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BEST Things to Do for Halloween in Chicago 🎃

Searching for what to do in Chicago for Halloween? 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

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 in October.

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.

Visit the Museum of I SCREAM

Museum of Ice Cream is Chicago’s newest attraction. Step into an ice cream wonderland that is bound to ignite your senses through a theatrical experience with unlimited ice cream treats as you journey through 14 installations. Ride on the pink Sprink-L line, put your golf skills to the test on the Putt-Putt course, or take a dip in a pool filled with millions of sprinkles. They are spookifying their menu for the entire month of October and offering fall and Halloween themed treats from pumpkin soft serve to haunted cotton candy and more.

Where: Tribune Tower, 435 North Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60611

Cost: You can see full prices and purchase tickets in advance 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.

Address: 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 29) starting at Beaumont Bar and Grill (2020 N Halsted St) in Lincoln Park
Trick or Drink Chicago Halloween Bar Crawl (October 31) starting at Rock Bottom Brewery (1 W Grand Ave) in River North.

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:

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

Amazing Chicago’s Haunted Maze (Navy Pier)

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

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.

Shoot Zombies with Lasers at The Forge: Lemont Quarries

Play Zombie Apocalypse Tactical Laser Tag at The Forge: Lemont Quarries outside of Chicago. Do you think you have what it takes to survive the zombie apocalypse? Find out when you immerse yourself in their one-of-a-kind, live action, Tactical Laser Tag experience. This 40-minute game consists of two teams battling against each other while simultaneously fending off flesh-eating zombies. The team to earn the most points in the battle will survive to see another day. Minimum age of 10 years old.

You can find more Halloween themed events at the Lemont Quarries here.

Where: The Forge: Lemont Quarries, 1001 Main Street, Lemont, IL 60439

When: 5pm-8pm on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays every weekend in October

Cost:  $40 per person. Not included in any other admission pass

Chicago Halloween Events

UPSIDE DOWN Parade

The 3rd Annual UPSIDE DOWN Parade is a “reverse” family-friendly parade that consists of 20-25 performance groups (including dance performances, circus acrobats, musical groups, sports mascots and more) stationed along Russell Drive. Families will be invited to wear costumes and walk through the route together.  Attendees will receive a complimentary goody bag at the end of the route (While Supplies Last).

Where: Washington Park

When: Saturday, October 22 from 12pm-2pm.

Cost: FREE

Arts in the Dark Parade

Now in its eighth year, Arts in the Dark is an evening family-friendly parade that celebrates Halloween as the “artist’s holiday” with unique floats, spectacle puppets and creative performances – all set against the backdrop of historic State Street.

When: Saturday, October 29 6-8pm

Where: 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.

Chicago Halloween Parties for Adults Only

These Halloween parties and events are for adults only:

Halloween Day BOO Cruise

Set sail on a spooky cruise across the Chicago River this Halloween day, as you party across 2 floors of drinks, music and fun. Chicago’s top DJs will be spinning the hits as you dance next to other ghosts, vampires, goblins and werewolves. Grab your costume and come along for some adult trick or treating on the Chicago River.

Where: Summer of George – Chicago Yacht Events, 900 South Wells, Chicago IL 60607

When: October 31 from 6:30 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. (boat leaves 7 p.m. sharp, there are no refunds or if you miss the boarding time indicated)

Cost: $35 for general admission. Get your tickets for Halloween Day BOO Cruise here.

Adults Night Out: Howl-o-ween at Lincoln Park Zoo

Adults Night Out: Howl-o-ween is an adults only (18+) spooky after-hours event at Lincoln Park Zoo. Guests will enjoy unique animal chats, a live DJ, and multiple bars throughout the zoo all evening. Other activities include: cornhole, foosball, giant Jenga, and giant Connect Four, free rides on the AT&T Endangered Species Carousel and a costume contest at 9:30 pm.

Where: Lincoln Park Zoo, 2001 North Clark Street, Chicago, IL 60614

When: October 27 from 6:30–10 p.m.

Cost: $15–25. There is no difference between ticket types except for the price – the earlier you purchase the lower the price.

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: October 30 from 9pm – 3am

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:

savvyglobetrotter

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