Supremely spooky spectacle
Scare your pants off at 13 Terrors at Theater on the Lake, the annual Halloween event that involves evil clowns, a spinning vortex, a crazed costume ball and a creepy mausoleum filled with the undead. Last year, more than 5,000 patrons visited 13 Terrors, which is produced by the same creative team that designed Trail of Terror at Peterson Park for 12 years. Some of the haunted highlights are a blackout room with invisible inhabitants, a ghostly submarine area, an abandoned theater and haunted woods. Recommended for ages 8 and older.
7 to 10 p.m. Friday through Sunday, Oct. 19-21 and 26-28, at Theater on the Lake, 2401 N. Lake Shore Drive. Admission is $10. (312) 742-PLAY or chicagoparkdistrict.com/events/halloween.
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Play the trump card
While the kids are getting ready for Halloween, Trump International Hotel and Tower offers some spirited specials that range from a distinctive overnight package to autumn-inspired treatments at the Spa at Trump. The Room with a Boo package invites families and friends to spend time at the city's "Chicagoween" activities then indulge in overnight accommodations for two in a deluxe king guest room; get a s'mores welcome amenity; sip two Dra-Kahlua cocktails and share one Halloween sushi roll in Rebar; and enjoy a continental breakfast for two.
Saturday, Oct. 20, to Thursday, Nov. 1, at 401 N. Wabash Ave., Chicago. The Room with a Boo package starts at $525 per night, spa treatment costs vary. (312) 588-8000 or trumphotelcollection.com/chicago.
Get rare access to the skyscraper roof patio of the Chicago Temple Building on a special tour of the architecture, history and culture of the iconic structure through Chicago Detours. During the "Exclusive Tour of the Chicago Temple Building," a guide shares fascinating stories on the church's history in downtown Chicago. Guests share iPads with historic images and video clips while the tour guide adds commentary.
5:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 20, at 77 W. Washington St., Chicago. Tickets cost $36 for the two-hour, 15-minute tour. In addition to a gift of a historic print of the building, wine, cheese and other light snacks are included. chicagodetours.com.
Film and fall color
The Frankfort Film Festival in Frankfort, Mich., offers scenes in northern Michigan and spectacular fall color. Thirteen international award-winning films will be screened in what's called the biggest small town in Benzie County. In addition to the film fest, you can also explore fall color along the Lake Michigan shoreline, climb the Sleeping Bear Dunes, stay in charming lodging, discover art galleries, wineries and quaint dining establishments.
Screening times vary Thursday through Sunday, Oct. 18-21. Four-day film festival passes cost $60 per person. Individual film showings cost $10 per person. frankfortgardentheater.com.
Happy trails to you
Are the kids' eyes glazing over their history books this early in the school year? See how Midwesterners lived centuries ago in McHenry County during the Conservation District's 24th annual Trail of History. The two-day event, taking place in the geologically varied Glacial Park, is a hands-on, interactive living history experience. Meet costumed characters who explain the area's natural and cultural history and see scores of re-enactors from French fur traders building canoes to settlers, soldiers and natives from the French-Indian War. Plenty of refreshments and victuals are available to keep you nourished during your trip back in time.
9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 20-21, at Glacial Park, 6316 Harts Road, Ringwood, Ill. Tickets at the gate cost $7 for adults and $3 for seniors and children ages 6-12. Admission is free for kids 5 and younger. www.mdcdistrict.org.