Let your imagination run wild this Halloween at these frightfully fun family activities

Image by yanlev/Fotolia

By Taylor Weeks

Halloween is a time of year when kids and adults alike can let their imaginations run wild. Costumes are a must, as well as trick-or-treat baskets, candy, jack-o-lanterns and fake spider webs. This spooky holiday can be as scary (or not scary) as you’d like it to be. Here in the Twin Cities, we have an abundance of family friendly activities for kids of all ages to join in the festivities of the season. We have highlighted six of our favorites below. For even more fun Halloween events, click here.

Minnesota Streetcar Museum Trolley Rides 

Ride along for a Halloween-inspired trip on the historic Excelsior and Como-Harriet streetcar lines. You can huddle together for a haunted ride or, with younger children, enjoy the scenery along with a story and ghoulishly delicious treat. The Minnesota Streetcar Museum offers a variety of Halloween-themed rides for every family.

Excelsior Line
Trick ‘r Trolley: Oct. 25 at 1:30 and 3:30 p.m., $5
Fantastically Spooky Ghost Trolley: Oct. 27 & 28 from 6-9 p.m., $4

Como-Harriet Line
Farmer Ken and Jan’s Pumpkin Patch: Oct. 14 & 15 from 12:30-4 p.m., regular fares apply; pumpkins are $5
Ghost Trolley-Witches’ Moon: Oct. 27 & 28 from 6:30-9 p.m., $4
Transylvania Trolley: Oct. 28 from 12:30-4 p.m., regular fares apply
Trick ‘r Trolley: Oct. 29 at 1, 2 and 3 p.m., $5
The Late Show: Séance on a Streetcar: Oct. 29 at 8 and 9 p.m., $7.50 (for adults only)


Travel to the Science Museum of Minnesota for Boo-ology and join in the spooky experiments. Any age can enjoy the hands-on science activities and events, all mad scientist-esque, of course. Even better, kids under 12 get free museum admission if they are wearing their costume. You can experience this event on Oct. 28 from noon-4 p.m. Museum admission costs $18.95 for adults and $12.95 for children; children under 3 are free.

Tamarack Trick-or-Treat

Take your preschool and early elementary-aged children to this kid-designed Halloween event. Purposefully non-scary, the Tamarack Trick-or-Treat event includes games, hand-pressed cider and live animals. There are costumed characters stationed along the prairie loop trail with yummy treats for your little trick-or-treaters. Be sure to register for this popular event, which will take place on Oct. 25 from 3-5:30 p.m. Cost is $7.50 per child and $3.25 per adult.

Pumpkin Nights

Wander along a half-mile walking path divided into different “lands” lined with tokens of Halloween spirit, including more than 4,000 carved pumpkins. You can even watch an on-site pumpkin carving artist, carve your own pumpkin, view screenings of Halloween-themed movies, grab a snack at one of the food vendors and watch the kiddos explore the hay bale maze. There’s no shortage of Halloween fun, so make sure to get your tickets. Pumpkin Nights is open every night from Oct. 13-29. Tickets are $20 for adults and $16 for children; children under 3 are free. Family packs, which cover two adults and two children, cost $64.

Ghouls and Giggles

Paint a pumpkin and collect some candy, making sure to test out your best “Trick or Treat” cackle at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum‘s Ghouls and Giggles event. Your child can also get his or her face painted before enjoying some creepy Halloween tunes at the “spooktacular” concert with the Minnetonka Symphony Orchestra. These festive events are free with gate admission on Oct. 22 from 1-5 p.m. Gate admission costs $15 for adults; children 15 and under are free.

Day of the Dead Family Day Celebration

Immerse yourself in traditional Mexican culture at the Minnesota History Center Day of the Dead Family Day Celebration this October. You, your family and friends can enjoy energetic activities such as traditional Mexican music and dancing, intricate puppet shows, and hands-on crafts and games, all included with museum admission. Join in the festivities on Oct. 22 from 12-4 p.m. Museum admission is $12 for children and $6 for youth; children 4 and under are free.


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