Chicago is lucky to be home to so many beautiful parks and recreation centers offering fun programs, workshops and events throughout the year - especially during the fall season. Halloween is celebrated at parks throughout the city with pumpkin patches, harvest festivals, indoor drive-ins, haunted houses and more. Here's a rundown of park events that will kickstart your Halloween spook and help you dive right into fall.
Pumpkin Patches (10/5-31)
Hunt for a pumpkin in a city pumpkin patch Oct. 5-31 at parks across the city. You'll find pumpkins of all shapes and sizes as well as decorating stations. Some pumpkin patches even include a petting zoo, hayride, games, treats and a chance to take a photo at the harvest photo station. Click here for a schedule or call 312-742-PLAY.
13 Terrors on the Lake Haunted House (10/18-20, 10/24-26)
Step into a haunted former sanitarium at the eerie 13 Terrors on the Lake Haunted House. Our family visits this spooky sanitarium every year as a Halloween tradition. Suitable for ages 8 and up, even teens and adults will be scared by the talented monsters, evil clowns and ghouls that wander the haunted hallways, spinning vortex, and mirrored mazes. Open Friday-Sunday, Oct. 18-20 and Thursday-Saturday, Oct. 24-26; 7 - 10 p.m., at the Theater on the Lake, 2401 N. Lake Shore Dr., 312-742-7994. Free parking is available at Diversey Harbor north of Fullerton Ave. on Cannon Dr. Admission is $10; Click here to buy tickets in advance or purchase in person day of event.
Indoor Drive-In at Wicker Park (10/24-27)
On Thursday through Sunday, Oct. 24-27, 6:30-8:30 p.m., leave your car at home and still enjoy a night at the Drive-In at Wicker Park (1425 N. Damen Ave.). The entire Twilight series will be screened, with each screening costing $3. All ages are welcome. For more info, call 312-742-7553.
Day of the Dead Sugar Skulls (10/26)
Join the Park Advisory Council at Eugene Field Park (5100 N. Ridgeway Ave.; Tel. 773-478-9744) on Saturday, Oct. 26, 12-2 p.m., for a Day of the Dead sugar skull workshop. Learn more about this spirited Mexican festival as you make traditional treats made of solid sugar sculpted into skulls and decorated. The workshop is open for kids age 6 and up; ages 6-9 must have parent present. Admission is $20.
Pumpkins in the Park 5K (10/26)
Join your fellow runners on Saturday, Oct. 26, 4 p.m., at the Lincoln Park South Field House, 1800 N. Stockton Dr. at LaSalle for the 14th annual Pumpkins in the Park 5K presented by Chicago Park District and Fleet Feet Sports. Wear your Halloween costume for this fun run. At 2 p.m. kids are invited to participate in CLIF Kid Spooky Sprints (12 years and under). To register, click here. All registered participants will receive a t-shirt and goody bag. Post-race, march in the costume parade, enter the costume contest, and enjoy refreshments, and live music.
Chicago Park District
For more information about the Chicago Park District's more than 8,200 acres of parkland, 580 parks, 26 miles of lakefront, 10 museums, two world-class conservatories, 16 historic lagoons, nearly 50 natural areas, thousands of special events, sports and entertaining programs, visit chicagoparkdistrict.com or contact the Chicago Park District at 312/742.PLAY or 312/747.2001 (TTY).