Tricks, treats and costume fun — Halloween season in Chicago fills kids with awe and wonder. From a not-so-scary haunted house to suppertime with friendly snakes, there’s something for every little ghost and goblin in Chicago this Halloween.
1. Trick or treat along the Southport Corridor
Each Halloween, a stretch of Southport Avenue turns into a trick-or-treating adventure for little ones. It’s a fun, super-safe environment for candy collecting, with merchants handing out treats to costumed mini-customers from 4 – 8 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 28, 2019. Check out more about Trick or Treat on Southport.
2. Go to a city pumpkin patch
Harvest Fest at Indian Boundary Park brings a little bit of the country to the city on Sunday, Oct. 6, 2019. The park turns into an urban pumpkin patch where kids can pick their favorite pumpkin and then personalize it at the pumpkin decorating station. There’s also Halloween-themed carnival games, a petting zoo, pony rides, and spooky tattoos (the temporary ones, of course). Find more pumpkin patches and fall festivals in parks all around the city.
3. Have supper with snakes
The family-favorite Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum will host the perfect Halloween event, Supper with the Snakes, on Friday, October 25, 2019 from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. The evening will introduce adults and children alike to these cool but often maligned creatures. Come all dressed up in your fav Halloween costume and enjoy an evening of “ssscrumptious treats, ssslithery friends, and sssilly games.” Activities are ideal for kids aged 2 – 10, and dinner is included in the ticket price ($25 for adults, $10 for kids 2-18, and free for kids under 2). Note: there’s an additional $5 charge for tickets purchased at the door.
4. Make your own sugar skull
Kids can hear all about the history of the Day of the Dead and learn how to create sugar skulls from scratch in Eugene Field Park and Mayfair Park in Albany Park. The Day of the Dead Sugar Skull workshop is scheduled for Oct. 26, 2019. The activities are ideal for ages 6 and up. Each sugar skull costs $20.
5. See a spectacular evening parade
Arts in the Dark brings together artists from around the city for a procession filled with spectacle, puppetry, legions of masked entities, luminous lanterns, and mesmerizing performances. This year’s parade will take over State Street in downtown on Saturday, Oct. 19, 2019. World-renowned institutions, including the likes of the Art Institute of Chicago and Lookingglass Theatre Company, take part each year.
6. Visit a haunted house in the park
7. Get in on a spooky zoo spectacular
The free Lincoln Park Zoo’s Spooky Zoo Spectacular is all about family Halloween fun. Expect tons of kid-friendly activities, trick-or-treating, and arts and crafts — not to mention the Haunted House and Fall Fest rides — on Oct 26, 2019.
8. See a Halloween classic at the Symphony
Catch your kids’ favorite Halloween movie, accompanied by live music from the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. The acclaimed orchestra will perform the movie’s score live as the Tim Burton classic plays on the big screen at the historic Auditorium Theatre. Come early for trick-or-treating, fun activities, and a costume contest. Performances will take place at 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 31 and Nov. 1, 2019.
9. Ride the HalloWheel at Navy Pier
The famous Centennial Wheel at Navy Pier will be transformed with Halloween-themed colors and images. And don’t miss other family-friendly events at Navy Pier, like free trick or treating on Oct. 26, 27, and 31 and the new
10. Meet the creatures of the night
Visit breathtaking Garfield Park Conservatory to meet live creatures in the conservatory’s tropical plant collection — for free! Kids and families will learn about the unique relationships that exist between animals and plants as they collect sweet treats throughout the building. You’ll also sing and dance to live music, create a creepy craft in the Family Activity area, and little ones can stop by the Tiny Tot Tent to explore the Sensory Table or take a moment to listen to a story in the Reading Nook. Creatures of the Night takes place on Saturday, Oct. 26, 2019 from 12 – 3 p.m.
11. Say boo! at the zoo
Each weekend from Oct. 12 to 27, 2019, Brookfield Zoo welcomes little ghosts and goblins of all ages to Boo! at the Zoo. It’s a not-so-scary and fun-filled event that has something for the entire family to enjoy. Think 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 Costume Showcase.
12. Visit the children’s museum all month long
Throughout October, the Children’s Museum at Navy Pier is hosting an array of Halloween festivities, including face painting, slime workshops, Frankentoys, and costume days. Check back for 2019 dates and details.
13. Experience the spooky seas at the Shedd
The Shedd Aquarium will host their annual Halloween sleepover event on Saturday, Oct. 25, 2019. Kids ages 5 – 12 can put on their costume and meet sea creatures that come out at night. They’ll bust myths about animals like snakes and spiders, learn about the slimy creatures that live below the waves, and show off their costume on the dance floor. Spooky Seas tickets are now available.