Halloween in Chicagoland is full of events for kids and kids at heart. Don't miss these favorites!

Halloween Events in Chicagoland

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.

Scarecrow Festival

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.

Music Box of Horrors

October 7 – 8, Music Box Theatre

Each year the Music Box Theatre puts on 24 straight hours of horror films. Tickets start at $20.

Night of 1,000 Jack-o’-Lanterns

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.

The Halloween Gathering

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.

Boo! at the Zoo

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.

Monster Dash

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.

Spooky Seas

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.

BOO Breakfast

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.

Northalsted Halloween Parade

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.

Corn Mazes

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.

Haunted Houses

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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6 Comments

  1. I love this kind of stuff! Did not know your bday was the day after!

  2. Halloween is my favorite holiday too! I can’t believe I’ve never done some of these! Music Box of Horrors sounds fun and the Night of 1000 Jack o lanterns sounds so cool!

    Jill
    Doused In Pink

  3. I love everything about Halloween too! The Highwood Pumpkinfest is a don’t miss. Every year they attempt to break the world record (over 30,000) for most pumpkins lit at one time. It is amazing to see them all!

    • Thanks for the reminder! I knew I forgot something. I’ve never been but I’ve heard great things. Sounds awesome 🙂

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