Forecast: Gorgeous fall weekends ahead to hit one of these Twin Cities-area pumpkin patches before Halloween! And even if you’re not in the market for a jack-o-lantern, these patches are crammed full of fall fun from corn mazes and farm animals to hayrides and train rides. Check out the list below. Did we miss any? Read More
50th & France in Minneapolis: Pumpkin Fest, Edina
When: 10/22, 10am-1pm • Details: Enjoy trick-or-treating at local businesses starting at 10am (look for the sign in the window, kids 12 & under only, please), kids activities, horse-drawn trolley rides, a cake walk, and costume contest. FREE.
Arbor Lakes: Fall Festival on Main Street, Maple Grove
When: 10/29, 9:30-1:30pm • Details: Trick-or-treat at participating Main Street businesses, free mini pumpkins and a costume contest. FREE.
Galleria Edina: Tricky Treat-a-Palooza
When: 10/29, 10am-12pm • Details: Grab a free treat bag at Pottery Barn and head off to collect candy at participating shops around the Galleria.
Trick-or-Treating on Main Street, Stillwater
When: 10/29-30, 12-4pm • Details: Troll for treats along Stillwater’s business district.
Maplewood Mall: Halloween Trick-or-Treat Night at the Mall
When: 10/31, 5:30-7:30pm • Details: Visit participating retailers for treats, make a craft and take a turn in the bouncy house. FREE.
Rosedale Mall: Mall-Wide Trick-or-Treating, Roseville
When: 10/31, 5-7pm • Details: Trick-or-treat at participating stores, plus a performance by the Teddy Bear Band in East Court. FREE.
Mall of America: Howl-o-Ween
When: 10/31, 5-8pm • Details: Come in costume and prowl the mall for treats at participating retailers. FREE.
Eden Prairie Center: Halloween on the Mall
When: 10/31, 5-7pm • Details: Trick-or-treat at mall merchants, meet Eden Prairie policemen and firefighters, and free entertainment in Center Court. FREE.
Southdale Center: Mall-o-Ween, Edina
When: 10/31, 3-7pm • Details: Participating merchants will hand out treats; stick around for crafts, face painting and a bounce house. FREE.
Northtown Mall: Halloween Trick-or-Treating, Blaine
When: 10/31, 6-8pm • Details: Trick-or-treat around the mall, play games and snap a selfie at the photo station. FREE.
I’m not sure how we pulled it off — between picking up the kids at school (4pm) and arriving breathlessly but on time at dance class (6pm, on the other side of town) we managed to hit three Twin Cities businesses for a little pre-Halloween trick-or-treating. It was a whirlwind of in and out of the car, down the aisles, mixing up treat bags and cheering as we evaded rush hour traffic.
The hasty dash for treats was done mainly in the name of research — I put together this post for Family Fun Twin Cities — to scope out the best places in the Twin Cities to trick-or-treat at local markets and grocery stores. We picked one Tuesday afternoon and hit up two of our go-to groceries:
Lunds & Byerly’s stores host Boo Blast at more than 20 locations around the Metro area over a spread of five days. At our closest store, Lunds in Highland Park (St. Paul) the kids made the rounds of treat stations and played a few games. I was happy to note that only a handful of the stops doled out candy; most offered healthier options such as veggies, cheese sticks and granola bars.
Kowalskis Markets hosts their Boo Bash one day only each year but if you’re willing to squeeze down its narrow aisles and tough-to-navigate passageways, you’ll be more than rewarded with snacks for days.
Our third stop broke the mold; instead of a market, we headed to Pearson’s Candy Company’s annual Halloween Celebration. While it wasn’t the kids’ top pick for goodies (most of the candy at the event must be purchased), they enjoyed the carnival-style games, roving magician and the fun decor.
For more local Halloween events, check out these posts on Family Fun Twin Cities:
In the event that you’re looking for one more place your child can stretch the use of their Halloween costume (and, yes, collect some goodies), several local grocery stores are offering trick-or-treating and other activities in the upcoming weeks:
Jerry’s Foods Halloween Creepy Crawl: Edina, Woodbury & Eden Prairie locations. Trick-or-treat around the store with a re-usable bag to tote your loot! Plus Halloween crafts, scavenger hunts and face painting. When: Sat, Oct 29 • 11am-1pm (Edina & Woodbury) and Sun, Oct 30 • 11am-1pm.
Add: Read More
Halloween is right around the corner, and if your kids are like mine, they have been talking about their halloween costumes since April. If your kids haven’t been talking about their costumes, count your blessings. It’s extremely tricky to encourage creativity and ingenuity all the while keeping it real in your own head.
For those of you who aren’t ready for Halloween, I have a guide to easy and fantastic costumes with things from your closet/dress-up bin. It may take a quick trip to Goodwill, but honestly, if you can’t make it out, your kiddo will have an incredible costume.
Stephanie Watson is a native Minnesotan who grew up immersing herself in stories: reading, watching TV, acting in Children’s Theatre Company shows and spending lots of time at the library. She is a local author who teaches writing classes and does picture book critique work as well.
Most importantly, she is happy to be a soul parent. (Trust me, it’s most definitely soul and not sole–her heart and humor is two sizes too big)
She and her 5 year old daughter (who shares my birthday!) live in Minneapolis.
We are pumped to have Stephanie on BookHounds this month as she is a dynamic mama with a really cool job. She talks about what it’s like to be an author and how they foster reading in their home.
For more information, see the Show Notes below.
Saturday is packed full of of FREE Halloween events, most designed for the ones who want only the mildest of spooks and thrills. Read on for more details, and be sure to check our Family Fun Calendar for additional Halloween fun and beyond.
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 31
Details: All ages are welcome to take part in this free Highpoint tradition. Learn how to carve relief blocks by hand and make prints to take home, this month’s theme celebrating Dia de los Muertos. Young children will enjoy the activity, but will need close participation from adults.
Time: 10 & 11:30am
Details: Heart of the Beast will take center stage in the first floor atrium with their first show at 10:00am. Afterwards, children will have the opportunity to “create and take” a puppet. The second show will begin at 11:30 am. Come in costume and go trick-or-treating at Calhoun Square after the show!
BareBones Halloween Outdoor Puppet Extravaganza
@ Hidden Falls Regional Park
1313 Hidden Falls Drive, Saint Paul, 55116
Details: Since 1993, BareBones Productions has presented The Annual Halloween Outdoor Puppet Extravaganza, a community-created spectacle pageant of larger-than-life puppetry, drama, stilting, dance, fire, song, and music that honors the circle of life by celebrating its seasonal arc of death in the Fall.
Halloween Events at Minneapolis Parks: Joy has rounded up a great list of 9 Halloween events (all of which are free save one) going on around Minneapolis Parks. Click the above link for the list.
Trick-or-Treating at Twin Cities Shopping Malls: Tons of not-so-spooky FREE events going on at Twin Cities-area shopping centers on Halloween! A handful include Rosedale Mall’s Spooktacular, Mall of America’s Howl-o-Ween, and Halloween on the Mall at Eden Prairie Center. For a complete list, click the above link.
Trick-or-Treating at Twin Cities Grocery Stores & Markets: Activities going on the day of Halloween include Boo Blast at Lunds/Byerly’s Wayzata and the Fall Festival at the Plymouth location (both 11am-3pm), and Halloween activities at the St. Paul Farmers Market.
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 1
It’s You & Me, Kid
@ Lowry Nature Center, Carver Park
7025 Victoria Drive, Victoria, 55386
Details: Unplug with your child in nature. Enjoy crafts, games, puzzles, coloring, nature artifacts, bird watching, and live animals. Go on a hike before or after the program.
Forget that the name “Wyoming” conjures up a landscape hundreds of miles from the Twin Cities. Pinehaven Farm in Wyoming, Minnesota, is a fairly quick and easy day trip from most Metro locations because it sits right along a major freeway and just off the cusp of the northern suburbs. I took my bunch (ages ranging from 3 to 9) to Pinehaven today because of MEA break (also because it was forecast to be the last 70-degree day this year), but it would make a super fun family weekend outing as well.
I like the convenience of paying an admission charge upfront at a place that offers lots of activities. Pinehaven Farm’s got a plethora of activities to choose from and the entrance fee covers nearly all of them, including these highlights:
- children’s playgrounds – most of the play equipment is appropriate for young children. The tot lot has a wonderful collection of corncrib slides, pony tire swings, junior pedal tractors, and a gravel box to play in. Send the older kids over to the two-story tube slides instead.
- multiple mazes – including a tiny straw bale maze, a short hay bale maze, and a slightly more challenging one for school-aged kids.
- tractor wagon and hay rides – kids up to 12 can ride the wagon train, but the short loops are geared for preschoolers. Entire families can take a hay ride into the fields to search for the perfect pumpkin (priced at 41¢ per lb.)
- jumping pillow – kids can bounce to their heart’s content – if they don’t mind waiting in line (weekends will draw a crowd).
- pedal trike track – the sturdy trikes appealed to my older kids; for the youngest in the bunch there is a small pedal tractor loop in the tot lot.
- large petting farm – including goats, cows, emus, turkeys and more. Bring quarters for feed if your kids are interested in feeding the animals.
- special weekend events – such as the pumpkin-eating dragon show (my kids LOVED this when they saw it a few years ago). Magic shows, a Halloween party and other special events are held select weekend dates. See the complete calendar here.
Extras not included in the admission fee: Bring cash if you think you might be interested in firing the corncob cannon ($1), purchasing a rubber duck for the duck derby races ($1), picking pumpkins (41¢ per lb.) or other produce, buying snacks or purchasing more substantial concessions (weekends only).
Other things to consider: Keep in mind that weekends, particularly temperate ones, are going to be crowded. If it’s an option for you, consider going during the week. Pinehaven Farm is open weekdays from noon – 6:30pm and admission is discounted $2.00 (to $6.50 per person) Monday – Wednesday. A coupon good for $1 off daytime admission throughout the week can be found here. Teens and/or adults might be interested in the darker side of Pinehaven Farm – the Dead End Hayride runs through Halloween.
Location: Pinehaven Farm is located at 28186 Kettle River Blvd., Wyoming, MN 55092 (conveniently along Interstate 35). It’s a little over a half hour’s drive from the middle of the Metro in good traffic.
Hours: Open weekdays noon – 6:30pm and weekends 10am – 6:30pm through October 31, 2014.
Admission: $8.50/pp Thursday – Sunday, $6.50/pp Monday – Wednesday, kids under 3 are free. Print and bring along this coupon for $1 off/pp.
Meet Annie! If you are interested in what she recommended, you will want to check out this post! Read More
I’m ready to ditch Halloween and move onto other things. This is partly because Halloween was my last big hurdle before my baby is due. I’m sick of being pregnant and want to get to the end. But, if Halloween is YOUR holiday, check out some of Anne’s suggestion’s HERE. I posted the Minneapolis Park’s Halloween Schedule earlier this week. These are mainly Free Family Activities. Gianna has shared a list of grocery stores with Halloween freebies.
As always, our Calendars have an extensive list of outings — both free and not-so-free. Just a reminder, you can choose which calendars you see by clicking on the little blue down arrow at the top right corner of of the calendars. You can also click on the arrow next to the date to choose any date you want to view. We start populating the calendars as soon as we receive information. You can look as far ahead as you like. Obviously, the closer the date, the more we have added and the more accurate our information will be.
This is my Halloween-Free List of weekend outings.