CHICAGO — Well, Windy City ghouls, it’s time to flip the pages in your planner and start looking at how you’re going to spend your October weekends.
A lot of Halloween events are targeted toward the 21+ crowd in Chicago (Wrigleyville bar crawl, anyone?) but the city has a ton of events for the littlest pumpkins in your life.
Check out some of Chicago’s family friendly Halloween events happening this fall:
1. Apple Fest in Lincoln Square
Get your fill of apple treats at Lincoln Square’s annual tradition. There is no shortage of warm apple pie at this fall fest.
Saturday, Oct. 1 to Oct. 2
9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Lincoln Square: Lincoln Avenue between Lawrence and Wilson
2. Jack’s Pumpkin Pop-Up
The only pumpkin patch in the actual city of Chicago! You can enjoy axe throwing, seasonal treats, tons of photo ops and a large corn maze. This is my favorite! Be warned: After 7 p.m., the event does get more BOO-zy. It’s still OK for kids to attend but just know there will be a big presence of college-aged people at night.
1265 W. Le Moyne Street
Chicago, IL 60642
3. Fall Fest at Lincoln Park Zoo
The zoo turns into a fall wonderland filled with treats and cute animals to check out. This is definitely a fun, low-key event to attend. LPZ is also free. Just need to pay for parking.
Sept. 30 to Oct. 30
2001 N. Clark Street
4. Pier Pumpkin Lights at Navy Pier
Tons of Jack-o-Lanterns are making their return to the pier! Take a stroll through Navy Pier and check out all the spooky decorations and fun rides and treats.
Starts Saturday, Oct. 1
600 E. Grand Avenue
5. Jojo’s Shake Bar
Jojo’s decorates their outdoor dining area with tons of pumpkins and spooky decor which makes eating there so much fun. Stop by for a giant milkshake.
23 W. Hubbard Street
Chicago, IL 60656
6. Spooky Science Exploration Day
The Museum of Science and Industry gets spooky for a night to show kids how science and Halloween can go hand in hand.
Friday, Oct. 21
10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Museum of Science and Industry
5700 S. DuSable Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, IL 60637
7. Upside Down Halloween Parade
The kick-off to Chicago’s Halloween 2022 celebrations.
Saturday, Oct. 22
Noon to 3 p.m.
8. Arts in the Dark Halloween Parade
The grand finale to Halloween finishes off with a parade on State Street.
Saturday, Oct. 29
6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
State Street moving south from Lake to Van Buren
9. Chicago Park District Halloweek events
The city lists tons of events around town for people to check out. They range from trunk or treats to arts and crafts events at various parks.
Saturday Oct. 22 to Saturday Oct. 31.
See the various events happening throughout the city:
10. Take a walk around heavily decorated neighborhoods
Rogers Park, Logan Sqaure, Avondale, there are SO many neighborhoods in Chicago that take Halloween decorating very seriously. Sometimes the best way to spend a spooky fall night in October is just by walking or driving around these neighborhoods and looking at everyone’s purple and orange lights.
Also, most neighborhoods hold their own Trick or Treating events either on actual Halloween or the days leading up to it. Join your neighborhood’s Facebook group to see if there are any Trick or Treating events near you.
HONORABLE SUBURBAN MENTIONS
Boo at the Zoo at Brookfield Zoo
Ghouls of all ages can enjoy this spooktacular event at Brookfield Zoo. Put on your costumes and head to the zoo for rides, spooky animals and Halloween treats.
Saturdays and Sundays, Oct. 8 through Oct. 23
8400 W. 31st Street
Night of 1,000 Jack-o-Lanterns
Oct. 12 to 16 and Oct. 19 to 23
Chicago Botanic Garden
1000 Lake Cook Road
Glencoe, IL 60022
NOTE: Tickets for many of the time slots are almost sold out. Act fast to get a ticket.