You haven't experienced Halloween madness until you join the costumed locals of Chicago, who have even named their annual fright-fest Chicagoween.
- When? Exact dates TBC - Oct 2017
- Where? Various locations in Chicago, Illinois.
- Price: Free
Halloween, or rather Chicagoween as the locals call it, puts the ‘oo’ in spooky, the ‘ar’ in scary and the ‘ek’ in freaky. Dust off your pointy hat, grab your striped tights and don’t forget your warty nose because you’re about to experience Halloween on a whole new level. You need to look the part.
Start the celebrations with a fright by strolling through Franken Plaza to see the eerie orange fountain and spooky-looking pumpkins that greet you. But it’s not all fear and fright – Chicagoween is also fun-filled. Expect to see trick-or-treating events for the kids, Halloween inspired arts and crafts and free hayrides.
Last year, Chicago’s Halloween celebrations were taken to the next level with the arrival of the Halloween Gathering Festival and Parade. World-renowned art institutions such as the Field Museum and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra gather together to put on an array of activities including mask-making classes, a costume parade and zombie dance all designed to encourage creativity and artistic flair amongst participants.
Chicago Park District also gets in on the action, offering locals and tourists the chance to try their hand at unique activities such as sugar-skulls workshop, haunted indoor movies and pumpkin painting. Check out their website for a full list of goings-on – there is a lot to do. Can you see why it’s called Chicagoween yet?
Kill two birds with one stone (not literally) and visit the Brookfield Zoo for the Boo! at the Zoo event. Get lost in the ‘Craized Maize Corn Maze’ before smashing up a pumpkin at the hourly 'Pumpkin Smasher' and end your afternoon watching the costume parade. There’s also crafts and hayrides to keep your little ghosts and goblins occupied while you go raid the candy treat stations. Let’s be honest, it’s not just the kids who enjoy all the sweets.
If all that wasn’t enough, Navy Pier also hosts the ‘Really Big Halloween Party’, a family event that features fairground rides, trick-or-treating and mini-golf. What’s more, the Pier Park will be taken over by stages, featuring spooky acts which in previous years have included a Harry Houdini style upside-down water chamber trick, fortune tellers and pumpkin-carving.
For something a little scarier (and adult-only), Navy Pier will also host its second annual Haunted Halloween Ball in 2016. Described as a ‘decadent evening of mystery, glamour and gruesome costumes’, the ball is sure to be a night of frightening fun that will make even the bravest of guests jump in their seats.
Whilst a lot of the Halloween fun is family-orientated, you’re sure to experience a few frights or thrills when all that sugar hits your system. Just leave some candy for the kids or else it’ll be the shriek of crying children that haunts your dreams, not the sounds of ghost and ghouls.
- Get there: Fly to Chicago and get around by train.
- Stay: Check out the accommodation surrounding Lake Shore East Park.
*We do our very best to verify the dates of our events but please check with the official event provider before booking your flights. We would hate for you to be disappointed!