, the Jumpin' Pumpkin Jamboree dash; which takes place every Saturday and Sunday in October dash; has something for just about everyone.

Feeling brave? Add a bit more fright to your fun by booking a Haunted Hayride through one of the haunted orchards at Eckert's Millstadt farm on a Friday or Saturday night (after dark, of course). For more information about the Haunted Hayrides or the Jumpin' Pumpkin Jamboree, visit eckerts.com.

6. Boo at the Zoo

Don't wait until the big night to break out those costumes! Boo at the Zoo runs nightly from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Saint Louis Zoo, October 18-30. This is not a trick-or-treating event, but spooky fun will be brewing everywhere you look. Enjoy dramatic lights and decorations, creepy crafts, fireside stories, a mystery straw maze, and take a twirl on the cobweb-draped 'Scare-ou-sel.'

Admission to Boo at the Zoo is $4/members and $5/non-members, with $1 discount for children in costumes. And if it's a safe, kid-friendly trick-or-treating event you're after, don't forget Boo at the Zoo Spooky Saturday on Saturday, October 26th from 9 a.m.to 4 p.m. Admission to this incredibly popular, full-day Halloween extravaganza is FREE dash; and what could be better than that?

7. Grant's Farm Halloween Celebration

Dark Deer Park Rides, Halloween Themed Shows, and Tasty Tier Garten Treats (not to mention those infamous samples of free beer) are all part of the Halloween festivities at one of St. Louis' favorite attractions. The Grant's Farm Halloween Celebration takes place from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. on October 4, 5, 10-12, 17-19, and 26-27. Parking is $20/car; walk-ins are $5/person.

8. Not-So-Haunted House at The Magic House

Who says Halloween has to be haunted anyway? At the Not-So-Haunted House at The Magic House, kids of all ages can wear their costumes, go trick-or-treating, and get autographs from their favorite storybook characters. The Not-So-Haunted House is included with regular Magic House admission, and takes place October 18-20 and October 25-27 during regular museum hours.

9. The Great Godfrey (Haunted) Maze

The Great Godfrey Maze is open weekends throughout the fall, but from dusk to 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday nights in October, this giant attraction dash; which consists of two paths cut into seven acres of corn -- transforms into a haunted maze for visitors that dare to enter. If you have young children, you may prefer to visit during daylight hours, but older kids will get a kick out of bringing their own flashlights and finding their way through the corn in the dark.

10. The Great Candy Exchange

Before we know it, the Halloween celebrations are over, the trick-or-treating has ended, and the kids are crashing from a major sugar high. Even worse, we're left with more M&M's than our little darlings need ever consume. The solution? The Delta Dental Health Theatre's Great Candy Exchange.

On Friday, November 1st from 4 to 8 p.m., area children, families, and school groups are invited to the Vetta Sports Soccerdome to turn in unopened Halloween candy in exchange for chances to win a variety of cool prizes (including an Xbox). All candy collected is sent to our troops through A Soldier's Wish List, and kids who attend this high-energy event will get to see live shows, bounce on inflatables, wear their costume one last time, enjoy healthy snacks, and even make friends with characters like the Tooth Fairy, Tooth Wizard, and Sir Smiles-A-Lot.

For more information about The Great Candy Exchange, call (314) 241-7391 or visit www.ddhtstl.org.

Looking for even more fun October events for your family? Don't forget to check out our Things To Do calendar!

by Alyssa Chirco, events and family life writer for STL Parent

Alyssa Chirco is a St. Louis freelance writer, mother and margarita lover, not necessarily in that order. In addition to writing for STL Parent, she is Contributing Editor for Parenting Squad, writes regularly about parenting and family for Lifetime Television's The Balancing Act, and firmly believes there are few problems in life that cannot be solved with a good margarita.

Great Candy Exchange being held at our Soccerdome location in Webster Groves on November 1st from 4-8pm! http://www.vettasports.com/page/locations-directions-phone-numbers


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