Pick your poison: a haunted hotel rooftop party, an eye-catching masquerade ball or a horror movie marathon? Chicago Halloween events in 2016 come in all shapes and sizes — and costumed revelers to match! Bring the kids to a pumpkin patch bonanza, or hit up the open bar at the hotel party with your 21+ older friends.
There are of course the big freebies (check out the 5 free Halloween happenings including the Halloween Gathering Parade & Festival) but here are 13 more Chicago Halloween parties and events to try on for size this year.
For the Little Ghouls & Goblins
1. Prepare for (not so) frightening fun throughout the month during the (Not So) Spooky
October at Chicago Children's Museum.
DIY face painting transforms kids into silly pumpkins or black cats, costuming workshops inspire all sorts of creativity and "frankentoy" building is hands-on entertainment for little ones.
2. Experience Chicago Botanic Garden's Night of 1,000 Jack-O-Lanterns
on October 20-23 to see more than a thousand hand-carved pumpkins light up the night. Not to be outshined, the Spooky Pooch Parade on October 29 gathers cleverly costumed canines, and the Trains, Tricks & Treats event October 29-30 will be a frightfully good time over the holiday weekend.
3. Brookfield Zoo presents Boo! at the Zoo on weekends October 22-23 & 29-30, bringing out haunted
hayrides, a pumpkin patch, the "Craized Maize" corn maze,
professional pumpkin carvings, a creepy carousel, your very own scarecrow
creations and treat stations. Each day, catch the popular Costume Parade and
4. Meet owls, snakes and bats at Creatures of the Night on October 29 at the Garfield Park Conservatory, an afternoon event for families (suggested donation $5) that also plans a Monster Mash Costume Bash and BOO-grass music.
Looking for more fun for littles ones? Check out the complete Chicago Halloween guide, which includes 6 family-friendly Halloween picks on the blog.
For Those Looking for Spooks & Scares
5. Edgar Allan Poe Readings at Glessner House Museum — a spine-tingling tradition that celebrates its 30th anniversary event this year — 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 29.
6. In Logan Square, the vintage charm
of The Logan Theatre shifts to spine-chilling during Horror Movie Madness, with late night screenings of classic freaky films every night in
October. These flicks span all eras, from Nosferatu (1922) to Night of the Living Dead (1968) to Child's Play (1988). On October 21, dress in your zombie best for the Halloween party costume contest and double feature.
For the 21+ Crowd that Wants to Party
7. It's Nightmare on Walton Street at historic downtown property The Drake Hotel, with weekely festivities ranging from Movie Mondays to Spook Tea Tours. The annual Monster Bash on October 28 is a costumed dance party with DJ tunes and sips of Witch's Brew cocktails, and the hotel follows up with its luxurious Masquerade Ball on October 29 complete with mysterious guests behind masks and live band entertainment.
8. A luxe setting for a Wicked Affair, The Peninsula Chicago transforms the hotel bar with spooky decor and shells out specially-crafted, creepy-themed cocktails on October 29. Come in costume for a complimentary Witch's Broom or come sans costume and let a Day of the Dead artist work magic with face paint.
9. Party central is The Godfrey Haunted Hotel, the slick lifestyle boutique that is going all out with their elaborate experience on October 29 that spans two floors. Ghosts and ghouls have haunted the entire 5th floor — are you willing to investigate all the paranormal activity for yourself? If you can last a whole night, rent one of the rooms for your own private ghost hunting party within the party. Up on the I|O rooftop lounge, things take a sinister twist with a makeover that's sure to scare. Dress in costume and revel in the frightening festivities with craft potions all through the witching hour... the event goes until 3 a.m.
10. On October 29, Chicago Athletic Association presents Step Into the Dark and invites you to embrace exploration: make your way through the hotel's many historic floors, where there are plenty of places to hide! The darkness begins at 6 p.m. in The Tank on the first floor, and in the hotel's Drawing Room and Game Room on the second floor with complimentary entry. The finale? The evening culminates with ticketed concert at 10 p.m. presented by The Empty Bottle in the hotel's original gymnasium Stagg Court.
11. Malice in Wonderland dana hotel and spa will take you on an adventure through the rabbit hole October 29. The luxury boutique known for its rooftop parties will transform Vertigo Sky Lounge into their version of Wonderland — think Queen of Hearts and all your favorite characters along with themed drinks and decor.
12. Travel back in time and soak in 1990s Cali vibes at the Beverly Hills 90210 bash at ROOF on theWit. The hotel rooftop will throw the themed party on October 29, serving up drinks like Adult Nap Time (Jameson, Tupilo Honey, Agave Nectar, Meekong Cinnamon, Apple Juice Box) and Sip Me Baby One More Time (Absolut, Berry Shrub, Capri-Sun Pacific Cooler). Prizes for best costume of the night. Following that up on Monday October 31, Halloween continues with a special screening of 90s flick SCREAM.
13. Speakeasy-style lair Untitled will host the sexiest beast of them all, Michelle L'amour, on stage for the annual Unbridled Halloween Party on October 27. Sit back as the premier neo-burlesque performer leads you deep into the night with an evening of truly rare creatures. Over 30 performers bring out their wildest side for you in the Menagerie.
Find the complete guide to Halloween 2016 in Chicago at choosechicago.com/halloween and gear up at these top Halloween costume shops.