Come October, frightening, creative Halloween haunted houses open in the Minneapolis, St. Paul area. Many of these are for adults only (they're that scary), but some are fine for children with adult supervision. These events include zombie paintball, scary hayrides, terror mazes, and more. Some of the more intense events offer a "low scare" version for smaller children and those just wanting to have a little light Halloween fun.
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Sauk Rapids is an hour northwest of Minneapolis, but it's worth the trek to visit Molitor's Haunted Acres. This sprawling, remote farm has zombie paintball and a haunted hayride through the woods, where ghouls, ghosts, killers, and madmen creep in the shadows. Molitor's Haunted Acres, billed as "Central Minnesota's Scariest Plot of Land," is open on weekends and select other nights, from October 4, 2019 through Halloween rain or shine. Children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult.
One of the area's largest and scariest Halloween events is Scream Town with a huge haunted corn maze, a haunted forest, as well as three haunted houses. The seven main attractions include the Zombie Apocalypse, Crop Spawn, Santa’s Slay, Oak Blood Forest, Ludicrous Labyrinth, and Circus Asylum. Scream Town, geared for those 10 and over, is open weekends and select weekdays starting September 28, 2019.
At the ValleyFair amusement park, you'll find a combination of thrill rides and haunted houses. It's pricey but you get access to all the thrill rides as well as haunted houses, a pumpkin festival, survival mazes, and scare zones. With more than 75 rides and monsters prowling the park, there's plenty to do for those 13 years of age and over. ValleyScare is open select Friday and Saturday nights from September 21–Oct. 26, 2019.
During the day, younger children can visit with Peanuts characters in Halloween garb and dance with their friends during the Great Pumpkin Fest. There's a corn maze, costume parade, and a pirate party. These fun family events take place on Saturdays and Sundays, September 21–October 27, 2019.
Trail of Terror is created by the same producers who designed the Minnesota Renaissance Festival, so you can be assured of good costumes. This is another large event with a huge corn maze, haunted houses, wicked woods walk, scary rides, a zombie pub crawl, and other attractions.
Trail of Terror is open Fridays and Saturdays, October 11–26, 2019 and Sunday, October 20 and 27, 2019. Hours are Friday and Saturdays from 7:00 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. and Sundays from 7:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.
After the sun sets, visitors can be scared witless in the huge 3D house of horror and on the mile-long hayride of terror. There's also a corn maze, scary movies, and live music. The Haunting Experience is open on select dates starting September 21, 2019, and ending on November 2, 2019. On all nights The Haunting Experience starts at approximately 7 p.m. End times are 11 p.m. for Friday and Saturday nights and 10 p.m. for Wednesday, Thursday, Sunday nights.
They offer a low scare option for children with milder thrills on Saturdays and Sundays in October from 11:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m.
After all that frightening activity, you may be hungry so they have food to purchase and a beer tent. The Haunting Experience has been operating for more than 30 years and is an area favorite.
The Ramsey County Sheriff's Department opened Fright Farm in 1996 and has continued to run the scary event ever since. It is held in a century-old barn in Maplewood, and all proceeds go to Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) Fright Farm is open Friday and Saturdays in October including Halloween from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m.
There's a low-scare matinee offered for the little ones (and the faint of heart). This tamer version of the big haunted house is held on Sunday, October 27, 2019, from noon to 4 p.m. Attendees receive free treats and prizes and can participate in fun activities like face painting and see a magic show.
The Hamel Lions Haunted Acres is a fundraising event established in 1997. This haunted house is located 30 minutes northwest of Minneapolis. Opening on October 11, 2019, and open Friday and Saturdays through October 29, 2019, this volunteer-run scary house has costumed figures, plenty of spattered blood, and horror-themed rooms to encounter. Admission is $10 cash and, in addition, canned food donations are encouraged.