I’ve been adding fall family-friendly events to my calendar for this month in hopes that we will get out more and get festive! I know I can’t get to all of these, but it would be fun to attend at least a couple of them in October. These events are all family-friendly and some are free to attend!
These are events I’ve found so far in the Chicago area:
- Pumpkin Pier Lights: After dusk in October until Nov. 2. Explore a variety of pumpkin pop-up installations throughout Navy Pier. Free admission.
- Fall Bulb Sale: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Oct. 4-6 Chicago Botanic Garden. Hear live music and children can admire the gourd mountain, find their way around the straw-bale maze, and participate in family-friendly activities.You can also buy bulbs to plant now for spring. Admission is free but parking is $25 per car or $30 per car weekends and holidays (includes tax); $10 parking for senior citizens on Tuesdays (age 62+, includes tax); $30 per van (includes tax).
- Maggie Daley Fall Fest: 12:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m. Oct. 19 Maggie Daley Park; free admission. Pumpkins, foods, treats, entertainment and games.
- Downtown Evanston Trick or Treat Stroll: 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Oct. 26; free admission. Trick-or-treat at downtown businesses, costume parade from Raymond Park to Fountain Square starting at 11 a.m.; Halloween activities.
- Glass Pumpkin Patch: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Oct. 9-13. The Morton Arboretum. Admire more than 6,000 hand-blown glass pumpkins and watch daily artist demonstrations to see how these pieces are created. Admission: Ages 18-64, $15 ($10 Wednesdays); seniors 65, $13 ($9 Wednesdays); children ages 2–17, $10 ($7 Wednesdays); children 1 and younger are free.
- Halloween Movie Night: 4 p.m. doors open Oct. 18 Arlington Park. Screening of “Halloweentown” with trick or treating, pumpkin painting, costume parade, inflatable haunted house maze and more. Free admission but it’s unclear if activities are extra.
- Halloween Family Fest: 5-8 p.m. Oct. 18 Morton Grove Park District. Take part in fall crafts, hayrides, games, pumpkin decorating, costume contest and inflatables.
- Pumpkin Party: 3:30 p.m.- 7 p.m. Oct. 24. Gallagher Way Chicago; free admission. Old Town School of Folk Music performs; create a clay Halloween character with Kid Create Studio; enjoy candy stations. Caramel apple station and take-home junior pumpkins; balloon and bubble artists; and lawn games. Halloween movie favorite “Hocus Pocus” will play on the Gallagher Way video board.
- Boo! at the Zoo: Saturdays and Sundays, Oct. 12-27 Brookfield Zoo. Candy stations, Halloween crafts, professional carves a giant pumpkin, corn maze, costume parade at 1 p.m. (starts in front of Discovery Center) and more. Admission: Adults:$21.95 ($20.95 online); seniors 65 and older: $15.95 ($14.95 online); children 3 to 11: $15.95 ($14.95 online). Some activities are at additional cost.
- Brick or Treat: Oct. 5-Nov. 3 LEGOLAND Discovery Center. See spooky scenes; collect free LEGO pieces to build your own Halloween LEGO creation to take home; spooky scavenger hunt and more. Admission: $17.95-$32.95 online.
- Night of 1,000 Jack-o’-Lanterns: 6:30-10:30 p.m. Oct. 16-20; Oct. 23-27 Chicago Botanic Garden. See more than 1,000 hand-carved pumpkins. LED-lit jack-o’-lanterns will be staged along a paved pathway. Admission: Tickets purchased on or before Oct. 15 are $16 for adults/$13 for children 3-12; members receive $2 off each ticket.
I will update this list as I find new events. Do you plan to go to any spooky events?