Tricks, treats, and costume fun — the Halloween season brings tons of family-friendly events and activities to Chicago. You can pick your own pumpkins, go trick-or-treating, see a spooky parade, and more. Explore things to do with your little ghosts and goblins with these family-friendly Halloween activities in Chicago.
Check our Halloween guide for more things to do around the city.
Attend a spectacular Halloween parade
The popular Arts in the Dark parade is back with a unique family-friendly event. The artistic parade features giant puppets, whimsical floats, creative performances, and more parading down the heart of the Loop. Catch the unforgettable show on State Street every October.
Go trick-or-treating at Navy Pier
Navy Pier is one of Chicago’s most family-friendly attractions, delighting visitors of all ages with rides, games, and boat cruises. Embrace the spirit of the season with Navy Pier’s Slightly Spooky Saturday on the weekend before Halloween. Don your favorite costume and get ready for a fun-filled day of trick-or-treating and immersive kid-friendly activities at the Pier.
Experience Night of 1,000 Jack-o’-Lanterns
This popular event lights up the night with hundreds of intricately hand-carved pumpkins. During Night of 1,000 Jack-o’-Lanterns at the Chicago Botanic Garden, visitors can wander the gorgeous grounds at night and admire the impressive jack-o’-lanterns, each handcrafted for hours by expert artists. There will also be plenty of fall snacks and sips, like spiked cider and seasonal beer for parents to enjoy.
Visit a city pumpkin patch
Jack’s Pumpkin Patch Pop-up is Chicago’s largest fall festival, with tons of activities for all ages. Kids will love exploring the corn maze and mining for gems, while teens and tweens will want to try their hand at axe-throwing and hit all the fall-themed photo opps. Round out the experience with seasonal food trucks and more than 10,000 pumpkins on display.
Enjoy fall fun at the zoo
Fall Fest is back at historic Lincoln Park Zoo, one of the country’s oldest free zoos. Enjoy autumnal activities like strolling through a pumpkin patch, sipping seasonal drinks, and watching live pumpkin carvers. There’s also face painting, musical entertainment, a festive pop-up bar and grill, and so much more.
And don’t miss the festive fun during Brookfield Zoo’s Boo! at the Zoo. The suburban zoo will be decked out in pumpkins, hay bales, and giant inflatables to get visitors in the fall spirit. Look forward to lots of family-friendly fun, including peek boards,a mini magic show, cute photo opps, and more. Don’t forget to wear your costume!
Interact with animals at the BOO-seum Bash
Befriendfurry, feathered, and scaly creatures at the BOO-seum Bash, an afternoon celebration hosted by the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum. Enjoy museum exhibits, crafts, and animal encounters while wearing your favorite costume. From the museum’s resident owl to friendly snakes, there are so many creatures to meet at this all-ages Halloween event.
Enjoy Halloween events in Chicago parks
Chicago’s neighborhood parks are hosting an array of spook-tacular Halloween events for kids of all ages. Look forward to themed treats, costumes, and a variety of hands-on activities, ranging from games to arts and crafts at parks and community spaces all around the city.