Halloween is always a major highlight during the fall season as a memorable occasion to celebrate with family. Between the festive costumes and trick-or-treating, most kids look forward to this day with excitement. However, not everything about Halloween is fun. Young kids might be terrified by the scary decorations and haunted houses that they’re not quite old enough to handle. Preventing fear and unnecessary anxiety around Halloween is easy when age-appropriate venues are made available to families with younger children. Here’s a list of the top kid-friendly haunted houses and haunted activities in the St. Louis area.
The Magic House at St. Louis Children’s Museum
516 S. Kirkwood Road
St. Louis, MO 63122
Dates: October 19-21 and 26-28, 2012
Each year, The Magic House hosts a Not-So-Haunted House for kids of all ages. Bring the little ones along as they are invited to dress in their most “spooktacular” costumes and join in the fun. Each child in attendance receives a free trick-or-treat bag, an autograph book of not-so-spooky characters to have signed and they get to explore all four levels of the 100-year-old Not-So-Haunted House. For older kids (age 5-14) there is a much scarier Haunted Trail to venture through in the dark with flashlights only.
Six Flags Fright Fest
Six Flags St. Louis
4900 Six Flags Road
Eureka, MO 63025
Dates: Weekends through October 28, 2012
Fright Fest at Six Flags St. Louis is always a popular Halloween destination. This year, there will be fun for everyone during the Thrills by Day, Fright by Night event. The daytime lineup includes rides, Looney Tunes characters, a maze and more. In the evening, a ghoulish good time will be had by walking through the hair-raising haunted house. There are also shows, street entertainment and haunted hayrides for the young ones to enjoy. Only children 12 and under are allowed to wear costumes (no gory costumes or masks permitted).
Grant’s Farm Halloween Celebration
10501 Gravois Road
St. Louis, MO 63123
Dates: October 11-13, 18-20 and 25-27, 2012
Grant’s Farm is another popular, kid-friendly place to have some not-too-spooky Halloween fun with the whole family. First, take the haunted tram ride in the dark with ghosts and goblins lighting the way. Afterwards, the festivities continue with good food, carousel rides and pumpkin decorating.
Spirits From The Past
Historic Daniel Boone Home
1868 Highway F
Defiance, MO 63341
Date: October 20, 2012
For kids ages seven and older who aren’t quite ready to venture through a frightening haunted houses but want to partake in some serious spookiness, a visit to Spirits From the Past at the Historic Daniel Boone Home is the perfect Halloween treat. Families can tour the lantern-lit grounds while storytellers wander beside them revealing local, haunted tales of ghosts and goblins.
Memorial Hall in Blanchette Park
1900 W. Randolph St.
St. Charles, MO 63301
Date: October 28, 2012
All are welcome to join the annual Halloween Spooktacular in St. Charles. This is a terrific kid-friendly event featuring a spooky haunted house, hayrides, ghosts, goblins and lots of games for all ages to enjoy. Little ones are encouraged to don their costumes and parents, you can too. No one’s too old to dress up for Halloween.
Meredith Johns is a freelance writer covering all things St. Louis. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.