Parents of tweens and teens, we know that Halloween can be a tricky holiday to navigate. Our kids are on the verge of – or even well past – the trick-or-treat years. They crave something thrilling, but may not be mature enough or have the taste for horror. They seek more independence while we grapple with keeping them safe. What does a traditional Halloween look like to a tween or teen bridging from pumpkin parties to more adult entertainment?
We’ve rounded up several ways to celebrate Halloween that run the spectrum from slightly spooky to flat out frightening. You know your child best. Some of these outings are ideal for the kid who still likes to stick with the family. Others are designed for teens (and adults) who are comfortable with independent outings. Please, please drop us a comment if you have more ideas. This year is rough for our teens and tweens.
If you landed on this page hoping to find Twin Cities Halloween events for kids, we have a monster master list to browse. This includes free events, ticketed events, parties in the park, trick-or-treat trails, and fall festivals of all kinds.
All of these Halloween-time ideas would make a great outing for families with kids at least 7 years of age. There’s definitely a spooky vibe going on, but the events focus more on storytelling than scaring for entertainment.
Candlelit Tours at LeDuc | LeDuc Historic Estate, Mendota
A guided candlelit tour of the 1866 Gothic Revival Mansion. The tour, you will explore the history of Victorian spiritualism and séances. October 24, 2020, 7pm-9pm; Recommended for ages 13+. $8-$10/pp.
Landmark Gangster Ghost Tour | St Paul
Could Landmark Center be haunted by St Paul’s most infamous residents? Cross paths with a few shady characters on this interactive tour. This would be a fitting Halloween event for tweens or teens who are fascinated by living history. Oct 30, 2020, 6-9pm. Recommended for ages 13+. Tickets/$10, reservations/advanced ticket purchase is required. Tours on the half hour.
Bare Bones Halloween Extravaganza – Mobile Performance | St. Paul & Minneapolis
Barebones will be bringing the show to the community in 2020. They are still working out details, so stay tuned for more information. Free with suggested donation.
APPROPRIATE FOR TEENS ONLY
Escape Room Without Walls | Mississippi Gateway Regional Park, Brooklyn Park
While this is not a scary event, younger sibs aren’t invited. Join Mississippi Gateway Regional Park on Saturday, October 3, from12:30-4 p.m., and save the Mississippi from imminent doom! Complete puzzles while enjoying the outdoors. Hike trails and try escape room (without walls) challenges. Cost is $30 and reservations are required by four days prior. Call 763-559-6700 to make a reservation. This program is for ages 13+.
SCARIEST OF THEM ALL
These fear-fests are best left to the teens who want maximum thrills. It’s likely Mom and Dad won’t be along for the ride. Take comfort knowing we’ve chosen attractions based on a minimum recommended age and a no-contact policy.
Scream Town | Chaska
I warily recall Scream Town (known as Spooky World if you grew up in the ’90s) being the scariest haunt around when I was a teen. And while personally, I don’t think my own teen is anywhere near ready to tackle the terrors, it may be a good fit for yours. Scream Town officially claims to be recommended for ages 10 and up. One ticket price gets you inside 6-7 incredibly frightening themed attractions plagued by unspeakable creatures and dead ends; tour as many times as you dare. Parents are admitted FREE to the park, but will have to stay on the sidelines while their teens brave the horrors. Weekends starting October 2-November 1, 2020. $69 online; $74/door.
The Haunting Experience | Cottage Grove
One ticket is all you need for a screamfest: venture through the haunted house and scare yourself silly on the hayride. You know your teen best. The attraction suggests visitors be at least 12. Select dates starting Sept 25, 2020 through Halloween, opens at 7pm. $17-$38/pp (lower price indicates weekday pricing).
ESCAPE ROOMS – an alternative to Halloween
My teen isn’t one for guts and gore, but he does go crazy for the thrill and challenge of an escape room. These are interactive, themed puzzles that get the adrenaline flowing. The games usually last about an hour. Each escape room holds a small group of people (8 to 10 – book with friends or take a chance with strangers). Participants work together to find clues to solve a mission and escape the room. We’ve rounded up what we think could be the best Twin Cities escape rooms for an alternative Halloween outing.
DROP-OFF TEEN EVENTS
Enjoy a night made by and for teens. Make nature-based art and participate in outdoor activities planned by the Silverwood Teen Arts Council. This activity is FREE and is open to ages 12-18. Registration begins September 23, 2020.
We hope this list has given you a few ideas of where your tween or teen could get into the Halloween “spirit”. Remember, we’re also dying to share our ultimate Twin Cities Halloween Guide if you dare…
Creep along a one-hour guided tour through the shadowy rotunda, hallways and chambers. Encounter historical “spirits,” including a night watchman, Civil War veteran, a woman suffragist, and more, who will tell stories of the Capitol’s early history. This tour is appropriate for age 7 and up. Oct 18, 6:30-7:30pm. $12-$15/pp.
ValleySCARE | Valleyfair Amusement Park
On select nights, the park transforms into ValleySCARE with haunted mazes, scare zones and prowling monsters upping the fright factor for the younger crowd. Parents, note that Halloween Haunt attractions are “rated PG-13” and not intended for kids under 13 years of age. Trust us on this one; even if your kid isn’t fazed by the bone-rattling roller coasters, the scare zones might terrify. Select Friday & Saturday nights Sep. 21 – Oct. 26. $36+/pp.
Teens might enjoy spending Halloween at the Walker listening to ghost stories on the Haunted Garden Tour, though we feel this is an event best shared with a parent. Teens are welcome to wear costumes to show off on the Walker Cinema stage runway but note that there will be cocktails served in the lobby beforehand. Also beware that Jim Jarmusch’s vampire flick Only Lovers Left Alive, screened at 7pm, is rated R. Oct 31, event runs 5-7pm. FREE admission.
The lights and music become more spooky for an older audience and some of the rides are given a spooky treatment. Friday + Saturday at 8 pm-10pm. Ride prices apply.
Halloween All Nighter | 3rd Lair SkatePark | Friday Nov 1, 2019 | 9pm – 7am
Drop off your Teen or Tween for an all night event that includes mini contests, games, raffles, pizza, and more. Staff will be on hand to keep everyone safe. This is limited to kids aged 10 to 16 with the average participant ranging from 11 – 14 years old. Once check in completes doors are locked and riders are not allowed out until 7am. Pizza an drinks are included in the fee. $50.00. A parental waiver is required.