Mariah Lindsey, Guest Writer
As the weather has finally cooled into what is traditional for the fall season, many of us are eager to engage in fun activities before temperatures become unbearably cold and the holidays are fully upon us. Especially needed for many of us is the reduced stress of midterms and everything else that comes with being in the middle of the school semester. Stress and anxiety can be at an all-time high for students.
It also does not help that St. Louis sometimes carries the negative reputation of a city with not much for young adults to do. In honor of the fall season, below are some Halloween-inspired places to visit and activities to partake in for individuals and families alike.
Visit a Pumpkin Patch
Despite my age, I have yet to grow out of loving the pumpkin patch. The University of Missouri–St. Louis is conveniently located a mere mile away from one of the three locations for Thies Farm and Greenhouses. Its Pumpkin Land exhibit is perfect for students living on campus at UMSL who want to spend a nice evening walking through corn and hay mazes, hayrides, and playing around on the rides. Thies Farm also sells cheap home-grown pumpkins and fresh produce fitting for the fall season. Additional locations are in Maryland Heights and St. Charles, Missouri.
Eckert’s is another family-friendly farm with many activities. It has a large market that sells quite a few produce items, including jams and ciders. I visited its Millstadt, Illinois, location last year with fellow church members and was thoroughly entertained. Our entourage was allowed to camp out on a hill overlooking the beautiful city skyline while we enjoyed a bonfire and prepared smores and roasted hotdogs. Some of the other attractions, of course, were carnival-like rides for children, a haunted hayride, go-karts, and a petting zoo. Additional locations are in Belleville, Grafton, and Afton, Illinois.
Fright Fest at Six Flags
A St. Louis classic, Six Flags is hosting its annual Fright Fest event once again until Nov. 3. This season sparks a complete transformation of the amusement park as its streets are covered in realistic Halloween decorations that create an eerie and foggy atmosphere come nighttime.
With the addition of individual haunted houses and live performances, the primary attraction for Fright Fest is the presence of costumed individuals who don’t mind scaring their guests. It’s advised for families to take their kids home when the self-proclaimed “freaks” come out at night, as they don’t mind sneaking up on and chasing their patrons around the park.
I finally got the chance to visit Fright Fest a couple of weeks ago with UMSL’s University Program Board and was thoroughly entertained.
Take a Trip to the Darkness or Creepyworld
A part of Scarefest St. Louis, The Darkness and Creepyworld are among the largest and most popular haunted house attractions in St. Louis. Hosted in a warehouse in Soulard, The Darkness is a 30 to 45-minute exhibit with various spooky themes and tunnels. At an even larger location in Fenton, Missouri’s Creepyworld is an outdoor complex with an hourlong array of even scarier and more intricate attractions. It is advised to book a “Speed Pass” bundle to both locations together for the full haunted house experience.
Research Some Urban Myths
St. Louis is no stranger to urban myths and spooky stories. Many tales speak of spirit sightings and other supernatural activities that are tied to specific areas. I am not endorsing any of these activities, but for those daring souls with a bit less fear in their hearts, there could be some potentially interesting places.