THE TOP 10 THINGS TO DO THIS HALLOWEEN IN CHICAGO

SEP 2023
27
THE TOP 10 THINGS TO DO THIS HALLOWEEN IN CHICAGO

Chicago's ultimate Halloween guide: eerie adventures and unforgettable memories await.


BOO - It's that time of the year again!

The Windy City is about to transform into a spooktacular realm of mystery and mayhem. 

Halloween in Chicago is not just about dressing up and trick-or-treating; it's a celebration that encompasses art, culture, history, and of course, a good dose of spookiness. 


Whether you're a thrill-seeker, a history buff, or just looking for some family-friendly fun, Chicago has something for everyone this All Hallows Eve. 

So, grab your broomstick (or just your comfy shoes), and let's dive into the top things to do in Chicago for Halloween 2023!

Night of 1,000 Jack-o’-Lanterns

Families admiring Jack O Lanterns at the Chicago Botanic Garden.

The image is taken from the Botanic Garden’s website.


As any Chicagoan would, we begin the list with a Windy City Halloween staple - Night of 1,000 Jack-o’-Lanterns at the Botanic Garden - one of the best family-friendly Halloween attractions in Chicago.


Wander through the garden's pathways, illuminated by the soft glow of handcrafted jack-o’-lanterns, each hand-carved by expert artists. 

But it's not just about the pumpkins; you can also indulge in fall treats like spiked cider and seasonal beer while marveling at live carving demonstrations, meeting costumed entertainers, and immersing yourself in the slightly sinister yet enchanting atmosphere. 

It's a bewitching experience you won't want to miss!


Date & Time: Wednesday, October 11th, to Sunday, October 15th & Wednesday, October 18th, to Sunday, October 22nd, from 6:30 pm to 10:30 pm


Website: Visit the website.

Nightmare on Clark Street

If you’re thinking of re-watching (c'mon, who hasn’t seen this classic at least once?) Nightmare on Elm Street for Halloween, we can do you one better.

Instead of just watching from the bed/sofa/armchair (or whatever else), meet up with your friends and head for 3505 N Clark St and actually live through a haunted experience.

That’s what Nightmare on Clark Street is all about…


Three floors of absolute terror await you, complete with spine-chilling sights, sounds, and actors guaranteed to bring your worst nightmares to life. From spiders and aliens to chainsaw-wielding maniacs and lurking ghouls - every corner promises a new fright.

If you need a breather, there's a bar inside offering spooky drinks and syringe-injected Jell-O shots. And once you emerge from the haunted house experience, you can gorge on the Bamboo Club's Tiki-themed bar menu.

Note: We're sure you've guessed it for yourself, but they don't allow anyone under 18.


Date & Time: Thursday, September 21st, to Tuesday, October 31st. Timings vary according to the date; please check their website for details.


Website: Visit the website.


If you're looking for more dining options, check out these restaurants near Fox in a Box - Chicago.

Fox in a Box escape rooms

Inside the Zodiac's lair here at Fox in a Box!

Inside the Zodiac's lair here at Fox in a Box!

Nightmare on Clark Street is great, but it’s 18+ only. Plus, the only challenge is scares.

If you’d rather go for a Halloween activity where you have to actively work with your group to solve mysteries and overcome various kinds of challenges, head for Chicago’s #1 escape room - Fox in a Box (us)!


Team up with family, friends, coworkers, and loved ones for a real-world adventure that’s straight out of a movie!

From averting a nuclear missile launch in The Bunker to the classic breakout in The Prison and masterminding a heist in The Bank, we’ve got varied themes for you to explore!

And if you're in the mood for a real Halloweeny spine-tingler, dare to enter a psychopath’s lair in Zodiac. With its chilling storyline and eerie setting, it's not for the faint of heart. 

So, whether you're looking for a fun family outing or a heart-pounding thriller, we've got something for everyone. 

Come, test your wits, and see if you have what it takes to escape!


Date & Time: Sunday to Friday, 10:30 am to 10:00 pm & Saturday, 9:00 am to 10:00 pm


Website: Visit the home page.


Want more escape room options for your children? Check out the best Chicago escape rooms for kids.

Dia Le Dos Muertos (Day of the Dead)

A display for Day of the Dead.


Think Halloween is the only spooky celebration in town? Think again! 

Chicago embraces the vibrant and heartfelt Mexican holiday, Dia Le Dos Muertos, with open arms. 


The National Museum of Mexican Art is your go-to spot for this unique festivity. Explore the traditions with their Día de Muertos exhibit, which runs from September to December. 

Let loose at the Love Never Dies Ball with cocktails, music, and face painting, and join the Day of the Dead Xicágo event for a cultural extravaganza. 

And for a dash of creativity, the Maxwell Street Market offers sugar skull workshops and pumpkin decorating. Don't miss out on this rich blend of remembrance and celebration!

Arts in the Dark

Tired and fed up with all the spooks and the scares? Would rather experience something beautiful and artistic?

Well then have we got news for you - Halloween in Chicago isn't just about spooks and scares; it’s a celebration of artistry and imagination as well…courtesy Arts in the Dark!


LUMA8 and the City of Chicago are back with the 9th Annual Arts in the Dark Halloween Parade! 

Sponsored by Barry Callebaut and supported by the Chicago Loop Alliance, this event has earned its spot among the top 6 Halloween spectacles worldwide. 

Prepare to be dazzled by music, dance, larger-than-life puppets, and whimsical floats as the parade weaves its magic along State Street, heading from Lake to Van Buren.

With contributions from renowned institutions like the Art Institute of Chicago and Lookingglass Theatre Company, this family-friendly parade promises an unforgettable evening. 


Date & Time: Saturday, October 21st, from 6 pm to 8 pm


Website: Visit the website.


If you're looking for more indoor activities in the city, explore our list of the best indoor things to do in Chicago.

Pumpkin Painting at Jojo's Pumpkin Patch

People enjoying pumpkin painting and much more!


What goes well with a round of pumpkin painting? A burger and a cocktail, according to the fine folks over at JoJo’s ShakeBAR!


Gather your crew and make your way to JoJo’s on any evening from September 25th to November 3rd (the event takes place on their patio).

Unleash your creativity as you pick and paint your pumpkin masterpiece. And once you've reached peak inner artist, treat yourself to JoJo’s delectable menu - think smash burgers, pot pies, and their famous pumpkin patch shake. 

And for those looking for a little extra warmth, there's spiked hot cocoa and signature cocktails waiting for you.


Date & Time: Monday, September 25th, to Friday, November 3rd. They have 2 sessions daily - the first one from 5:30 pm to 7:00 pm and the second one from 7:30 pm to 9:00 pm


Website: Visit the website.

Chicago ghost tour

Dare you take a ghost tour of the Windy City for All Hallows Eve?


Ever wondered what lurks in the shadows of Chicago's iconic landmarks during Halloween? Dive deep into the city's eerie past with the Halloween ghost tour. 

From the mysterious corridors of the Congress Plaza Hotel to the chilling tales of Lincoln Park Zoo and the haunting remnants of H.H. Holmes’ Murder Castle, you're in for a spine-tingling journey.

Top Chicago ghost tours you can choose from

  • Haunted History Tours by Lincoln Park Zoo - Bestselling author Adam Selzer takes you on a tour of one of America's most haunted zoos!

  • Chicago Ghost Tours from Free Tours by Foot - This tour focuses on The Loop, taking you past haunts such as the old Red Light District and the haunted Congress Hotel, and regales you with tales of twisted individuals such as HH Holmes and John Wayne Gacy.

  • Chicago Gangster And Ghost Tours - Have the darker aspects of Chicago's past revealed as you walk past some of our city's most haunted scenes of crime.

  • Shadows on the Street - This tour focuses on mysterious sightings and untimely endings in the historic Prairie Avenue district, kicking off from the Glessner House.

Potion-making at The Cauldron

Ever dreamt of being a wizard during Halloween, mixing potions and casting spells? Head fof The Cauldron Chicago to turn that into reality!


Delve into a dark and twisted tale of the harvest season, the spookiest time of the year. 

Don your cloak, grab a magic wand, and immerse yourself in a cocktail class like no other, where molecular mixology lets you brew enchanting elixirs. 

And top that off with a dance with the supernatural, with bewitching beats in a magical ambiance. 


Date & Time: Monday, October 2nd, to Sunday, November 5th.


Website: Visit the website.

Medieval Torture Museum

One of the exhibits at the Museum.

The image is taken from the Museum’s website.


The National Museum of Mexican Art is one Chicago museum to visit for Halloween. Here’s another - the Medieval Torture Museum. The Museum happens to be a top tourist attraction in The Loop as well.


Touted as the largest interactive historical museum in the U.S., this eerie establishment sprawls across 6,000 square feet, showcasing a collection of over a hundred grim devices. 

Each artifact whispers tales of cruelty, echoing the horrors of yesteryears. But that's not all! 

Enhance your visit with their "Ghost-Hunting Experience" and let the audio guide lead you through the dark corridors. 

Remember, Halloween is the ideal time to brave this haunting journey... if you dare.


Timings: Monday to Thursday, 10 am to 8 pm; Friday to Sunday, 10 am to 9 pm.


Website: Visit the website.

Watch horror and movies

We round off our list with another Halloween staple - watching scary movies! This October, Chicago is buzzing with movie marathons, outdoor theatres, and drive-ins dedicated to the spine-chilling genre.


  • Dive into a month of horror at the historic Music Box Theatre in Lakeview with their Music Box of Horrors. 

  • For those who love the thrill of drive-ins, Chi-Town Movies Drive-In in Pilsen is hosting Friday night double features and the spine-tingling Serial Killer Sundays.

  • And if that wasn't enough, The Logan Theatre is all set with its Horror Movie Madness, offering classic horror films, costume contests, and free family matinees. 


Don't miss out!

Celebrating Halloween 2023 in Chicago - key takeaways

From the eerie corridors of haunted museums to the magical allure of potion-making and real-life escape rooms, Chicago is bursting with adventures waiting to be explored for Halloween.

Whether you're aiming to give yourself a good scare, immerse in cultural festivities, or simply carve out some pumpkin-spiced memories, the city promises an All Hallows Eve like no other.


So, as the witching hour approaches, gather your bravest pals, don your spookiest attire, and set forth into the night. 

And remember, in the heart of Chicago, every shadow might just have a story to tell. 


And if you’re into forward planning and are looking beyond Halloween already, here are the best ways to celebrate Thanksgiving in Chicago!



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THE TOP 10 THINGS TO DO THIS HALLOWEEN IN CHICAGO

Chicago's ultimate Halloween guide: eerie adventures and unforgettable memories await.


BOO - It's that time of the year again!

The Windy City is about to transform into a spooktacular realm of mystery and mayhem. 

Halloween in Chicago is not just about dressing up and trick-or-treating; it's a celebration that encompasses art, culture, history, and of course, a good dose of spookiness. 


Whether you're a thrill-seeker, a history buff, or just looking for some family-friendly fun, Chicago has something for everyone this All Hallows Eve. 

So, grab your broomstick (or just your comfy shoes), and let's dive into the top things to do in Chicago for Halloween 2023!

Night of 1,000 Jack-o’-Lanterns

Families admiring Jack O Lanterns at the Chicago Botanic Garden.

The image is taken from the Botanic Garden’s website.


As any Chicagoan would, we begin the list with a Windy City Halloween staple - Night of 1,000 Jack-o’-Lanterns at the Botanic Garden - one of the best family-friendly Halloween attractions in Chicago.


Wander through the garden's pathways, illuminated by the soft glow of handcrafted jack-o’-lanterns, each hand-carved by expert artists. 

But it's not just about the pumpkins; you can also indulge in fall treats like spiked cider and seasonal beer while marveling at live carving demonstrations, meeting costumed entertainers, and immersing yourself in the slightly sinister yet enchanting atmosphere. 

It's a bewitching experience you won't want to miss!


Date & Time: Wednesday, October 11th, to Sunday, October 15th & Wednesday, October 18th, to Sunday, October 22nd, from 6:30 pm to 10:30 pm


Website: Visit the website