Things to Do for Halloween in Chicago

Planning on being in the area this October and looking for some fun, festive things to do for Halloween in Chicago?

Well, you’re in luck because we’ve put together a full line-up of fun Chicago attractions to help you celebrate an always fun fall holiday.

Many of these events are longstanding Chicago traditions, so whatever you choose you’ll be sure to have a spooky good time!

Adler After Dark

Adler Planetarium

Image credit: Adler Planetarium.

Image credit: Adler Planetarium.

This special adults-only event encourages exploration of all that Adler has to offer alongside drinks, snacks, and great local entertainment. It’s actually available for much of the winter on the third Thursday of every month, but this upcoming one for Halloween looks especially fun.

This October, the theme is “Nightmare,” which promises to be a spooky good time for all involved. Explore the darkest side of space at this fun event!

Getting In: Admission to Adler After Dark is separately ticketed and is not included with the Go Chicago® Card. For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit the attraction website.

General admission to the Alder Planetarium is included with the Go Chicago® Card.

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Boo! At the Zoo

Brookfield Zoo

Image credit: Brookfield Zoo.

Image credit: Brookfield Zoo.

This is another great event for the whole family. Kid-friendly décor and festive activities transform the Brookfield Zoo into a Halloween wonderland for the little ones.

Explore the many marvels of Boo! at the Zoo like a corn maze, a pumpkin patch, a haunted hayride, and even a creepy carousel.

You’ll also get to watch some of the zoo’s beloved animals eat a few pumpkins! Admission to this special event is included with regular Zoo admission.

Getting In: Admission to Boo! At the Zoo events (and general admission to the Brookfield Zoo) is included with the Go Chicago® Card.

The Halloween Gathering

Millennium Park

Image credit: Timeout Chicago.

Image credit: Timeout Chicago.

Hosted by some of the city’s most prestigious cultural institutions — like the Art Institute of Chicago and The Field Museum — the Halloween Gathering is the perfect cultural celebration of this most creative of holidays.

This all-day festival features tons of great festive activities like a kids’ costume parade, mask-making classes, a zombie dance, and a parade after dark.

Getting In: Admission to the Halloween Gathering is free.

Trick or Treating @ Navy Pier

Image credit: Navy Pier.

Image credit: Navy Pier.

Chicago is a tough city to trick-or-treat in, so take advantage of the Navy Pier event to get your kids an authentic Halloween experience.

Load up on candy doled out by costumed performers, and get your Halloween Passport stamped for future surprises.

This event is most suitable for young children.

Getting In: Trick or treating at Navy Pier is free.

General admission to Navy Pier rides is included with the Go Chicago® Card.

The Haunted Halloween Ball

Navy Pier

This is one for the adults looking to celebrate Halloween in style. At the Aon Grand Ballroom, hundreds of guests will sweep around in costumes ranging from terrifying to elegant.

They’re calling it “the ultimate night of luxury and fright,” which sounds just about perfect for a classy Halloween event like this.

Getting In: Admission to the Haunted Halloween Ball is separately ticketed and is not included with the Go Chicago® Card. For more information about this event and to purchase tickets, please visit the attraction website.

Chicago Riverwalk Pumpkin Patch

Who says you can’t pick out your own pumpkin in the middle of a city? While you won’t be wading through mud, you will be able to select your very own pumpkin from a wide selection of candidates.

Then, enjoy tons of other fall-themed activities like carnival games, a bouncy house, slides, fall-inspired goodies, and much more.

Getting In: Admission to the Pumpkin Patch is free, but additional activities require admission. Tickets can be purchased in person.

Northalsted Halloween Parade


Image credit: Matthew Sperzel.

Image credit: Matthew Sperzel.

A one-of-a-kind event in Chicago, this parade features one of the most iconic costumed populations of all – drag queens! (All in Halloween attire, of course).

Joining them along the parade route at kids and pets, also in costume, and tons of spectators. If you want to join the parade itself, be sure to register. Otherwise, spectating is free!

Getting In: Admission to the Northalsted Halloween Parade is free.

Let’s Recap

So there you have it. Our list of some festive and spooky things to do for Halloween in Chicago this year.

Remember, a few of these options are available on the Go Chicago Card where you can save up to 55% on combined admission vs paying at the gate.

Please note, the Halloween events taking place at some of these attractions may be separately ticketed and not included with the Go Chicago Card.

Consider adding a few of these fun options to your mid fall getaway itinerary.

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The information contained in this post, to the best of the author's knowledge, was accurate at time of publishing. We do our best to ensure and maintain the accuracy of this information.

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