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Halloween Fun on Chicago’s North Shore – 2012

Here on the North Shore we LOVE Halloween! And we dedicate the month of October to enjoying all the frightening fun we can find. Here’s a schedule of all our favorite Halloween events:

Scream Scene

October 5, 6, 12, 13,19, 20, 26 and 27 from 7:00 to 10:00 pm
Skokie Water Playground, 4701 Oakton St., Skokie

Without a doubt, this is one of the area’s best haunted houses. It has 20 unique and SCARY rooms, with everything from crazed butchers to insane clowns. Needless to say, this is NOT for the faint of heart, or kids under 10.
Tickets: $8.00. Call 847-674-1500 ext. 2700 for more info or visit

Things That Go Bump in the Night

October 14 from 6:30 to 8:30 pm
Emily Oaks Nature Center, 4650 Brummel St., Skokie

A non-frightening, educational look at our furry and feathered creatures of the night, your family’s visit will end with a campfire, snack and songs!
Tickets: $5.00. Advance ticket purchase advised.

The Great Highwood Pumpkin Festival

October 18-20

Last year the tiny town of Highwood broke the Guinness Book of records for the most lit jack-o-lanterns with 30,919 pumpkins. They plan to do it again this year. The festival is packed with fun things to do, including live music, hay rides, parade, 5K run and pumpkin carving. Visit for event details.

Spooky Pooch Parade

October 20 from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm
Chicago Botanic Garden, 1000 Lake Cook Rd., Glencoe

Calling all cleverly costumed dogs! Come strut your stuff at the Botanic Garden’s Spooky Pooch Parade. Costumes will be judged in the following categories: Best Costume, Best Dog/Owner Costume, Best Puppy in Costume, Best Senior in Costume and (my favorite) Best Horticultural Interpretation. Parade steps off at the Esplanade. All dogs must be leashed.
Tickets (per dog): Member/non-member in advance: $14/$17. Day of event: $20/$30
Call 847-835-5440 or visit

Corn Harvest Festival

October 20, from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm
Wagner Farm, 1510 Wagner Rd., Glenview

Experience harvest time from a bygone era. Pick corn by hand, take wagon rides, do farm activities and arts and crafts.
Tickets: $3.00 (kids under 3 are free). or 847-657-1506

Halloween Party

October 25 from 5:30 to 7:00 pm
Takiff Center, 999 Green Bay Rd., Glencoe

The fun includes carnival games, a hayride, kids’ entertainment, craft avtivity and pizza dinner. Wear your costume and bring a trick or treat bag for your goodies. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Tickets: $7/child; $4/adult in advance or $10/child; $5/adult at the door.

Fairy Tale Trail

October 26 from 4:00 to 7:00 pm; October 27 from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm.
The Woman’s Club of Evanston, 1702 Chicago Ave., Evanston

The fully accessible, fantasy-filled labyrinth is a fun non-frightening alternative to the typical Halloween haunted house.  Children are encouraged to join in the fun by coming in costume. Visit or call 847-475-3800 for details. Tickets: $5.00

Haunted Hayride

October 26 from 7:00 to 9:00 pm
Sunset Woods Park, Highland Park

Dare to be scared as you ride the tram through the haunted woods of Sunset Park. Parents be sure to keep your children close, for you never know what lurks in the darkness around each wind and curve. Tram rides will begin at 7pm from the football field and depart every 15 minutes until 9pm. A-Z Entertainment will provide music and entertainment as you wait for your ride. Fall treats will be available for purchase. Appropriate for ages 7 and up.
Tickets: $3.00 Visit

HallowFest: A Garden of Good…and Evil

October 26 and 27 from 6:00 to 9:00 pm; October 28 from 4:00 to 7:00 pm
Chicago Botanic Garden, 1000 Lake Cook Rd., Glencoe

Celebrate Halloween at the Garden and take either the “friendly” or “spooky” path to activities in the Regenstein Center and McGinley Pavilion. Experience family-friendly thrills and chills including Mysterious Magic with Dracula. As night falls, walk through the Model Railroad Garden, decorated in ghostly lights and running special ghost trains. Then take a ride around the Garden on the Howlin’ Express and keep your eyes open for spooky sights. Other activities include face-painting, fortune telling and a  carved pumpkin gallery.
Tickets: members/non-members in advance: $14/$17; $17/$20 at the door. Parking is $20/car for non-members.
Visit or call 847-835-5440

Halloween Hoopla

October 26 and 27 from 7:00 to 9:00 pm
Jewett Park Community Center, 836 Jewett Park Dr., Deerfield

The Friday and Saturday night scary Haunted House for brave children, teens and adults returns from 7-9 p.m., October 26 & 27. The “Lights-On” Haunted House runs Saturday, 3-6 p.m. During the eerie nighttime hours, along with creepy Haunted House “residents” waiting to thrill you, there will be bonfires, DJs, movies in the park and food and beverages for sale. Call 847-945-0650 or visit for more info.

Halloween Happening

October 26 from 6:00 to 9:00 pm
Community Rec Center, 3000 Glenview Rd, Wilmette

Filled with chills and thrills, this family-friendly event features carnival games, magician, fortune teller, moonwalk, arts and crafts, face painting, mad scientist’s lab and pony rides. Don’t miss the Theater of Terror and the Traveling World of Reptiles! Pizza dinner is included, along with a goodie bag and a visit to the Pumpkin Patch. Wristbands will be issued and will be required to participate in all activities. All children must be accompanied by an adult. Sign up early and bring your friends. Maximum of two adults per family. Tickets: Residents: $15/non-residents $20 per child.

Haunted Shipwreck Shores and the Trail Terror

October 26 and 27 from 6:30 to 9:00 pm
Lloyd Beach, Winnetka

Legend has it that every year the ghosts of the those that were on ships that sank in the Great Lakes come back to Lloyd Beach the weekend before Halloween to haunt the souls who do not believe they were lost at sea. Come experience the hallowed, haunted, shipwrecked shores of Lake Michigan.  Visit the Ghostly Graveyard of past Sailors, take a wicked walk along the Trail of Terror, Enter at the Haunted boathouse (at your own risk), full of chills, thrills and more, and be spooked along the Shipwreck Shores of Lloyd Beach.
Friday, October 26
is designated as a family, friendly evening. There will still be sound effects, props, and staff in costumes; but is not designed to scare children.
Saturday, October 27 is designed to be scary and is intended for middle schoolers and older.
Visit or call 847-657-1506 for more info.

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  1. Curtis Reddehase

    All these events sound so fun! Thank you for sharing.

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