Too old for trick-or-treating but looking for a way to show off your creative costume? Have a laugh, head to the high haunted seas and get a good scare with these eight unique ways to celebrate Halloween in Chicago.
1) Witness a musical massacre.
Being a babysitter is probably one of the most dangerous jobs out there — seeing as how they're prone to be terrorized by psychopaths who like to make prank calls while hiding inside the house (cue sinister music). Of course that's nothing more than just a spooky myth... or is it? On the night of New Year's Eve 1978, six teenagers are about to experience the deadly urban legend firsthand. From the wicked minds that created A Nightmare on Backstreet and Bates: An '80s Musical Psycho Parody, comes the world premiere of Babysitter Massacre '78. Featuring a '70s funk and folk-inspired musical score, this delightfully campy horror-comedy slices, dices and sings its way onto the stage at The Public House Theatre from October 1 - 31 (Thursdays 8pm, Fridays/Saturdays 10pm). Tickets available at pubhousetheatre.com/babysitter-massacre-78-the-musical/.
2) Check into a haunted house then drown your fears with beers.
A double whammy of horror awaits visitors to nearby Rosemont this October in celebration on Halloween. Take the Blue Line direct to Rosemont from downtown Chicago so you can enjoy more beers at Hofbräuhaus Chicago, a family-friendly restaurant and brewery located right in the MB Financial Park, where it's Oktoberfest all year round. Modeled on the 400-year-old venue in Munich, Germany, this family-friendly venue features traditional Bavarian specialties, live music, and brewery for the production of the Hofbräuhaus' world renowned beer. Then check into an insane clown asylum at Disturbia: Screams in the Park, perhaps one of the scariest haunted houses in Chicagoland, October 3 - November 1. For more info, visit rosemont.com/mbfinancialpark.
3) See Halloween on stage: One Act Festival - Halloween Edition.
Stage 773 (1225 W. Belmont) is thrilled to announce the ONE ACT FESTIVAL: HALLOWEEN EDITION, the third installment of their popular One Act Festival series, taking place Friday nights October 9 - 30 at 10:30pm. Seven theatre companies unite under one roof to provide chills and thrills for audiences in this series of Halloween, haunted, and horror-themed one act shows, featuring spook-tacular stories from Babes With Blades Theatre Company, Cold Basement Dramatics, Hobo Junction Productions, New Millennium Theatre Company, Organic Theater Company, (re)discover theatre, and The Ruckus. The talent in this this festival production, sharing a single stage, is downright scary. Tickets are only $15 and can be purchased at Stage773.com.
4) Hop aboard the Seadog for a haunted Halloween cruise.
You'll discover Chicago's architecture at nighttime while learning ghostly secrets about the city's eerie past on the speedy Seadog speedboat's haunted Halloween cruise. Costumed tour guides will highlight infamous and supernatural stories from the past. Tours depart from Navy Pier on Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings October 9 - 31. Reserve online at seadogcruises.com/Chicago/chicago-haunted-tours or by calling 888.636.7737.
5) Run with the pumpkins.
Lace up your running shoes, don your costume and join in on the annual Pumpkins in the Park 5K, Chicago's official Halloween race for the entire family October 24. You'll wind through beautiful Lincoln Park then celebrate at the post-race party featuring costume contests. CLIF will be sponsoring Kid Spooky Sprints for kids 12 and under, so even the younger members of your family can take part. Other kid-friendly activities include pumpkin decorating, and a children's costume parade. To register, visit fleetfeetchicago.com/fleet-feet-sports-pumpkins-in-the-park-5k-event-82.php.
6) Sip Spook-Tea and Tour the Drake.
From October 26 - 30, the Drake Hotel's lovely Palm Court will put a Halloween spin on traditional Afternoon Tea with a week-long "Spook-Tea." Indulge in Halloween-inspired goodies with a spot of tea then tour the historic, haunted hotel. To reserve, visit thedrakehotel.com/dining/palm-court.
7) Brunch with a Boo.
Shaw's Crab House in Chicago is launching a brand new holiday tradition this Halloween and you're invited! On October 31, Shaw's will jump into the Halloween spirit as it throws a Heroes and Villains Costume brunch. From 10am to 2pm, come in your favorite costume and get ready for food, including Shaw's best brunch offerings from seafood to traditional breakfast items to amazing mini desserts, face painting, Halloween candy, and a visit from some of your favorite superheroes. The brunch costs $55 for adults and is free for kids 12 and younger (please limit 2 children per adult). All costumes welcome! To make reservations, call the restaurant at 312.527.2722, and for more details, visit shawscrabhouse.com.
8) Get your shirt scared off at a spooky burlesque tribute to all things Halloween.
Gorilla Tango Burlesque will be presenting its Spook-tacular holiday hit, SPOOKY BOOBS. Featuring such familiar eerie faces, including Frankenstein, mutant turtles and zombies, this sassy show promises lots of glittery gore. SPOOKY BOOBS performs October 31 at the crack of midnight at Gorilla Tango Bucktown (1919 N. Milwaukee Avenue). Tickets are $28; 18 and over only. Advance purchase highly recommended at gorillatango.com or by phone at 773.598.4549.
For more halloween ideas, visit choosechicago.com/halloween.