(1) The Chicago Symphony Orchestra presents Hallowed Haunts
On October 23rd, bring the kiddos to the Chicago Symphony Orchestra for some spooky Halloween fun (plus some beautiful music in a gorgeous setting). The Civic Orchestra of Chicago will perform and the kiddos can wear their Halloween costumes. The show kicks off at 3:00 but come early for fun activities in the “Haunted Ballroom” from 1:30 to 2:30. This event is recommended for kids age 5 and up.
(2) Chicago Park District Halloween Events
When it comes to free or inexpensive Halloween activities, the Chicago Park District has tons of offerings. From October 9th -30th, several parks and facilities throughout town will host Halloween events. Those folks looking for a serious scare can visit one of the CPD Haunted Houses such as the Nightmare at 63rd Street Beach Haunted House. Good no-scare options include the Pumpkin Patch at Oz Park on October 16th. Highlights include a petting zoo, hay ride, pony rides, and inflatables. On October 28th, the whole family can even enjoy a haunted drive-in movie at Margate Park! Visit the CPD website to find an event or activity that is perfect for your family.
(3) Franken Plaza
From October 29th through the 31st, the normally sedate Daley Plaza is transformed into a Halloween wonderland. Highlights include a performance by the Midnight Circus, mask making, no-scare storytelling, and a costume contest. You can find the full 3-day schedule of events here.
(4) Creatures of the Night at the Garfield Park Conservatory
On Saturday, October 30th, visitors to the Garfield Park Conservatory can have a rare encounter with nocturnal creatures including fruit bats, spiders and owls. Between the hours of noon and 3:00 p.m., families can pick up a little treat at each critter station and plant spider plants to take home.
(5) Scary Skate
Before you head out trick-or-treating on Halloween, why not burn a few calories with a family ice skating outing? From 4:30-6:00 p.m. on October 31st, little ghosts and ghouls can participate in Scary Skate at the McFetridge Sports Center Ice Rink (3843 N. California Ave.). Admission for kids age 13 and up is $5. Kids age 12 and under are $4. But those who wear a costume get in for free! Ice skate rental is available on site.
2011 Halloween Guide
For everything Halloween in Chicago, visit the CBS Halloween Directory.