The smell of bonfires are already lingering in the air. Football games are a Friday ritual. Pumpkin Spice has made its appearance in almost every form imaginable. The kids have all strapped the packs to their backs and marched to their classrooms. Which means, where there was once Back-To-School items in the prime spots in our trusted retailers, there are now wigs, masks, face paint, and candy candy candy! That’s right, Halloween has come! The holiday where our kids get to be the hero of their daydreams and it’s socially acceptable for adults to walk around in everything from a kitty-cat to Spiderman!
Halloween has every potential to be remembered for the rest of our kids lives. The pictures probably will, or at least long enough for their Graduation Open House or to show their future spouse. But how else can this holiday be remembered forever by your little tots? We wanted to make it easy for you, so we have collected four family friendly events that will make Halloween, and the days leading up to it, a time that the whole family will remember.
Shrek the musical
October 19-22 and 26-29, The Little Theatre of Owatonna
Halloween is all about the costumes, and Shrek The Musical is a stage full of them! “The entire cast is so full of energy,” Victoria Bartkowiak, the productions tech director, says. From the set to the props to the characters themselves, everything is “something to see.” When asked if this production had a laugh for every member of the family, Victoria was certain of her answer. “Yes! It is based right off the movie, I think families will enjoy this production. We are having so much fun with it right now and we can’t wait to hear the reaction of the audience.” In keeping with the halloween tradition, the costumes for this play may end up bringing you some inspiration. Victoria notes there are “fairytale characters, guards and ogres” and that is just a few of the sights you’ll see. This colorful, silly and entertaining musical is sure to be an ogre-sized hit with the whole family, and the perfect way to kick-off Halloween. Buy tickets here.
A Haunting we will go
October 27th, 6:30-8pm Village of Yesteryear
This year will be the second time the Village of Yesteryear at the Steele County Historical Society holds this historically fun event. “Last year we told ourselves ‘we will count it a success if we have around 100 kids’. We never expected we would have over 2500 people show up!” Stephanie Kibler, the spokeswoman for the event, is so excited to see what happens this year. “Our goal is to get families into the Village as often as we can to demonstrate what a small town was like and the history behind it. This is just a fun way to do that!” The fun will be practically overflowing out of the Village. Each historic building, such as the General Store and School, will have treats and a variety of games. The lawn will be set up for pumpkin bowling, popcorn will be handed out to all and there is a Flashlight Scavenger Hunt with clues hidden all over the Village. One of the biggest highlights, according to Stephanie, is the flashlight guided tour of the Dunnell House. “Groups of about 12 at a time will get a guided tour of the house, with special items highlighted. Only flashlights will guide them through! Last year we did over 45 tours.” To add to the fun the night, costumes are not only welcomed, but encouraged. “Even the adults are welcome to dress up. We had a variety of characters last year, but some of the most fun ones were the period costumes. They looked like they lived in the Village!” With this being an event that is as educational as it fun, who would want to miss it!
Trick or treat trail
October 28th, 2-4pm Manthey Park
This quarter mile trail through the park will be like no other trail you’ve set foot on. Owatonna Parks and Recreation has really pulled out all the stops for this free Halloween event. Last year’s first attempt was so successful, they decided to do it all again, but bigger and better! Along the trail you will find local vendors giving away candy and showing off their store goods. Go a little further down the trail and stop a one of the crazy bouncy houses. You don’t have to look the part to take a ride on the train or hop on one of the ponies at the pony rides. But looking like a conductor or a cowgirl never hurt anyone. “We had families with newborns to ages 12 there last year, and all are welcome!” Spokeswoman Jessica Abrahams is looking forward to the afternoon, and the possible large turnout. “Last year we had around 2000 people, and we can’t wait to how this year turns out!” As with any proper Halloween event, costumes are encouraged from young and young-at-heart alike.
Downtown Trick or treat
October 31st, 4:30-6pm Downtown Owatonna
Downtown Owatonna already has all the charm one can wish for, but now add longer hours and candy! Before going to all the usual neighborhoods, start by attending the 2nd annual Downtown Trick or Treat. Shops like Central Park Coffee, Tone Music, The Hat Chic, and Owatonna Shoe will all be staying open, just to name a few. “It was so fun to see all the different costumes- from both kids and their parents”, says Sue Pap, the manager of Central Park Coffee. “Last year was the first year, and it went really well. This year will be even better!” The kids will have a blast getting candy from all the different shops, and the parents may find a few treats in the form of coffee or shoes or even a guitar! It’s Halloween, anything can happen.
Maybe you’ll choose one event to hit, or maybe you’ll make it a family goal to try to attend all 4! Either way, Owatonna really pulled out the stops for the year’s most playful holiday. Not only will you be able to capture that photo to embarrass your kids with later, you’ll make memories that will stay long after the sugar rush has died down. Thank goodness for that!
Start planning your trip by ordering a free visitor guide here.