Chicago’s Ultimate Halloween Guide

Endless frights and fun this year in the Windy City

In a big city like Chicago, there are quite a few Halloween parties near you to pick from. Honestly, it’s pretty overwhelming, and even the most adventurous person might not be able to keep up with it all.

There are so many awesome Halloween parties near you in Chicago that we figured we’d make it easier by running through every event in one easy-to-read breakdown so you don’t miss out on the ones you’re most excited for. We jam-packed any and everything that’s happening for Halloween in the city onto this list so that all your options are in one place. You’re welcome!

Don’t forget, Halloween’s on a Tuesday this year. So make sure your entire weekend and Monday are extra spooky.

Here is Chicago’s Ultimate Halloween 2019 Guide.

Costume Shops

halloween
Photo Credit: The Real Chicago

Not so fast. Before you hit a Halloween event near you, you need to pick out a costume first! Chicago has plenty of costume shops and some are even open year-round for you early birds.

  • Halloween Hallway Costume Stores – These stores might be your best bet for a grab-and-go costume. Check out their website or visit one of their locations in the Loop, South Loop, River North, Wicker Park, Lincoln Park, or Wrigleyville.
  • Chicago Costume – This spot is open year-round and offers unique, hard-to-find, and upscale costumes fit for any event.
  • Hollywood Mirror – The famous novelty shop in Lakeview has plenty of gag gifts, wigs, and silly accessories for you to build your own costume.
  • Fantasy Costumes – This Portage Park megastore has been around for over 50 years and is fully stocked. You need it, they have it.
  • Spirit Halloween – If you’re out in the burbs, you’ve probably seen these pop up around Halloween time. These are great for trendy, grab-and-go costumes.

Concerts

halloween
Photo Credit: Electronic Midwest

If you’re looking for Halloween parties near you in Chicago, there are always plenty of great acts coming to Chicago and there’s no shortage of them on Halloween weekend (or weekends, depending on how you look at it). Find parking ahead of time easily with Chicago Parking Map.

Bar Crawls

halloween
Photo Credit: Chicago Halloween Venues

Get weird for Halloween by attending Halloween events that feature some good ol’ fashioned day drinking. Here are some of the best bar crawls you can hop into during Halloween weekend.

  • 2019 Chicago Halloween Bar Crawl – Hit up favorite haunts in Lincoln Park, Wicker Park, and River North and enter the costume contest for a chance to $1,000 at this classic crawl on October 25.
  • Halloween DAY Crawl in River North – Attend this Halloween event in River North in your creepiest costume to visit the best bars on Saturday, October 26 at 11 am.
  • Wrigleyville Halloween Crawl – ChicagoTwentySomething is bringing another fun bar crawl experience to the Wrigleyville neighborhood, including a buffet and costume contests on Saturday, October 26 at 7 pm.
  • Wicker Park Halloween Bar Crawl – Enjoy a pre-party, bar crawl, and after-party on this year’s Halloween beer tour of Wicker Park on Saturday, October 26 from 4 – 10 pm.
  • Brew-Ja Crawl – Pilsen’s newest bar crawl is spooky-themed and perfect for this list. Enjoy Pilsen’s finest brews along 18th street on Saturday, November 2 from 12 – 6 pm.

Balls and Masquerades

halloween

Are you looking for a Halloween party near you in Chicago that will make you feel classy and elegant like Dracula? A Halloween ball or masquerade is the event for you. Here’s where you can find them in Chicago.

Halloween Parties & Entertainment in Chicago

halloween
Photo Credit: Fitt

Just lookin’ to party? Or are you looking to celebrate in a non-traditional way? Easy enough. Here are some other Halloween events happening around town.

  • Pier Pumpkin Nights – Navy Pier’s newest, free pumpkin pop-up experience is open October 1 – November 2 this season.
  • Jack’s Pumpkin Pop-up – Goose Island’s adult-friendly pumpkin patch is back again for its second year, open all October.
  • Wickedly Whiting Festival – On October 12, see Whiting, IN (East of Chicago) transformed into a freak show, also featuring live music, costume contests, food and beer vendors, and a family stage.
  • Halloween Jungle Party – Step into a tropical Halloween party near you at Celeste and DISCO this Halloween for some serious jungle boogie on Saturday, October 26, starting at 5 p.m. and 10 p.m. respectively. NO COVER.
  • Halloween Freak Show – The Virgin Hotels Chicago is hosting a dual-level Halloween party at its Commons Club, and the 26th-floor nightclub, Cerise, on Saturday, October 26. Tickets start at $45!
  • AnimalZ – Z Bar is hosting its second annual Halloween party with an animal theme on Saturday, October 26. No cover required.
  • Boos & Booze Halloween Party – Enjoy a three-hour drink package and costume contest at the Hubbard Inn on Saturday, October 26.
  • The Godfrey Haunted Hotel – Explore 20 haunted hotel rooms at this fright night on Saturday, October 26.
  • Terror From The Top Halloween Party – 360 CHICAGO is taking Halloween to new heights on Saturday, October 26.
  • Illumination – Combining the spirit of Halloween with art installations and light, Illumination brings a new perspective to the ghoulish this season. October 26, starting at 9:30 pm.
  • Rock the Yacht: Halloween Midnight Yacht Party – Jump aboard The Odyssey to enjoy a haunted party with costumes and live DJs on Friday, October 25.
  • Rock the Yacht: Halloween Midnight Yacht Party – The Spirit of Chicago has a cheaper version of the previous event, set to sail on Saturday, October 26.
  • Bond, Boos, and Booze – SafeHouse Chicago is hosting a spy-themed Halloween extravaganza, complete with a James Bond costume contest, on Saturday, October 26.
  • Chicago Monster Dash – Participate in a Virtual Run any time throughout October and complete a 1 mile, 5k, 10k, half marathon, or full marathon race wearing your favorite costume.
  • Spooky Zoo Spectacular – This family-friendly Chicago tradition returns to the Lincoln Park Zoo on Saturday, October 26.
  • “The Horror of the Humanities VII: “Hereditary”– See the socially-conscious side of horror at this free avant-garde haunted house, along with a contemporary horror film screening on Monday, October 28.
  • THE BOODOIR – Bordel hosts a uniquely themed Vaudevellian Halloween at Chicago’s sexiest speakeasy on Thursday, October 31.
  • Halloween Happy Hour With Puppies – The Talbott Hotel encourages you to bring your pup all dressed up for a 15% discount on food and drinks and a doggie trick-or-treat goodie bag.
  • Nightmare on Bourbon Street – On Thursday, October 31, Halloween night, Untitled Supper Club is giving its weekly Unbridled burlesque show a spooky twist. $10 admission.

Parades

halloween
Photo Credit: Timeout

Would you rather sit back and watch a haunted procession? Watch creeps and ghouls glide by at these fun Halloween events.

  • Spooky Pooch Parade – Bring your costumed furry friend to the Chicago Botanic Garden and follow a fun parade route on Sunday, October 13.
  • Arts in the Dark Parade – Gather on Saturday, October 19 from 6 pm – 8 pm for a parade of performances, giant puppets, and decorative displays on State Street from Lake to Van Buren.
  • Northalsted Halloween Parade – Don’t miss this creative costume event in Boystown on Thursday, October 31 at 7:30 pm.

Haunted Houses

halloween
Photo Credit: Youtube

There are also plenty of Halloween parties near you in Chicago that feature haunted houses. Many are in the ‘burbs, but they’re worth the trip. Too scared? Too bad. You need to enter these if you dare.

Scary Movies

halloween
Photo Credit: The Indie-pendent

There’s nothing like watching horror movies in October. Ring in Halloween with freaky films at Chicago’s favorite theaters.

Trick-or-Treating

halloween

If you want to keep it traditional, Chicago has some wonderful neighborhoods where you and your family can enjoy a fall breeze while visiting beautifully decorated homes. According to multiple surveys, these are the best ‘hoods for trick-or-treating.

  • Roscoe Village
  • Hyde Park
  • Wicker Park
  • Lincoln Park
  • Southport Corridor

 

Anything we missed? Got a tip on a super cool Halloween event that you want everyone to know about? Tell us below!

 

At UrbanMatter, U Matter. And we think this matters.

Tell us what you think matters in your neighborhood and what we should write about next in the comments below!

 

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18 Comments

  • halloweenus@yahoo.com'
    Happy Halloween
    Posted Mar 20, 2018 1:00 pm 0Likes

    Every October, I fall in danger when Halloween comes. But how can I save from that great festival? Just give a perfect solution!!

  • tali@ripplepublicrelations.com'
    Tali
    Posted Oct 3, 2017 1:33 pm 0Likes

    The 8th annual Great Highwood Pumpkin Festival THIS WEEKEND October 6-8! The town is lined with scaffolding towering above the streets and attendees attempt to carve and light over 30,000 jack-o-lanterns to break a world record! Tons of fun food and drink vendors, a full carnival for the kids, 3 music stages, costume and pie eating contests and so much more.
    It’s a great event!
    https://www.facebook.com/highwoodpumpkinfest2017/
    http://www.highwoodpumpkinfest.com

  • moviesidefest@gmail.com'
    Kelly Bradley
    Posted Oct 1, 2017 10:48 pm 0Likes

    MASSACRE 24-Hour-Horror-Movie-Marathon Oct. 14 – Patio Theater (6008 W. Irving Park Rd. Chicago)

    Come to The Massacre 24-hour-horror-movie-marathon (Oct. 14, Patio Theater), see CREEPSHOW, TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE 2, SLEEPAWAY CAMP (star Felissa Rose in person), LET’S SCARE JESSICA TO DEATH (director John D. Hancock in Person), NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD (90), DRIVE-IN MASSACRE, TERROR TRAIN, 2,000 MANIACS, ALIENS & more! Presale Tickets only $20. Plus Vendors, Free Parking, Free Posters! Event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/1885355395052395 Please Share

  • Lcoberly@winston.com'
    Linda
    Posted Oct 26, 2016 2:29 pm 0Likes

    Silent film NOSFERATU, playing in a dark, neo-gothic church with live pipe organ accompaniment. Halloween Night at Grace Episcopal Church in Oak Park.

    https://www.graceoakpark.org/silent-film.html

  • Jacarethomas@hotmail.com'
    Jac
    Posted Oct 20, 2016 7:25 pm 0Likes

    The ONLY Halloween open bar event in town is Kegoween. They have a really funky video too.

    https://youtu.be/0EwX9pDnAFw

    $10 off with promo code chi-cityalert
    https://www.eventbrite.com/e/kegoween-2016-the-carnivale-tickets-27799197147

  • Beckycameo@hotmail.com'
    Becky
    Posted Sep 30, 2016 8:04 pm 0Likes

    Haunted Hills Hospital in Portage,IN the best!
    https://www.hauntedhillshospital.com/

  • Mamakelly02@yahoo.com'
    Martha Kelly
    Posted Sep 28, 2016 11:12 pm 0Likes

    Check this haunted house out in St. John , Indiana!
    http://www.lakehillshauntedhouse.com/

  • Anonymous@gmail.com'
    Anonymous
    Posted Sep 26, 2016 11:45 am 0Likes

    You forgot the fall festivities at Lincoln Park Zoo!

  • polyglot01@yahoo.com'
    Teresa
    Posted Sep 22, 2016 10:18 pm 0Likes

    Then there’s HalloweeM, the annual convention of Chicago Area Mensa. In its 41st year, WeeM hosts a four-day-long party for 400+ smarties. Classes, workshops, two costume parades, field trips, two dances, round-the-clock food and beverages, and more. Details and registration information are available at http://www.chicago.us.mensa.org/halloween.

  • bb@g2meyer.com'
    Gordon
    Posted Sep 22, 2016 1:16 pm 0Likes

    Bizarre Bucktown walking tour is offering a special Halloween tour that focuses on the area’s darkest history and lore. Adults only. http://www.BizarreBucktown.com

  • roeboat2015@gmail.com'
    Ashley
    Posted Sep 20, 2016 10:03 am 0Likes

    Any more dog friendly events or recommendations?

  • Hannahnemec@gmail.com'
    Hannah
    Posted Sep 18, 2016 8:23 am 0Likes

    Roscoe Village also has an awesome Halloween parade, and you get to trick or treat at the stores on Roscoe after!

  • hellosunshine413@gmail.com'
    Kaitlyn Mars
    Posted Sep 14, 2016 10:29 am 0Likes

    Lake Hills Haunted House in St. John, IN! About a half hour away from Valparaiso.

  • dszymagic@gmail.com'
    Danielle Szy
    Posted Sep 12, 2016 11:22 pm 0Likes

    This Halloween season, Danielle and Nicholas Szy (SzyMagic) invite you to an intimate evening of mystery and magic.

    ‘Ghosts of the Past’, a one-of-a-kind show presented in 3 acts, will provide thrills and plenty of spine-tingling chills. Inspired by true events, ghost stories, and urban legends, this 90-minute spectacle is certain to be something you will not soon forget!

    Each audience is limited to just 30 guests. Get your tickets now!

  • Ckerrigan1@hotmail.com'
    Colleen
    Posted Sep 12, 2016 9:59 pm 0Likes

    You all forgot about:
    Fright Fest, Six Flags…Gurnee IL
    Haunted Massacre, Montgomery IL

  • atrent71@yahoo.com'
    Trent Anderson
    Posted Sep 12, 2016 4:52 pm 0Likes

    These pictures are disturbing! NSFW!

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