Halloween is almost here — and this weekend is a real scream. Several parties will have you doing the monster mash, including a spooky roller skating bash at Smith Park. You can also jet-set by way of the Chicago International Children’s Film Festival, which features flicks from across the globe. Or sing and dance at a fam jam in Hyde Park. Whatever you pick, you’ll grin wider than a Jack-O-Lantern at night.


Hyde Park

Halloween Fam Jam
Enjoy an afternoon of family music making, craft activities and light refreshments. Your favorite songs will be sung with special Halloween lyrics — and playing instruments and dancing is part of the fun. Costumes are encouraged. Sat., 4-5:30 p.m. Joan’s Studio for the Performing Arts. $10 in advance/$15 at the door. All ages. Event details.

West Town

Spooky Skate Party
Put on your Halloween costume and roller skates (or grab your scooter) and head to the haunted gym at Smith Park to glide along with boys and ghouls of all ages. Fri., 6-8 p.m. Free. All ages. Event details.

Lincoln Park

Bubbleween Extravaganza
You can feel the Halloween magic in the air at Bubbles Academy, which is throwing a five-day holiday blitz. Families can explore enchanted fun zones including the Trick-or-Treat Village, Real Pumpkin Patch, Candy Land Mountain and Haunted Pirate Ship. The event also includes live music, story time, a science magic show and Saturday evening’s Bubbleween Costume Ball, featuring Redmoon’s Bubble DJ. Fri.-Oct. 29 from 1-5 p.m. One-day passes are $20 per child; a five-day pass is $50 per child; Bubbleween Costume Ball tickets are $30 per child; free admission for adults and children 4 months and younger. Event details

Chicago International Children’s Film Festival
The kid-focused film fest has nearly 300 juried shorts and features with exciting and relevant themes for ages 2-18. The flicks come from Japan, Latvia, the Russian Republic, France and beyond. Fri.-Nov. 3; show times vary. Facets Multi-Media & Music Box Theatre. Family film festival passes are $40 (good for up to four adults or children for all general screenings). Individual film tickets are $9/adults and $6/children. Ages 2-18. Event details.

East Village

Care2Prevent’s Monster Brunch
Have Halloween fun for a good cause. The celebration benefits Care2Prevent, a non-profit that helps young people in Chicago living with HIV/STI. Brunch is provided by West Town Bakery and activities include cookie decorating, crafts and games, family photo opps and a costume parade. Sun., 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Homestead on the Roof. $50/person; $75/couple; kids eat free. All ages. Event details.


FunikiJam Brunch & Concert
Laugh, clap, dance and learn a thing or two, in the process. Meet Captain Jam & Keys from the performing sensation FunikiJam. They blend entertainment, education and interaction in a show that even small babies can appreciate. Sun., 10 a.m.-noon. Purple Monkey Playroom. $40/family (2 adults & 1 child); $20/single (1 adult & 1 child); $10/additional Child (6 months+). Ages 0-5. Event details.


Opening Celebration at Peek … Aren’t You Curious?legoland-3/” target=”_blank”>
The San Francisco-based kids’ shop just opened its first Chicago-area location and you can join in the festivities. The new Northbrook shop will draw you in with designer duds for babies, toddlers and kids. Check out the goods and rock out when kindie musician Sarah Jayne Lane performs a fun, interactive music session. Sun., 11 a.m.-noon. Free. All ages. Event details.


Trick or Trees
Bring the kids to play under a canopy of fall color at Morton Arboretum. Play Halloween games, make arts and crafts, and plant seeds from the Children’s Garden. Haven’t tricked out your house for the holiday yet? Decorate a pumpkin from the patch to take home with you. Sat. & Sun., 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Free with Arboretum admission (adults $12; children $9; ages 1 and younger are free). All ages. Event details.

Which of these events will you hit first? Let us know in the Comments section below.

— Kelly Aiglon

Photo: Courtesy of Flickr creative commons