Every year, the Halloween celebrations across the Twin Cities grow and multiply, meaning you can celebrate the holiday all month long! I've found tons of FREE options for the weekend before Halloween – for those of us who only have the time, money and energy to celebrate for a few days.
Fun in the metro area
Schultz Family on York Avenue. These dedicated folks dress up four houses on York Avenue in St. Paul with thousands of twinkling lights, blowups, pumpkins, they even have a graveyard. The spectacle is free, but they do request food shelf donations for the Merrick Community Services. Shows will be running from Dusk - 10:00 Sunday through Thursday, and Dusk to 11:00 Friday & Saturday through November 3rd. For the houses' location, just go to Schultz Family Lights.com. And yes, they also decorate for Christmas!
Great Pumpkin Festival. The Landmark Center in downtown St. Paul is hosting a free Halloween event on Sunday, October 27th, from 1-3 PM. There will be music, storytelling, crafts, candy, and my favorite, a costume contest, complete with fashion runway. Did I mention this was free? Landmarkcenter.org.
Anoka: Halloween central
I counted 14 remaining events going on in Anoka, Halloween capital of the world, including:
The Preschool Costume Contest at Lyric Arts Main Street Stage on Friday, October 25th. The contest is free to enter, and registration starts at 9:30 AM. All pre-kindergarten kids are welcome to compete, and yes, their parents can compete with them.
The Grand Day Parade on October 26th, starting at 1 PM. Anoka boasts that this is the longest running and largest parade in MN, with over 150 floats. I like it because it's a free fun event for the family.
And all weekend long, check out the entrants in Anoka's House Decorating contest. The judging is tomorrow night, and the homes are open to the public Friday through Sunday. For a map of the house locations, and to learn more about Anoka Halloween, just visit Anoka Halloween.com.
Just for adults
Butcher Shop House of Gore: This St. Paul haunted house is in its 3rd year, and terrifies all that enter with, "unusually detailed, full-size maze-style haunted house that is constructed in the way haunted houses used to be built... black lights, rats, skulls, cadavers, ghosts, strobe lights, fog machines, rubber masks, and gallons of shocking bloody gore!" In other words, children under the age of 17 should really be left at home. But the most shocking thing is its price – just $5 a ticket. Better still, this haunt is open the first weekend in November, too. Details: http://butchershophouseofgore.tripod.com/
Costumes for the whole family
Savers, with over 10 locations around the Twin Cities, has costumes, accessories, and even Costume Consultants on hand to help you find the perfect look for less. They even know what the hot costume trends are for 2013.