Chicago Halloween Events for Kids

Posted: September 30, 2018

The Calendar is packed with Halloween events, and you can find them all in one place on our Halloween Happenings page -. See the big list here! And find even more fall, harvest and pumpkin fun in our Fall Fun page!

Our picks for this year's best Halloween events and activities for kids in and around Chicago is below. Happy Haunting!

October 1-31
Cosley Zoo’s Pumpkin Fest
Cosley Zoo, 1356 Gary Ave., Wheaton
Take in the beautiful fall colors at Cosley Zoo, and see the animals in the crisp fall air, listen to the squeals of excitement from the children conquering the straw pyramid and take in the thousands of pumpkins scattered on the zoo's lawn. Children’s rides are also available. Apples, gourds, pumpkins, cider, cornstalks, and various sizes of straw bales are available to purchase. Check out the fall merchandise in the Wild Side Gift Shop, too. All ages. Regular hours admission rates apply with fees for rides.

October 5-7
9th Annual Great Highwood Pumpkin Festival
Downtown Highwood
The Great Highwood Pumpkin Festival is the biggest outdoor celebration on the North Shore featuring nightly jack-o-lantern lightings as Highwood vies for the world record for the most carved pumpkins in one place. Now in its ninth year, this celebration features pumpkin-filled walls throughout the festival grounds, ceremonial wall lightings, all you can carve pumpkins, trick or treating, costume contests, hayrides, pony rides, a petting zoo, carnival rides, kids crafts, two stages jam packed with live music, food and beverage vendors and a Superhero 5K Pumpkin Run/Walk. All ages. See web site for details.

October 7
Harvest Fest at Indian Boundary
Indian Boundary Park, 2500 W. Lunt Ave., Chicago
The Chicago Park District brings a little bit of the country to the city with its annual Pumpkin Patches. At the Chicago Park District's pumpkin patches, you get to pick your personal favorite from a field filled with pumpkins of all shapes, and personalize it at the pumpkin decorating station. Enjoy Halloween-themed carnival games, petting zoo, pony rides, and tattoos complete a day's worth of fall fun. Don't forget to bring a camera to capture a family memory at our harvest photo station. All ages, 10am - 2pm. Fees range per activity from 2 - 4 tickets, $1 per ticket, cash only (activity tickets sold before 1:30 pm)

October 13-14, 20-21, 27-28
Boo at the Zoo
Brookfield Zoo, First Avenue and 31st Street, Brookfield
Little ghosts and goblins of all ages are sure to have a howlin’ good time! Our not-so-scary and fun-filled event has something for the entire family to enjoy! The fun features candy stations, giant pumpkin carving, halloween crafts, haunted hayride, creepy cowboy carousel, a Crazed Maize maze, animal chats, a costume contest and more. See web site for schedule. All ages. 10am - 4pm. Regular admission applies.

October 19-20
Things That Go Bump in the Night
Emily Oaks Nature Center, 4650 Brummel St., Skokie
Meet some of the fascinating but often misunderstood critters of Emily Oaks! This popular event is intended to be fun and informative – NOT frightening. As you’re guided along the trail, you’ll investigate the cases of several creatures known as the Un-Touchables, finding out what makes them special and why they shouldn’t be touched. Your visit will end at a campfire featuring snacks and songs. Advanced ticket sales begin October 1. Tickets will be sold at the gate ONLY if available. All ages. Friday 6:00 pm - 8:15 pm; Saturday 5:30 pm - 8:15 pm. $5/person.

October 20
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. 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. 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. $15/$20/$25.

October 20
Parade at Arts in the Dark
Downtown Chicago, State St. and Lake St., Chicago
Be a part of the event that activates Halloween as the "artist’s holiday!" Arts in the Dark is a magical nighttime parade that 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. It is a magical evening parade that delights the audience with unique floats, spectacle puppets and creative performances that will be exceptionally dramatic in the parade's new location on historic State Street. All ages. 6-8pm. FREE.

October 21

YMCA Spooktacular Halloween Party
North Suburban YMCA, 2705 Techny Rd., Northbrook
The North Suburban YMCA welcomes ghosts and goblins of all ages for its Spooktacular Halloween Party. From 2 to 5 p.m. the Y’s festival of frights and fun includes inflatable bounce houses, costume contests, pony rides, a children’s haunted maze, and delicious treats. Guests can also bring home souvenirs including art projects, decorated pumpkins, photo booth pictures, and goodies from indoor trick-or-treating. Early entry at 1:30 p.m. for kids with special needs. Free for Y Members; $20 per family for non-members. 2-5pm. All ages.

October 22
A Night Out with Dracula at Olympia
Olympia Park, 6566 N. Avondale Ave., Chicago
Creep on over to this hauntingly fun, family-oriented event! Pizza and salad, color your favorite Halloween character, a "Kids Music Game Show" and a photo opportunity with The Count! Each attendee must register. All ages. 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM. $5.

October 23
Kid Rock’s Boo-rific Music & Dance Party
Cantigny Park, 1S151 Winfield Road, Wheaton
This music and movement parent-child event is perfect for kids ages 1 to 5. Songs and musical activities will have a fun Halloween theme and plenty of props! Costumes encouraged! Kid Rock has been providing music, dance classes and events since 1995. Learn more at Cost: $12 per child. Parking free. Register at or 630.260.8162. Ages 1-5. 6-6:45pm. $12.

October 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 mysterious and magical walks 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. Purchase tickets for time-slots, register online. Ages 4 and up. 6:15 PM-9:30 PM.$6 if purchased prior to 5 p.m. on Oct. 28; $8 at the door, if available.

October 26
Dave Rudolf’s Halloween Spooktacular
Winnetka Community House, 620 Lincoln Ave, Winnetka
Fun for the whole family with Dave Rudolf’s Halloween Spooktacular! Dave will entertain goblins of all ages with his ghost-definitely, not very scary definitely – fun songs and stories to raise the hair on your funny bone. Kids come dressed in costume and share the stage with Dave. All ages. 1:00pm. $10 in advance; $15 at the door.

October 26

Supper With the Snakes
Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, 2430 N. Cannon Drive, Chicago
Don your very best Halloween costume and join us for an evening of ssscrumptious treats, ssslithery friends, and sssilly games. Trick or treat your way through a museum full of live snakes and explore new snake facts along the way. Join in games and craft projects to show your love for these amazing creatures, then hang out and dance at the Halloween party of the year. Dinner included. Ages 2-10. 5:30 PM – 7:30 PM. $0 – $20.

October 26

Halloween Family Dance at Maggie Daley
Maggie Daley Park, 337 E. Randolph St., Chicago
Join us for a Family fun dance, dress up for family fun Halloween activities and dance party. Children ages 1-7. 5:30 PM - 7:30 PM. $5.

October 27
Wicker Park, 1425 N. Damen Ave., Chicago
The Wicker Park Advisory Council’s BOO-PALOOZA 2018 features a family parade at 11:30am, and a parade for DOGS and their owners at 12:30pm. Other activities includes a performance with Mr. Dave Music, a pumpkin patch and pumpkin decorating, a Maze, bobbing for apples, face painting, ghost bingo and more. All ages. 10am – 2pm. $10 suggested donation per family.

October 27

Howl O’ Ween Dog Parade
Peck Farms, 4038 Kaneville Road, Geneva
Bring your dogs and dress-to-impress at Peck Farm Park’s FREE Howl O’ Ween Dog Parade! Prizes will be awarded for most creative, funniest, and scariest costumes. Line-up is at 1:15 pm in the courtyard. The parade begins promptly at 1:30 pm. All ages. 1:30 pm. FREE.

October 27

Spooky Zoo
Lincoln Park Zoo, 2200 N. Cannon Dr., Chicago
Spooky Zoo 2018 offers a free, safe alternative to trick-or-treating in Chicago, in conjunction with the zoo’s five-weekend Fall Fest celebration. Fall Fest features Ferris wheel rides, animal enrichment activities, a corn maze, a pumpkin carver and many more fun and engaging activities for children and families. All ages. During Zoo hours. FREE.

October 28

Spooky Singalong
Old Town School of Folk Music, 909 W Armitage Ave., Chicago
Witches, werewolves, and warlocks! Goblins, ghouls, and ghosts! Bring the whole family to this spooky, but not scary, sing-a-long. Be sure to wear your Halloween costume! Ages 0-6. 10am. $12 General Public, $11 Members.

October 28
Halloween pARTy
The Paintbrush...a hands-on ART studio for kids, 2646 N. Halsted, Chicago
Our annual Halloween pARTy is fun! Halloween crafts, treats, snacks, face painting and tattoos. Fun for the family. (Recommended ages: 1-8, but older kids are welcome too.) (Drop-off option NOT available.) Costumes optional. All ages. 3:30-5:00. $16/child (includes one adult; additional adults $6 each)

October 30

Boo Bash!
Cantigny Park, 1S151 Winfield Road, Wheaton
Children are invited to preview their Halloween costumes to this fun hour of not-too-spooky activities and stories, ending with a yummy treat! 10am-11m. Ages 3 to 5 with adult. Cost: $10 per child. Parking free. Register at

October 31

Spooky Scenes Haunted House at Columbus
Columbus Park, 500 S. Central Ave., Chicago
Halloween haunted house with refreshments and goody bags. All ages; children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult. Free. All ages. 5-8pm.

October 31
FREE: Trick or Treating at Spring Valley
Vera Meineke Nature Center at Spring Valley, 1111 E. Schaumburg Road, Schaumburg
Spring Valley will be open from 3-6 p.m. for trick-or-treating. Visitors are encouraged to wear their Halloween costumes, explore Bison's Bluff and other areas around the Nature Center, travel from building to building at Heritage Farm and enjoy a wagon ride between both sites. All ages. 3:00 PM-6:00 PM. FREE.

See ALL of the great Halloween events taking place this year in our HALLOWEEN HAPPENINGS page!

Find more fall, harvest and pumpkin fun in our FALL FUN page!