BEST Things to Do for Halloween 2023 in Chicago 🎃

Searching for what to do in Chicago for Halloween in 2023? Here are the top things to do for Halloween in Chicago for all ages.

These are many Halloween events and activities taking place in Chicago and the suburbs the entire month October leading up to Halloween weekend. From costume parties and scary activities for adults to family friendly parades and events for young kids, you will find something for any age.

For out of town visitors, please note that the weather in Chicago during Halloween weekend is very unpredictable and temperatures can vary greatly. Be prepared for fall, winter, or summer like temperatures (sometimes all in one day!) as well as rain. Make sure to pack a travel umbrella, layers and check the weather right before your visit to know what to expect.

I suggest bookmarking this blog post as I will be updating it regularly with new events and activities.

Halloween in Chicago (2023)

pumpkin patch Chicago Halloween
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Best Things to Do for Halloween in Chicago

Take a Ghost Tour

Explore Chicago while learning about its haunted past. Visit the sites of some of the most gruesome disasters and murders in Chicago’s history while hearing stories of death, disaster, murder, ghosts, and infamous gangsters from your local guide.

This haunted segway tour and Halloween bike tour are only offered a few weeks before Halloween.

This ghosts and gangsters tour is available year round and also covers Chicago’s history of organized crime.

You can also discover the haunted hotspots of Chicago on a self-guided ghost exploration game on your phone.

Halloween Inspired Candlelight Concert

Candlelight Concerts is a series of special classical music concerts that take place in beautiful venues bathed in candlelight in the city and the suburbs. Enjoy these Halloween inspired candlelight concerts in Chicago:

Candlelight: A Haunted Evening of Halloween Classics at Wicker Park Lutheran Church – October 28, 2023
Candlelight Día De Los Muertos: Celebrating the Day of the Dead – November 1 & 2, 2023

You can find the full list of candlelight concerts in Chicago here.

Pier Pumpkin Lights at Navy Pier


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Navy Pier is a must do if you are visiting Chicago with toddlers or kids. Fun attractions include a large Ferris wheel (click here to purchase a fast pass ticket and skip the long line), rides and games, restaurants, shops and the Chicago Children’s Museum.

During the entire month of October, Navy Pier will transform into an insta-worthy fall spectacle with nearly 1,000 pumpkins and a variety of pumpkin pop-up installations.

Navy Pier is also the starting point for many boat rides and lake cruises.

Medieval Torture Museum

Nedieval Torture Museum Chicago
Are you ready for an extra portion of fear this Halloween? Medieval Torture Museum is the largest interactive historical museum in the U.S., occupying more than 6,000 square feet, with over 100 unique implements and devices on display. Enter the minds of fanatics, madmen, and murderers, and discover the world’s most detailed collection of confinement and torture devices. They believe that those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it, and have amassed an unprecedented collection of cruelty, based on historical documents and engravings, offering a chilling look into the darkest parts of human history.

Take Photos at Jack’s Pumpkin Patch Pop-Up

Jack’s Pumpkin Patch Pop-Up is an outdoor fall experience located on over 2 acres in Goose Island. You will find the largest corn maze in downtown Chicago, hidden boozy bar, axe throwing, carnival games, music, fortune telling, three full-service bars and several picture back drops to take instagrammable fall photos. Pre-purchased access is required.

When: September 21-November 5, 2023

Where: 1465 N Elston Ave, Chicago, IL 60642

Cost: Prices vary by date.

Halloween in the Parks

Looking for fun Halloween fun themed events for children? The Chicago Park District’s Halloween in the Parks holds various kid-friendly events at parks throughout the city the entire month of October including pumpkin patches, Halloween parties, haunted houses and fall festivals.

Visit a Pumpkin Patch

There are many pumpkin patches and farms you can visit in Chicago and the suburbs in October. Here is a list of the best pumpkin patches in and near Chicago.

Join a Halloween Bar Crawl

Wear a costume and and have fun bar-hopping across town. Here are the best Halloween bar crawls taking place in Chicago:

Chicago Halloween Bar Crawl (October 27, 28, 31, 2023) starting at Hopsmith Chicago (15 W Division St)

Watch Halloween Themed Movies on a Rooftop

During the entire month of October, Rooftop Cinema Club will be showing classic horror movies as well as other Halloween themed movies. Rooftop Cinema Club is an outdoor screening series on a rooftop located on the fifth floor terrace of The Emily Hotel in Fulton Market. The high end movie experience has state-of-the-art LED screens, individual wireless headphones and a range of seating options including lounge chairs and loveseats. Guests can also order drinks and snacks.

Address: The Emily Hotel (311 N Morgan St)

Dates: Select dates all of October.

Cost: Prices vary. You can see prices and purchase tickets in advance here.

Visit a Haunted House

The best haunted houses are in the suburbs but there are some haunted houses in the city:

Nightmare On Clark St Haunted House (3505 N Clark Street)

St. Pascal’s Catacombs (6143 W Irving Park Rd)

Best Things to Do for Halloween Chicago Suburbs

Get Lost in a Corn Maze

There are many corn mazes in the Chicago area – from large intricate mazes perfect for adults and older children to small kid-friendly corn mazes.

Richardson Adventure Farm located in Spring Grove, Illinois (about an hour north of the city) claims to be world’s largest most intricate corn maze.

In addition to their daytime corn maze, Jonamac Orchard has a haunted corn maze on Friday & Saturday nights.

Here are more corn mazes near Chicago.

Visit a Haunted House

There are several haunted houses in the Chicago suburbs but these are the scariest:

HellsGate Haunted House (in Lockport) is a multi-level mansion hidden deep in the woods (visitors take a 5 minute shuttle from the parking lot to the house) and filled with secret passages, giant slides, ghastly secrets, undead abominations, really nervous groundskeepers and a darkness that the gate can no longer contain.

13th Floor Haunted House Chicago (5050 River Road in Schiller Park), rated as one of the Top 5 Haunted Houses in the U.S.A. by USA Today.

Old Joliet Haunted Prison (401 Woodruff Rd., Joliet, IL) is Chicagoland’s only haunted house inside a real abandoned prison.

Jack O’ Lantern World

This year’s Jack O’ Lantern World brings eleven semi-trailers worth of hand-crafted jack o’ lanterns including the work of award-winning artists, designers, architects and carpenters. In addition, you will see some of the USA’s largest pumpkins weighing well over 1000 pounds. Take a walk through the ¾ mile immersive exhibition of the nation’s largest jack o’ lantern display. The event also hosts the U.S. National Championship Pumpkin Weigh Off on October 7th where pumpkins are expected to reach over 2000 pounds!

When: September 29-October 29, 2023 on Thursday – Sunday evenings and special event nights

Where: Lake Zurich, Illinois

Cost: Varies. Paid online reservation required. Tickets on sale now.

Chicago Halloween Events

Arts in the Dark Parade

Now in its 9th year, Arts in the Dark is an evening family-friendly parade that celebrates Halloween as the “artist’s holiday” with unique floats, spectacle puppets, music, dance and more – all set against the backdrop of historic State Street. The parade has been recognized as one of the top 6 Halloween events in the world.

When: Saturday, October 21, 2023 from 6-8pm

Where: On State Street moving south from Lake to Van Buren

Cost: FREE

More Halloween 2023 Chicago Events

In addition to the activities mentioned above, more Halloween events in Chicago include: Rosehill Cemetery ‘Crypt’ 5K Run/Walk (October 21, 2023), Spooky Zoo (October 21, 2023).

Chicago Halloween Parties for Adults Only

These Halloween parties and events are for adults only:

Chicago Vampire Ball

Chicago Vampire Ball is a wild vampire only event with burlesque entertainment and a Vampire Queen competition and live DJ afterparty event. Enjoy all things vampirical from the best retro vampire and horror film trailers to unique photo ops and surprises for the most discerning vampires. Vampire attire is required. This event is 21+.

Where: Tip Top Tap ballroom on the 23rd floor of the Warwick Allerton Hotel, 701 Michigan Ave

When: Friday, October 13, 2023 from 8 p.m. – 1:30 a.m.

Cost: $60 general admission. You can purchase tickets in advance here.

Haunted Halloween Ball Chicago at Congress Plaza Hotel

Haunted Halloween Ball, Chicago’s biggest Halloween costume party, takes place at the Congress Plaza Hotel, which is said to be one of the most haunted hotels in the world by USA Today. The Ball will combine elements of a lavish VIP nightclub and lounge experience, with the exclusiveness of a luxury hotel gala, and the terror and chills of a haunted house. The massive 20,000 square foot ballrooms of the 122-year-old hotel has been transformed into an abandoned hotel run by zombies. Other entertainment includes encounters with the Haunted Halloween Ball vampire bellmen, zombie cocktail servers dressed as French maids and theatrical performances by costumed go-go dancers. This event is 21+.

Where: Congress Plaza Hotel Chicago, 520 S. Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60605

When: Saturday, October 28, 2023 from 9pm – 2:30am

Cost: Early-bird tickets are $20.

As you can see there are many things to do in and near Chicago for Halloween.

Planning a trip to Chicago? Check out my Chicago guides and itineraries:


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