Halloween in Chicago

  • UPDATED May 09, 2018
Image Source: pixnio.com

One of the oldest and most important cities in the United States, Chicago has its share of the dark past – Slavery and Gangland Crimes, Great Fires and murders. Modern-day Chicago is bustling with a diverse population, glittering skyline, hard work and community feeling has helped it to make a popular destination for tourists. Halloween in Chicago offers a glimpse of the dark and haunting past, glittering parades, fun-filled family-friendly activities, cruise and even a one of its kind thrill ride. Come, enjoy the spirit of Halloween in Chicago and be a part of the below exciting events. 

Halloween Events for Children

1. Spooky Zoo Spectacular

Spooky Zoo is hosted at the famous Lincoln Park Zoo. It is one of the largest and most popular family events during Halloween in Chicago. More than 30,000 children participate in Spooky Zoo Spectacular each year. Children enjoy the experience of visiting the animals in their enclosures and do trick-or-treating in a safe and friendly environment. Zoo staff organize games where there are hidden treats for children to explore and find. In addition, there are other attractions such as the Haunted House, arts and crafts, costume parade, live entertainment and craft making. The event is largely organized by volunteers. Get your children to put on their Halloween costumes and spend an entire day of fun-filled activities.

2. Friendly Haunted House

Yes, we do have a haunted house, which is so un-scary and friendly that even toddlers will enjoy! The Haunted Open House, which is located in Fosco Park opens between 6-9 pm and features the un-scary house. It also offers a variety of entertainment to children like Halloween movie, popcorn, hot dogs, pumpkin decorating, hot dogs, coloring, free candy. For more information, please visit the website.

Halloween Events for Children and Adults

1. Arts in the Dark

Arts in the Dark is magical night time, family-friendly spectacle. Produced by LUMA8, local organizations like Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, cultural groups, and artists come together to do a creative take on Halloween. The procession begins in the dusk and includes a colorful parade of giant puppets, legions of lanterns, unique floats, live music, dance, dramatic lighting. The parade starts from the north on Columbus from Balbo to Monroe. Arts in the Dark is one of the most popular event in Chicago during Halloween and brings together people from all walks of life.

2. TILT or Treat

TILT or treat is a family-friendly Halloween event that includes spectacular views, tricks and treats and a fun ride in the TILT. TILT is the first of its kind in the world and built in the John Hancock building. Extending over The Magnificent Mile ® and Chicago's famous skyline, TILT offers a scary thrill of hovering 30 degrees, downward facing views from 1,030 feet up, over busy streets of Chicago. For those arriving in costumes, gets a TILT ride for free. The event also includes magic shows, ghost stories and more.

3. Northalsted Halloween Parade

One of the most loved and diversely represented parade during Halloween in Chicago is the annual Northalsted Halloween Parade. The parade starts at 7:30 pm from North Halsted Street, one of Chicago’s hottest entertainment districts, to Belmont Avenue. The parade then proceeds to Cornelia Avenue. You will find people dressed in some of the most outrageous and stunning costumes. From drag queens to kids and even kids dress up to participate in the parade. People line up the streets of Boystown in Lakeview. Highlights include a costume contest where the judges comprise of drag queens, Chicago Thriller flash mob performing the iconic Michael Jackson dance, Halloween food and treats at restaurants, bars along Halsted Street.

Halloween Events for Adults Only

1. Chicago Hauntings Tour

What better way to get in the feel of Halloween than to join the most popular ghost tours of Chicago. Chicago Haunting Tour is considered Chicago’s most authentic and researched ghost and dark history tours. It is a two-and-a-half-hour tour that is fully narrated and happens in a coach bus to some of the most prominent haunted sites located in Chicago. Covering Eastland Disaster. Other locations include a serial killer's body dump, a cursed skyscraper, and many more. Not for children or the faint-hearted.  

2. Devil in the White City Bus Tour

Another great tour to get in the spirit of Halloween is the Devil in the White City bus tour. Inspired by Erik Larson’s best-selling novel Devil in the White City, takes riders through Prairie Avenue, home to Chicago's Victorian-era elite, the site of the ‘murder castle’ - Englewood Murder Castle - on 63rd street of H.H. Holmes as you follow in the deadly footsteps of America's Serial Killer, 

the Midway Plaisance, and a haunted Victorian-era tavern. Feel the reminders of a bygone era of the Columbian Exposition, The Museum of Science and Industry.

The tour also includes a guided walk through the fairgrounds from Jackson Park to Wooded Island. You are requested to bring your lunch, cold weather and rain gear. 

3. Midnight Haunted Ghost Ship Cruise

A different way to do enjoy Halloween party with a midnight Halloween cruise aboard the Spirit of Chicago yacht. One of the best ways to enjoy Halloween by cruising and partying on the seas. Get friends together, don on your best Halloween costumes and get ready to party. The yacht has fully stocked cash bars on board for the drinks to keep flowing in. Enjoy the spectacular views of the Windy City from either the window-lined interior or the outside observation decks. Live DJ on board will keep the Top 40, Pop, Dance, and Hip-Hop hits blasting all night as you sail.