Out and About: 10 places to visit this October to enjoy some traditional fall festivities

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Callie Harrison

As fall rolls around, so do the local fall activities. Grab your pumpkin spice latte, cozy sweater and a mask to travel to these fun local areas, from haunted houses to petting zoos.

Juli Mejia, Staff Reporter

Although COVID-19 has interrupted many peoples normal lives, there are still various options around the St. Louis areas that are moderately safe and allow families to enjoy the season as normal. Here’s a list of 10 different places in the St. Louis area to head this fall for some outdoor fun.

1. Six Flags Hallowfest is a widely known event that takes place every year at the Eureka amusement park. About 20 minutes away from Lafayette High School (LHS), the event includes:

  •  Halloween themed performances like Love at First Fright
  •  scary stories and candy for kids 12 and under
  •  autumn-themed desserts like seasonal funnel cakes and pumpkin cheesecake fudge 
  • beastly creatures, demented clowns and sun-resistant vampires

 The Hallowfest is only on the weekends from Oct. 2 through Nov. 1 and evening activities are typically from 2-10 p.m. For a limited time, the tickets cost $30 each for a one day visit, but require a reservation beforehand. Six Flags will be enforcing face masks, social distancing and promise clean sanitation as well as hand-washing stations throughout the park. To check out their website, click here. Address: 4900 Six Flags Rd, Eureka, MO 63025

2. The St. Louis Zoo is a popular attraction with multiple events all year round and free admission. The autumn events include:

  • Boo at the Zoo; which will allow people of all ages to dress in costumes and explore the zoo. Cost varies depending on age and membership and there will be two sessions after 5 pm every evening from Oct. 16-30
  • Halloweekend; This free event will occur during the weekends from Oct. 17-31 and will have pumpkin treats for the animals, autumn-themed snacks, Halloween decorations and the usual attractions
  • Autumn with the Animals; autumn-themed food and crafts on the weekend of Oct. 3-10 

Reservations are required for the St. Louis Zoo and will also require face masks, social distancing and no cash. There will be limitations of zoo attendees and enhanced sanitation protocols. To visit their website, click here. Address: 1 Government Dr, St. Louis, MO 63110

3. Another option for fall activities is the Katy Bike Rental/Katy Trail. Located 20 miles from LHS, the Katy Bike Rental allows people to rent bikes of all shapes and sizes and cycle through the trail. Although there is no specific event for fall, the trees are changing colors and the trail really illustrates that. The trail is a lot safer than other options , due to the more manageable social distancing. Address: Katy Bike Rental, 2998 MO-94, Defiance, MO 63341

4. Another popular and free attraction is Forest Park. One of the prettiest parks in the St. Louis area, Forest Park surrounds multiple other attractions including the Zoo, the Art Museum, Planetarium and the Jewel Box. Like the Katy Trail, there isn’t a specific event going on at Forest Park, but now is the best time to enjoy a picnic in the park, go on a walk or experience Downtown St. Louis before it gets too cold. For some areas of the park, masks will be required and social distancing is being enforced. To check out their website and a map of the park, click here. Address:5595 Grand Drive, St. Louis, MO 63112 

5. On Oct. 2, The Darkness 2020 Haunted House and CreepyWorld will open.  The Darkness will include events such as:

  • The Darkness Two Story Haunted House; new rooms include the Lair of Spiders, Kingdom of the Witch and the Yeti Ice Cage
  • Silly Putty Interactive Mini Golf; open Wednesday through Friday at various times 
  • 5 Minute Coffin Escape; each guest is put into a coffin and has five minutes to work together and escape. This is located inside the gift store
  • Horror Arcade
  • St. Louis Escape; 60 minute escape rooms that aren’t considered scary 
  • Monster Museum Gift Shop 
  • Terror Visions 3D; One of the first-ever 3D haunted houses in America, the clown attraction is included with the haunted house and occurs right after

CreepyWorld, located 20 minutes away from The Darkness and about 30 minutes from LHS, is known as a Screampark and has 13 separate attractions for its guests. Some events include:

  • Haunted Hayride
  • Multiple Haunted Houses
  • Another 5 Minute escape room 

*Most events take place outdoors at CreepyWorld and take about an hour to complete 

Though somewhat similar, each has its own unique attractions and has a $5 discount if both tickets are bought together. Separately, each place costs about $25 depending on the attractions a visitor chooses. Face coverings will be required, and both have included longer line areas to allow six feet between visitors.

For more information on CreepyWorld click here, and for more information on The Darkness, click hereDarkness Address: 1525 S 8th St., St. Louis, MO 63104, CreepyWorld Address: 1400 S Old Hwy 141, Fenton, MO 63026

6. Another popular place to visit during fall, is Eckerts Farm. Located in Belleville, Illinois, Eckerts is open for pumpkin picking and apple picking all of October. According to Eckert’s website, “During the fall, farm visitors can enjoy carnival rides, a petting zoo, miniature golf and pony rides on the weekends.” Although there are many precautions like handwashing stations and mask-wearing, keep in mind Eckerts is very popular at this time of year and could be crowded. For more information on Eckerts, click here. Address: 951 S Green Mount Road, Belleville, IL 62220

7. Located at 13187 State Hwy M, Wright City, Missouri 63390, Big Joel’s Petting Zoo and Educational Park is another fall outdoor option this fall. About a 43 minute drive  from LHS, Big Joel’s includes a variety of animals along with its spooky decorations, including:

  • Lemurs
  • Camels
  • Warthogs
  • Crocodiles
  • Yellow Anaconda
  • Goats

Although it requires a long drive, it is an amazing option that will allow visitors to get up close and personal with the animals. Some attractions have been closed to reduce the spread of the virus, but there are still many options to feed animals and also has a playground for kids. Grants Farm, a similarly styled zoo, will be having a drive-through visit all through October as another option to prevent the spread of COVID-19. There is not a requirement for masks at Big Joel’s Petting Zoo, but the Zoo does ask to avoid hand sanitizer as it harms the animals. The Zoo also asks to refrain from wearing plastic gloves and enforces social distancing as well as frequent hand washing. 

For more information on Big Joel‘s Petting Zoo and Educational Park, click here. For more information about Grant’s Farm, click here.

8.   The Creve Coeur lake another great option for bikers, walkers, swimmers and anyone who wants to spend some time outdoors. At the Creve Coeur Lake Rentals, a gazebo near the lakefront entrance rents out bicycles, quadricycles, kayaks, paddleboards and canoes. Every weekend starting Sept. 28, the Gazebo will be open from 9 a.m to 5:30 p.m and will close Oct. 19. For more information about rentals, click here.

9. The Botanical Garden is also an exciting choice for an autumn afternoon.  Admission is $6 for ages 13  and up, $4 for seniors and free for ages 12 and under. Some options at the Botanical Garden include the Climatron; a rainforest setting, a multitude of beautiful gardens and very pretty scenery. There are be plenty of precautions taken, such as constant sanitation of high-touch areas, stations for sanitation, enforcement of social distancing and face masks. Make sure to make a reservation ahead of time, or the tickets might be sold out. There is also the Butterfly House located in Chesterfield, with a new circus theme exhibit. For more information about the Butterfly House, click here. The Sophia M. Sachs Butterfly House is 20 minutes away from LHS at 15193 Olive Blvd., and Faust Park Drive Botanical Garden is at 4344 Shaw Blvd.

10. Last but not least, Daniels Farm and Greenhouse at 352 Jungermann Road in St. Peters has an October Harvest going on through the end of the month. This event includes:

  • Giant Straw Maze
  • Petting Zoo
  • Fort Maze
  • Tube Slides
  • Pony Swings
  • Giant Tire Swings
  • Corn Boxes
  • Picnic Area
  • Antique Farm Equipment

Despite the setbacks to fully experiencing fall as we are used to, many options remain for a fall full of colorful leaves, Pumpkin Spice Lattes and having fun while still maintaining social distancing, no matter where you decide to spend it.