Family-friendly (and mostly cheap!) things to do with kids this Halloween

Last year's Pumpkin Nights boasted over 3,000 pumpkins.

Last year's Pumpkin Nights boasted over 3,000 pumpkins. Andy Witchger

While there will be adults out drinking and dancin in costumes this weekend, it's important to remember that this holiday really is about spooky fun with kids. The following is our roundup of family-friendly, low-scare events to take your little ones to.

Chris Juhn

Chris Juhn

Halloween Outdoor Puppet Extravaganza

BareBones’ Puppet Extravaganza returns to Hidden Falls Park this week for a series of shows full of spectacle, interactive fun, and treats. Drawing influences from historic traditions and literary sources, stilt walkers, puppets, fire dancers, and musicians will tell the tale of the circle of life, with a focus on the cold grave. Audiences will be welcome to honor the dead during the show or through tribute altars, set up on the grounds. Afterward, free hot food and drinks from Sisters’ Camelot will warm up the night as the Brass Messengers play tunes. Dress weather-appropriate, as this show is outdoors. 7 p.m. Every Fri., Sat., and Sun. from Oct. 21-28; 7 p.m. Oct. 31; $10-$20. Hidden Falls Park, 1313 Mississippi River Blvd., St. Paul; 651-632-5111. --Jessica Armbruster

Halloween Bonfire
With face painting, marshmallows, and hotdogs. Monday, 6-8 p.m. Rice Recreation Center, 1021 Marion St., St. Paul; 651-558-2392.

Safe Summer Night 3rd Annual Fall Celebration
Halloween activities and a costume parade. Saturday, noon to 2 p.m. Arlington Hills Community Center, 1200 Payne Ave., St. Paul; 651-632-3861.

MJM Halloween Bash
Featuring a petting zoo, jump castle, haunted house, snacks, costume contest. Friday, 6-8 p.m. $5. Merriam Park Recreation Center, 2000 St. Anthony Ave., St. Paul; 651-298-5766.


Nickelodeon Boo-niverse
Halloween festivities throughout Nickelodeon Universe, with a dance party, pumpkin carving contest, costume parade, trick-or-treating, and fright lights. For a complete list of events and schedules, visit Daily from Oct. 20-31; Free. Nickelodeon Universe, 5000 Center Court, Bloomington; 952-883-8600.

Pumpkin Nights
Mile long walking path lined with hand-carved pumpkins. More info at 6:30 p.m.-12 a.m. Every Fri. and Sat. from Oct. 13-29; 6:30-10:30 p.m. Every Mon., Tue., Wed., Thu., and Sun. from Oct. 13-29; $20; $16 kids 4-12. Minnesota State Fairgrounds, 1265 Snelling Ave., St. Paul; 651-288-4400.

Goosebumps: The Phantom of the Auditorium
Based on the R.L. Stine series. 1 p.m. Every Fri. from Oct. 13-27; 3 p.m. Every Sat. and Sun. from Oct. 14-29; 12 p.m. Every Wed. and Thu. from Oct. 25-26; $12-$16. SteppingStone Theatre, 55 Victoria St. N., St. Paul; 651-225-9265.

Spookley the Square Pumpkin
A pumpkin is encouraged by friends to run for the Pick of the Patch contest. 10 a.m. Every Wed., Thu., Fri., and Sat. from Oct. 4-27; 12:30 p.m. Every Wed. and Thu. from Oct. 4-26; 7 p.m. Oct. 27; 1 p.m. Every Sat. from Sept. 29-Oct. 28; 2 p.m. Every Sun. from Sept. 29-Oct. 29; $12-$16. Stages Theatre Company, 1111 Mainstreet, Hopkins; 952-979-1111.

Halloween Party
With games and crafts. Friday, 6-8 p.m. Free. Palace Community Center, 781 Palace Ave., St. Paul; 651-298-5677.

Halloween Party
With carnival games, a haunted room, face painting, crafts, bounce house, climbing tower, and more. Friday, 6-8 p.m. Free. Battle Creek Recreation Center, 75 Winthrop St. S., St. Paul.

Sever's Fall Festival
For the past 20 years, Sever’s Fall Festival has been encouraging people to get lost in a field of corn. This year’s maze is Aussie-inspired, with trivia and fun-fact signs to discover along the way from start to finish. Once you make it out, there will be plenty to see and do. That includes petting zoos, a giant corn pit, pig races, and zip lining. Take a hayride or explore the pumpkin patch. There will also be plenty of seasonal food options, plus beer and wine for adults. For more info, visit 1-8 p.m. Every Fri. from Sept. 8-Oct. 29; 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Every Sat. from Sept. 8-Oct. 29; 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Oct. 19; 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Oct. 20; $15; kids 3 and under free. Sever's Corn Maze, 1100 Canterbury Rd., Shakopee; 952-974-5000. --Jessica Armbruster

Como Friends ZooBoo
Non-scary family-friendly Halloween event benefiting Como Park Zoo and Conservatory. Tickets and more info here. 4:30-7:30 p.m. Daily from Oct. 21-22; 4:30-7:30 p.m. Daily from Oct. 28-29; $6-$7. Como Zoo, 1225 Estabrook Drive, St. Paul; 651-487-8200.


Halloween Kids Kraft
Featuring craft activities, storytime, and costumes. Registration and more info here. 10:30 a.m. Oct. 28; Free; registration required. Scott County Historical Society, 235 S. Fuller St., Shakopee; 952-445-0378.

St. Paul Lake Como Pumpkin Patch
Tickets and more info at 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Every Sat. and Sun. from Oct. 7-29; $3-$7. Lake Como, 1330 Lexington Ave. N., St Paul.

Thrill Kenwood
Benefit for Global Giving featuring costume party, group dance to "Thriller," family-friendly outdoor activities, CD Release Party for The Big Epic Show, hip-hop variety show, and red carpet. Tickets and more info here. 4-8 p.m. Oct. 28; $10; $8 kids. Kenwood Community Center, 2101 W. Franklin Ave., Minneapolis; 612-370-4941.

Veterans Memorial Park Pumpkin Patch
Tickets and more info at 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Every Sat. and Sun. from Sept. 30-Oct. 29; $5-$9. Veterans Memorial Park, 6335 Portland Ave. S., Richfield; 612-861-9350.

Kid's Halloween Dance
With Chopper the DJ and Mr. Magic. 2:30 p.m. Oct. 29; Free with food donation. Medina Entertainment Center, 500 Hwy. 55, Hamel; 763-478-6661.

Family-friendly trick-or-treating event with balloon artists, face-painters, and family fun. 7 p.m. Oct. 31; Free. Southdale Center, 10 Southdale Center, Edina; 952-925-7874.