Pumpkins, hayrides and spooky events are the hallmarks of the autumn season, and the St. Charles Park District has seasonal favorites and more for all ages to enjoy.
While health concerns with COVID-19 have required the cancellation of larger seasonal events and activities, park district staff has found creative ways to provide seasonal fun with small groups, advance reservations and other safety measures.
Silly or scary the design is up to you at the Pumpkin Painting fun at Primrose Farm in St. Charles. Each participant can select a pie pumpkin to decorate using Tempera paints. Register in advance and enjoy your own table and supplies. This program will be available by reservation on Fridays from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. beginning Sept. 18 through Oct. 17.
Instead of the annual Farm Frolic at Primrose Farm, a one-day event that would draw more than 500 people, the goal was to offer smaller events to enjoy seasonal activities in a safe manner explains Alison Jones, Manager of Farm Programs and Interpretive Services.
The popular Escape the Barn program at Primrose Farm allows those ages 11 and older to use their problem-solving skills as they navigate an escape room. Register your group of teens or a family for a one-hour time slot starting at 4:30pm on Friday, October 9 or Saturday, October 10.
Families of all ages will enjoy the traditional hayrides around Primrose Farm. Make a reservation for a 30-minute tractor-drawn wagon ride around the farm to enjoy the autumn sunset and beautiful foliage of the trees from its orchards and grounds. After the ride enjoy your own private s’mores making station. Plan to arrive early to visit the farm animals before your ride. Book a hayride for as few as eight or as many as 20 through the online reservation system.
“Families can enjoy their own private wagon ride with their group,” Jones said. “The rides are really pretty in the fall. We love the hayrides at sunset.”
St. Charles has plenty of local lore to discover. Check out the Mystery History Walking Tour of downtown St. Charles at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 1. Designed for ages 21 and older, a tour guide from the St. Charles History Museum will lead a small group while spinning tales of the town.
With the tour Grave Reminders, learn of several prominent individuals who found their final resting place in St. Charles in the North Cemetery. At each gravesite, guests will “encounter” a community figure and enjoy short monologues about their lives, their joys, their sorrows and their loves. This event will be held on Friday, October 23 at the North Cemetery for 20 people at one time departing every 15 minutes beginning at 7 p.m.
Have a hocus pocus GHOUL time with a little exercise and a SKELE-TON of fun at the inaugural Mummy Mile Fun Run on Saturday, Oct. 10 at the East Side Sports Complex. For all or part of your run/walk, try morphing into a MUMMY with arms and legs stretched out. No bending your knees! Trick or Treat at the candy/prize stations and learn some silly Halloween jokes along your way. Take home a special Halloween DIY craft. After your 1-mile walk/run, sit for a SPELL and enjoy a BREW (pre-packaged snack & beverage) while waiting for the awards presentation. Awards presented for Best Halloween Costume per age group and Best Overall Family Costume.
James O. Breen Community Park is the host of two new Halloween events! Caravan to Candyland for ages 10 and under will be held on Wednesday, Oct. 28 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Get your holiday sweets on the street of treats! Follow the Halloween-themed path for a unique trick-or-treating experience. Along the way, from the safety of your own vehicle, stop at candy/prize stations during this spirited and lively event. Put some fresh batteries in those flashlights for the annual Flashlight Pumpkin Hunt from 6 to 9:30 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 30. Children can wear their costumes and receive a DIY pumpkin creation kit to take home to decorate. Sign up for half-hour searching spots.
Advance registration is required for all of these Halloween events at stcparks.ticketleap.com.