In this season lies the spookiest of holidays, the one that is either dreaded or revered: Halloween. Everyone has different Halloween traditions: pumpkin carving, trick-or-treating, and falling down a hole of scary movies and candy corn are some popular options for those who choose to have a night in. For those who want some time out of the house or dorm, there are many seasonal activities to enjoy in this area. Fontbonne even sponsors events, from last year’s Hauntbonne to this year’s Eckert’s trip, there are many fun things to do. Off-campus, there are pumpkin patches, corn mazes, carnivals, festivals, haunted houses, and so much more. Everywhere from Forest Park to Busch Stadium is brought to life before the backdrop of fall foliage.
The leaves are falling off the trees on campus, the weather is becoming more agreeable, and pumpkin spice is has made its way into the Fontbonne Coffeeshop. Fall is here and students across campus are celebrating with orange leaf garlands and denim jackets. Many students agree this is a season worth celebrating. Whether your mindset is more “places to go, pumpkins to see” or staying in bed with apple cider and a scary movie, there are many fall activities to take part in during this spooky season.
Places off Campus
If anyone were to ask me “Nicole, what are the essential ingredients for fall?” I would probably recall memories of kettle corn, hayrides, pumpkin patches, corn mazes, and the smell of the wooden playground at Stuckmeyer’s farm. Stuckmeyer’s farm is a personal favorite of mine. I have been going there since I was a kid, so it holds many memories of fall tradition. Entering a world of pumpkins, a classic farm aesthetic, and a cream soda corner to find dozens of children having fun offline is a breath of fresh air. As a bonus, the prices are incredibly fair and there are plenty of opportunities for cute fall photos among the greenery or preset photo backgrounds. While this place is about forty minutes away from campus, I would still recommend it to people who don’t mind a road trip.
Thies Farm, a location I discovered recently, was full of the resonating smell of cinnamon and joyous laughter of children. Even the animals on the property carried no harsh odor. The market was full of fresh fruits and vegetables of many kinds, hand-made fall and Halloween decor for sale, and concoctions of butters, sauces, and salsas for every occasion. I would recommend this location for someone with one or more small children in the family, as half of the visitable property was home to a large play zone filled with climbable hay, ziplines, and more usual playground equipment. Go expecting childhood happening before your eyes.
Every year, around the spooky season, a particular theme park redecorates to become a favorite haunt of many ghouls and boys, young and old. In the daylight, the park is full of humor and shows ranging from cool to unsettling. When the sun goes down, the park is flooded with costumed actors fit to scare even the most hardened haunted house veteran. A trip to Six Flags’ Fright Fest will add more than a year’s worth of unexpected cardio to your workout plan, as you have to run fast to escape the chainsaw-wielding clowns and other such beasts. The only drawbacks are the prices of tickets, $50 a day for non-season pass holders, and how quickly the temperature drops between the day activities and night ones. If you wish to attend this event, bring a coat and some snacks.
Activities from Home
Spooky movies are a seasonal fan favorite, according to Fontbonne student, Jessica Bennet. They don’t have to be in the horror category, but the subtle creepiness level is essential for building the Halloween atmosphere. Imagine cuddling up with your favorite blanket, a bowl of popcorn or candy, and having the hair on the back of your neck creep up as the pictured threat feels more and more real. Jason has found a victim, Dalton’s haunted, Chris has fallen into the Sunken Place, and the Sanderson sisters have come out to play. Halloween is about those chills and thrills that come from being immersed in a seasonal movie.
Many people appreciate the fall season for the spices and flavors that become more widely available. Pumpkin spice lattes are a popular example. Pumpkin spice has taken over as a dominating fall flavor, but apple cider and apple pie spice are close behind. Spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger become more used in sweet dishes to reflect the changing season. My personal favorite fall dish becomes increasingly made by everyone between college students in their dorms on a rainy day to busybodies who want to make an easy meal: soup. There are so many soups that are ready for their closeup. My mom’s chicken and dumpling soup is unmatched, so don’t try.
A close friend of mine, Carrie Thornhill, who does not go to Fontbonne, mentioned that her favorite fall activity is having a bonfire with “church groups […] but sometimes just random friends and I will decide to do it because there’s something wistfully relaxing about a cold night and a warm fire.” Bonfires are another excellent way to spend fall evenings.
On-campus, there are not very many options for capturing the joy of the warmth and light of the controlled flame. Many people enjoy roasting marshmallows for smores (or for eating on their own, no judgment), roasting hot dogs for dinner (after the smores, it’s the only way), or just enjoying the orange glow while having a friendly conversation. Thornhill enjoys “talking about life and memories and inside jokes with the occasional random outburst of singing.”
Activities on Campus
There are always lots of things to do on campus, whether school-planned or you-planned. Several clubs and student organizations on campus are hosting fall-themed events over the season. According to Herman, Black Student Union’s movie night on the 30th, the Day of the Dead Celebration by Latino Hispanic Union from October 28th to November 6th, Students for Life’s Dia De Los Muertos Celebration and Resident Hall Association’s Hauntbonne on the 31st and so many more events will be happening over this year’s fall season. Check out the events calendar for more details or see one of the many flyers around campus.
In and around Fontbonne, there are many things to do in any season. However, the fall season is the favorite of many students because of the activities on and off-campus. Off-campus, students enjoy farms where they can take aesthetic photos, pick pumpkins and apples, and take in the fresh air. Theme parks are another popular choice, with the kid-friendly music and decorations and the truly terrifying monsters and scare for the older audiences. On-campus events are just as fun. Fall Festival was an absolute blast, as I am sure everyone who went already knows. Plus, there are many opportunities for on-campus fall fun coming in the near future!