The Halloween excitement is palpable — costumes are hung in the closets with care and visions of sacks of candy dance in kids’ heads. You have a busy weekend of prepping for the ghoulish day ahead, but carve out time for these faBOOlous happenings around town. Read on for our Editor’s favorite picks.

photo: Chicago Botanic Garden

IN THE CITY

Lincoln Park

Dive into Autumn at LPZ’s Fall Fest
Usher in the harvest season with your animal friends at Lincoln Park Zoo’s Fall Fest, a family celebration complete with rides, sing-a-longs, activities and entertainment. Fri.-Sun. Event details.

Participate in a Spooktacular Day on Clark Street
Join the haunted fun as shops and businesses transform into trick-or-treat stops featuring candy and surprises. Along the way, be amazed by jugglers, spooky stilt walkers and incredible magicians. Sun. Event details

Navy Pier

Check Out the First-Ever Pier Pumpkin Lights
Explore a variety of pumpkin pop-up installations throughout the Pier and enjoy fabulous fall deals. From jack o’lantern towers to light displays, Chicago’s iconic lakefront destination will be decked out for fall. Fri.-Sun. Event details

Say Hi to Familiar Faces at a Mo Willems Exhibit
The Chicago Children’s Museum is debuting a sure to be kid-favorite, The Pigeon Comes to Chicago! A Mo Willems Exhibit, inspired by the art and characters of the beloved children’s book author and illustrator. Sat. & Sun. Event details

Wicker Park

Have Halloween Fun at Wicker Park’s Boo-Palooza
Spend your day in a pumpkin patch and decorate your pumpkin, enjoy live music, ghost bingo, a maze and straw stack, face painting, activities table and a costume parade for kids and their pups. Sat. Event details

THE ‘BURBS

Batavia

Watch the Kids Go Batty at BatFest
Fly over for trick-or-treating, the Mothers’ Club Parade, dance performances, music, a pumpkin carving battle, farmers’ market, pet costume contest, arts and crafts, a petting zoo, dance lessons, games, hayrides and more! Sat. Event details.

Brookfield

Have a Howlin’ Good Time at Boo at the Zoo
This not-so-scary and fun-filled event features candy stations, a corn maze, giant pumpkin carving demonstrations, and Halloween-themed crafts and activities. Sat. & Sun. Event details

Glencoe

See Pumpkins in an All-New Light at Night of 1,000 Jack-o’-Lanterns
More than 1,000 hand-carved pumpkins—some as large as 150 pounds—will light up the night, staged along a festive, paved pathway. Fri.-Sun. Event details

Last Chance! Get Your Train Fix at Model Railroad Garden
Experience the delightful sights and sounds of miniature trains traversing high and low tunnels, across bridges and around buildings at Chicago Botanic Garden. Fri.-SunEvent details.

Rosemont

Get a Jumpstart on Halloween at Hofbrauhaus
Families are invited to Halloween Kinderfest to celebrate the spookiest time of the year with children’s costume contests, parades, live music, face painting, Halloween-themed arts and crafts stations, $5 kids meals and more. Sun. Event details.

Schaumburg

Brick or Treat at LEGOLAND Discovery
Things are about to get spooky with spell-binding scavenger hunts, giant Halloween models, and meet-and-greets with LEGOLAND‘s LEGO Shark & Police Officer. Sat. & Sun. Event details.

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— Maria Chambers

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Chicago’s Themed Restaurants You HAVE to Try at Least Once

. . . and check out our Events calendar for even more suggestions.