Chicago and the Chicagoland folks have several choices for family fun this Halloween. Get the kid's costumes ready and make plans to attend some of these great, and not-too-scary events in 2017.
Halloween at Navy Pier
Oct. 21 & Oct. 28 @ 3 p.m.
Navy Pier, 840 E. Grand Ave., Chicago, IL 60611
Halloween at Navy Pier will be moved to Polk Park, due to the construction of the pier. This year’s Halloween festivities will not include their traditional trick-or-treating or costume contest. Instead, there will be free outdoor movie screenings of Fright Flicks, which will be family-friendly. On Oct. 21 the movies will be Monsters, Inc. and Ghostbusters (2016). On Oct. 28 the movies will be Monster House and Beetlejuice. The Spooktacular Halloween Fireworks show over Lake Michigan will be presented by Miller Lite on Oct. 28 at 9:30 p.m. Halloween events at Navy Pier will be free and open to the public.
Fall Fest at Lincoln Park Zoo
Sept. 29-Oct. 29 Weekends (Fri.-Sun.) plus Oct. 9
Lincoln Park Zoo, 2001 N. Clark St., Chicago, IL 60614
Lincoln Park Zoo’s 3rd Annual Fall Fest will be a free, family-friendly event in the heart of Chicago. The fest will include musical entertainment, a pumpkin patch, animal chats, and treats for the zoo animals. In addition to the free activities at the zoo, there will be ticketed attractions at the zoo, including a Ferris wheel, a tractor-themed carousel at Farm-in-the-Zoo, corn maze, a towering burlap sack slide, inflatable obstacle course, and more. Tickets for the ticketed attractions will be $3 each or sold in 10 ticket packages for $27, or 20 for $51. Pumpkins will be available for purchase at the Pumpkin Patch.
31st Annual Spooky Zoo Spectacular
Oct. 28 @ 10 a.m.
Lincoln Park Zoo, 2001, N. Clark St., Chicago, IL 60614
The Lincoln Park Zoo Auxiliary will present the kid-friendly Spooky Zoo Spectacular, offering a safe and family-friendly Halloween event. Children will have fun trick-or-treating, with arts and crafts, and a haunted house. Fall Fest will also be at the zoo, so children can take part in the activities offered at the weekend event.
The Great Highwood Pumpkin Festival
Oct. 5 Community Appreciation Night
Oct 6-8 @ varies
Downtown Highwood, Highwood, IL 60040
Join the community of Highwood as they once again try to break the Guinness World Record for most pumpkins carved and lit at once while raising money for Make-A-Wish Illinois. There will be a full schedule of family-friendly activities in this town on the North Shore. Take part in the fun by joining the all-you-can-carve pumpkin stations. The sight of the thousands of carved pumpkins will delight kids of all ages. Activities will also include musical entertainment, carnival rides, trick-or-treating, and more. Special kids activities on Oct. 29 will include a Meet & Greet with Pinkie Pie for My Little Pony, a pet costume contest, and a kids costume contest. Daily admission will be $4 or $5 for a weekend pass. Children 6 years old and under will be admitted free. Bring your own pumpkin to receive a free admission pass.
Oct. 6-8 @ 10 a.m.
St. Charles, IL 60174
This family-friendly event will be fun for kids of all ages. Highlights will include the chance to make your own scarecrow, the petting zoo, arts & crafts, carnival rides, live entertainment, and more. See over 100 scarecrows on display and vote for your favorite. Admission will be free.
Arts in the Dark
Oct. 21 @ 4 p.m.
Grant Park & Millennium Park, Chicago, IL 60601
The Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs will present the Halloween Parade of Artists will feature aspiring artists in every field in the parade on Columbus Dr. starting at 6 p.m. The pre-parade celebrating will be hosted by the Chicago Blackhawks at Buckingham Fountain in Grant Park at 4 p.m. The post-parade party, at 8 p.m., will be the House Party at the Bean at Cloud Gate in Millennium Park. Kids will love the family-friendly Halloween Movie and Candy Giveaway hosted by the Chicago Park District at Maggie Daley Park following the parade.
Night of 1,000 Jack-o’-Lanterns
Oct. 26-29 @ 6:30 p.m.
Chicago Botanic Garden, 1000 Lake Cook Rd., Glencoe, ILL 60022
The Chicago Botanic Garden will be lit with more than 1,000 hand-carved pumpkins. The path will be decorated with entertaining characters and the ghostly trains in the Model Railroad Garden: Landmarks of America. This will be a family-friendly and kid-friendly Halloween celebration. Refreshments will be available for purchase. Tickets will range from $10-$14. Children 2 and under are free. There will be a fee for parking.
Oct. 27 @ 6 p.m.
Community Recreation Center, 505 N. Springinguth Rd., Schaumburg, IL 60193
A Halloween carnival for the family will feature kid-friendly activities, including trick-or-treating, costume contest, haunted train ride, games, prizes, entertainment, crafts, and more. This event is for children ages 2-14 years old. Tickets will be $10 in advance and $12 on the day of the event. Parents and children younger than 2 will be admitted free.
Oct. 29 @ 1 p.m.
Naperville Riverwalk’s Grand Pavilion (west of Centennial Beach), Naperville, IL 60540
Naperville Park District will present this free Halloween fest for kids aged 10 and under. Take a trip through four specially-themed lands, completes with treats and treasures for kids. Visit Halloween Way with creepy monsters, Fairytale Lane with favorite fantasy characters, King Arthur’s Court for a regally-splendid time, and Adventure Alley for Halloween adventure. Dress in costumes as your favorite characters and enjoy the family-friendly fun. Food trucks will be on the grounds selling refreshments.