Best Halloween Activities for Kids in Chicago (2023)

Halloween season in the Chicago area is so much fun! There are so many spooky events and options for Halloween fun. Whether you want to check out a pumpkin patch to find the perfect pumpkin, visit a haunted house for a little scare, attend a fall festival, or watch some Halloween-themed movies, there is the perfect way to experience Chicago Halloween for the entire family.

Here are some of the best Halloween festivities for kids of all ages in Chicago this spooky season!

Scarecrow Trail

October 1-31 | Website | Morton Arboretum Visitor Center, 4100 IL-53, Lisle, IL 60532

Peruse the beautiful changing colors of Morton Arboretum and spot 50 different scarecrows made by local scout troops! This event takes place for the entire month of October.

Don’t forget to check out the Children’s Garden. It’s most of the most fun things for kids in the Chicago area!

Peppa’s Spooktacular Halloween Storytime Event

October 1-31 | Website | 5 Woodfield Mall, Schaumburg, IL 60173

Head to Peppa Pig’s World of Play in Woodfield Mall for some spooky stories, hide and seek, and more!

Pumpkin Fest at Cosley Zoo

October 1-31 | Website | Cosley Zoo

Wheaton’s adorable zoo, Cosley Zoo, is hosting its 39th pumpkin festival for the whole month of October. There will be pumpkins, fall treats, and carnival rides for small kids!

dia de los muertos carved pumpkin at the night of 1000 jack o lanterns at the Chicago Botanic Garden

Night of 1,000 Jack-o-Lanterns

October 11 – 15 & 18 – 22 | Website | 1000 Lake Cook Rd, Glencoe, IL 60022

The Night of 1,000 Jack-o-Lanterns at the Chicago Botanic Garden is the best Halloween event we’ve been to so far. It’s an annual event that sells out every year, so buy your tickets early!

They have a variety of pumpkin pop-up installations of hand-carved pumpkins that are beyond impressive. We especially liked the Marvel section, a haunted house section, and my personal favorite, an Illinois movie section. They also have pumpkin carving demonstrations if you want to learn how to do it at home!

The Night of 1,000. Jack-o-Lanterns is truly an experiential fall spectacle that will be a good time for everyone.

Pumpkin Party at Gallagher Way

October 21 1:00pm-5:00pm | Website | 3635 N. Clark St., Chicago

Dress your young children in their Halloween costumes and head to Gallagher Way for their annual Halloween Party. There will be live music and a dance party from the Old Town School of Folk Music, Trick-or-Treating, balloon artists, and magicians. Kids will have the opportunity to make slime and little ghosts, and they can get their own pumpkins to take home! This is one of the cutest Halloween activities for kids in the Chicago area.

Spooky Zoo

October 21 10:00am-1:00pm |Website | 2200 N. Cannon Drive, Chicago

The Spooky Zoo Spectacular at the Lincoln Park Zoo is one of the best kid-friendly events in Chicago. Your kids can sport their favorite costumes, partake in safe trick-or-treating, play ghoulish games, navigate a corn maze and have a blast at one of the most fun events of the year.

Arts in the Dark Parade

October 21 6:00pm-8:00pm | Website | State St. moving south from Lake to Van Buren, Chicago

This annual evening parade celebrates Halloween as an “artist’s holiday”. The parade route runs down State Street and features creative performances from the Joffrey Ballet, the Looking Glass Theater Company, and After School Matters and unique floats. While the Arts in the Dark parade is great for the whole family, older kids in particular will likely appreciate this event!

Frozen Frights

October 27 7:30pm-9:30pm | Website | 1851 Landwehr Rd, Glenview, IL 60026

Join the Glenview Community Ice Center for an evening public session with a Halloween theme, open to all. Dress up in your costume and enjoy ice skating to spooky music under the disco ball. Other activities include:

  • Giveaways
  • Halloween crafts
  • Ice Bumper Car rides
skeletons lighting candles

Slightly Spooky Saturday at Navy Pier

October 28 12:00pm-8:00pm | Website| 600 E Grand Ave, Chicago, IL 60611

On Saturday, October 28th, Navy Pier is hosting its annual “Slightly Spooky Saturday”, which will include a costume contest, face painting, Halloween treats, carnival games, a sugar skull painting workshop, and mad science experiments. This is one of the most fun Halloween events for kids in the Windy City!

Upside Down Parade at Washington Park

October 28 12:00pm-2:00pm | Website |5531 S. Martin Luther King Drive, Chicago

Come see the 3rd annual Upside Down Parade in historic Washington Park! This parade, sponsored by World’s Finest Chocolate Company, is a blast for all ages.There will be dance performances, circus acrobats, musical groups, sports mascots, and more! This is a free, fun-filled event.


October 28 4:00pm-6:00pm | Bubbles Academy

Head to Bubbles Academy for their annual spooktacular and cutest costume party! Trick or treat, paint mini-haunted houses, have a costume parade, play in the pumpkin patch nature playground, and enjoy a monster mash dance party!

Ages 0-6

Advanced Registration is Required. Purchase Tickets-$30

Pumpkin Palooza

October 28 8:30am-2:00pm | Website | DuPage Children’s Museum

Pumpkin Palooza is full of fun, not frightening festivities for the whole family. Come in costume and celebrate the season with DCM. This event engages visitors in creative experiences that explore S.T.E.A.M. concepts through play.

Special Activities:

  • Build your own FrankenBuddy out of recycled toys
  • Create wearable art
  • Brew your own gooey slime
  • Mix and mash pumpkin guts
  • And More!

Not So Scary, Scary Halloween

October 28 1:00pm-3:00pm | Website | Bronzeville Children’s Museum

Head to the Bronzeville Children’s Museum and:

  • Create a Boo Halloween Mobile
  • Have a Halloween Costume Parade
  • Watch a Halloween Film
  • Hear spooky stories
  • Take home a ghoulish goody bag
trick or treaters running

Booseum Bash

October 28 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm | Website | Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum

Head to Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum to go Trick-or-Treating, do Halloween crafts, and have close encounters with creepy crawlers!

Tickets include entry to the museum.

Lincoln Park Spooktacular

October 28 & 29 1:00pm-4:00pm | Website | Lincoln Avenue between Wrightwood and Webster, Chicago, IL 60614

The local businesses on two different streets in Lincoln Park will become safe, fun trick-or-treating havens for kids in costume. Explore the beautiful neighborhood, dress your kid in their best costume, and have some ghoulish fun stopping at local businesses and asking for candy! Saturday will have trick-or-treating on Lincoln Avenue, and Sunday will have trick-or-treating on Clark Street.

American Girl Trick-or-Treat

October 28, 29, 30, and 31st during store hours while supplies last | 835 Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611

Head to this iconic store on the Magnificent Mile and go trick-or-treating! This event will take place daily starting on October 28th and last until Halloween night. This would be a great option if rains because everything is indoors.

Trick-or-treating is free, but they are also hosting “Dolloween Dance Parties” for an added cost on October 28th. Your child can bring their doll and favorite costume and learn a bunch of dance moves to Halloween music. Kids will receive a goodie bag of stickers after these fun Halloween parties. Head to the American Girl cafe for lunch or head to another local restaurant and make a day of it!

Lincoln Scared RavenswoOoOoOd

October 29 11:00am-1:00pm | Website | Lincoln Avenue between Montrose and Lawrence, Chicago, IL 60625

Head to Lincoln Square and Ravenswood for trick-or-treating on the day before Halloween. This is a cute, safe neighborhood and the local vendors are excited to distribute candy to the adorable trick-or-treaters! I recommend grabbing a meal at Cafe Selmarie or Jerry’s Sandwiches beforehand, and don’t forget to stop by The Bookcellar–one of our favorite bookstores in Chicago!

Superhero Celebration

October 29 @ 11:00 am – 2:00 pm | Website | Kohl Children’s Museum

Celebrate Halloween dressed as your favorite Superhero!

“Activities include:

  • Superhero Training Academy where young superheroes can participate in a special training and obstacle course
  • Superhero Story Time where children can listen to stories from real life superheroes like local firefighters, police officers and medical professionals
  • Super Smiles photo opportunities with a number of special guest superheroes like Spiderman, Black Panther, and Wonder Woman.
kids in halloween costumes smiling and touching a pumpkin

Kid’s Halloween Party

October 29 @ 11:00 am – 2:00 pm | Website | Time Out Market

Head to TimeOut Market for some fantastic Halloween activities.

There will be

  • trick-or-treating
  • balloon twisting
  • face painting
  • DJ Hannah Heavin spinning music the kids will love
  • photo opportunities with Mickey and Minnie

Fright Affair at 900 Shops

October 29 @ 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm | Website | 900 N Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60611

This FREE event is super fun for the whole family. Trick-or-treat throughout the mall, enjoy a kids concert, Halloween art, a cutest costume parade, and more.

A Family Halloween at Wagner Farm

October 29 @ 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm | Website | Wagner Farm

Wear your favorite costume and join the farm for a kid-friendly bash that includes a haunted barn, wagon rides, games,  and more spooky fun.

Tickets are limited and must be purchased in advance.

trick or treaters at house

Trick-or-Treat Southport

October 30 @ 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm | Website | Southport Corridor

Trick or Treat on Southport features family-friendly activities, craft beer, a pumpkin patch, inflatables, music and trick-or-treating (while supplies last) at local businesses.

Haunted Halsted Halloween Parade

October 31 @ 6:00 pm | Website | Northalsted

Northalsted, Chicago’s beloved gayborhood, goes all out for Halloween. With creative costumes, dancing, spirited dance, and more, this is the right place to be on Halloween!

Other Options

If you’re looking for apple orchards, pumpkin patches, haunted houses, or the best places to see fall colors, we’ve got you covered!

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