The Best Things to (Relatively Safely) Do in St. Louis This Halloween Season

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Stay safe while you get spooky this Halloween. - THEO WELLING
  • THEO WELLING
  • Stay safe while you get spooky this Halloween.

In pandemic times, it’s challenging to find things to do that don’t put yourself or those around you in danger. And while we’re inclined to suggest that the safest event is no event, we also know that sounds a lot like abstinence-only sex-ed, and you guys are probably gonna fuck anyway. So consider these recommendations your condoms: not foolproof, but safer than other options. We only recommend events that take precautions, but ultimately you’re in charge of your own health, so proceed with care. We also list live-streamed events, which are the safest of all, though admittedly not the same. Live-streamed events are the masturbation of events in this way, because — you know what, we’re gonna go ahead and abandon this metaphor before we get in over our heads.

The Union Station Halloween Experience
Various times by reservation through October 31. Union Station, 1920 Market Street. $20. 314-421-6655
The Union Station Halloween Experience will see the whole building overhauled to offer spooky treats around every corner and fun for the whole family, with haunted trains and the St. Louis Ferris Wheel transformed into the “Wicked Wheel.” And in addition to the “Scary Sea Creatures” exhibit at the St. Louis Aquarium, there will also be a maze, hosted tours and Halloween-themed food available if your little ghoul gets hangry. Costumes are encouraged, and kids under two get free admission. And regardless of whether your particular costume calls for it, everyone nine years old and up will be required to wear a mask as part of Union Station’s COVID-19 precautions. Additionally, the space will operate at reduced capacity in order to provide for social distancing, and all attendees will have their temperatures checked upon arrival. For more information on the event and the steps being taken to prevent COVID-19 transmission, visit stlouisunionstation.com/halloween-faq.
—Jaime Lees



Grant's Farm Halloween Drive-Thru
Various times, Thursday, October 29 through Saturday, October 31. Grant’s Farm, 10501 Gravois Road. $40 per car. 314-577-2626.
Grant’s Farm’s Halloween Drive-Through Experience gives visitors a chance to do something that they’ve never done before: cruise through the park in their own cars. The farm has been welcoming visitors since 1954, but this will be the first time people will be able to drive through. The system will work much like the many drive-through holiday light shows around town, where you pay per car and roll slowly through many different scenes. The Grant’s Farm experience will feature creepy Halloween scenes, including medieval, graveyard and even a UFO landing scene. The fee for each car is $40, and kids will get free bags of candy so they can get that sugar rush while rolling through. You can upgrade your experience, too, by adding family packages that include snacks and drinks. Reservations are required. For more information and to reserve your time slot, visit grantsfarm.com.
—Jaime Lees

Halloween Happy Hour at the Magic House
5:30 p.m. Thursday, October 29. The Magic House, 516 South Kirkwood Road, Kirkwood. $25. 314-822-8900.
Have you ever wondered what it might be like to get blind drunk at the Magic House? Well, wonder no more, dear reader, as this year the celebrated children’s museum is sending the little ones away for a Halloween Happy Hour that’s just for the adults. Your $25 ticket will include access to wine, beer and spiked apple cider, as well as food options including hot dog pretzels, chili and s’mores — not to mention every nook and cranny of the Magic House. Live out your inner Steve Bannon cosplay dreams by getting shitfaced in the Star-Spangled Center’s Oval Office, get your balls thoroughly in motion on the Ultimate Ball Ramp, and don’t forget to bring a pumpkin for the evening’s Pumpkin Decorating Contest. And though it may be spooky season, fear not: Masks will be required, and social distancing will be enforced. You must be 21 and up to attend, and proceeds will go toward helping the whimsical museum continue to educate and support area children. For tickets and more information visit magichouse.org/support-us/fundraising-events/apd.
—Daniel Hill



Pumpkin Chuckin’ at the City Museum
10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, October 30 through Sunday, November 1. The City Museum, 750 North Sixteenth Street. $22 to $28. 314-231-2489.
This weekend is the last of the year that the City Museum will have its rooftop open, offering mischief and fall fun for the whole family (not to mention stunning views of St. Louis from its rooftop ferris wheel) — but it also happens to be the best one. That’s because the eclectic space will revive its yearly Pumpkin Chuckin’ event, encouraging attendees to bring their own gourds — real or otherwise — to hurl off the tenth floor of the building into a dumpster appropriately label “2020.” (The City Museum will also be offering one pumpkin per person to throw, but you’re encouraged to bring more if you just can’t get enough.) Tickets to the rooftop cost just $22, and include either access to the museum or to its Pinball Hall, where all the games are set to free play. Or, for only $6 more, you get all three! There are few in town that can be expected to bring the Halloween merriment as creatively as the minds behind the City Museum — in other words, as its website states, “Expect lots o’ pumpkins and skeletons and other socially distanced mischief.” There will be safety measures in place as well, naturally — mandatory masks, social-distancing, reduced capacities, and the closing of areas that do not allow for those restrictions. For tickets and more information, visit citymuseum.org.
—Daniel Hill

Halloween at Eckert’s Farm
Various times by reservation, October 30 and 31. Eckert’s Farm, 951 South Green Mount Road, Belleville, Illinois. $5. 618-233-0513.
This year Eckert’s is keeping the kids in mind by offering a Halloween Scavenger Hunt and a Halloween Costume Parade on Friday, October 30 and Saturday, October 31 — and both activities sound like nice, socially distanced outdoor good times. The scavenger hunt involves using clues to wind your way around the farm to find ghosts and zombies. The activity costs $5 per kid, and they get a prize when the hunt is complete. The costume parade is the perfect place to let your little pirate, princess or Mickey Mouse show off their fancy duds. The farm is hosting a parade at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. each day, and it will give the kids an opportunity to strut their stuff across a stage as their name and costume are announced — so make sure those phones are charged, paparazzi parents. Each kid is required to wear a mask, and participants will be socially distanced as they wait in line to cross the stage. And when it’s done, in addition to being super famous, your kid will also get a small treat. It’s free to be in the parade and no reservation is required — just make sure to get your kid to the white tent near the restaurant parking lot five minutes before parade time. Reservations are required for the scavenger hunt though, to make sure there is enough distance between groups. Slots run from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. each day, and can be booked at eckerts.ticketleap.com/halloween-scavenger-hunt.
—Jaime Lees

Halloween Six Feet ApartY
11 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Saturday, October 31. Magnolia Avenue and Arkansas Avenue. Free.
Steve’s Hot Dogs and the neighboring Tick Tock Tavern will take over their corner of Tower Grove East for a socially distanced celebration of all things Halloweeen and hot dogs. The festivities kick off at 11 a.m., and will include two performances by Urge frontman and Steve’s Hot Dog’s owner Steve Ewing (one at 3 p.m. and one at 5:30 p.m.) as well as costume contests for dogs, kids and adults judged by local celebrities Maxi Glamour, the Astronaut from City Museum and Ewing himself. The event will also feature no-contact trick or treating so you can wash all them hot dogs down with sugar and chocolate. And, as the name implies, social distancing will be enforced, and masks will be required whenever you aren’t eating or drinking. For more information, visit steveshotdogsstl.com/post/halloween-six-feet-aparty-coming-up-on-october-31.
—Daniel Hill

Yaqui Horror Halloween
5 p.m. Saturday, October 31. Yaqui’s, 2728 Cherokee Street. Free. 314-400-7712.
Yaqui’s outdoor, socially distanced pop-up concerts at Cherokee Street and Iowa have been a much-needed respite from the drudgery of pandemic life throughout the COVID-19 crisis, and this Halloween will be no different. Yaqui’s will host a family friendly dance party in the street with DJ Task from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., at which time attendees will be asked to direct their gaze to the big wall of the neighboring Earthbound Brewing Company, where the 1975 classic Rocky Horror Picture Show will be projected for all to see. Costumes are encouraged, masks will be mandatory, social distancing will be enforced, candy will be provided and, of course, gender norms will be shattered by the great Tim Curry. The festivities are totally free, and bringing a chair would be a good idea.
—Daniel Hill

The Exorcist in Tower Grove Park
6:30 p.m. Saturday, October 31. Stone Shelter in Tower Grove Park, 4490 Northwest Drive. $25 to $100. 314-771-2679.
This Halloween, instead of knocking on the doors of strangers and then binging on mini-Snickers and passing out, you can get out of the house and have a little fun in Tower Grove Park — specifically, some scary-movie fun with an undisputed classic of the genre. Crafted Events is hosting a screening of The Exorcist at the Stone Shelter in Tower Grove Park on Halloween Night, starting at 6:30 p.m. The company spent all summer creating bespoke outdoor dates for couples who wanted a romantic evening without visiting a restaurant, so they know a thing or two about social distancing, and the outdoor setting and mask requirement only add to the safety of the spooky fun. Tickets will be sold in pods of four and arrangements can be made for groups of up to six. As locals know, The Exorcist has a special place in St. Louis history because the film was based on a story that happened right here in town — and this is a great way to bone up on the fictionalized version in one of the city’s finest parks. For tickets and more information, visit facebook.com/events/781150959336816.
—Jaime Lees

Tonina + Mvstermind's All Hallows Bash
7 p.m. Saturday, October 31. The Lot, 714 Cerre Street. $84 to $104 per four-person pod. No phone.
For some of us, life in a pandemic is scary enough. We don’t need the ghouls and goblins, the mummies and monsters of Halloween — we just need to be able to safely enjoy some goddamn live music again. And for those people, Tonina and Mvstermind’s concert at the lot is just the ticket. Two of St. Louis’ best musicians join forces for this show. Tonina, a favorite of the last United States president we had who didn’t completely and pathologically suck, will deliver her soulful mix of R&B, folk and jazz with a side of Latin flavor, while rapper Mvstermind will continue his promotional push for the trio of EPs — BE, GREAT and FOOL — that he has slated for release over the coming months. Assuredly some aspects of the show will be appropriately spooky, and it’s a safe bet some attendees will choose to wear costumes — it is taking place on Halloween night, after all — but this outdoor, socially distanced event is far more about the love of live music than the telling of ghost stories, and for that we couldn’t be more grateful. For tickets and more information, visit jamopresents.com/the-lot.
—Daniel Hill

Halloween Bash at the Heavy Anchor
7 p.m. Saturday, October 31. The Heavy Anchor, 5226 Gravois Avenue. Free. 314-352-5226.
Bevo’s Heavy Anchor bar and venue has teamed up with its neighboring Arkadin microcinema throughout much of the pandemic to offer safe, socially distanced screening of classic movies in its outdoor backlot, and for this Halloween they’ve organized a bash that celebrates some of the scariest (and oldest) of the horror genre. Silent horror classics Nosferatu (1922) and The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920) will air on the shared patio all night, as St. Louis’ own Bruiser Queen will man the DJ booth to play “spooky tunes” throughout. Costumes are encouraged, masks are mandatory, and attendance will be capped at only 60 attendees. The event is free to attend, but RSVPS are required. For more information, visit facebook.com/events/1003898100059926.
—Daniel Hill
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