Columns | Kane County Chronicle

St. Charles Park District: Haunt these Halloween happenings from the St. Charles Park District

Find just the right amount of spookiness with spirited activities and outings from the St. Charles Park District this fall.

On Sept. 30 and Oct. 1, 7 and 8, River View Miniature Golf Course will extend its regular season with Ghoulish Golf. Families are invited to play 18 holes while taking in the Halloween-themed features, including family-friendly light scares and other festive decor. The event takes place from 4 to 9 p.m., with the last tee time at 8:15 p.m.

“We wanted to create a spooky but not too scary environment for families with little ones but also make it fun for teens and adults,” said Sabrina Hunley, miniature golf supervisor.

The park district’s Caravan to Candyland is back for its third straight year from 5 to 7:30 p.m. Oct. 19. Families can pile in the car and head to James O. Breen Community Park, where costumed staff and volunteers will be ready to hand out sweet treats and small prizes to pint-size passers-by at stations along the winding path.

Local businesses help make this popular offering possible and will have representatives on-site to join in the fun sharing holiday sweets on the street of treats. Sponsors include Gogo SqueeZ, Metronet, Pinot’s Palette, Smile Doctors (Hurley & Volk), DePAW Canine Campus, St. Charles Park Foundation and By Your Side. Also participating is Chicago Steel Hockey, which will bring a few players as well as the team’s canine mascot, Rusty, to usher in the Halloween festivities.

“We created this event during the COVID shutdown to keep the Halloween spirit alive and offer families a safe way to trick-or-treat. We are very pleased it continues to be a popular program, not just with the community but our sponsors, too. They love this event,” said Carina Graham, partnership and sponsorship supervisor.

Registration for Caravan to Candyland, which benefits Hickory Knolls Discovery Center, is required. The cost is $5 a child. To purchase tickets, visit www.stcnature.org/events.

St. Charles’ Halloween season wouldn’t be the same without the Gallery of Ghoulish Homes Tour. The event, which attracts thousands annually, is celebrating its 23rd year and finds community members decking out their homes in highly elaborate decorations. This free contest is open to all residents living with the boundaries of the St. Charles Park District. The locations are best viewed from dusk until 10 p.m. through Oct. 31.

A tour guide, available online Oct. 14 at www.stcparks.org/halloweenfun, makes mapping out the featured homes a cinch. A number of homes can be seen by driving past while others are known to attract crowds, necessitating that onlookers park and approach the spooky spectacles on foot. Some homes even include actors who bring the eerie scenes alive by embodying Halloween-inspired characters.

Judges with the park district evaluate participating homes in several categories including Best Actors, Craftiest Creeper and Best Use of Technology. One of the best nights to tour the homes is judging night Oct. 15. Those in the community are encouraged to cast their votes for the People’s Choice Award.