What kid doesn’t love Halloween? In Chicago, Halloween is not one day, but more like a whole month. There is no shortage of events and activities to do with your family for Halloween. My kids love wearing their costumes multiple times – so why not get your money’s worth and go to as many activities as you can! The kids will love the Chicagoween costume parade, the traffic-free trick-or-treating in Lincoln Park and the Midnight Circus that is not actually at midnight, no worries. And don’t forget to give them some culture with their tricks and treats by attending the Hallowed Haunts concert at Symphony Center.

(credit: Explorechicago.org)

Franken Plaza


Daley Plaza

50 W. Washington

Chicago, IL 60602


On October first, Daley Plaza becomes Franken Plaza and the fountain glows a bright orange color throughout Halloween. There will be events all month long including costume parades, movie nights, and theatre performances. Some events will be better suited for young children, so be sure to check the descriptions.

Hallowed Haunts

Chicago Symphony Orchestra

Saturday, October 2

220 S. Michigan Avenue

Chicago, IL 60604

1:30 Haunted Ballroom activities

3:00 p.m. Family Concert
Cost: $15-$60

Every Halloween, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra presents a “twist” on the classic The Sorcerer’s Apprentice. This multi-media family concert is complete with a pre-performance party and fun activities in the “Haunted Ballroom” from 1:30 to 2:30. Please wear your costumes! Recommended for ages 5 and up.

(credit: Heather Earnhart)

Traffic-free trick-or-treating

Monday, October 31

Burling Street between Diversey and Fullerton

2400-2600 N. Burling Street

Chicago, IL 60614

The Lincoln Park neighborhood boasts one of the city’s best trick-or-treat spots. Take the kids to the 2400 block of Burling Street and walk north for a traffic-free, mega candy overload. The street is lined with mostly single family homes, and everyone goes overboard with decorations. Beware though, some of the houses have a high scare factor but are easily passed by without notice. Maybe the older kids, and even the parents, can sneak up to these spooktacular houses when the little ones aren’t looking.

(credit: Heather Earnhart)

Various Chicago Park Districts and Daley Plaza

October 1st – 31st

“Where Circus and Theatre Collide”

Your whole family will be entertained by The Midnight Circus. If you prefer, catch them downtown at Daley Plaza, or go for the easier neighborhood feel and see the circus at a local Chicago Park District. The circus has acrobats, singers, dancers, a dog and more to keep the action moving. And while at your local park, be sure to join in the fun of many parades, parties, Haunted Houses and Theatres.

Heather Earnhart is a free-lance musician living with her husband and two kids in the Uptown neighborhood of Chicago. Read more of her work on the ChiTown Parent Blog.