Boo! The Mill Town Haunt is closed for 2017. This trick is no treat for local fans of the family friendly charity-fundraiser in Dundas. However, they promise to be back better than ever next year but where do families take their costumed impressionable wee-ones now? On Saturday, October 21 the Le Duc Historical Estate in Hastings will host its annual Harvest Haunting featuring s’mores, scary stories, cider and more for the entire family. On Saturday, October 28 begin the afternoon with fun outdoor activities at River Bend Nature Center’s Bats, Bones & Bonfires in Faribault then trick-or-treat your way through Rosemount Central Park’s Haunted Woods Trail. Available weekends of October 21 and 28 for the younger set up to age 8 is Zoo Boo at the Como Zoo in St. Paul. This festival features a zoo full of live costumed characters—more than 200!—ready to greet children as they trick-or-treat their way through the zoo. Catch this event while you can; they won’t be back until 2019 due to planned construction at the zoo. These are all non-scary, costumed events. Check out the links for times and cost.
If your definition of family friendly involves jaded older children and teens, then scary might be more to your liking. The Experience on Highway 61 in Cottage Grove and Rochester Horror: Fright at the Farm in Zumbrota are not for the faint of heart. They both rate high on the scary scale featuring plenty of blood, gore, imagination, and surprise. Minnesota has many such attractions from which to choose. For more information, lists by city, and reviews go to www.thescarefactor.com.