Updated for 2017 Dates!
Halloween is my favorite holiday. It may have something to do with my birthday being the following day – or maybe it has to do with all of the candy, fun costumes, and no pressure for gifts. The pure childhood delight that comes with Halloween always makes me smile. And Halloween in Chicagoland means no shortage of halloween events all month long for kids and adults.
October 6 -8, St. Charles, IL
This first event is out in the suburbs but worth the drive. The festival includes rides, crafts, food and music – but the heart and soul of the festival is the Scarecrow Contest, which boasts 100+ hand-crafted scarecrows.
October 7 – 8, Music Box Theatre
Each year the Music Box Theatre puts on 24 straight hours of horror films. Tickets start at $20.
October 26th – 29th, Chicago Botanic Garden
In a new Halloween event called Night of 1,000 Jack-o’-Lanterns, more than 1,000 hand-carved pumpkins—some as large as 150 pounds—will light up the night at the Chicago Botanic Garden.
Saturday October 21st
Daytime Festival 2-5pm, Millennium Park
Spectacle Parade 6-8pm along Columbus Dr. from Balbo St. to Monroe St.
Local organizations and artists guilds come together for an creative take on Halloween. There are daytime festival with kids activities, dancing, and art as well as a nighttime parade.
October 21-22 and 28-29 10am-4pm, Brookfield Zoo
This halloween festival is free with normal zoo admission and includes fun themed events, activities, rides and decorations.
Halloween at Navy Pier
2017 Dates Announcing Soon, Navy Pier
Each day there is a couple of halloween events going on at Navy Pier – from haunted mazes, halloween balls, showing of the “Addams Family”, and even a halloween themed fireworks show.
Date TBD, Soldier Field
A a 5K, 10K or half marathon along Lake Michigan including a costume contest, which occurs before the races kick off.
Date TBD, Shedd Aquarium
This is an overnight experience for kids and their parents. Spend the entire night having fun with halloween activities, aquatic shows, and sleeping by the tanks. The cost is $75 but seems like an unforgettable memory.
October 29, Morton Arboretum
Enjoy a spooky themed breakfast at the arboretum’s Ginko restaurant. Foods offered include Ooze in a Blanket (blueberry-stuffed pancakes) and Scary Scramble scrambled eggs. Cost is around $27 -38.
October 31st from 6pm-10pm, Boystown
This parade is in Boystown and runs down Halsted, from Belmont to Addison. The crowd is always a mix of adults, children and pets with thousands attending each year. It is free to join in on the fun, including the costume contest.
While corn mazes may not be strictly Halloween, they go with the season and cannot be ignored in Illinois. There are so many great ones in the area, and you can see a complete list of the best corn mazes near Chicago HERE.
Like corn mazes, Chicagoland is full of haunted houses. You can see the top ones in the area HERE.
Do you have a favorite halloween event you attend each year? Let me know if I missed it on my list!
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