October Surprises!

What a month! It was so jammed packed with fun that it took me an extra nine days just to write this post! Okay, not really, but October was a good month for candy, costumes, and more! Check out my October 2020 wrap-up below.

We kicked off October with #inktober2020. Abby, Alex, and I each did 31 different illustrations through-out the month of October using prompts provided by Inktober. It was a lot of fun sitting with the kids and doing our drawings each night. There were lots of fun and interesting ideas brought to the table by each of us. Check out my Instagram at dadSTL and Abby’s Instagram at AbbyDoodlesArt to see all of our awesome work!

One of the sadder days of October had us spending the day packing up and moving some of my mom’s stuff. My mom was a wonderful person and had so many ideas and projects, unfortunately she teetered on the line of hoarding. So this move was definitely a big project, one that is far from finished, but we made a big dent. There were a lot of memories packed away. We will eventually make our way through all of the boxes, it will just take some time.

In other crazy October news, a marina that I do web design work for caught on fire. That was a very interesting day.

Union Station had their Halloween Experience, so we had to check that out. It was a lot of fun and the kids had an absolute blast. Union Station has some of the coolest events during the various holidays. We are super excited for the new Polar Express setup this year. It looks so fun and unique compared to previous years!

Pumpkin painting, pumpkin patches, and trunk-or-treats filled up a few weekends for us. Halloween is always a great time of year to get together with family and start celebrating the end of the year! I think this year we did three different trunk-or-treats, one at a car dealership, one at a car show, and one at a church! We went to the Eagle Fork pumpkin patch this year as well, and to top it all off the kids even got to go trick-or-treating this year!

The night before Halloween was even a fun one for the kids. Mischief night as it is known to some, Devil’s night as known by others. The kids stayed with their mischievous aunt and uncle and decided to go out and cause mayhem as they toilet papered our house and sped off into the night!

This year the kids decided to dress up as Negan from The Walking Dead and Harley Quinn. I decided to dress up as the great and all powerful sorcerer. It was a lot of fun, I even read some tarot cards and predicted a few futures!

Finally, as Halloween came to a close, so did Daylight Savings and the time decided to fall back. So on the day after Halloween, we decided to smash our pumpkins for what will become a yearly tradition! Using a baseball bat, golf clubs, and a few other creative ideas the kids and I spent a couple hours smashing some pumpkins and then tossing the bits and pieces into our compost.

And there you have it! St. Louis Dad’s October! I am sure there is more, but I am getting old and tired, and it’s about time for my nap.

Halloween at Union Station!

All Aboard! The Union Station Halloween Experience brings family fun to the fall season in St. Louis, October 9 – 31.

Created for children 12 and under and their families, the Union Station Halloween Experience is a themed walking journey through the historic railroad terminal’s stationary rail cars. Each train car features a spooky theme including pirates, witches, dark creatures and a candy wonderland. 
Guests can purchase tickets and start their Halloween journey inside a huge tent filled with a not-so-scary maze, a series of boo-rific decorated rooms and a big barnyard where guests 12 and under receive a free pumpkin.
Onboard the rail cars, characters read a story with clues and interactive elements to solve the Riddle of the Werewolf. Kids get a special treat at the end of the journey.

The Union Station Halloween Experience is open daily, October 9 – 31 from 1 to 9 p.m. with the last ticket sold at 8 p.m.

My two kiddos LOVED the Halloween Experience at Union Station. It was just the perfect amount of scary for them. My son is six and he was holding my hand so tight while walking through the spooky maze. My daughter is ten and wasn’t as scared but just loved how everything was setup.

With a magic show, a balloon artist, and much more, the first part of the Halloween Experience was already worth checking out. The second part, which consists of going through several train cars that are decorated with some crazy Halloween flair was just as fun. Listening to the story and putting together the clues provided a unique experience that kids and adults should really enjoy.

Ticket options allow guests to incorporate package deals with Union Station’s other attractions, adding a visit to the St. Louis Aquarium and the 200-foot-tall St. Louis Wheel at a reduced price.

Timed tickets for the Union Station Halloween Experience are $20 per person and may be purchased on site or online at: https://www.stlouisunionstation.com/halloween-train-ticketing.

With normal Halloween plans changed due to COVID-19, the new event has been created with guest safety in mind. Just 12 people will be admitted to each train car at a time to allow for appropriate social distancing. Masks are required and family groups will be seated separately. The train cars and tent areas will be sanitized throughout the day according to Union Station’s strict safety protocols.


STAY AND PLAY
Hotel room packages with Halloween Experience tickets start at $150/night for families that want to continue the Halloween fun with an overnight stay at the St. Louis Union Station Hotel after the event.
Parking for the event is $5 per car.

ACTIVITIES ON THE PLAZA
A fall festival market tent will house shopping and activities on the Purina Performance Plaza. Halloween items will be for sale, including decorating kits for pumpkins distributed during the event. 

Fun festival-style food and drinks will be available on the Plaza and Soda Fountain, Union Station’s popular retro diner, is adding Halloween Freak Shakes to the menu.


HALLOWEEN ON THE WHEEL
Scan the skies for witches and ghosts from the top of the St. Louis Wheel. The 200-foot-tall observation wheel at Union Station will be lighted in Halloween color themes during the event and a scary soundtrack will play on the Plaza. Hourly fire and light shows will entertain families on the Union Station lake. 


UNDERWATER SCARES
The St. Louis Aquarium at Union Station gets in on the Halloween fun with underwater pumpkin carving. The Aquarium’s talented divers will create Jack o’ Lantern treats for the fishy residents of Shark Canyon. Carving demonstrations will take place on Saturdays and Sundays during dive shows at 11 a.m. and 1:30 and 4 p.m.

The Union Station Halloween Experience is located under the historic train shed at 201 S. 18th Street, St. Louis, MO 63013.

Pumpkins and Trick-or-Treats

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It’s a time of little ghosts and goblins running a muck through the neighborhoods snatching up all of the candy they can. We had our annually pumpkin carving contest at Mammaw and Pawpaw’s house this year and yours truly took home the winning pumpkin with my large and in charge scary face. Simple yet satisfying is the way I like it. The kids did an awesome job on their own pumpkins and we all had a fun time spending time with our family.

IMG_1252With carving out of the way and a few days until Halloween we took this as an opportunity to make sure all of decorations and costumes were ready for the big night. It didn’t take long to make sure we were ready, however my daughter wanted to switch things up at her schools Halloween party and decided to be a hot dog instead of Belle like she originally planned. It was an easy fix and she looked amazing as a hot dog! Mommy even volunteered for her class party so all of the kids got to have a blast with the various parents and their amazing teacher.

IMG_6583As Halloween night got here we headed on over to Uncle Mike’s and Aunt Shell’s to eat some pizza and get our candy! This year our little family of four decided to go with a Mario theme. My son was the title character Mario, I was Yoshi, my daughter was Princess Peach and my wife was the baddie Wario! I made a question block to show off Super Mario World and to hold my beer while we went around and collected our candy.

The neighborhood was jammed packed with kids and some really cool adults. It pulled on my heartstrings a little bit hearing my little guy saying “thank you” each time he got a piece of candy. He also made sure to show off each piece as he came running down the sidewalk to where I was standing. Of course all of the kids made out like bandits and had a blast doing so. Halloween is one of our families favorite holidays and this one was no different. Check out our pics from this years Halloween fun! Thank you to our awesome family for having us over, we love seeing the kids have fun and Halloween is the perfect excuse for us to join in as well.

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Be sure to follow me on Instagram (@dadSTL) for more awesome photos from Halloween night! Comment below and let me know what your family dressed up as!

Looking for some nice stylish clothes for this fall and winter season? Check out Terraces Menswear for many of the hottest styles!

Learning All About Disappointment at Target

IMG_6670Now that Halloween has settled down and the candy bowl has started down a path of depletion, I wanted to take a moment to write about something that happened over the weekend that I thought was a good life lesson for my kids.

This past weekend, Target had a Saturday Spooktacular event. Where kids can get a free Shopkins or Grossery Gang Trick or Treat bag for all the giveaway goodies that were being handed out through-out the store. I had an hour to do something with the kids before we had to go to a wedding shower. Target is only a few minutes away from our house. So I loaded up the kiddos into the car and gave them the run down of what we were doing. I told them how important it was for them to be on their best behavior and all of that good stuff.

When we arrived at Target and entered the store there was only one family in line in front of us to pick up their Trick or Treat bag. I could see that there were only two bags left on the table and that the two kids in front of us were going to get them. I thought maybe they had a few extra bags that weren’t set out but I was wrong. The clerk was sorry that they had ran out of bags so fast but my kids could still have a piece of candy if they wanted.

shopkins-targetMy son really didn’t care, he is still little enough to where he can get past disappointment fairly quickly. My daughter however, she really wanted a Shopkins trick or treat bag. I had actually just told her “no” on a Shopkins bag the day before at the Halloween store. So I felt bad that we didn’t get the bag at Target but I also knew that free stuff can go fast, so I explained to my daughter that sometimes we don’t get the things that we want and we may need to pick something else. I told her that we can pick out a different Trick or Treat bag and I would pay for it. So we headed down the aisle to the Halloween stuff and we could not find any canvas bags for candy at all. There were plenty of pumpkin buckets but that’s not enough room for candy!

So instead of a bag we just got a couple of coloring books, some tattoos, and a few pieces of candy and went home. We learned a lot about disappointment that day, and while it’s not Target’s fault for running out of their cool Shopkins bags, I did hear from a friend that went earlier that morning that she seen several parents grabbing a bag for their kids that were not even with them. It’s not my business but I do think that is a little unfair for the kids that did actually go with their mom or dad so they could get a bag… Might I suggest not giving freebies away to adults when they don’t have a child present with them.

Anyways, it’s just a bag, the kids have already gotten over it and filled a different bag that we picked up from a different store with a few hundred pieces of candy. I’m just happy that all I had to deal with was a little boy crawling on Target’s tile floor like a snake and I didn’t have to deal with my kids having a meltdown in the middle of Target.