Not everyone enjoys heart-pumping scares and blood-chilling screams of traditional Halloween activities. Many residents seek fun, exciting ways to celebrate the season without the spooks and haunts that give you nightmares.
For this reason, residents can count on the St. Charles Park District to provide thrilling, but non-scary events – safe for the whole family to enjoy, from moonlight hayrides to an indoor fall carnival.
Primrose Farm is the place to be for Halloween-themed adventures for the family. Moonlight hayrides are back in October. Experience a tour of the living history farm by the light of the moon. Snuggle up close as you travel along the cornfields and through the 100-plus acres of farmland for a 2-mile, 30-minute ride.
After the ride, warm up by the bonfire to roast marshmallows and sip hot chocolate or hot cider.
Three time slots are available – 5:30 p.m., 6:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. – during the weekends of Oct. 4-5, Oct. 11-12 and Oct. 18-19. Advance registration is required.
While on the farm, add Escape the Barn to your night. Modeled after escape room venues, this popular event is back to challenge those who dare to solve the mystery.
This year, participants will become detectives who are investigating a crime scene when Farmer George, his wife and farmhands go missing. Groups of three to eight people, at least 11 years old, will be “locked” in the dairy barn for 45 minutes to solve a series of interactive challenges to find the culprit behind the crimes. New this year, groups will have the opportunity to ask for hints along the way if they get stuck on a challenge.
Once the mystery is solved, they can compare their scores with other groups and take a photo opportunity to prove they “escaped the barn.” If time runs out without solving the crime, staff member will provide answers.
Advance registration is required. Those who also sign up for a Moonlight Hayride will receive a $5 discount on Escape the Barn.
“Escape the Barn puts residents into the spirit of Halloween with a thrilling, suspenseful challenge without the spooky imagery or scares like in a haunted house,” farm programs supervisor Emily Lambillotte said.
More mysteries exist in downtown St. Charles during the annual Mystery History Walking Tour Oct. 3. Unlike Escape the Barn, you’ll be learning about mysterious happenings from St. Charles’ past, instead of solving mysteries.
Whether it’s date night or a night out with friends, you’ll visit various establishments downtown to enjoy a drink or two as your tour guide provides intriguing and spooky tales from St. Charles' past. The tour is from 6 to 9 p.m. Participants must be 21 years old. Advance registration is required. The program takes place in partnership with the St. Charles History Museum.
New this year is CarniFALL on Oct. 6 at Sportsplex to celebrate the season with carnival-type activities, including Nerf target games, Bozo buckets and ring toss. There also is a bounce house. Concessions will be open serving carnival-type food. Stop by any time between noon to 3 p.m. Advance registration is required by Oct. 1.
Another event the family can enjoy is Grave Reminders from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. Oct. 18. Walk through North Cemetery to “meet” some of the residents who were laid to rest in one of the oldest cemeteries in St. Charles. In partnership with the St. Charles History Museum, volunteers, dressed in costume, will portray these residents, retelling spooky, but family-friendly stories of their lives.
Register at www.stcparks.org