Get a jump-start on Halloween with all kinds of fun family activities this weekend (plus one really cool option for the Big Night itself)! I combed through the interwebs and came up with ten events that I wish I had enough time, energy and cash to bring the whole family to:
Halloween Extravaganza, Dodge Nature Center, West St. Paul. Both a friendly and a spooky trick-or-treat trail are offered at this Friday-night party. Plus nature programs, wagon rides, storytelling and more. 5:30-10pm; $9/person or $6/member; 1701 Charlton St., W. St. Paul.
Halloween at the Caponi Art Park. Trick-or-treat along a guided tour of some of the park’s spookier sculptures (ages 5+ with adult). All ages can enjoy a giant pile of leaves to jump in, crafts, cider and an obstacle course. 1-4pm; Free (suggested donation $5/person); 1220 Diffley Road, Eagan.
Dia de los Muertos, Minnesota History Center. Mexican cultures observe this “Day of Dead” to better connect with ancestors. The History Center will offer dancing, music, crafts, food and a traditional Ofrenda (offerings) display. Noon-4pm; $11/adults, $9/students, $6/children 6-17, free ages 5 & under; 345 W. Kellogg Blvd. St. Paul.
Como Zoo Boo, Como Park Zoo & Conservatory. Como’s 26th annual Halloween fundraiser runs Oct. 25-27 with costumed characters and a themed trick-or-treat path. Nothing scary about this one! 4:30-7:30pm; $6/online or $7/door; 1225 Estabrook Drive, St. Paul.
Bare Bones Halloween Extravaganza, Hidden Falls Regional Park. I have long wanted to get to this outdoor spectacle of puppetry, stilting, fire and music. Over 250 souls contribute to this local arts event and it grows every year. Oct. 26-27, 31, Nov. 1-2; free with suggested donation; 1305 S. Mississippi River Blvd., St. Paul.
Anoka’s Grand Day Parade. Curious as to why Anoka, Minnesota, calls itself the Halloween Capital of the World? Maybe you’ll find out at the Grand Day Parade, or one of the dozens of other events scheduled during Anoka’s Halloween celebration. Ongoing events through Oct. 31. Parade starts at 1pm, Main Street, Anoka.
Family Halloween Camp-in at the Science Museum, Science Museum of Minnesota. You might not find time to sleep with all the activities going on at this camp-in: Omnitheater shows, museum galleries, science workshops, trick-or-treating, meals and more. 3pm Sat. Oct. 26-8am Sun. Oct. 27; ages 4-16 w/ adult, $45; 120 W. Kellogg Blvd., St. Paul.
Minnehaha Falls of Fun, Minnehaha Falls Park. Fun fall outdoor activities offered including hayrides, trick-or-treating, a “haunted” cave and music courtesy of Kids Dance. 1-4pm; $3/resident, $4.50/non-resident at door; Minnehaha Regional Park, Minneapolis.
Great Pumpkin Festival, Landmark Center. Get ready for a costume fashion show, face painting, a craft project, and, of course, the candy. Part of the Sundays at Landmark series. 1-3pm; free; 75 West 5th St., St. Paul.
Trick-Art-Treat, Minneapolis Institute of Arts. Sounds like a cool (and warm, at the same time) alternative to ringing doorbells up and down the block! Treats, a Halloween art activity and gallery hunt, plus a photobooth sponsored by Children’s Theatre Company to show off your Halloween costume! 5-8pm; free; 2400 Third Avenue S., Minneapolis.