Fall in St. Louis is a transitional season. The St. Louis "24 hour" weather rule can apply many times during the Fall. Fortunately, we do have many days of true fall weather, those crisp Autumn days when a sweater is needed and the fall leaves look stunning against the backdrop of a deep blue Autumn sky. St. Louis has many fun places to visit and things to do during the Fall.
For many people Fall is all about Halloween! The St. Louis area has many pumpkin patches that provide Halloween family fun during the month of October. Thies Farm has a "Pumpkin Land" at their North and West locations which feature corn mazes, the Pumpkin Land play area, pony rides, face painting and more! Eckert's Farms in Belleville Illinois is known for its pumpkin patch and offers hay rides, the Country Store and more. For more Halloween fun, in the month of October, Six Flags turns the entire park into one big Halloween party called "Fright Fest." The park is only open on weekends, Friday night through Sunday night, and encourages parents to bring younger children during the day to experience the "Thrills by Day" and teens and adults to stay after 6pm for the "Fright by Night." The St. Louis Zoo celebrates Halloween, too with their "Boo at the Zoo" which is held in the month of October.
And what would Halloween be without ghosts and haunted houses? For those who enjoy the thrills of the paranormal, Historic Alton Illinois is recognized as one of the most haunted small towns in the nation. Several haunted tours are offered throughout the year, but make a perfect fun Fall thing to do! The Lemp Mansion in Downtown St. Louis was home to the wealthy Lemp family who owned the Lemp Brewery. Today it is a Bed & Breakfast and restaurant and is reported to be haunted! "Paranormal Tours" are given at the mansion as well as other spooky events throughout October. The Payne-Gentry House in Bridgeton Missouri is also known to be haunted. The Bridgeton Parks and Rec Department gives tours of the historical home of Elbridge Payne and his family, but you will have to find your own ghosts! Thornhill Mansion at Thornhill Farm, home to Missouri's second governor, Frederick Bates, is located in Faust Park and is said to be haunted by the Governor himself!
Several festivals and annual events happen during the fall season in and around St. Louis. One of them is the St. Louis Art Fair which takes place in the Central Business District of Clayton. The art fair is recognized as one of the top art fairs in the country and features both visual and performing arts. The Apple Butter Festival in Historic Kimmswick is held in October and features the Kimmswick Historical Society's apple butter as well as hundreds of booths filled with arts and crafts, food, drink and fun family friendly activities. Historic Hermann Missouri celebrates its German heritage with Oktoberfest events happening every weekend during the month of October. All three of the Eckert's Country Store and Farms locations have fall family friendly activities centered around their fall crops of apples and pumpkins. September weekends are all about the "Apple Fest" and October weekends feature the "Jumpin' Pumpkin Jamboree". Eckert's Millstadt location also has "Haunted Hayrides"!
The Great Forest Park Balloon Race is a fun event that takes place in Forest Park each September. The Friday night before the race, all the balloonists participate in the "Balloon Glow" by inflating their tethered balloons and then illuminating them. It is a really cool sight and everyone is invited! On Saturday, the event continues with fun family activities leading up to the afternoon when the race begins with the launching of the Energizer Bunny!
Missouri has become known for its locally bottled, award winning wines and even has several "wine trails" in the St. Louis area. One of them is located in St. Charles County and includes several wineries in St. Charles, Augusta, and Defiance. An Autumn afternoon spent at a Missouri winery will usually include live entertainment along with wine tasting. For a list of wineries in the St. Louis area, see our St. Louis Wineries Page.
To take in some fall color, one of the area's most beautiful drives is on the Great River Road. The stretch of road lies along the bluffs of the Mississippi River between Alton Illinois and Pere Marquette State Park and is gorgeous at this time of year. May we suggest a taking a hike or bike ride on one of the many area trails during peak color week? A great hiking spot to take in fall color are the Lewis and Clark Trails in the Weldon Spring Conservation Area. These trails lead to dramatic overlooks of the Missouri River and feature beautiful fall color at peak season!
For fall football action, consider attending one of the many area high school games. Most are played under the lights on a Friday night! And the St. Louis Cardinals always seem to extend their playing season by getting into the play-offs, either by their record or by wildcard, which leads to a season all of its own, "Red October"! St. Louis is a sea of red until the Cardinals play their last game of the season.
A traditional way in St. Louis to close out the Fall season and welcome in the Winter is to attend the Thanksgiving Day Parade. Put the turkey in the oven and then bundle up the kids, the grandparents, the aunts and uncles and head to Downtown St. Louis to see floats, marching bands, balloons and Santa! Its a wonderful way to start off the Christmas Season!