Halloween decorations are popping up in the neighborhood, and the kiddos are chattering away about what they want to dress up as and where they want to go trick-or-treating. With Halloween landing on a Saturday this year, it’s a fun opportunity for families to celebrate all day long and to get some good use out of those costumes. And to add to the fun, there are also dozens of other activities going on all throughout October that families with younger children can enjoy in the Twin Cities this fall.
As a parent, it’s enjoyable to see the kids get so excited about dressing up, and Halloween activities are a great distraction from the colder temps and shorter days. So have a little extra fun with your little ones this month and celebrate Halloween with some non-spooky, family-friendly activities. There are a lot of events going on in the Twin Cities from indoor trick-or-treating to non-spooky streetcar rides, so take a look at some of these fun events, don those costumes, and choose your own spooktacular adventure!
1. Anoka Halloween Events – Anoka
Starting on Friday, October 9th through Halloween. See the 2015 Event Calendar for special event dates and locations.
Did you know that Anoka is the Halloween Capitol of the World? Starting Friday, October 9th at 7:00 PM, Anoka is kicking off the Halloween season with the Pumpkin Bowl. On Wednesday, October 14th at 6:30 PM, families can attend a movie night and watch a kid-friendly Halloween flick together. Events going on throughout the month also include medallion hunts, a pet costume contest, pumpkin carving contest, a bonfire, scavenger hunt, children’s art contest, and parades!
Various locations throughout Anoka. View the complete schedule of activities, locations, and times here.
2. Streetcar Rides – Como Harriet Streetcar Line, Minneapolis
Saturday, October 10th and Sunday, October 11th, 12:30 PM to 4:30 PM
Ride the trolley to Farmer Ken’s Pumpkin Patch. Take your kiddos on a short ride to the “pumpkin patch” and let them pick out a pumpkin to paint or carve at home.
Admission is $2.00 per person. Children 3 and under are FREE. Pumpkins are $4.00 each.
Saturday October 24th, 12:30 PM to 4:30 PM
Join Count Karl the Vampire Motorman on a silly, non-spooky trolley ride. Children who wear their Halloween costumes will get a treat. Trolley rides are about 15 minutes.
Admission is $2.00 per person. Children 3 and under are FREE.
After riding the streetcar, make a little stop in the Linden Hills area and visit the Halloween book selection at Wild Rumpus or browse through the aisles at Creative Kidstuff. There is also a fun playground at Lake Harriet if the kiddos need to get some energy out.
4200 Queen Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55410
3. Streetcar Rides – Excelsior Streetcar Line, Excelsior
Sunday, October 25th, 1:30 PM and 2:30 PM
Dress up in your costumes and bring the little ones on a Trick r’ Trolley ride. This ride is great for younger kids and includes a story and Halloween treat. Tickets may only be purchased at Excelsior Bay Books located at 36 Water Street.
Admission is $5.00 per person.
University Station – Water Street between 3rd and George, Excelsior, MN 55331
4. 2015 Food Allergy Resource Fair and Trick-or-Treating Experience – Hopkins
Saturday, October 10th, 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM
There are many trick-or-treating events going on in the Twin Cities this month, but there are also many kids who are not able to fully enjoy these events because of food allergies. Fortunately, more families and communities are increasing others’ awareness of food allergies, allowing more children with food allergies to feel more included when it comes to trick-or-treating.
Twin Cities families who are affected by food allergies will not want to miss the trick-or-treating experience at the 2015 Food Allergy Resource Fair at the Eisenhower Community Center in Hopkins. The event will feature dozens of vendors that sell allergy-friendly food and products. Families can sample some products and receive coupons. And families may also ask specialists specific medical questions about food allergies, nutrition, and medication.
While the fair will provide families with detailed information about food allergies and safety, the fair also encourages children to come dressed up in their Halloween costumes so they can have fun trick-or-treating for allergy-friendly candy. About 40 vendors will be handing out allergy-friendly treats to kids.
Admission is FREE. A $5.00 donation is suggested.
Eisenhower Community Center
1001 Highway 7, Hopkins, MN 55305
5. Pumpkin Fest at Gertens–Inver Grove Heights
October 10th, October 17th, and October 24th, 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Gertens throws a pretty sweet fall event for kids on the weekends during the month of October. Families are invited to enjoy a variety of activities and food for purchase at Pumpkin Fest. Activities include a straw maze, pumpkin painting, petting zoo, story time, games, and a spooky maze. There will also be a costume contest on October 24th. We saw some awesome homemade costumes last year including a police car and Minions, so be prepared for some tough competition.
On your way out, pick up a beautiful fall Mum to decorate your front doorstep for the season.
Admission is FREE, but be prepared to pay a small fee for each of the activities that your littles choose to do.
5500 Blaine Avenue, Inver Grove Heights, MN 55076
6. The Great Pumpkin Fest at Valleyfair – Shakopee
Saturdays and Sundays through November 1st, 11:00 AM to Dusk
Visit Valleyfair now through Sunday, November 1st for some kid-friendly daytime Halloween fun. Kids can enjoy rides, live entertainment, trick-or-treat tales, cock-a-doodle zoo, a corn maze, and storytelling from a friendly witch. Children may also wear their costumes during the day at Planet Spooky.
Valleyfair does charge an admission fee.
One Valleyfair Drive, Shakopee, MN, 55379
7. Halloween Light Show at the Mall of America® – Bloomington
Daily through Halloween, 7:30 PM and 9:30 PM (Monday – Thursday), 7:30 PM, 8:30 PM, and 9:30 PM (Fridays and Saturdays), 7:30 PM (Sundays)
This exciting and engaging light show is FREE, so make sure you and the kids stop by Nickelodeon Universe to see the show during your next visit. Parents, please note that the show does use strobe lights and smoke effects.
Mall of America® – South Entrance of Nickelodeon Universe®
Bloomington, MN, 55379
8. Fall Activities Hosted by Three Rivers Park District – Various Locations
October 10th, October 17th, October 21st, October 24th, October 28th. See schedule for times and locations.
The Three Rivers Park District is hosting a variety of Halloween-themed, family-friendly activities throughout the month of October at various parks. Activities include creating crazy cardboard costumes at Silverwood Park, going trick-or-treating through the woods at Hyland Lake Park and Reserve, and turning miniature pumpkins into boats at the Carl Kroening Interpretive Center. Most of the events are non-scary and geared toward all members of the family!
Families should be prepared to pay a small fee for the activities. Please register in advance.
Various locations throughout the Three Rivers Park District. View the complete schedule of activities, locations, and times here.
9. Fall Festivities at Pinehaven Farm – Wyoming
October 10th, October 17th, October 24th, and October 31st, 12:00 PM – 4:00 PM
There are a variety of non-spooky, kid-friendly activities going on at the farm throughout the fall. If you have kids who are interested in pirates, be sure to visit Pinehaven Farm to meet and take pictures with Captain Jack. And for some extra Halloween fun, you’ll want to visit the farm on October 31stand November 1st for a special party for the kiddos. In addition to these special events, the farm also features several other kid-friendly activities including mini train rides, a jumbo jumping pillow, fun mazes, and a 5-acre corn maze.
Admission is $8.99 (+ tax) per person. Children 2 and under are FREE.
28186 Kettle River Blvd, Wyoming, MN 55092
10. Emma Krumbee’s Scarecrow Festival – Belle Plaine
Open daily through October 30th, 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Emma Krumbee’s is celebrating its 32nd Annual Scarecrow Festival this year which runs through October 30th. In addition to pumpkin picking, the festival features a scarecrow display, wagon rides, farm animals, giant hay stack, and a play area with monster trucks. Brats, ice cream, apple treats, and a variety of other foods will be available for purchase during the festival.
Admission during the 32nd Annual Scarecrow Festival is $5.50 per person (plus tax). Children ages 2 and under are FREE. Admission includes the scarecrow display and a number of other family-friendly activities.
311 E Enterprise Dr., Belle Plaine, MN 56011
11. 3rd Annual Howl-O-Screams Eve Party at PINZ – Oakdale
Saturday, October 17th, 2:00 PM – 6:00 PM
This event is FREE and kid-friendly! Celebrate the fun of Halloween at PINZ by entering the costume contest, playing a game of witch hat toss, trick-or-treating, and face painting. There are many other activities planned so be prepared to show up for some family-friendly, non-scary, silly Halloween fun.
7520 32nd Street North, Oakdale, MN 55128
12. Como Friends ZooBoo at Como Park Zoo and Conservatory – St. Paul
October 17th, October 18th, October 24th, and October 25th, 4:30 PM – 7:30 PM
ZooBoo at Como Zoo has been a long-time favorite Halloween destination for families trick-or-treating with youngsters. This is a non-scary Halloween event that features more than 200 costumed characters and other non-spooky surprises. Make sure you dress for the weather because this is an outdoor event.
Admission is $7.00 per person at the gate, or $6.00 per person when purchased in advance here.
1225 Estabrook Drive, Saint Paul, MN 55103
13. Scarecrow Making and Halloween Fun at Nelson Family Farm – Litchfield
Saturday, October 17th; Sunday, October 18th; Saturday, October 31st (11:00 AM – 5:00 PM on Saturdays, and Noon – 5:00 PM on Sundays)
Nelson Family Farm is a historic farm that will certainly charm your family this fall. So take a day trip to Litchfield with your kids to enjoy some non-spooky Halloween activities and pumpkin picking.
This year’s Pumpkin Festival at Nelson Family Farm features dozens of activities including barrel races, corn cob golf, face painting, farm animals, fun houses, and a corn maze. On October 17th and 18th families may enter the scarecrow making contest. Contestants are responsible for bringing their own clothes and nylons for decorating their scarecrows. Judging will take place at 3:00 p.m. each day. On October 31st, there will be free candy and special pumpkin activities to celebrate Halloween.
Admission is $8.00 per person. Children 2 and under are FREE.
23618 CSAH #1, Litchfield, MN 55355
14. Treat Street at Woodbury Lakes – Woodbury
Friday, October 23rd, 5:30 PM – 7:30 PM
Children 12 and under are invited to dress up in their costumes and go trick-or-treating for FREE at Woodbury Lakes. Duke Otherwise will be performing live music at the event, and parents can get their family photo fix in at the festive photo op in the courtyard.
9020 Hudson Road, Woodbury, MN 55125
15. Halloween Dance Party with THE BIG EPIC SHOW – Bloomington
Friday, October 23rd, 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM
This family-friendly Halloween Dance Party with Miss Cherice of THE BIG EPIC SHOW is FREE! Come ready to dance, sing and party in your costumes with your kiddos. There will also be treats and a Halloween Red Carpet and Fashion Show so all guests will have a chance to model their costumes. Be sure to RSVP before space fills up!
Bloomington Kennedy High School
9701 Nicollet Avenue South, Bloomington, MN 55420
16. 5th Annual Trick-or-Treat Trail – Afton
Saturday, October 24th, 11:00 AM – 2:00 PM
This is a great event for families who are looking for a fun outdoor activity. Families are invited to go on a walk following the St. Croix Trail, and they may even do some trick-or-treating on their adventure through the historic town of Afton. The event will also feature a variety of fall activities and crafts.
PO Box 102, Afton, MN 55001
17. Halloween at Caponi Art Park – Eagan
Saturday, October 24th, 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM
What’s more fun than playing in a giant leaf pile? At Halloween at the Art Park, families are encouraged to don their costumes, jump in giant leaf piles, and go on a trick-or-treat scavenger hunt. There will be opportunities to take family pictures together, kids can get their faces painted, and families can also make a glow-in-the-dark art project to take home. This event is for all ages, and snacks and refreshments will be available.
This event is FREE. A $5.00 donation is suggested.
1220 Diffley Road, Eagan, MN 55123
18. Ghouls and Giggles at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum – Chaska
Saturday, October 24th, 3:00 PM – 6:00 PM
Enjoy the beautiful fall colors at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, and take part in some fun, kid-friendly Halloween activities too. Kids can come dressed up for some trick-or-treating, and families can boogie to live music performed by the Teddy Bear Band. Kiddywampus is sponsoring a craft for kids and glitter tattoos at the event, and families can also go on semi-spooky guided trail walks together.
Admission is $5.00 for children up to age 12. Adults are free with gate admission.
3675 Arboretum Drive, Chaska, MN 55318
19. Halloween Fun at Apple Jack Orchards – Delano
October 24th, October 25th, and October 31st, 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Show up in your Halloween costumes and enjoy some fun fall activities and pumpkin picking at Apple Jack Orchards. Kids will receive special treats, and they will surely enjoy the variety of activities at the orchard such as the enlarged corn pit, wagon rides, pony rides, apple cannons, cow train, corn maze, and jumping pillow.
There is no admission fee; however, most of the activities do require a small fee.
4875 37th St SE, Delano, MN 55328
20. HallZooWeen at the Minnesota Zoo – Apple Valley
October 24th, October 25th, October 30th, and October 31st, 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM
HallZooWeen offers something for kids of all ages. Come dressed up, explore the zoo, and enjoy a variety of kid-friendly activities. Kids can listen to story time or experience close encounters with cute and creepy critters. There will also be live music, face painting, crafts, a hay maze, and a HallZooWeen-themed bird show. Be sure to check out the Minnesota Zoo’s website for a complete list of activities.
Admission for children ages 2 and under is FREE, ages 3-12 is $12.00, ages 13-64 is $18.00, and age 65+ is $12.00.
13000 Zoo Boulevard, Apple Valley, MN 55124
21. Dia de los Muertos Family-Friendly Celebration at the Minnesota History Center – St. Paul
Sunday, October 25th, 12:00 PM – 4:00 PM
This is an annual family day celebration at the Minnesota History Center. Dia de los Muertos is celebrated in Mexican culture to honor and remember loved ones who have died. Dia de los Muertos at the center is a colorful and joyful event. Annual family-friendly festivities include Aztec dancers, traditional Mexican music, puppet shows, and hands-on activities and games.
Admission is FREE for children ages 4 and younger. Admission is $12.00 for adults and $6.00 for children ages 5-17.
345 W. Kellogg Boulevard, Saint Paul, MN 55102
22. Halloween Spooktacular at Choo Choo Bob’s Train Store – St. Paul
Saturday, October 31st, 9:00 AM – 8:00 PM
To wrap up the store’s 10th birthday celebration this month, Choo Choo Bob’s Train Store is hosting its first annual Halloween Spooktacular. This is a great event for younger kiddos, especially those who love trains!
Come dressed up in your costumes and listen to radio personality BT of Go 96.3 read at story time. Play at the train tables and meet new friends. And be prepared to get some trick-or-treat goodies and maybe even win some fun prizes.
This event is FREE. Twin Cities Kids Club members receive $5 off of a $25 purchase at Choo Choo Bob’s Train Store when they show their membership card!
2050 Marshall Avenue, Saint Paul, MN 55104
23. Boo-ology at the Science Museum of Minnesota – St. Paul
Saturday, October 31st, Noon – 4:00 PM
On Halloween, the Science Museum of Minnesota is hosting Boo-ology. This event is for all ages, and children 12 and under will be able to explore the museum’s permanent exhibits for FREE if they come dressed up in their Halloween best. The museum will also host a variety of hands-on, Halloween-themed science activities.
120 W. Kellogg Boulevard, Saint Paul, MN 55102
24. Take Part in the Teal Pumpkin Project™ – Your Home
When stocking up on candy to pass out to trick-or-treaters in your neighborhood this Halloween, consider picking up some non-food treats for the kiddos who have food allergies, diabetes, celiac disease, food intolerances, and other medical conditions that prevent them from being able to eat many of the food items that are typically passed out on Halloween.
How will parents and little trick-or-treaters know that you are handing out non-food items? Simply paint a pumpkin teal and place it on your doorstep. Last year Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) launched the national Teal Pumpkin Project™ campaign to raise greater awareness of food allergies and to encourage communities to offer non-food options to make Halloween more fun for all trick-or-treaters. This year, families can take the pledge along with 100,000 other households to participate in the campaign.
Are you taking the pledge and need some tips on how to paint your pumpkins? Check out Stef’s helpful instructions from Non-Toy Gifts here.
Have a safe and happy Halloween!
-by Aimee Farley, Owner, WhyILeftMyJob.com and Twin Cities Kids Club Co-Owner