Let the Halloween fun begin! This weekend’s line-up of events features a wide range of family friendly events as well as those looking for a little more fright! If costumers and goblins are not your thing, there is an Oktoberfest celebration, a mini class about the World Fair and a performance by Mary Chapin Carpenter that is not to be missed!
Pumpkin in the Woods
Oct. 20: 3:30 – 5:30 pm
Hubbard Woods Park, 939 Green Bay Rd., Winnetka
Hubbard Woods will be transformed into your local pumpkin patch for family fun before Halloween! Enjoy pumpkin decorating, carnival games, and lots of excitement. The Costume Contest registration will start around 4:00 pm winners will be announced at 5:00 pm. Costume categories include: most original, scariest, and a few others. This is a family-friendly event. There will still be a DJ, props, bounce houses, games and decorations; but it is not designed to scare children. Food will be sold on-site: caramel apples, cookies, hot dogs, etc. Please register by October 16 to guarantee that you will receive a pumpkin to take home. Day-of registrants are not guaranteed a pumpkin. For more info, click here.
Oct. 20: 5:30 – 8 pm
Park Center, 2400 Chestnut, Glenview
Ahoy mates! Enjoy a family-friendly indoor Halloween party with inflatables, entertainment, creepy crafts, ghoulish games and more. The event is designed for ages 2-10 years; parents must accompany their children. Costumes are optional. Admission is $10 per child; adults and children under 2 are free. For more information, click here or call 847-724-5670.
Things That Go Bump in the Night
Oct. 20 & 21: 6:30 – 8:30 pm
Emily Oaks Nature Center, 4650 Brummel St., Skokie
Meet some of the fascinating but often misunderstood critters of Emily Oaks! This popular event is intended to be fun and informative - NOT frightening. As you're guided along the trail, you'll venture to three places - the cave, forest, and marsh - and hear from the animals that live there why these are cool, fantastic, and magical places! Your visit will end at a campfire featuring snacks and songs. Tickets: $5. Advanced tickets are sold for specific times; up to 20 tickets are available for each time. Tickets will be sold at the gate ONLY if available. For more info, click here.
Haunted Trail of Terror
Oct. 21: 6 – 9 pm
Lloyd Beach, 799 Sheridan Rd., Winnetka
The souls of Lloyd Beach have risen from the Lake again for the 6th annual Haunted Trail of Terror at Lloyd Beach. Enjoy as you and your friends try to escape the haunted beach and boat house before it’s too late and you wind up in Davey Jones’ Locker. Tickets: $5 at door, ages 7+. For more info, click here.
Spooky Pooch Parade
Oct. 21: 11 am – 1 pm
Chicago Botanic Garden, 1000 Lake Cook Rd., Glencoe
For two very special hours only, dogs are allowed in the Chicago Botanic Garden. Cleverly costumed canines march the parade route to celebrate Halloween. Spectators are invited to line the parade route for a barking good time. Note: Viewing the dog parade is free. If you are bringing a dog, however, you must purchase paid registration for your dog, whether or not you enter the parade and costume contest. In addition to the parade, activities include the costume contest, judging, and an awards ceremony. For more info and to register your pooch, click here.
Oct. 21: 4 – 8 pm
Community Rec Center, 3000 Glenview Rd., Wilmette
Filled with thrills and chills, this family-friendly event features carnival games, a moonwalk, a magician, arts and crafts, face painting and pony rides. Don't miss the Theater of Terror, the Reptile Room and more! Pizza dinner is included, along with a goodie bag and a visit to the pumpkin patch. For additional information regarding tickets, parking and more, click here.
Mary Chapin Carpenter
Oct. 21: 8 pm
North Shore Center for the Performing Arts, 9501 Skokie Blvd., Skokie
Five-time Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter and Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame inductee, Mary Chapin Carpenter returns to the North Shore Center with her full band configuration. Carpenter is hitting the road to perform songs from her expansive fourteen-album catalog and new songs from her latest record, The Things That We Are Made Of. Opening Act: Australian singer-songwriter Emily Barker. Tickets: $42 - $72. For more info, click here.
Oct. 21: 5 – 9 pm
Town of Fort Sheridan, East End of Fort on Logan Loop, Highland Park
Come join the October fun in the Town of Fort Sheridan! Brats, burgers, dogs, beer, soft drinks, music, fun and frivolity!!! Bring your neighbors and enjoy the fun!
10th Annual YMCA Halloween Spooktacular
Oct. 22: 2 – 5 pm
Northern Suburban YMCA, 2705 Techny Rd., Northbrook
The North Suburban YMCA welcomes ghosts and goblins of all ages when the entire Y will be transformed with haunted houses, trick-or-treat trails, and a wide range of activities to entertain the entire family. The Y’s festival of frights and fun includes a one-of-a-kind Spooky Pool Boat ride, inflatable bounce houses, costume contests, a children’s haunted maze, and delicious treats. Guests can also take home souvenirs including art projects, decorated pumpkins, photo booth pictures, and goodies from indoor trick-or-treating. Experience Halloween-themed sensory stations, and visit the cuddly animals in the petting zoo. There’s something for everyone at the community party of the year! Admission is free for Y members, $20/family for non-members. The event also offers exclusive early access for children with special needs from 1:30 to 2:00 pm. For more info, click here.
Mini-Class: the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair
Oct. 22: 2 - 3 pm
Wilmette Historical Museum, 609 Ridge Rd., Wilmette
Just twenty years after the Great Fire, the 1893 World’s Fair announced Chicago’s arrival as a world-class city. Join former history teacher Lori Matten for a close reading of some primary source documents and a lively discussion about the Fair. This mini-class will explore the World’s Fair’s architecture, innovations, exhibits, patrons and local connections to H.H. Holmes, “The Devil in the White City.” No previous knowledge is necessary, but advanced reservations are required. $5 for Museum members and $10 for non-members. To register, click here.
Ragdale Presents the Spooktacular Rags to Witches
Oct. 22: 3 – 6 pm
Ragdale, 1260 North Green Bay Rd., Lake Forest
Don’t miss Ragdale’s second annual costumed, creative spookfest for the whole family. Guests and little monsters will be spellbound by live performances, hands-on art projects, games and seasonal tastings throughout Lake Forest’s most imaginative haunted estate. Special features include: Haunted Ragdale House, enchanted stroll in the pet cemetery, ghostly storytelling and performances in the Witches Ring, costume contest and parade, creepy arts and crafts, cider and treats and a cash bar for adults. The event is inspired by the supernatural work of Ragdale artists and features an original performance with the ghosts of Ragdale’s founding family, the Shaws, and their curious pets. Costumes encouraged and prizes awarded. Advance tickets are $20 adults, $15 children, $60 per household (limit 4). Individual tickets are also available at the door for an additional $5. To purchase tickets and for more info, click here.