October weather in St. Louis can't be beat. Plenty of sunshine, warm but comfortable days and crisp cool nights make getting outdoors a must. And, once the leaves start to change colors, a fall festival or road trip is a great way to spend a day. And the end of the month means haunted houses and plenty of Halloween celebrations. Here are the top picks for things to do in St. Louis in October 2012.
Every year during the first weekend of October, the Missouri Botanical Garden is transformed into a giant outdoor market. The Best of Missouri Market features the finest products grown and made in the Show-Me State. You can sample and buy dozens of foods or get an early start on your holiday shopping. The market runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., on both Saturday and Sunday. There's also a special preview on Friday night from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Admission is $12 for adults and $5 for Garden members and children.
October 5-7, 2012
Missouri Botanical Garden
The historic Shaw neighborhood near the Botanical Garden holds its annual art fair each year during the same weekend as the Best of Missouri Market. The two day event features a wide variety of art, live music and a food court. The fair is held at the intersection of Flora Place and Tower Grove Avenue. Admission is $7 for adults and free for children 14 and younger.
October 6 & 7, 2012
Shaw Neighborhood, St. Louis
St. Louis also celebrates its German heritage in October with Oktoberfest. The Soulard Oktoberfest is one of the fastest growing celebrations in the country. There's plenty of beer, food and music, plus activites for the kids.
For wine lovers, Hermann's the place to be during Oktoberfest. The small town comes alive each weekend in October, welcoming thousands of visitors to Stone Hill and its other wineries. You can get there by car, Amtrak or bike via the Katy Trail.
October 12-14, 2012
Weekends in October, 2012
For a different kind of Oktoberfest celebration, make a visit to the St. Louis Zoo. Each year in October, the Zoo puts its own twist on the infamous German celebration with its own party, called Ottertoberfest. Kids can play games and learn about North American River Otters while mom and dad enjoy German food and beer in the biergarten. Admission is free.
October 6-7 & 13-14, 2012
St. Louis Zoo
Residents on "The Hill," St. Louis' famous Italian neighborhood, celebrate their rich history in October with the annual Columbus Day Parade and Festival. The parade starts at noon at Kighshighway and Southwest Ave. Everyone is invited to line the route and watch the floats, cars and bands go by. Then head over to Berra Park for an afternoon of food, music and fun.
October 14, 2012
The Hill, St. Louis
See more of The Hill by taking a self-guided walking tour.
There are several places to go when you want a real Halloween fright in St. Louis. The Darkness Haunted House in Soulard is ranked as one of the best in the country and draws big crowds every year. There's also Scream Park at Creepyworld in Fenton and the Cobb Factory in Old Monroe. For more information on these scary attractions, read my article on Haunted Houses in the St. Louis Area.
The Smashing Pumpkins are bringing their Oceania Tour to St. Louis. The band will be performing at Chaifetz Arena on the St. Louis University Campus. Tickets are $35 and $49.50.
October 18, 2012
The Apple Butter Festival is Kimmswick, Missouri's largest celebration of the year. More than 100,000 visitors fill Market Street and the city park to sample apple butter and dozens of other foods. Hundreds of craft vendors sell their goods at booths around town. The festival runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
October 27 & 28, 2012
Trick or Treat Street
Every year, one small block in South St. Louis hosts one of the area's biggest Halloween celebrations. The block has actually earned the nickname of "Trick or Treat Street." To join the fun, bring your kids to the 5300 block of Nottingham on Halloween night. Residents deck out their homes and dress in costumes for the thousands of visitors who descend upon the block by the car or bus load. It's a fun and safe way for your children to enjoy the holiday. The block party officially runs from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.
October 31, 2012
South St. Louis