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posted: 10/29/2011 6:00 AM

Weekend picks: Scare up some Halloween fun

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  • A costume contest is part of Brookfield Zoo's not-so-scary celebration Boo! at the Zoo.

      A costume contest is part of Brookfield Zoo's not-so-scary celebration Boo! at the Zoo.
    Courtesy of the Chicago Zoological Society

  • Herbie Hancock takes to the Wentz Concert Hall stage at North Central College in Naperville Saturday.

      Herbie Hancock takes to the Wentz Concert Hall stage at North Central College in Naperville Saturday.

  • Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan performs Lin Hwai-min's "Water Stains on the Wall" at Millennium Park's Harris Theater for Music and Dance in Chicago this weekend.

      Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan performs Lin Hwai-min's "Water Stains on the Wall" at Millennium Park's Harris Theater for Music and Dance in Chicago this weekend.
    Courtesy of Liu Chen-Hsiang

  • Plain White T's, shown performing during halftime of last season's NFL divisional playoff football game between the Chicago Bears and the Seattle Seahawks, will headline the House of Blues Sunday.

      Plain White T's, shown performing during halftime of last season's NFL divisional playoff football game between the Chicago Bears and the Seattle Seahawks, will headline the House of Blues Sunday.
    Associated Press file photo

  • Video: The Suburbs This Weekend

 
By Scott Morgan and Laura Stewart

A smashing pumpkin festival

There are festivals featuring pumpkin decor and then there's the Pumpkin Festival in downtown Sycamore, and 2011 marks its 50th anniversary. Thousands of decorated pumpkins are on display on the courthouse lawn along with an art and craft shows, carnival and fun fair, games and a housewalk. Don't miss the adult and kids' pie-eating contest or the parade Sunday afternoon. Pork chop sandwiches, hot apple cider and country cooking will be available. See sycamorepumpkinfestival.com. 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 29, and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 30

Boo! Boo!

Brookfield Zoo's annual not-so-scary Halloween celebration, Boo! at the Zoo, features events for all ages. Take part in or simply watch the judged costume parade at 1 p.m. Other highlights include a super-size play area, pumpkin carving, a haunted carousel, a 7,000-square-foot corn maze and educational zoo chats at the zoo, First Avenue and 31st Street, Brookfield. General admission is $9.50 to $13.50. Parking is $9. (708) 688-8000 or CZS.org. 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 29-30

Serial seducer

Polish baritone Mariusz Kwiecien stars in the title role of the Metropolitan Opera's new production of "Don Giovanni" directed by Tony Award-winner Michael Grandage. See Mozart's classic tale of lust and revenge live in high definition this Saturday at participating area movie theaters from Lombard to Gurnee. Ticket prices vary, but mostly $22-$24. See fathomevents.com. 11:55 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 29

Chicagoween

Looking for a different kind of Halloween fun? Take the little goblins to Franken (Daley) Plaza, 50 W. Washington St., Chicago, for Chicagoween and bags full of free performances and activity. Midnight Circus performs daily; learn how to carve a pumpkin; see Pyrotechniq's Fire and Ultraviolet kinetic performances; enjoy free arts and crafts; and watch screenings of films like "Beetlejuice." Enter the costume contest and enjoy shows from Mad Science of Chicago and Dave Herzog's Marionettes. (312) 744-3315 or chicagoween.us. 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 29-30

'Boo-tiful' music

The Elgin Symphony Orchestra invites audiences to dress up in costume for its annual "Halloween Spooktacular" family-friendly concert with special preshow activities on Saturday at the Hemmens Cultural Center, 45 Symphony Way, Elgin. $15; $10 kids. (847) 888-4000 or elginsymphony.org. 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 29

Tennis legend

Celebrated tennis star Billie Jean King is the celebrity host of the Tennis Opportunity Program's 13th annual fundraiser and TeamTennis Tournament this Saturday at the Midtown Tennis Club, 2020 W. Fullerton Ave., Chicago. $125 admission (includes dinner, cocktails and auction); $300 to play in the tournament. (312) 988-9900 or toptenniskids.com. 3 to 11 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 29

Haunted Halloween Flea Market

Shop for a wide variety of items at Zurko's Haunted Flea Market at the DuPage County Fairgrounds, 2015 W. Manchester Road, Wheaton. Highlights include live music, a costume ball, hay rides and a beer garden. Plus, meet celebrities including actress Linda Harrison from "Planet of the Apes," actor Bill Johnson from "Leatherface" and "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" and others. Admission is $6 for adults; free for kids ages 12 and younger. Visit zurkopromotions.com. 3 p.m. to midnight Saturday, Oct. 29

'Boo Bash'

Kids: Get your best costume on for Mundelein Park District's family "Boo Bash," which features a straw maze, rides on tractor-pulled wagons and searching for prizes in haystacks. Kids, ages 3 to 11 (with adult supervision), should bring a bag for goodies. It all takes place at Keith Mione Community Park, 1401 N. Midlothian Road, Mundelein. Free. (847) 566-0650 or mundeleinparks.org. 5 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 29

Jazz legend

Many Gen-Xers were introduced to Herbie Hancock via his 1983 single "Rockit" (along with the song's awesome music video, which was a staple on MTV in those days). But of course, Hancock's career started well before then -- he played for years with jazz icon Miles Davis -- and it has continued to the present day. Hancock will perform at the Wentz Concert Hall inside North Central College's Fine Arts Center, 171 E. Chicago Ave., Naperville. $85, $95. Call (630) 637-SHOW or go to finearts.northcentralcollege.edu. 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 29

Water wall dance

The Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan returns to Chicago with the area premiere of Lin Hwai-min's newest multimedia work "Water Stains on the Wall" this weekend at Millennium Park's Harris Theater for Music and Dance, 205 E. Randolph Drive, Chicago. $35-$65. (312) 334-7777 or harristheaterchicago.org. 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 29

Put your best costume forward

The costume contests at Drink's Naughty or Nice party Saturday dole out more than $8,000 in cash and prizes, including $1,000 for first place. So get your costume ready! Visit the club at 871 E. Algonquin Road, Schaumburg. (847) 397-3100 or drinknightclub.com. Saturday, Oct. 29

'Bye Bye Birdie'

The Highland Park Players present "Bye Bye Birdie," the hit 1960 Broadway musical that pokes fun at teenage pop idols of the era, at Northbrook Theatre, 3323 Walters Ave., Northbrook. $19-$20. Visit highlandparkplayers.com. 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 30

Tickling the ivories

Pianist Mark Valenti presents a classical concert for all ages at Forest View Educational Center, 2121 S. Goebbert Road, Arlington Heights. Tickets for adults cost $25. Students in kindergarten through 12th grade admitted free with a paying adult. (847) 718-7702 or nscommunityconcerts.org. 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 30

American Boychoir

The American Boychoir will perform a classical concert including works by Bach, Brahms, Sara Hopkins, Moses Hogan and others at the Presbyterian Church of Barrington, 6 Brinker Road, Barrington. $15-$20; children admitted free. (847) 381-0975 or pcbarrington.org. 4 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 30

Local rockers

The Plain White T's, an alt-pop band that formed in DuPage County in the late 1990s, will perform an early-evening show on Sunday at the House of Blues, 329 N. Dearborn, Chicago. The band is touring in support of its most recent record, "Wonders of the Younger." $23. Go to houseofblues.com. 5:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 30

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