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.

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That’s Weird Grandma: Ghosts
Gather ye ‘round for a line-up of scary (and silly) stories featuring talking potatoes getting lost in the woods, Malcolm X fighting zombies, creepy slideshows that haunt old houses, and other spooky scenarios imagined by Chicago elementary school students. Sun. Event details.

Hyde Park

It’s Mummies Night at the Oriental Institute Museum!
Participate in all things mummy . . . mummify a simulated mummy, take a mummy tour, hear a mummy tale, craft a mummy to take home, compete in a Mummy Wrap Race, and snap a family photo at the Great Pyramids and with life-sized camel standees. Sat. Event details.

Lincoln Park

Go Wild 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.

Make it a Spooky Zoo Spectacular Kinda Night at LPZ
Get down like a Halloween party animal at Lincoln Park Zoo’s 32nd annual Spooky Zoo Spectacular. Costumes are highly encouraged, but not required, at this BOO-tastic bash packed with all sorts of kid friendly entertainment and plenty of trick-or-treating. But, please don’t feed the animals . . . at least not the real ones. Sat. Event details.

Go Craft-Crazy at a Halloween Party with Monica + Andy
Kids will munch on sweet treats while making their own trick or treat bag and dance partying with Baby DJ. Sat. Event details.

Rogers Park

Freak the Freak Out at Bunnicula
When the Monroe family brings home an abandoned bunny, Chester the cat suspects the worst after spying gleaming fangs in the bunny’s mouth. As veggies start turning up mysteriously drained, even easygoing Harold the dog wonders if they have a supernatural menace on their hands. Brave the night and dare to embrace our differences in this musical adaptation of Bunnicula. Sun. Event details.

Wicker Park

Harry Potter Inspired Halloween Party at The Laboratory
While parents have a night out, kids spend a pizza-filled evening wizarding, learning lessons in ghostdom and maybe experiencing an explosion or two. Or three. Fri. Event details.

Haunt Wicker Park at Boo-Palooza
Wicker Park bubbles with Halloween fun for the entire family at Boo-Palooza. Get costumed up and enjoy the children’s costume parade, pumpkin patch and decorating station, a Mr. Dave Music performance, bobbing for apples, face painting, activity tables and more. Sat. Event details.


Homer Glen

Fill Your Day with Smiles at Bengtson’s Pumpkin Fest
Pack a full day’s worth of fun that goes well beyond the pumpkin patch with rides, mega slides and pumpkins, of course. Come hungry and gobble up a freshly baked apple cider donut. Mmmm. Fri.-Sun. Event details.


Create Memories at Shades of Autumn Festival
Take a little drive for more than 25 family friendly attractions at the Shades of Autumn Festival. You’ll find the traditional hayrides, pumpkin picking and petting zoo. But, the little ones will be wowed by the pumpkin cannon, hamster track, semi-truck slide, trikes for tikes, scrumptious apple cider donuts and so much more. Sat. & Sun. Event details.


Brick or Treat at Legoland Discovery
LEGO monsters, zombies, and swamp creatures – oh my! LEGOLAND® Discovery Center Chicago is being invaded by all sorts of creepy LEGO creatures.  Highlights include monsters and skeletons overrunning MINILAND, a scavenger hunt, trick-or-treating for bricks, building challenges and more! Sat. & Sun. Event details.


— Maria Chambers


Haunted Spots for Low-Key Thrills & Chills

Field Day! 8 Local Corn Mazes to Get Lost In

Halloween Costume Shops That Rock (and Shock!)

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