Parents have to face a great challenge during this time of year. How do you let the kids enjoy some good old-fashioned seasonal fun without exposing them to (A) horrifying things that will require costly therapy down the road, or (B) drunken oafs who might say no-no words in public? Fortunately there are plenty of wholesome family destinations to enjoy around the Fargo-Moorhead area this fall, such as these three that would let us use their photographs.

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Spooky School Bus Ride

400 1st Ave S, Fargo

I confess to not having seen Frozen, because I am neither a small child nor the owner of one. Still, it has become one of those movies that you can’t help but learn about through osmosis if you’ve spent more than five consecutive minutes outside of your house. In the movie there is a pretty blonde princess named Elsa who feels outcast for having the ability to summon ice from her fingertips. She sings a catchy song, defeats evil handsome man with the aid of good handsome man, her sister, and a talking snowman, and then proceeds to make Disney 80 bazillion dollars in ticket sales.

If your kid loves the movie, then they’ll also love the Spooky School Bus Ride that the YMCA is presenting on October 26th from 4:30 to 7:00pm. The fun starts at the gym where costumed kids can run themselves ragged in the bouncy house and playing games. Then the school bus itself departs to take the kids on a whimsical jaunt through the neighborhood. It stops periodically to let a new Frozen character on board, who will tell a piece of the Frozen story and distribute sweets to agog boys and girls. The delightful experience takes about an hour, and makes for a perfect outing with any tyke.

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Family Halloween Skate Party

3302 Interstate Blvd S, Fargo

Whether your kid has put their heart and soul into making a unique Halloween costume from scratch or gotten a shiny new one off the rack, they’re going to be exceptionally proud to dress up as Captain America, Iron Man, Elsa, a dog from Paw Patrol, or one of the other three percent of characters kids apparently dress up as. Imagine the look of pride they’d wear on their face as they paraded around a skating rink in their full regalia! That’s precisely what goes on when Skate City hosts their Family Halloween Skate Party from 10:00am until noon on October 26th. There will also be games such as limbo and the mummy contest, where patient parents let their kids swathe them in toilet paper for the duration of a song to see who can become the most convincing undead pharaoh. Door prizes including cotton candy and soda are awarded to make certain that the kids have the energy needed to swarm the rink like a cluster of frenzied bees in search of their queen. Parents get free admission to the party when they come with their kids, so make certain not to forget yours at home!

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Lil’ Bitz Pumpkin Patch

7414 40th Ave N, Fargo

Lil’ Bitz Pumpkin Patch is, appropriately, the place to go to get this season’s festive holiday gourd. Every year the institution’s proprietors the Hoglunds and their family grow eight acres of the things — big ones, small ones, blue ones, green ones, black ones, and somehow even pink ones. Has horticulture gone too far?

If the place was pumpkins alone it would have been enough, but Lil’ Bitz is an embarrassment of riches when it comes to fun for the kiddies as well. There you can go on a carriage ride courtesy of two Clydesdales. The gargantuan horses will tower over over your kids and send them into a state of total awe — let them see that they exist outside of beer commercials, won’t you? Lil’ Bitz has also got farm animal croquet, an impressive hay bale maze and castle, a petting zoo with affable goats, sheep, donkeys, and a mini horse to fawn over, and the chicken corner full of lively yardbirds. You can go on the spooky woods walk, which isn’t so horrifying that little Mason and Emma will lose their minds over it, and the storybook walk as well. It’s a marvelous rustic getaway with endless photo opportunities, and it’s open from September 21st until October 27th this year.


By David Scheller