Halloween is not just for kids! Get spooky all month long at these Chicago-area events:
Prepare for (not so) frightening fun through October 31 during (Not So) Spooky October at Chicago Children’s Museum. DIY face painting, costuming workshops and “frankentoy” building combine creativity with hands-on entertainment for little ones. One weekends, take home your very own vials of slime to save for Halloween!
Stay up and discover what goes bump in the night at the Shedd Aquarium Spooky Seas Overnight on October 16.
Brookfield Zoo presents Boo! at the Zoo on weekends October 17-25, bringing out haunted hayrides, a pumpkin patch, the “Craized Maize” corn maze, professional pumpkin carvings, a creepy carousel, your very own scarecrow creations and much more. Each day, catch the popular Costume Parade and Costume Showcase.
It’s FREE, fun and safe at the Lincoln Park Zoo’s Spooky Zoo Spectacular with family entertainment, toddler activities, trick-or-treating, and arts & crafts on October 24.
Experience Chicago Botanic Garden’s HallowFest on October 24-25… if you dare! Take either the “friendly” or “spooky” path to activities including fortune-telling, face painting, the magical Howlin’ Express, Critter Olympics and more.
Come to an enchanting evening of trick-or-treating, costumes, haunted exhibits and more at the Museum of Science and Industry Boo Bash on October 30.
Get ready for a barking good time at the Chicago Botanic Garden’s Spooky Pooch Parade on October 31, where cleverly costumed canines parade through the Garden to celebrate Halloween.
Edgar Allen Poe Readings at Clarke House Museum, a spine-tingling tradition for over 25 years, will have you squirming in your seats as the terrifying tales and poetry come alive during staged theatrical readings in the intimate parlor on October 31.
In its inaugural year, The Halloween Gathering on October 24 will bring together Chicago’s vast and diverse creative community in a parade filled with large-scale spectacle, music and performance — even a Zombie Thriller Dance! — along Columbus Drive. World-renowned institutions like The Field Museum, Art Institute of Chicago and Chicago Symphony Orchestra, as well as unique local organizations like Louder Than a Bomb, Silent Theatre Company and guilds of artists, will unite for this dramatic display to activate Halloween as the “artist’s holiday”. Millennium Park and Maggie Daley Park will come alive with FREE performances all afternoon, as well as face painting, ghost stories and a children’s costume parade.
Two Halloween-themed spectaculars take over 57,000 sq. ft. of warehouse in Pilsen, where ultra-creative performance group Redmoon resides. Skelebration on October 30 is geared for the 15-20 year old set, while Boneshaker on October 31 is a 21+ affair. Over-the-top theatrics are their hallmark so expect inventive machines and contraptions, whimsical costumes and massive video projections to set the scene while multiple DJs and food trucks fill the space with music and food.
Navy Pier lights up the night sky with festive fireworks on October 31. Leading up to the big show, Halloween at Navy Pier will be a trick-or-treating delight with candy giveaways, spooky movie screenings and a costume contest October 23-25, 30 & 31.
At the 18th annual Northalsted Halloween Parade, an exuberant crowd lines the streets of Boystown in Lakeview to check out the outrageous outfits for the evening parade. The family-friendly daytime portion (both take place October 31) touts its own parade and festival: for kids and pets alike.