It's not quite Halloween yet, but as the days get shorter, the events get spookier — and so there's lots of spine-tingling fun to be had this weekend. Not into frightfests? How about donning some lederhosen and drinking 'til you drop?
2. Visit a Free Outdoors Arts Festival Citizens of the world: Artica returns to this dimension for another weekend-long celebration of art, performance, life and creation under the the banner of REAL ART>civic gibberish. The mutidisciplinary arts festival features site-specific installations, dance, poetry and music in the outdoors, and it only flourishes with your participation. If you have something to say in response to an artist's project, say it; if you feel inspired to make your own project in an open space, make it. Your voice is as important to the process as anyone's. Artica 2015 takes place from noon to midnight Saturday and noon to 10 p.m. Sunday (October 10 and 11) on the Artica grounds (Lewis and Dickson streets on the north riverfront; articafest.wordpress.com). Admission is free and there are no vendors of any kind at the site, so pack in whatever you need to get by, and pack it out when you leave. — Paul Friswold
3. Check Out a Haunted House
While those prone to seizures or heart attacks are forbidden entry to The Darkness, attendance has been skyrocketing among those with male pattern baldness, because America's scariest haunted house is more hair raising than ever! The chills begin right away with classic monster movies projected on the mega-scream movie wall, and to make the visit as uncomfortable as possible, brain-eating zombies have been imported from Pittsburgh and Haiti to torment attendees waiting in line. Those who make it inside will pass through ancient ruins filled with demons and giant man-eating worms, and the few who survive to reach the second story will want to check out the books of the dead in the all-new haunted library. The Darkness (1525 South Eighth Street; www.scarefest.com) is open 7 to 9:30 p.m. Thursday and Sunday and 7 p.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday through Sunday, October 18. It's open nightly at 7 p.m. Thursday, October 22, through Sunday, November 1. Tickets are $23 to $25. — Mark Fischer
Turn the page for more autumnal fun this weekend
6. Explore Some Weird Science The St. Louis Science Center (5050 Oakland Avenue; 314-289-4400 or www.slsc.org) hosts The Science of Ripley's Believe It or Not, a discovery-based exhibition that uses the hard sciences — such as genetics and biology — to explain some of the most mysterious wonders of our world. Learn why reptiles grew to enormous size 60 million years ago, and why they don't today. Experience optical illusions and then discover how your brain can be into believing false information. See Willard Wigan's tiny sculptures that fit in the eye of a needle, and then learn how he makes them. You'll be amazed, both by what's on display and what you learn. The Science of Ripley's Believe It or Not is open daily through Sunday, January 3, 2016. Admission is $5.25 to $12.50. — Rob Levy
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