Haunted houses, festivals and more – NBC Chicago

Chicago seems ready for Halloween.

Jack-o’-lanterns have gained ground on porches and steps. Heaps of candy made their way onto – and off – the shelves. The days are getting shorter and there is a bit of freshness in the air. Not to mention that the leaves are screaming in fall colors.

So the question is: are you ready?

If you’re looking to get into the spirit of the haunted holiday, a spooky set of events will unfold throughout the weekend in and around town. Plus, for sweets lovers, here’s a look at when deceive or treat will take place in suburban Chicago on Halloween.

From haunted houses to an outdoor movie screening, here are a few things you can check out:

haunted houses

Chicago has its fair share of haunted houses that can help you pump up the spooky vibes just in time for Halloween.

Here is a list of haunted houses you can catch spooks across the Chicago area.

If haunted houses aren’t for you, maybe a list that puts the Windy City among the “10 Most Haunted Cities in America” is enough to get you in the holiday mood.

pumpkin patches

Is there anything more autumn than hitting pumpkin patches? It’s a good thing the crops are ripe and ready for visitors.

Fun fact: Illinois might be the best place to hunt squash, as the state is one of the biggest pumpkin producers in the game, according to data from the US Department of Agriculture. The department said Illinois harvested the largest share of American pumpkins in 2020.

So if you’re looking to get your hands on the plump harvest, Illinois certainly has plenty of farms to choose from.

Here is a pumpkin patc listIt is you can visit the entire Chicago area.

outdoor movies

Rooftop Cinema Club takes movie viewing to new heights, with screenings taking place amid the Chicago skyline.

Classic movies like “The Adams Family,” “Halloweentown,” and “The Exorcist” are scheduled for pre-Halloween screenings.

On Monday, October 31, “Hocus Pocus” and, fittingly, “Halloween” will be performed on the rooftop.

Here’s a full list of movies and showtimes.

Screenings before 4:30 p.m. will be open to all ages, while screenings at 4:30 p.m. and later will be restricted to those 18 and over. Tickets are available for purchase online, priced at $19.75 to $27.75.


The city launched the third interpretation of Halloweekan initiative outlining how the community can safely celebrate the holiday.

Halloweek is full of festive programs, including parades and places to trick or treat.

Here are some of the Halloweek events in the city:

  • Until Friday: 10 “Halloween on the Block” pop-up events on residential streets in the Chicago Park District
  • Saturday: Arts in the Dark Halloween Parade from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on State Street
  • Currently On Through Monday: Chicago Park District and Chicago Public Library to Host Virtual and In-Person Programming
  • Running now through Monday: The treats will be stuffed into 10,000 Halloween bags and distributed by Bloomer Chocolate Company

Pier Pumpkin Lights

Navy Pier sets up a variety of larger-than-life pumpkin installations throughout its lakefront grounds, providing plenty of photo opportunities.

The free event will be available until Monday. Schedules are available here.

feast of fear

Fright PartySix Flags Great America’s spooky celebration, is back at Gurnee Amusement Park for its spooky 31st season featuring haunted houses, live shows, spooky areas, after-dark rides and more.

The event will continue until Monday.

Autumn Festival at Lincoln Park Zoo

Lincoln Park Zoo invites zoo visitors to its Free Fall Party each year. The eighth rendition of the festival will feature pumpkin patch and hay mountains, as well as ticketed attractions like a 65-foot Ferris wheel and a harvest maze.

While the event is hours of operation will vary, it will take place on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Streeterville Dog Halloween Party

While Streeterville Dog’s Halloween party doesn’t quite tick the scary box, it arguably does tick the cute one. In its 35th year, the party takes place at Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art‘s Sculpture Garden, welcoming all the furry friends dressed in their Halloween best.

This event is free to the public, with plans to start at 9:30 a.m. Saturday.

fall foliage

In the past two weeks, fall foliage blushed with pockets of warm-toned color. Now it looks like they are full of it.

According to Enjoy Illinois, some of the best places in the state to see foliage include Starved Rock State Park, Winnebago County Forest Preserves and Millennium Park in Chicago.

Farmer’s Almanac also named Father Marquette State Park in west-central Illinois as the eighth best place in the United States to experience fall foliage.

As a “nature lover’s paradise”, the park will offer views of the rolling leaves against a backdrop of wooded ravines and roads along the Illinois River. Explorers can also take advantage of the land’s towering cliffs, which will offer panoramic views of the lush landscape that engulfs the park’s 12-mile trail.

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