7 things you can do to celebrate Halloween in the Chicago area (if you dare)
It goes without saying: Chicago sure knows how to put on a show, and Halloween is no exception. But, of course, you would expect nothing less from the Windy City — home to notorious gangsters, such as Al Capone, and the fabled World’s Fair in 1893.
If you just so happen to find yourself in Chicago celebrating All Hallow’s Eve, don’t worry. Here are a few festivities you won’t want to miss.
1Inferno: Halloween Unbridled — Thursday, October 26th
Burlesque dancers, craft cocktails, and small bites, oh my! The annual Unbridled Halloween Party at Untitled, an easy-to-miss speakeasy situated in the city’s River North neighborhood, is a celebration like none other. And this year’s theme, Inferno (inspired by “our favorite sins”), is sure to please. Check out burlesque dancer Michelle L’amour and 20 performers who will make this a Halloween you won’t soon forget. Tickets are $10-$30.
2Haunted The Devil in the White City Tour — Sunday, October 29th
Are you afraid of ghosts? (slowly raises hand) Then you may want to opt out of this haunted tour inspired by Erik Larson’s best-selling book, The Devil in the White City.
Visit the “Murder Castle” of H.H. Holmes, the infamous serial killer who roamed the World’s Columbian Exposition in 1893. If you need something to calm your nerves, this walking tour is BYOB. Tickets are $36.
3Six Flags Fright Fest — Now through October 31st
Located just an hour outside of Chicago, Fright Fest at Six Flags Great America is home to countless thrill rides and haunted houses. And if that’s not enough, beware of the various “scare zones” located throughout the park where ghouls and goblins are waiting to greet you during your evening stroll. Enter, if you dare. Tickets start at $50.
4Halloween Movie Night — Monday, October 30th
Into scary flicks? Whiskey Business in Chicago’s Wicker Park neighborhood is switching up their usual Monday night movie lineup to a Halloween-inspired marathon featuring Hocus Pocus, Friday the 13th, and Halloween. You can also partake in themed shots and drink specials, such as Witches Heart and Morgue-a-Rita. And the best part? There’s no cover!
5Northalsted Halloween Parade — Tuesday, October 31st
Ranked by Fodor’s Travel Guide as one of “The Best 10 Halloween Celebrations in the US,” this annual event is fun for all. The parade kicks off with the “Thriller” dance and includes a costume contest judged by drag queens. All are welcome to march in the parade and admission is free.
6Day of the Dead Xicágo — Sunday, October 29th
Celebrate Dia de los Muertos at the National Museum of Mexican Art with a festival of light. Activities include face painting, ofrenda (altar) demonstrations, live musical performances, and more. Attendees are invited to share pictures of their departed loved ones to honor their memory. Admission is free.
7Spooky Zoo Spectacular — Saturday, October 28th
Looking for a family- (and budget-) friendly Halloween outing? Visit Lincoln Park Zoo for children’s activities, trick-or-treating, and arts and crafts. And you won’t want to miss the new penguin and polar bear exhibits. Admission is free.