Celebrate Halloween in Chicago with these spooky, spectacular, and supernatural events. The city is packed with haunted happenings each October, from frightening to family friendly. Celebrate the spookiest time of year with nighttime parades, trick or treating, ghost tours, Day of the Dead celebrations, and beyond.
Here’s a few of the best things to do for Halloween in Chicago.
Arts in the Dark
This artistic nighttime parade features large-scale puppets, costumed performers, elaborate floats, and luminous lanterns for a surreal evening in downtown Chicago. The city’s creative community, including renowned institutions like the Art Institute of Chicago and Lookingglass Theatre Company, combine forces to produce this annual Halloween parade.
Oct. 19, 2019
State Street from Lake to Van Buren
Lincoln Park Zoo offers a fun, free, and safe way for kids to trick-or-treat in the heart of the city with Spooky Zoo. This annual event draws more than 25,000 families who gather treats as they wander around animal habitats that are home to lions, gorillas, polar bears, and more. The event is held during the the zoo’s five-weekend Fall Fest celebration, which offers Ferris wheel rides, a corn maze, a pumpkin patch with professional carvers and animal-themed activities.
Oct. 26, 2019
Lincoln Park Zoo, 2001 N. Clark St.
Northalsted Halloween parade
The Northalsted Halloween Parade is ranked one of the 10 Best Halloween Celebrations in the U.S. by Fodor’s Travel. The parade takes over Boystown, one of the nation’s largest and oldest LGBTQ+ communities. The raucous procession kicks off on Halsted Street at Belmont Avenue with the Chicago Thriller flash mob, a troupe of ghoulish zombies performing the famous dance routine. Join in the dancing or march along with the fabulous parade to Roscoe Street, where a panel of drag queens will award prizes for the best costumes.
Oct. 31, 2019
Halsted from Belmont to Brompton
Halloween at Navy Pier
Navy Pier always brings the fall fun, and this year’s Halloween celebration is bigger and better than ever. Along with annual staples (like free trick-or-treating, a haunted maze, and the spooktacular Hallowheel), this year includes the first-ever Pier Pumpkin Lights. The pop-up installation will include everything from jack o’ lantern towers to light displays, paired with food and drink specials at the Pier’s many dining options.
Oct. 1 – Nov. 2, 2019
600 E. Grand Ave.
Free admission, attraction prices vary
Night of 1,000 Jack-o’-Lanterns
This popular event lights up the night with more than 1,000 hand-carved pumpkins at the Chicago Botanic Garden. Wander the gorgeous grounds at night and admire the intricately carved jack-o’-lanterns, each handcrafted for hours by expert artists. There will also be plenty of fall snacks and sips, like spiked cider and ale, costumed characters, live carving, and more.
Oct. 16 – 20, 23 – 27, 2019
1000 Lake Cook Rd., Glencoe
Tickers: $16 adults/$13 children before Oct. 15, $18 adults/$15 children after Oct. 15
Spooky fun at 360 CHICAGO
Get your sky-high views and Halloween thrills at the 360 CHICAGO Observation Deck. From Oct. 25 – 31, visitors can celebrate Halloween from 1,000 feet above Michigan Avenue with a variety of activities and events. There’s Halloween trivia, Dawn of the Dead yoga with a pumpkin spice mimosa bar, trick-or-treating, Halloween happy hours, and so much more. Check out the full schedule of spooky events.
Dia De Los Muertos Xicágo
Experience an authentic Day of the Dead celebration at the National Museum of Mexican Art in the Pilsen neighborhood, home to a thriving Latino community. Traditional make-your-own ofrendas (altars), live music, face painting, and art activities transform the museum and nearby Harrison Park into a festive community gathering place similar to one you would find in Mexico on Día de los Muertos.
Oct. 27, 2019
National Museum of Mexican Art, 1852 W. 19th St.
Music Box Of Horrors
The Music Box Theatre celebrate Halloween with 24 hours of horror movie madness. The beloved annual event features 14 pulse-pounding films that span more than 80 years of cinema history, including several 35mm screenings. There will also be special guests, a live musical score, and local vendors and food trucks.
Oct. 19 – 20, 2019
Music Box Theatre, 3733 N. Southport Ave.
$30 presale, $25 day of event
Pumpkin Party at Gallagher Way
Join in the Halloween fun in the shadow of one of the country’s oldest ballparks. Gallagher Way is hosting a family-friendly Pumpkin Party outside Wrigley Field. There are tons of festive crafts and activities, like decorating your own trick-or-treat bag, creating a clay Halloween character, taking home a mini pumpkin, a balloon animal artist, and more. Plus, enjoy fall-inspired food and beverages and a movie screening of Hocus Pocus.
Oct. 24, 2019
3:30 p.m. – 7 p.m.
Gallagher Way, 3635 N. Clark St.
Chicago Hauntings ghost tour
You’re in for a spine-tingling good time with Chicago Hauntings, named one of the Top 10 Ghost Tours in America by Haunted America Tours. You can’t go wrong with its popular Original Ghost Tour, a 3-hour narrated bus tour that whisks you around the city to some of its best-known haunted locales. See the site of the Eastland ship disaster on the Chicago River; the location of the infamous St. Valentine’s Day Massacre, where a group of gangsters met their demise; and the abandoned City Cemetery, the final resting place of some 13,000 unmarked graves.
Meet at Congress Hotel, 520 S. Michigan Ave.
Mummies & Martinis at Oriental Institute
Celebrate Halloween with real-life mummies. The Oriental Institute is hosting their first-ever Halloween event, featuring Halloween-themed beverages and appetizers, a DJ set, and small-group tours of their Egyptian galleries. Tickets are $15 and include two drink tickets.
Oct. 24, 2019
Oriental Institute, 1155 E. 58th St.
Edgar Allan Poe readings at Glessner House
This historic home is the perfect spine-tingling setting for staged readings of Poe’s terrifying stories and poetry by the skilled actors from Lifeline Theatre. There’s a reason this has been a Glessner House tradition for the past three decades — its an evening of Gothic literature not to be missed.
Oct. 26, 2019
Glessner House, 1800 S. Prairie Ave.
Nightly spirits Chicago ghost tour
Nightly Spirits’ two-hour Chicago Ghost Tour appropriately begins at The Red Lion Pub in Lincoln Park, reputedly one of the city’s most haunted bars. A guide takes ghost hunters through dark alleyways and around creepy buildings as they tell tales of murdered Prohibition-era gangsters and ghosts that refuse to leave their dwellings. The approximately one-mile tour includes stops at two or three bars to sample spirits of a different kind. The purchase of drinks is not included or required.
Meet at Red Lion Pub, 2446 N. Lincoln Ave.