Let’s rock, October! This is one of the busiest times of the year for Chicago families, and this weekend is no exception. Carve pumpkins at Easel Art Studio, break in your Halloween costume at Baby Loves Disco, “brick-or-treat” at LEGOLAND, go crazy for chocolate at a dessert show, and more. You’ll wish October lasted all year long.
Pumpkin Carving at Easel Art Studio
Carve a masterpiece as a family. Lunch or dinner is provided, and there’s face painting and a goody bag. Friday’s Pumpkin Carving has an extra-special treat: Michele V. Wagner Photography will be in studio, shooting a professional family photo with you and your creations. Fri., 4-6 p.m.; Sat., 11 a.m.-1 p.m.; Sun., 11 a.m.-1 p.m. $40/child (Fri.); $35 (Sat. & Sun.). All ages. Event details.
Baby Loves Disco
This is a dance party you can’t say “boo” to. The popular kiddie boogie returns with Halloween-themed fun. Dance to DJ-spun music, eat snacks, do crafts and have a ghoulishly good time. Sat., 1:30-4 p.m. Lincoln Hall. $15/person; $55 for four. All ages. Event details.
Fire Cadet Day
Calling all heroes: Be a firefighter for a day at Land of Nod’s North & Clybourn store. You’ll have a blast with raffles, crafts and a pop-up apparel shop from Kids Fire Dept. Kids will even get to take a ride on a 1965 fire truck, thanks to O’Leary Fire Tours. Free. All ages. Event details.
Chicago Fine Chocolate & Dessert Show
If you go cuckoo for cacao, head to Navy Pier for a celebration of sweet treats. Meet chefs, get recipes and sample the goods. Check out the 1,000-pound life-sized chocolate sculpture of a Chicago “brother of blues” from local chocolatier Chef Alain Roby. You’ll also marvel as Patrick Fahy from Sixteen restaurant creates a chocolate carnival-themed paradise at his booth (think chocolate cotton candy, caramel corn and more). Fri., 3-8 p.m.; Sat., 10 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sun., 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Navy Pier’s Festival Hall. $25/adults; $10/children. Event details.
Once Upon a Symphony
Gentle, moving melodies captivate little ears at the concert series featuring a small ensemble of members of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, along with music, storytelling, activities, costumes and video projections. For this show, Stone Soup, a hungry traveler arrives at a village with nothing except an old cooking pot, arousing the curiosity of the townsfolk when she begins to make a pot of “stone soup.” Sat., 10 a.m. Symphony Center. $16. Ages 3-5. Event details.
Family Mask Making Workshop
Create the perfect Halloween costume accessory with the help of master mask maker Jeff Semmerling. Kids will be guided through the making of their own superhero or masquerade ball mask. All materials are included. Sat., 1-3 p.m. Inside Out Art Studio. $35. Ages 6 and up. Event details.
“Things That Go Bump in the Night” Nature Walk
Meet some of the fascinating but often misunderstood critters of Skokie’s natural oasis. Venture along a trail to a cave, forest and marsh while hearing about the animals that inhabit them. (The trip is entertaining and enlightening, not scary.) Your visit ends at a campfire featuring snacks and songs. Held Sat., 6-8:30 p.m. Emily Oaks Nature Center. $5. All ages. Event details.
legoland-3/” target=”_blank”>Brick-or-Treat at LEGOLAND
Forget popcorn balls and candy bars. How would you like to trick-or-treat for LEGO bricks? You’ll do it at this month-long wingding at Schaumburg’s LEGO metropolis. When you’ve collected your bricks, assemble them to create a special Halloween-themed model. You can also take part in a spooky scavenger hunt and get goose bumps as monsters overrun a mini LEGO model of Chicago. Held daily thru Oct. 31. LEGOLAND Discovery Center Chicago. Tickets start at $12; kids under 2 are free. All ages. Event details.
Boo! at the Zoo
Stir up Halloween fun in the company of lions, tigers and bears. Animal lovers of every age are invited to drop in for haunted hayrides, pumpkin craving demos, delicious cookie decorating, special zoo chats, a costume parade and contest, and more. Held Fri. & Sat., 11 a.m.-4 p.m. $10.50 per child/senior; $15 per adult. All ages. Event details.
Do you have a favorite event that didn’t make our list? Let us know in the Comments section below.
— Kelly Aiglon
Photo: Courtesy of Easel Art Studio