Halloween in Chicago is a time to have spooky, spectacular, frightening fun! The entire city is full of events, tours, and family-friendly activities that will leave you exhausted. It doesn’t matter if you’re looking for the scariest haunted house you can find, or just strolling through a pumpkin patch with the kids, Chicago has you covered. Check out the list below for just a few of the great things Halloween in Chicago has to offer.

Boo! at the Zoo

Kids in Halloween costumes

Boo! at the Zoo is a family fun, Halloween celebration that’s held at Brookfield Zoo. There’s great activities for the kids like a corn maze, a Creepy Carousel, and even Zoo Chats where they can interact with the animals. Zoo employees will be dressed in Halloween costumes and we encourage our visitors to do the same. There will be plenty of great photo opportunities throughout the park and all kids will leave with a sweet treat!

Arts in the Dark

Participants in the parade march down the street

Arts in the Dark is a family-friendly parade that has been going on in Chicago for ages. It separates itself from most Halloween events because it focuses a little more on the artistic side, instead of just trying to scare you! The nighttime parade has puppets, floats, and incredibly talented performers. This may not be the event that makes the headline of a national magazine, but they’re the ones missing out. Some of the most talented and creative people in the city come together to pull off this event. It’s a feast for the senses.

Haunted Halsted Halloween Parade

Skeleton float in Halloween parade

This is the type of parade you tell people about. The Haunted Halsted Halloween Parade has consistently been ranked as one of the Top 10 parades in the United States by Fodor’s Travel. This event isn’t for the faint of heart. This no-holds-barred event begins with a flash mob of ghouls performs the famous Chicago Thriller dance routine and ends with a panel of drag queens awarding prizes for best costume. What happens in between stays there.

Upside Down Halloween Parade

Parade goers gather for a picture

The Upside Down Halloween Parade is back for a 3rd year and will be better than ever! The parade will be in Washington Park…and it’s a little different than most parades you’ve been to. In this one, the parade-goers become the parade. Children and families are welcome to put on their costumes and join the parade as it heads down Russell Dr. Join the dance teams, musicians, acrobats and more for this spectacular even. Food, hot chocolate, a DJ…mark your calendars so you don’t miss out.

Night of 1,000 Jack-O-Lanterns

Two hand-carved jack-o-lanterns

Jack-O-Lanterns have become so big that they need their own night! Come out to the Chicago Botanical Garden to experience an evening that is almost transcendental. There will be over 1,000 hand-carved jack-o-lanterns on display throughout the park. Some of these designs will blow you away. Don’t let these artists toil for hours for nothing…come out and appreciate their work. The kids will love it and there will be food and beverages for all.