Although there are plenty of frights to be had during October in St. Louis, your trip doesn't have to be a scary one. The city and surrounding communities offer many fun and safe events for kids and the whole family—beyond traditional trick or treating. You can bring the kiddos to visit a pumpkin patch, explore a corn maze, or even join a haunted hayride appropriate for all ages. If you're traveling to St. Louis this October with your kids, stop by these great events for some quality family fun without all the frights.
Many of these events may be canceled or altered in 2020, so be sure to check the official organizer's website for the latest details.
Cut into seven acres of a cornfield in Robert E. Glazebrook Park in the town of Godfrey, Illinois, the Great Godfrey Maze is a popular destination for families looking for a fun way to get into the Halloween spirit near St. Louis. The Great Godfrey Maze is typically open for general admission on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from late September to November, but 2020 dates have not yet been announced.
The maze is open during the day on Saturdays and Sundays, but you can also bring a flashlight and try out the Haunted Maze on Friday and Saturday nights in October. In addition, families can also enjoy the Cow Train, a hayride, the Corn Crib, a giant jumping pillow, and the Vortex Tunnel for a small additional fee.
When you're trying to find the perfect pumpkin, look no further than Eckert's Orchards. Its pumpkin patch has any size pumpkin you could want, including some that weigh up to 150 pounds. Eckert's Orchards has several locations near St. Louis including the Belleville and Millstadt farms, which both offer Halloween events on weekends in October each year. In 2020, reservations are required for access to the farms.
You can typically stop by the Jumpin' Pumpkin Jamboree at the Belleville Farm on Saturdays and Sundays to enjoy wagon rides, live music, pony rides, a petting farm, funnel cakes, and plenty of festival food. Alternatively, visit Eckert's Orchards at Millstadt Farm on Friday and Saturday evenings to hitch a ride on the Haunted Hayride.
Boo at the St. Louis Zoo
Another popular Halloween event for children and adults alike comes to the St. Louis Zoo in late October each year. During each night of the Boo at the Zoo event, the zoo stays open late to welcome children of all ages to trick-or-treat along the zoo's Pumpkin Trail and join in a costume parade.
The annual Boo at the St. Louis Zoo event runs nightly from 5 to 8:30 p.m. from October 16 to 30, 2020, but you will have to make your reservations in advance as per the zoo's reopening guidelines. Admission to Boo at the Zoo Nights is less expensive than regular admission to the zoo, and members can get a discount on a ticket while children younger than 2 years old get in free. There is also free parking available on the South Lot.
Party with your kids among thousands of butterflies at the Missouri Botanical Garden's Butterfly House in Faust Park during October, when it turns into the BOOterfly House. A host of not-so-scary events are fun ways to enjoy the holiday, complete with games, crafts, and special treats for kids. In 2020, the Butterfly House is only open Wednesday through Sunday, and tickets must be reserved in advance.
The Bug Ball is a one-time event that usually requires advanced registration to attend. However, this particular party is not on the calendar for 2020. During the event, kids and adults alike can play games, create crafts, take home lots of goodies, and witness the owl butterfly in flight, which is only active at dusk and dawn. After exploring the Butterfly House, guests can then attend a special Halloween dance party that includes a buffet featuring themed treats like "creepy pizza fingers, scream cheese, petrifying pastries, eerie pudding, frightful fruit, and pumpkin punch."
You won't feel so guilty about eating all of that Halloween candy if you participate in the annual GO! St. Louis Halloween Half Marathon, 10K, 5K, and Fun Run. Runners and walkers of all ages are encouraged to wear costumes and enjoy the spooky course through St. Louis. There's also a costume contest for race participants.
The Great GO! St. Louis Halloween Race will take place in-person in 2020, but with new rules in place and the race will be organized in waves in order to ensure social distancing. It will take place over two days, October 17 to 18, but there is also a virtual race being organized as an alternative.
The St. Louis Science Center always hosts a ghoulishly good time for kids during its annual Science Spooktacular event. Held on the last Thursday through Sunday in October each year, the evening includes spooky science demonstrations, slimy hands-on experiments, and showings of family-friendly movies in the OMNIMAX Theater. In 2020, the Science Spooktacular will take place every day in October and will feature special programming about viruses and the effectiveness of wearing masks.
You can spend the afternoon carving pumpkins at Suson Park in South St. Louis County on October 28, 2020, from 5 to 7:30 p.m. A park ranger will be on hand to help with the designs, and pumpkins and carving tools are provided. Advanced registration online and a small fee per child are required to participate.
The Missouri Botanical Garden offers a special Halloween event for Garden members where kids can enjoy an afternoon of trick-or-treating and Halloween fun. During the Ghouls in the Garden event, children will follow a map to different treat stations where costumed characters hand out goodies. Admission to Ghouls in the Garden is required for children ages 3 to 12, but adults are included with regular Garden admission, and infants under the age of 3 get in free.
In 2020, the event takes place on October 24 and 25 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., with social distancing measures in place, including capacity limits, so you'll want to make sure to reserve your ticket online to secure entry for that day.
For a safe afternoon of trick-or-treating, bring your children to historic Main Street in St. Charles from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on October 30, 2020. Local businesses will be handing out candy to kids ages 12 and younger during the event. If you're hungry after your trick-or-treating, stop by Big A's On the Riverfront for casual American fare or by Tony's On Main Street for some American and Italian fusion cuisine.
In 2020, the farm is closed for large events until further notice.
Known for the famous Anheuser-Busch Clydesdale horses that reside there, Grant's Farm is a popular attraction in St. Louis year-round, but on select nights in October, families are welcomed to the farm for a bit of holiday fun during the annual Halloween Nights at Grant's Farm event.
Your Halloween adventure at Grant's Farm starts with a tram ride to the center of the park with ghosts and goblins lighting the way. Once you arrive, kids and families can enjoy festive foods, carousel rides, pumpkin decorating, and a variety of holiday-themed shows in addition to visiting the animals at night.
This event has not been rescheduled for 2020.
Each year for Halloween, the Parks and Recreation departments of Clayton, Maplewood, and Richmond Heights, Missouri, typically arrange a special celebration for kids of all ages in Clayton's Shaw Park. Known as the Party in the Patch, this annual Halloween event features a candy hunt, hayrides, inflatable bouncy castles, carnival games, and a hot-dog dinner.
Although the Magic House has reopened with social distancing in place, this event has not been rescheduled for 2020.
Located just outside St. Louis in Kirkwood, Missouri, the Magic House is an interactive museum specifically designed with children in mind. Each year for the last two weekends in October, the entire museum transforms into a festive Halloween event known as the Not-So-Haunted House. During the event, each child gets their own autograph book, and as they trick or treat through the house, they'll collect signatures from many of their favorite storybook characters. Past characters have included favorites from Peter Pan, Harry Potter, and Alice in Wonderland. Guests are encouraged to wear costumes of their favorite storybook characters as well, and admission to the museum is required to attend.
This event has not been rescheduled for 2020.
Located northwest of St. Louis in St. Charles County, Missouri, the 200-year-old historic home of Daniele Boone hosts an event each year to honor the dead with a kid-friendly nighttime event known as Spirits of the Past. During this spooky event—which may be unsuitable for younger children—storytellers wander the grounds of this historic home telling "true stories" of ghosts, goblins, and things that go bump in the night. Reservations are recommended but not required to attend; however, the price of admission is slightly more at the door, and tickets have sold out in past years.
This event has been canceled for 2020.
Children are invited to trick-or-treat at businesses in downtown Kirkwood from 5 to 7 p.m. on the Thursday before Halloween. During the event, several dozen businesses will be handing out treats to kids in costumes. While the kids trick-or-treat, parents can browse through a variety of unique stores and even grab a few refreshments themselves at some of the shops.
The Alton Halloween Parade has not been rescheduled for 2020.
The small town of typically Alton, Illinois, celebrates Halloween in a big way. Each October 31, the town hosts a Halloween parade with floats, costumed characters, marching bands, dancers, and various other performances. The parade steps off at 7:30 p.m. at Broadway and Washington, and throughout the event, participants in the parade pass out candy and other tasty treats to children lining the route down Main Street.
These events have not been rescheduled for 2020.
If you're traveling with pets, get in the car and head west about 45 minutes from St. Louis to Purina Farms in Gray Summit, Missouri. Each year, this pet- and kid-friendly attraction celebrates Halloween over the last two weekends in October with two unique events: Trunk-or-Treat and Howl-o-Ween Fest.
Howl-o-Ween Fest takes place on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays in late October and features a full day of fall fun including games, live entertainment, food trucks, music performances, and a puppy and children's costume parade. Other kids' activities include face painting, storytelling, circus shows, and dog performances. Advanced registration is required to attend, and admission is free, but parking costs a small fee per vehicle.
Trunk-or-Treat takes place in the Visitor Center's parking lot on Saturdays and Sundays in late October at 11 a.m. and 12:15 p.m. During the event, Purina Farms will be handing out candy to kids and treats to dogs and offering face painting, balloon animals, and family entertainment. Tickets must be purchased in advance to attend and walk-ups will not be accepted.