Halloween is one of Chicago's shining moments, with haunted houses, parties, costume parades, and more. And even though Halloween is only one day, you can celebrate with spooky events all month long in Chicago. Get all the details on Halloween fun in the Windy City with our Guide to Halloween 2012, including event listings and times and dates for haunted houses, corn mazes, and more. If you have a Halloween event you would like listed, send details to Chicago@aboutguide.com. And please check back often as we will be updating this page with more events.
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Chicago's own Halloween celebration is Chicagoween and takes place in the city's Daley Plaza throughout October. Chicagoween includes pumpkin decorating and crafts, circus-type entertainment, and a farmers market selling pumpkins, squash, apples, and other fall specialties. Admission to Chicagoween is free.
Chicago's Daley Plaza becomes Franken Plaza October 26 - 28with special Halloween-inspired performances, hayrides, trick-or-treating, and more. There is also a costume contest on October 29 from 11 a.m. - 8 p.m. October 29 is actually designated as Monster Bash
at Franken Plaza. Admission is free.
Halloween isn't really Halloween without a visit to a haunted house. The Chicagoland area has several haunted houses, including Nightmares Basement of the Dead in Aurora, Illinois and Massacre Haunted House in Naperville,Illinois. Get information on Chicago area haunted houses.
Unfortunately, the Fear Haunted House at Navy Pier will be canceled this year. According to their Web site: "The Fear Haunted House is not going to be operating this fall. After a long series of discussions about the upcoming season, Navy Pier has informed us that they do not want to host a haunted house on the pier or in South Gateway Park." Zombie Army Productions, which puts on the Fear haunted House does have another haunted house - the Statesville Haunted Prison
in Crest Hill, Illinois.
Take the kids to the family-friendly Spooky Zoo Spectacular! at Chicago's Lincoln Park Zoo on Saturday, October 22, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The event, which is free to attend, includes a haunted house, trick-or-treating, costume parade, entertainment, and more.
On October 27, runners and walkers of all ages will descend on Chicago's Lincoln Park decked out in spooky attire for the annual Pumpkins in the Park 5K, which includes a CLIF KID Spooky Sprint for kids 12 and under. The 5K goes through Lincoln Park and includes a post-race party with live music, giveaways, and a costume contest for adults. 5K race fee is $30 before October 10, $35 thereafter. CLIF KID Spooky Spring starts at 3 p.m. and the 5K starts at 5 p.m. 5K participants enjoy a winding course with 3 "Fear Zones" through Lincoln Park then celebrate at the post-race party featuring music, sponsor giveaways, Goose Island 312 Urban Wheat Ale beer (for participants 21 and over), a Halloween-themed "Movie in the Park", a variety of food options and costume contests for Best Original Costume, Best Zombie Costume, and Best Dead Celebrity Costume. The CLIF Kid Spooky Sprints are for kids 12 and under. Other kid-friendly activities include pumpkin decorating, 12 Trick-or-Treat stations, and a children's costume parade.Proceeds from the Pumpkins in the Park 5K go toward the Chicago Park District's Theater on the Lake: The Chicago Summer Theater Festival.
A haunting good time awaits families at Brookfield Zoo’s annual Boo! at the Zoo Halloween celebration, sponsored by Fisher-Price. The not-so-scary event features a 7,000-square-foot corn maze, a hay ride, a costume parade, a costume showcase, and Halloween-themed crafts, and activities. In addition, there will be special animal Zoo Chats about some of the zoo’s creatures.
>From a spooky bat cave to face painting, ghost trains, pumpkin giveaways, spooky garden animals, Halloween snacks, and more, the Chicago Botanic Garden
is promising a spooky time at their HallowFest October 26 - 28 from 6 p.m. - 9 p.m. (Friday and Saturday) and 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Sunday. Admission is $14 for Botanic Garden members and $16 for non-members. Children 2 and under are free. Parking is $20 unless you are member. Then it is free. The Chicago Botanic Garden is also hosting a Spooky Pooch Parade
on October 20 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. for dogs and includes a costume contest. Prices for the Spooky Pooch Parade are $14 for members, $17 for non-members, or $20 at the door.