Best Chicago Kids Halloween Events

Posted: September 17, 2019

Best Halloween Events and Activities for Chicago Kids

The annual Halloween Zone is live! We've gathered details on all of the Halloween Fun for Kids taking place in Chicago. Find the best Halloween events for kids, including pumpkin patches, haunted houses, corn mazes, festivals and more. Plan your family Halloween fun in Chicago and the suburbs starting with this great list. Find our full list of the best Halloween events for kids in Chicago here in our Halloween Zone. And you can find more Chicago Fall Fun for kids in our Fall Fun page!

Here are our top picks for some of the best Halloween events and activities for kids in Chicago. Visit our HALLOWEEN ZONE for complete Halloween fun!

October 1 - November 2
Pier Pumpkin Nights
Navy Pier, 600 E. Grand Ave., Chicago
Explore a variety of pumpkin pop-up installations throughout the Pier and enjoy fabulous fall deals at the first-ever Pier Pumpkin Nights, a month-long seasonal celebration. From jack o’lantern towers to light displays, Chicago’s iconic lakefront destination will be decked out for fall. This pop-up installation will be on exhibit daily during normal Pier operating hours, but will be best experienced after dusk. For all ages. FREE.

October 3-27
THE GLOW: A Pumpkin Wonderland
Sensory Garden Playground, 2751 Navistar Dr., Lisle
Thursdays - Sundays. JACK’S PUMPKIN GLOW features an enchanting and unforgettable wonderland of more than 5,000 hand carved, illuminated pumpkins transformed into beautiful landscapes, iconic figures and larger than life structures. Families can stroll down Jack’s Lane, a 1/3 of a mile jack o’ lantern landscape where you’ll experience everything from artistically detailed single pumpkin carvings, to amazing scenes created by our talented carvers. All ages. Tickets from $16.99. See web site for schedule.

October 11-13
The 10th Annual Great Highwood Pumpkin Festival
Downtown Highwood, Green Bay and Temple Ave., Highwood
The 10th Annual Great Highwood Pumpkin Festival returns this October to once again attempt to break a world record of most pumpkins carved and lit at once and officially kick off Fall festival season with family. To commemorate 10 years, the Fest will host fan favorite activities including all you can carve pumpkins with the opportunity to be a part of a record-breaking attempt, trick or treating, costume contests, pony rides, petting zoo, carnival rides, kids crafts, four stages jam-packed with live music, food and beverage vendors galore, a Superhero 5K Pumpkin Run/Walk and more. All ages. Fri 4-11pm; Sat 11am - 11pm; Sunday 11am-9pm. FREE.

October 12-13, 19-20, 26-27
Boo! at the Zoo
Brookfield Zoo, First Avenue and 31st Street, Brookfield
Saturdays and Sundays, October 12 to 27. Little ghosts and goblins of all ages are sure to have a howlin’ good time - this not-so-scary and fun-filled event has something for the entire family to enjoy. Activities are from 10am - 4pm and include Giant Pumpkin Carving, a Creepy Carousel, a "Crazed Maize" Corn Maze, the Pumpkin Smasher, a Bat Zoo Chat, Spider Zoo Chat and more. The Costume Parade is at 1pm and the Costume Dance Party is at 1:30pm. See web site for a full schedule of each day's activities. All ages. 10am - 4pm. Regular admission applies.

October 12-13
Fall Festival at NPV
North Park Village Nature Center, 5801 North Pulaski Road, Chicago
Activities for our annual celebration of autumn will include a scarecrow building contest, children's nature crafts, storytelling, live music, market, tours, and seasonal refreshments for purchase. Registration not required. All ages. 10am - 3pm. FREE.

October 13
Spooky Pooch Parade
Chicago Botanic Garden, 1000 Lake Cook Road, Glencoe
For two very special hours only, dogs are allowed in the Chicago Botanic Garden. Cleverly costumed canines march the parade route to celebrate Halloween. Spectators are invited to line the parade route for a barking good time. Note: Viewing the dog parade is free. If you are bringing a dog, however, you must purchase paid registration for your dog, whether or not you enter the parade and costume contest. In addition to the parade, activities include the costume contest, judging, and an awards ceremony. Costume categories include Best Costume Overall, Best Dog/Owner Costume, Best Puppy in Costume for dogs ages 1 and under in people years, Best Senior in Costume for dogs ages 10 and older in people years, and Best Horticultural Interpretation. All ages. 11am - 1pm. $17 member, $22 non-member.

October 19
Arts in the Dark
Downtown Chicago, State and Lake, Chicago
Arts in the Dark is a magical evening parade that celebrates Halloween as the "artist's holiday." The event draws together world-renowned institutions like the Art Institute of Chicago, celebrated Chicago organizations like Lookingglass Theatre Company, important programs like After School Matters and aspiring artists in every field. The parade features unique floats, spectacle puppets and creative performances that are exceptionally dramatic set against the backdrop of Chicago’s majestic skyline. All ages. 6 – 8 PM. FREE.

October 24
Sugar Skull Making at Mayfair
Mayfair Park, 4550 W. Sunnyside Ave., Chicago
Participants will learn a brief history about Mexican culture in relation to the Day of the Dead holiday. They will follow step by step instructions on how to make their very own sugar skull from scratch and decorate it with icing and embellishments. After our workshop, we will celebrate with pan de muerto (a sweet roll of bread) and champurrado (hot Mexican corn-based chocolate drink.) Children 5 years through 12 years of age must be accompanied by one adult for duration of workshop. 5-7pm. Ages 5 and up; ages 5-12 must be accompanied by adult. $20.

October 25-26
A Haunting in the Valley
Vera Meineke Nature Center at Spring Valley, 1111 E. Schaumburg Road, Schaumburg
Spring Valley's popular Halloween program will feature a mysterious and magical walk along the trails through the field and forest. Covered wagon rides will transport groups to the trail entrance every 10 minutes for the half-hour walk. The Nature Center also will feature games, a live owl display, refreshments and a bonfire. Tickets may be pre-purchased at the Nature Center for one of three time slots each evening - space is limited. Tickets are available at Spring Valley only. Ages 4 and up. 6:15 - 9:30pm. $6 before 5 p.m. on Oct. 25; $8 at the door, if available.

October 26
Spooky Zoo
Lincoln Park Zoo, 2200 N. Cannon Dr., Chicago
Hosted annually by Lincoln Park Zoo’s Auxiliary Board, Spooky Zoo offers a free and safe alternative to trick-or-treating in Chicago. This event attracts more than 25,000 children and families to the zoo each year—the majority of whom are from underserved communities—making it one of Chicago’s largest public-service initiatives. The event is held alongside the Fall Fest celebration, which features Ferris wheel rides, animal enrichment activities, a corn maze, a pumpkin carver, and more. All ages. 10 a.m.- 1:00 p.m. FREE.

October 26
Wicker Park, 1425 N. Damen Ave., Chicago
The Wicker Park Advisory Council’s BOO-PALOOZA 2018 will feature numerous organizations working together to present a memorable event for all ages in Wicker Park. Produced in Partnership with Chicago Park District. Featuring a family costume parade at 11:30am, and a parade for dogs and their owners at 12:30pm, plus live performances, a pumpkin patch with a decorating area, ghost bingo, a maze and more. All ages. 10am – 2pm. $10 per family or $10 per group of 2-4 adults.

October 27
PDNA 2019 South Loop Children's Halloween Party
Glessner House Museum, 1800 South Prairie Avenue, Chicago
Bring your little goblins in costume to PDNA's 12th annual not-so-scary Halloween party at the Glessner House Museum. Our little guests will enjoy games, prizes, petting zoo, balloons, pumpkin decorating, mask making, candy, snacks, refreshments, music and more. This is the Prairie District Neighborhood Alliance 12th Annual South Loop Children's Halloween Party, which sells out every year as a South Loop Halloween tradition. All ages. 3 PM – 5 PM. See web site for fees.

October 27
Creatures of the Night
Garfield Park Conservatory, 300 North Central Park Ave., Chicago
This special Halloween event at the Conservatory features live creatures in the tropical plant collection, where kids and families will learn about unique relationships between animals and plants as they collect sweet treats throughout our building. Activities include singing and dancing, creepy crafts, and stories. Costumes are encouraged. Requires adult presence. All ages. 12:00 PM - 3:00 PM. FREE.

October 30
Boo Bash!
Cantigny Park, 1S151 Winfield Road, Wheaton
This morning of festive fun for little ones includes the reading of Halloween stories, making Halloween crafts, and sharing a special Halloween treat. Everyone is encouraged to come in costume. Ages 3-5 with adult. 10am - 11am. $10 per child members, $12 non-members. Registration is required. No parking fee for this event.

See our full page of the best Halloween events and activities for Chicago Kids!