Festivals: Halloween happenings in the suburbs
Scarecrow Trail: 7 a.m. to sunset daily through Tuesday, Oct. 31, at the Morton Arboretum, 4100 Route 53, Lisle. Nature-themed scarecrows created by local Scout troops. $9-$14. mortonarb.org.
Cosley Zoo's Pumpkin Fest: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily through Tuesday, Oct. 31, at Cosley Zoo, 1356 N. Gary Ave., Wheaton. Visit the animals, climb a straw pyramid or find your way through the corn stalk tunnel. Apples, gourds, pumpkins, cider, cornstalks and straw bales for purchase. $6-$7; free for kids 17 and younger, members and Wheaton Park District residents. cosleyzoo.org.
Didier Farms Pumpkinfest: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily through Tuesday, Oct. 31, at Didier Farms, 16678 W. Aptakisic Road, Lincolnshire. Hayrides, corn maze, pony and camel rides, Animal Land, kiddie rides, pig races, homemade apple cider and pumpkin doughnuts and more. Free admission; fees for some activities. didierfarms.com/pumpkinfest.
Randall Oaks Zoo's Fall Festival: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily through Sunday, Oct. 29, at Randall Oaks Zoo, 1180 N. Randall Road, West Dundee. Hay bale maze, corn bin play area, fall treats for purchase, face painting and pumpkins. Weekends only: pumpkin enrichment for the zoo's animals, bonfires and hayrides. Most activities are included with $3.25-$4 zoo admission; fees for some activities. Free for kids younger than 2. (847) 428-7131 or dtpd.org.
30th Annual Autumn Drive: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday through Sunday, Oct. 20-22, at 16105 Garden Valley Road, in rural Woodstock and Marengo. Features family farms that are open to the public. They'll be selling produce, pumpkins, pottery, lawn ornaments, crafts and antiques. Plus tractor rides, petting zoo, hayrides, apple and pumpkin launchers, entertainment and food. Free. autumndrive.net.
Siegel's Cottonwood Farm Pumpkin Festival: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily through Tuesday, Oct. 31, at Siegel's Cottonwood Farm, 17250 Weber Road, Lockport. 15-acre corn maze celebrating the Chicago Cubs; u-pick pumpkin field, accessible by hayride; Mia & Miley's Mountain Slide; Bubba Duck's Waddle Races; zip lines; farm animals; food and more. $11.95-$14.95. (815) 741-2693 or ourpumpkinfarm.com.
Fifth Annual Hofbräuhaus Chicago Oktoberfest: 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays; 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sundays through Wednesdays; and 11 a.m. to midnight Thursdays through Sunday, Oct. 29, at Hofbräuhaus Chicago, 5500 Park Place, Rosemont. Authentic Bavarian entertainment, freshly brewed "Oktoberfestbier," daily food specials, celebrity keg-tapping, games, music and more. Free admission. (847) 671-2739 or hofbrauhauschicago.com.
Monster's Bash: 4 to 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 20, at the Weiss Community Center, 1500 E. Euclid Ave., Mount Prospect. Wear a costume, decorate pumpkins, trick-or-treat through the homemade town, carnival games and more. Free. rtpd.org.
Fright Fest: 5 to 11 p.m. Friday, Oct. 20; 11 a.m. to midnight Saturday, Oct. 21; and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 22, at Six Flags Great America, 1 Great America Parkway, Gurnee. Daytime hours are family-friendly, with shows and a trick-or-treat trail from noon to 3 p.m. Evening hours include haunted houses and costumed zombies and monsters. For admission fees, see sixflags.com.
Halloween Happening: 5 to 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 20, at 1777 S. Blanchard St., Wheaton. Costume parade, magic, trick-or-treat trail and more. Free admission, but fees for some events. Concessions available. wheatonparkdistrict.com.
Family Night at Cantigny Park: 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 20, at Cantigny Park, 1S151 Winfield Road, Wheaton. Trick-or-treating, pumpkin decorating and other family events. Free with paid $5 parking. cantigny.org.
Moonlight Hayrides: 5:30, 6:30 and 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Oct. 20-21, at Primrose Farm Park, 5N726 Crane Road, St. Charles. Thirty-minute tractor-drawn hayrides with a bonfire, marshmallow roast, hot chocolate and cider. $8 for residents; $12 for nonresidents. Kids 15 and younger must be accompanied by a paying adult. primrosefarmpark.com.
Cheers & Spirit Fest: 6 p.m. Friday, Oct. 20, at Concord Fifty + Five, 1355 W. Concord Place, Chicago. Local distilleries, breweries and wineries come together for an evening of cocktails, wine and beer. Enjoy samples of spirits from various vendors as well as bites from participating restaurants. $30-$40. eventbrite.com.
Ghosts in the Graveyard: 6 to 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 20, at Blackberry Farm, 100 S. Barnes Road, Aurora. Geared for tweens. Unlimited hay wagon and carousel rides, bonfire with s'mores and spooky stories, followed by a flashlight skeleton hunt. Dinner included with admission of $10 for residents, $12 for nonresidents. Register at (630) 892-1550 or foxvalleyparkdistrict.org.
Halloween Happenings: 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 20, at the Iowa Community Center, 338 N. Iowa, Villa Park. Kids can trick-or-treat outdoors at spooky scenes created by local groups and businesses. Inside fun includes a show by Jim Nesci and his Cold Blooded Creatures including Bubba the alligator. Free; fee for indoor activities. (630) 834-8970.
Hallow-Palooza: 6 to 9 p.m. Friday, Oct. 20, at the Rakow Center, 665 Barrington Ave., Carpentersville. "Thriller" dance class every 30 minutes, treasure hunt, indoor driving range, spooky storytime, bounce house, trick-or-treating, magic show from 6:30 to 7:30 and 8 to 9 p.m., pumpkin decorating while supplies last and more. $6-$10. (847) 428-7131 or dtpd.org.
All Hallows Eve: 6:30 to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Oct. 20-21, at Naper Settlement, 523 S. Webster St., Naperville. Experience two of the darkest nights of the year with 12 acres of haunting creatures, eerie entertainment and must-see horrors. $20. napersettlement.com.
Brookfield Zoo's Oktoberfest: 6:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 20, at Brookfield Zoo, 8400 31st St., Brookfield. German-themed all-you-can-eat buffet for adults only. Event begins in the zoo's Swan Pavilion. Performances by the Ron Smolen Orchestra. Beer and wine sold separately. $90. Seating is limited. For reservations, call (708) 688-8355 or see czs.org.
27th Annual Haunted Hike: 6:30 to 10:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, Oct. 20-21, and Oct. 27-28, at Camp Big Timber, 37W955 Big Timber Road, Elgin. Games, food, treat bags and music. Admission is $10; $8 for Scouts in uniform. Kiddie Hike from 1:30 to 4 p.m. Saturdays, Oct. 21 and 28, for $8. (630) 584-9250 or threefirescouncil.org.
Monster Bash: 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 20, at the Howard Leisure Center, 6676 Howard St., Niles. Buffet dinner, games, pumpkin decorating and music. Each child will receive a goody bag. $16 residents; $19 nonresidents. niles-parks.org.
38th Annual Artistry in Wood Exhibit and Competition: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 21, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 22, at the DuPage County Fairgrounds, 2015 Manchester Road, Wheaton. North Suburban Carvers show. $5; free for kids younger than 12. dupagecountyfair.org.
Animal House Shelter's Howl-O-Ween Festival: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 21, at Huntley Town Square, across from the chamber of commerce building at 11704 Coral St., Huntley. Pet parade, costume contest, vendor booths, snacks, music and more. Prizes for best cat, best dog and best themed family costume (two or more pets or a pet and his or her owner). Check-in at 10 a.m. Parade at 11 a.m. Animals must be current on all vaccines and must be leashed or in a closed stroller at all times. The first 40 pets registered will receive a Halloween bandanna and a treat bag. Registration is $20 per animal. Humans are free. Runs rain or shine. animalhouseshelter.com.
Boo! at the Zoo: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, Oct. 21-22 and 28-29, at Brookfield Zoo, 8400 31st St., Brookfield. Scarecrow building, zoo chats, corn maze, costume parade and contest, haunted hayride and more. Zoo admission is $14.50-$19.85; free for kids 2 and younger. Parking is $12. czs.org.
Corn Harvest: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 21-22, at Kline Creek Farm, 1N600 County Farm Road, West Chicago. Take a horse-drawn wagon ride out to the fields and help shuck and store the corn that will feed the farm's cows and sheep over winter. Then, stop by the farmhouse to make a corn-husk figure to take home. Free. (630) 876-5900 or dupageforest.org.
Trick or Trees: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, Oct. 21-22 and 28-29, at Morton Arboretum, 4100 Route 53, Lisle. Make crafts and plant a tree seed to take home. Small pumpkins to paint available for purchase. $9-$14. mortonarb.org.
Barrington Scarecrow Festival: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 21, at Memorial Park, Hough and Station streets, Barrington. Pony rides, pumpkin and scarecrow decorating, games, face painting, music and more. Free. enjoybarrington.com.
Pumpkin Trolley: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 21-22, at Fox River Trolley Museum, 361 S. La Fox St. (Route 31), South Elgin. Ride an old-time electric trolley car to the pumpkin patch and choose a pumpkin for $2 to take home. All children get a small treat. $2-$5. (847) 697-4676 or foxtrolley.org.
Pumpkin Weekends: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, Oct. 21-22 and 28-29, at Blackberry Farm, 100 S. Barnes Road, Aurora. Family-friendly fall events include the pumpkin princess, seasonal crafts, harvest decor, a giant corn crib, professional pumpkin carver, world's tallest scarecrow, trick-or-treating and a pony parade. $7. foxvalleyparkdistrict.org.
Randhurst Village's Halloween Fall Fest: 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 21, at Randhurst Village, Mount Prospect. Pet costume parade, pumpkin decorating, sand sculptures, owls from the Stillman Nature Center, crafts and other family activities. Free. randhurstvillage.com.
Morton Arboretum's Cider and Ale Festival: 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 21, at the Morton Arboretum, 4100 Route 53, Lisle. For ages 21 and older. Sample ciders and seasonal beers. Food will be available for purchase. Music from Cadillac Groove. Bring a chair or blanket for seating. VIP early entry runs from noon to 1 p.m. Event runs rain or shine. General admission is $40-$50; VIP admission is $60-$70. $5 extra for day-of tickets. Designated driver tickets cost $15. mortonarb.org.
Geneva Cemetery Walk-East Side: 2 and 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 21, at Oak Hill Cemetery, off Route 25 in Geneva. Learn the meaning of tombstone markings and the stories of prominent settlers buried in Westside Cemetery. Runs rain or shine. $10; $5 for Geneva History Museum members. Register at genevahistorymuseum.org.
Great Pumpkin Celebration: 2 to 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 21, at Robert W. Rolek Community Center, 814 Hart Road, Round Lake. Costume contest, indoor trick-or-treating, fantasy maze, corn maze, hayrides, kids' entertainment, carnival games, prizes and more. Free. (847) 546-8558 or rlapd.org.
Pumpkin Palooza: 2 to 3:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 21, at the Eola Community Center, 555 S. Eola Road, Aurora. Dress up in a costume and take part in games, crafts, activities, snacks and a bounce house. $14. foxvalleyparkdistrict.org.
Boo Bash: 3 to 6 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 21, at the ARC Center, 201 W. National St., West Chicago. Carnival games, crafts, jumpy castles, costume contests, treats and Mary Macaroni Music and Magic Show. New this year: glow-in-the-dark mini golf, glow-in-the-dark ghost blasters and spooky story/sing-along hayrides. $5 preregistration; $8 at the door. Adults admitted free with a child. we-goparks.org.
Wheaton Haunted Flea Market: 3 p.m. to midnight Saturday, Oct. 21, at the DuPage County Fairgrounds, 2015 Manchester Road, Wheaton. Music and entertainment, celebrities, vendors and food. $7; free for kids 12 and younger. zurkopromotions.com.
Gilberts Bonfire and Hayride: 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 21, in Memorial Park, 355 Tyrrell Road, Gilberts. Free. villageofgilberts.com.
Halloween Fun Night: 4 to 6 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 21, at the Rec Center gym, 12015 Mill St., Huntley. An evening of ghoulish games, costume contest, DJ, hayrides and prizes. Free. huntleyparks.org.
Monster Madness: 4 to 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 21, at the Lisle Recreation Center, 1925 Ohio St., Lisle. For kids 10 and younger. Costumes, games, prizes, pumpkin patch, hay maze, petting zoo, pony rides and creepy cafe. $10 for a card with 25 punches. lisleparkdistrict.org.
Oktoberfest Dinner: 4 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 21, at the First United Methodist Church of West Chicago, 643 E. Washington St., West Chicago. Outdoor games start at 4 p.m., followed by dinner and a fire pit singalong. Proceeds support relief missions. $3-$12. (630) 231-3344.
Zombie Apocalypse: 4:30 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 21, at Wheeler Park, 822 N. First St., Geneva. Participants will be divided into flights (groups of 10 to 15) with guides leading them through various "safe zones." Space is limited, so register early. Event is appropriate for ages 11 and older. Registration the day of is $10-$15. Family-friendly hour from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. for kids 10 and younger. genevaparks.org.
Ghost Story Train: Saturday, Oct. 21, at the Fox River Trolley Museum, 361 S. La Fox St. (Route 31), South Elgin. Departures at 5, 6:15 and 7:30 p.m. for a ride to the Jon Duerr Forest Preserve. Listen to spooky stories and sing campfire songs while eating s'mores. Costumes welcome. Suitable for all ages. $15 for the one-hour event. Reservations required. (847) 697-4676 or foxtrolley.org.
Zombie Wauk: 5 to 10 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 21, at various locations in downtown Waukegan. Zombies, survivalists and ghouls of all ages are welcome. Metal on the Rocks VII performs in the CLC Courtyard. Zombies will roam the South Genesee Merchant block, with a Kids' Zone and costume contests. Dinosaur Studio Tattoo hosts author Matthew R. Fleming, who reads from the horror novel "The Dreams" at 7 p.m. Free. waukeganmainstreet.org.
Wood Dale Scarewalk: 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 21, at White Oaks Cabin Nature Center, 111 S. Wood Dale Road, Wood Dale. Family-friendly hour from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Walks for ages 10 and older from 6:45 to 8:30 p.m. $6. wdparks.org.
Nightmare on Chicago Street: 6 to 11 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 21, on Chicago Street, between Douglas Avenue and Villa Street, Elgin. Elgin's annual Halloween party features entertainment, bands, food, drinks, vendors, games, graffiti artists and special guests. Performers include Hairbangers Ball, Sixteen Candles, 97Nine and Svengoolie. Costume contest registration from 6 to 8 p.m. at the YWCA, 220 E. Chicago St. Ages 17 and younger not admitted without a parent/guardian. Tickets at nightmareonchicagostreet.com.
Haunted Quarry: 7 to 9 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 21, at Hall Quarry Beach Park, 400 S. Water St., Batavia. Face your fears and experience all the nightmares that await. $8. Not suitable for kids 10 and younger. Volunteers needed. (630) 879-5235 or bataviaparks.org.
44th Annual Chicago Toy Show: 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 22, at the Kane County Fairgrounds, 525 S. Randall Road, St. Charles. More than 600 exhibitors featuring fine antique and collectible toys, dolls, playthings and holiday heirlooms. $10; free for kids younger than 12. chicagotoyshow.com.
CROCtoberfest: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 22, at the Wildlife Discovery Center, 1401 Middlefork Drive, Lake Forest. Members of the Chicago Herpetological Society discuss crocodiles and related creatures. See American alligator "Bubba" from 10 a.m. to noon. Face painting, storytelling, craft vendors and more. $10 admission donation appreciated; free for kids 3 and younger. cityoflakeforest.com.
Church Street Market: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 22, at St. Lawrence Episcopal Church, 125 W. Church St., Libertyville. Farmers market and craft event, including freshly picked pumpkins, locally grown produce and holiday gifts. Kids' craft activity, demonstrations of early childhood music and rug hooking, a silent auction and more. (847) 362-2110.
56th Annual Sycamore Pumpkin Festival: Wednesday through Sunday, Oct. 25-29, at various locations in downtown Sycamore. Hundreds of decorated pumpkins, teen and kiddie carnivals, scary stories, autumn craft and treasures market, giant pumpkins, pancake breakfast on Saturday, and a parade at 1 p.m. Sunday. Check website for times and locations. sycamorepumpkinfestival.com.
Great Barrington Area TasteFest: 5 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 25, at the Onion Pub & Brewery, 22221 Pepper Road, Lake Barrington. Taste the signature dishes of dozens of restaurants, microbrewers and distillers. $30. Register at barringtonbhamber.com or call (847) 381-2525.
Antioch Halloween Fest: 5 to 10 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 26; 5 to 11 p.m. Friday, Oct. 27; noon to 11 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 28; and noon to 8 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 29, at the Antioch band shell on Skidmore Drive, Antioch. Costume contests, carnival rides, pumpkin totem pole contest and more. Daily ride wristbands are $30 per day or $60 for all four days ($50 before Oct. 23); individual ride tickets are also available. A special needs carnival will be held from 1 to 3 p.m. Friday, Oct. 27 (requires advance registration). Free. antiochchamber.org.