The excitement in the air for Halloween is palpable – costumes are hung in the closets with care and visions of sacks of candy dance in your kid’s heads.  You have a busy weekend of trick-or-treating ahead, but carve out time for these fabulous happenings around town. We have everything from Halloween tea parties to hanging with spiders, so read on for our Editor’s favorite picks.

Dylan's Candy Bar

Gold Coast

Trick-or-Treat Spectacular at Dylan’s Candy Bar
Prepare for something terrifyingly delicious! Join Dylan’s Candy Bar for an exclusive Trick-or-Treat Spook-tacular in-store event! Tickets include admission to a private party filled with sweet fun the whole family can enjoy! Kids will love the trick-or-treat stations with candy and games, candy craft station with whirly pop puppets, trick-or-treat tote bag decoration station, who-wore-it-best costume contest, photo booth, super sweet goodie bags and popcorn and cotton candy munchies. Sat., 9 a.m.-10:30 a.m. Dylan’s Candy Bar. $50. All ages. Event details


Grow Curiouser and Curiouser with Alice in Wonderland
Chicago Kids Company – Theater for Children (CKC) presents Alice in Wonderland, a musical adaptation of the classic tale! Discover the magic of Wonderland alongside Alice. Meet characters who grow “curiouser and curiouser,” including the White Rabbit, Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum, the Mad Hatter, the March Hare, the Cheshire Cat, and the Queen of Hearts. Oct. 23-Nov. 25., 10:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m. Beverly Arts Center. $12. Ages 2-8. Event details


A Detective Game with Cat-titude
This interactive spy story provides the purrr-fect opportunity to show your little ones the mystery and excitement of live theatre. With the promise of pie and the smell of a rat close by, gather clues to help Three Little Kittens find their missing mittens and make new discoveries before Mother Cat comes slinking home. Daily, varied showtimes. Emerald City’s Little Theatre. $15; $8/children 1 & under. Ages 0-5. Event details.


Freaky Friday Family Cooking Class
Adults and kids get to work side-by-side to make a delicious meal, and then enjoy it together! It’s the perfect combination of a fun activity, hands-on cooking instruction, a delicious dinner and recipes – so you can recreate the deliciousness at home. (Grammas & Grampas welcome too!) HALLOWEEN COSTUMES ENCOURAGED! Fri., 6 p.m.-7:30 p.m. The Kids’ Table. $25/person. All ages. Event details.


19th Annual Halloween Magic on North Halsted
Experience the magic of Halloween on N. Halsted! Activities include a Halloween spectacular at Space Park (815 W. Roscoe), a family costume and pet parade, “Magic March” (Roscoe to Cornelia), and merchant trick or treating. Check the website for a schedule of events. Sat., noon-4 p.m. N. Halsted, Belmont to Addison. Free. All ages. Event details.

Lincoln Park

Lakeshore Rooftop Maze
Lakeshore Sport & Fitness has unveiled the largest rooftop maze in Chicago! Located on the 18,000-square-foot astro turf, each Saturday will feature different themes, games and challenges such as Pac Man, Harry Potter, Zombies and more. Join in the Halloween Extravaganza with trick-or-treating, maze play, crafts and a special bountiful BOOfet. Sat., 5 p.m.-7 p.m. Lakeshore Sport & Fitness. Free for members; $20/family. Ages 2 & up. Event details.

Lincoln Park

Magic Tree House: A Night in New Orleans
Take your kids to a musical and watch beloved Magic Tree House characters, Jack and Annie, venture through the tuneful streets of 1915 New Orleans, where they discover 14-year-old Louis Armstrong and must set him on the trumpeting path to become the “King of Jazz.” This triumphant tale explores a world where possibilities are endless and stirs the soul of the Jazz Age. Sun., 1 p.m. Apollo Theater. Tickets start at $15. Ages 5 & up. Event details.

Near North Side

Spooktacular Pizza Party
What happens when you put Halloween, theatre, and free pizza together? Lots of fun for the whole family at CCT’s Spooktacular Pizza Party! Trick-or-treat like you never have before! Come dressed up in your most wacky, adorable and funny costumes and join in for free pizza and treats, followed by a performance of The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane. Get your tickets now to reserve your free pizza! Sat., 5 p.m. (6 p.m. showtime). Chicago Children’s Theater at Ruth Page Center for the Arts. Free with show ticket. Ages 7 & up. Event details.

Ravenswood/Albany Park

Halloween Dance Bash
Kiddos are invited to show up in their favorite costume and boogie down for an evening of dancing, games and treats. The evening will consist of special Halloween dance games, Hip Hop instruction from the Dovetail faculty, a ghoulish dance party and, of course, sweat treats. Fri., 4 p.m.-5:30 p.m. Dovetail Studios. $10/child. Ages 3 & up. Event details.

West Loop

Saturday Kids Pokemon League
Pokemon fans have a place to learn how to play the game! Every Saturday they can learn with other Pokemon Trainers. They may use any cards they have, but must bring or purchase a ready-to-play 60 card deck. Don’t know how to play? Arrive at 10 a.m. for a learn-to-play session. At 10:30 players will be matched and play will begin. Trainers can earn incentives along the way for attendance, good sportsmanship and wins! Sat., 10 a.m. Cat & Mouse West Loop. Free; $10/fee if you drop off kids. Ages 7-12. Event Details.


Run! Jump! Fly! Adventures in Action
Kohl Children’s Museum is out to show kids that exercise is fun with their newest exhibit, Run! Jump! Fly! Adventures in Action. Visitors will engage in five different exercise simulations that include surfing, snowboarding, kung fu and rock climbing – all in a fun and immersive environment. Fri. & Sat., 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sun., noon-5 p.m. Kohl Children’s Museum. $11; free for children 1 & under. Ages 0-8. Event details.


Splendid Spiders
Scary or spectacular – Morton Arboretum lets you be the judge. Find out where spiders live and how they help our gardens grow. They’ll even have spiders available for viewing. Fri., 1 p.m.-4 p.m.; Sat., 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Morton Arboretum. Free with admission. All ages. Event details.


Siegel’s Cottonwood Farm Pumpkin Fest
Harvest memories with your family with a visit to Siegel’s Pumpkin Fest. Guests will find a petting zoo, hayrack rides to a u-pick pumpkin field, train rides, haunted barn, 2-acre corn maze, pony rides, zombie paintball ride, a climbing wall, gem mining and more! Don’t forget your Siegel’s Suds, homebrewed sodas in a special souvenir cup. Sept. 26-Nov. 1, 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Siegel’s Cottonwood Farm. $15. All ages. Event details.


Pinkies Up for a Halloween Tea Party
Bring a little sophistication to your Halloween this year with a Halloween tea party at Standard Market’s Naperville location. Come in costume for tea tastings and scratch-baked treats from the bakery. Two pinkies up for this chance to make new friends while teaching your little ones a little something about tea. Sat., 10 a.m.-11 a.m. Standard Market Naperville. $20. All ages. Event details.


Gone Cupcaking! Halloween Cupcake Decorating Roadshow
Celebrity Chef Sandy Long and her national team of decorators are attempting to break the Guinness World Record for largest simultaneous cupcake decorating class in history. The decorating roadshow will feature large-scale events in 50 cities, in 50 Premier Malls. Participants can choose from four different sessions to learn techniques for decorating Halloween-style cupcakes. Everything you need to create your cupcakes is included – 6 cupcakes, signature icing, decorating tips, sprinkles and toppings. Use promo code: WorldRecord to get $19 pricing. Sat.; 11 a.m., 1 p.m., 3 p.m. & 5 p.m. Northbrook Court. $19/person, $75/group of 4. All ages. Event details.


Hofbräuhaus Chicago Oktoberfest
The sister location to the legendary original in Munich is surprisingly family friendly on weekend afternoons. In a grand dining hall packed with communal tables, you can get excited about a rotating array of European musicians that play oompah music on stage (brace yourself for the chicken dance). There are also kids’ parades and games, and you might even see an aplhorn, a long horn used by Swiss mountain dwellers. Come hungry for traditional german fare. Fri. & Sat., 11 a.m.-2 a.m.; Hofbräuhaus Chicago. Free (cost for food). All ages. Event details.


Brick-or-Treat at LEGOLAND®
LEGO monsters, zombies, and swamp creatures – oh my! LEGOLAND® Discovery Center Chicago is being invaded by all sorts of creepy LEGO creatures for the month-long Brick-or-Treat festivities. Highlights include a haunted village, spooky scavenger hunt, photo opps with life-size LEGO figures and a crazy professor’s lab. Now through Oct. 31. LEGOLAND®. Fri., noon-7 p.m.; Sat., 10 a.m.-7 p.m. $18 ($5 off child admission when wearing a costume). All ages. Event details.

Let us in on your weekend plans in the Comments below!

—Maria Chambers

photo: Dylan’s Candy Bar