Festivals Oct. 15-21: Wizard World Chicago, Night of 1,000 Jack-o'-Lanterns & more
Cosley Zoo Pumpkin Fest: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily through Sunday, Oct. 31, at Cosley Zoo, 1356 N. Gary Ave., Wheaton. See thousands of pumpkins while visiting the animals. Children's rides, plus apples, gourds, pumpkins, cider, cornstalks and straw bales for purchase. Timed entry tickets required. cosleyzoo.org.
Goebbert's Fall Festival: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily through Sunday, Oct. 31, at 42W813 Reinking Road, Pingree Grove, and 40 W. Higgins Road, South Barrington. Both locations have animals, mazes, wagon rides, pig races and more. See websites for activity hours. Tickets are $17 on weekdays; $20 on weekends; and free for kids 2 and younger. goebbertspumpkinpatch.com for Pingree Grove and goebbertspumpkinfarm.com for South Barrington.
Randall Oaks Fall Festival: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily through Friday, Oct. 29, at Randall Oaks Zoo, 1180 N. Randall Road, West Dundee. Weekend activities include a bonfire from noon to 5 p.m., animal shows at 10:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m., kids' crafts and hayrides for $3 (free for kids 1 and younger). Pumpkins will be available for purchase. Admission is $4 for residents; $4.75 for nonresidents; and free for kids 1 and younger and U.S. military with ID. dtpd.org/randall-oaks-zoo.
Abbey Farms Pumpkin Daze: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday through Sunday, Oct. 31, at Abbey Farms, 2855 Hart Road, Aurora. Live music, pumpkin patches, 12-acre corn maze, zip lines, rope maze challenge, slides, inflatables, tractor/hay wagon rides, petting zoo (weekends only), craft beer and wine tent, seasonal food and more. $14 weekdays; $18 weekends and holidays; free for kids 2 and younger. abbeyfarms.org.
Glass Pumpkin Patch: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday, Oct. 13-17, at Morton Arboretum, 4100 Route 53, Lisle. See more than 6,000 handblown glass pumpkins and other autumnal-themed designs and check out daily demonstrations by featured artists. The Glass Pumpkin sale begins at 1 p.m. Friday and runs through Sunday. New in 2021, a Halloween tent features works of art to decorate the home and garden. Pumpkins and other art will only be sold these three days. The Glass Pumpkin Patch is included with timed-entry admission; tickets are not available at the gate. mortonarb.org.
Night of 1,000 Jack-o'-Lanterns: Gates open to ticketholders at 6 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday, Oct. 13-17 and 20-24, at the Chicago Botanic Garden, 1000 Lake-Cook Road, Glencoe. More than 1,000 hand-carved pumpkins will light up a "boo-tanical" trail during the annual Halloween event. Parking is free for garden members; nonmembers must pay a $20 fee in advance. chicagobotanic.org/halloween.
Jack O'Lantern World: 6:30-8:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 14 and 21; 6:30-10:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Oct. 15-16; and 6:30-8:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 17, at Paulus Park, 200 S. Rand Road, Lake Zurich. Journey through 15 themed worlds of hand-carved jack-o'-lanterns designed by local artists, including Unicorn Universe, Dinosaur Den, Dragon of Fire and more. $20 for adults, $14 for kids 3-12 Thursday; $22 for adults, $15 for kids 3-12 Friday through Sunday. thejackolanternworld.com.
Autumn Drive: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday through Sunday, Oct. 15-17, starting at 3601 Franklinville Road, Woodstock. Self-guided shopping event and scenic drive along rural roads with 14 stops including farms, rummage sales, galleries, petting zoo, a museum and more. Antiques, plants, home decor, pottery, knitwear, kettle corn, arts and crafts, pumpkins, apples, honey, baked goods and homemade products will be for sale. Free. Find map and details at www.autumndrive.net.
Lincoln Park Zoo Fall Fest: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Fridays through Sundays through Oct. 31 at Lincoln Park Zoo, 2001 N. Clark St., Chicago. Autumn-themed animal enrichment, music, pop-up bar, food, pumpkins for purchase and more. Free; tickets ($3 each, 10 for $27 or 20 for $51) are required for some events. lpzoo.org.
Sonny Acres Fall Fest on the Farm: 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays; 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sundays; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesdays through Thursdays through Oct. 31 at 29W310 North Ave., West Chicago. Carnival rides, pony rides, petting zoo, haunted hayrides, haunted barn, farm market, kids' activities and more. (630) 231-3859 or sonnyacres.com/.
Sugar Skull City: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily from Friday, Oct. 15, to Nov. 7 in downtown Aurora. See art displayed in various storefronts to commemorate the holiday. Free. auroradowntown.org.
Chalk Howard Street: Virtually at 11 a.m. Friday, Oct. 15. Featuring 3-D chalk artist Nate Baranowski, the festival will demonstrate the creation of 3-D chalk art for the virtual sessions, which will be released via Howard Street's Instagram page, @HowardStreetChicago, and will culminate in an in-person live chalk art drawing session on Saturday, Oct. 16. howardstreetchicago.com.
Pumpkin Patch Festival: 4-9 p.m. Friday, Oct. 15; 1-9 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 16; and noon to 8 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 17, at 7325 W. 79th St., Bridgeview. Live entertainment, pumpkin patch, corn maze, kids' haunted house, pumpkin jumpers, puppet show, magic show, petting zoo and more. $5-$10. pumpkinpatchfestival.com.
Wizard World Chicago: 4-9 p.m. Friday, Oct. 15; 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 16; and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 17, at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center, 5555 N. River Road, Rosemont. Celebrate the best in pop culture with Artist Alley, live performances, gaming, panel discussions, photos ops, cosplay and more. Scheduled celebrity guests include William Shatner, Michael Rooker, Sam Heughan, Stephen Amell and more, plus top comic creators. $40-$349; each ticket includes free admission for two kids 10 and younger. wizardworld.com/.
Hocus Pocus in the Park: 5-9 p.m. Friday, Oct. 15, at Keith Mione Community Park, 1401 Midlothian Road, Mundelein. Food trucks, churro truck, sunflower sales, pumpkin painting and scarecrow building contest, ending with a showing of "Hocus Pocus" on the big screen. Registration is only required for a reserved parking spot for the movie. www.mundeleinparks.org.
Island Party Hut Fall Fest on the Riverwalk: Hourly from 5-9 p.m. Friday, Oct. 15, and noon to 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 16, on the Chicago Riverwalk, 355 E. Riverwalk, Chicago. Hayrides on the Chicago River, beer and cider tastings, live music, a pumpkin patch, photo ops, fall food tastings and more. Tickets required. $10. bit.ly/IPHFallFest2021.
Six Flags Great America Fright Fest: 5-11 p.m. Friday, Oct. 15; 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 16; and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 17, at Six Flags Great America, 1 Great America Parkway, Gurnee. Family-friendly shows and attractions during the daytime hours; haunted houses, scary shows and roaming monsters at night. Tickets start at $39.99. sixflags.com/greatamerica.
Zombie Apocalypse Laser Tag: 5, 6, 7 and 8 p.m. Fridays through Sundays in October at The Forge: Lemont Quarries, 1001 Main St., Lemont. Live-action Tactical Laser Tag experience set in a post-apocalyptic world where a zombie outbreak has run rampant. Tickets cost $40. forgeparks.com/forge-fear.
Halloween Happening: 5:30-7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 15, at the Community Center, 1777 S. Blanchard St., Wheaton. Carnival games, bounce house, Touch-A-Truck, trick-or-treat trail, crafts, sensory tables and more. Costumes encouraged. Fee for some activities. wheatonparkdistrict.com.
All Hallows Eve: 6:30-10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Oct. 15-16, at Naper Settlement, 523 S. Webster St., Naperville. Sinister attractions and spine-chilling performances, including Frankenstein's Laboratory, Sweeney Todd and Little Red Riding Hood. Throughout the night, the lost souls of the dead will be roaming the grounds and can be found in the Zombie Maze, Bug Show and performing on the event's two stages. Plus, magicians, fire dancers, music, food and more. Not recommended for kids younger than 8. $20. napersettlement.org/285/All-Hallows-Eve.
A Nightmare at West Main: 7-9 p.m. Friday, Oct. 15, at West Main Community Park, 40W101 W. Main St., Batavia. Haunted hike through the spooky trails. Not suitable for kids younger than 10. Tickets cost $10 at the door. bataviaparks.org.
American Civil War Re-enactment: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 16, and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 17, at the Northbrook Sports Club, 200 S. Hainesville Road, Hainesville. Relive history with battling Union and Confederate military forces, battlefield surgeries, period music, encampments and historical presentations by period luminaries. Free; parking $10. hainesville.org.
Didier Farms Pumpkinfest: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays through Sunday, Oct. 31, at Didier Farms, 16678 W. Aptakisic Road, Lincolnshire. Pick out a pumpkin and check out camel and pony rides, a burlap sack slide and pig races. didierfarms.com/pumpkinfest.
Elmhurst Family Fall Fest: 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, Oct. 16, at The Depot at Wild Meadows Trace, 511 S. York St., Elmhurst. Safety Town trick-or-treating, family photo ops, food trucks and fall games. Free. epd.org or facebook.com/elmhurstparkdistrict.
Keller's Fall Festivities: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays through Oct. 30 at Keller's Farmstand, 2500 Johnson Road, Oswego. Includes an 8-acre corn maze, play house, rope maze, brick maze, farm animals, tire stack for climbing, old tractors, kids' play area and more. $13. kellersfarmstand.com.
The Shades of Autumn Fall Festival: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Fridays through Sundays through Sunday, Oct. 31, at Stades Farm and Market, 3709 Miller Road, McHenry. Petting zoos, hay bale climbing, a giant sandbox and a 2-acre corn maze. Tickets are $20; $15 for those 65 and older; season pass is $50. stadesfarmandmarket.com.
Preschool Halloween Bash: 9:30 a.m. to noon Saturday, Oct. 16, at Triphahn Center, 1685 W. Higgins Road, Hoffman Estates. Kids 7 and younger are encouraged to dress in Halloween costumes for a morning of pumpkin decorating, Halloween games, crafts and snacks. Registration required by Friday, Oct. 15. Cost is $6 for residents, $7 for nonresidents. heparks.org/event/preschool-halloween-bash
Boo to the Flu Fest!: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 16, at Hamdard Health Addison, 228 E. Lake St., Addison. Receive your annual flu shot and participate in fall festivities, including a photo booth and pumpkin patch. Free. www.boototheflu.eventcombo.com.
Boo! at the Zoo: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 16-17 and 23-24, at Brookfield Zoo, 8400 31st St., Brookfield. Corn maze on the West Mall, creepy carousel, haunted hayride, decorated photo spots, watch zookeepers feed pumpkins to the animals at 10:30 a.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. Sunday, and kids will leave with a treat. Costumes are allowed for kids 12 and younger only. General admission is $24.95 for adults; $19.95 for seniors; and $17.95 for kids 3-11. Some activities cost extra. czs.org/booatthezoo.
Cottages in the Woods: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 16-17, at Good Templar Park, 528 Eastside Drive, Geneva. Artists, vendors, entertainment, food trucks, a troll hunt and family-friendly activities. $10; free for kids 12 and younger. facebook.com/cottagesinthewoods.
Family Fun Fest: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 16, at 1 Art Schultz Drive, Joliet. Face painting, costumed characters, medieval fighting, entertainment, wood workshops, disc golf, food, raffles and more. Free. www.heritagecorridorcvb.com.
Open House Chicago: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 16-17, in Chicago. The Chicago Architecture Center hosts this free public festival that offers self-guided history and architecture trails throughout Chicago, talks and programming, and behind-the-scenes access to architecturally, historically and culturally significant sites across the city. Includes more than 100 sites in over 30 neighborhoods across Chicago and nearby suburbs. openhousechicago.org/.
Sugar Skull Workshops: 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, Oct. 16, at the Jack Benny Center for the Arts, 39 Jack Benny Drive, Waukegan. Celebrate the Day of the Dead by decorating a sugar skull to take home, culminating in a free community celebration on Oct. 23. Free. Registration required. waukeganparks.org/diademuertos.
Blackberry Farm Pumpkin Weekends: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays in October at Blackberry Farm, 100 S. Barnes Road, Aurora. Family-friendly, pumpkin-themed festivities. Admission is $8, $7 for ages 65 and older. blackberryfarm.info/special-events/.
Scarecrow Festival: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 16, at Memorial Park, Barrington. Pumpkin decorating, scarecrow-building, pony rides, face painting and more. Free admission. barrington-il.gov.
Deer Park Food Truck Series: 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 16, at Deer Park Town Center, 20530 N. Rand Road, Deer Park. Food trucks will be located in front of Pottery Barn and Kendra Scott. Free admission and parking. shopdeerparktowncenter.com.
Oktoberfestiversary: Noon to 9 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 16, and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 17, at Dovetail Brewery, 1801 W. Belle Plaine Ave., Chicago. Enjoy Oktoberfest-inspired food and beer, with local DJs providing music. $5 suggested donation to benefit The Friendship Center. friendshipcenterchicago.org.
Wauke-Con: Noon to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 16-17, at the Ray Bradbury Experience Museum, 13 N. Genesee St., Waukegan. A comic con with vendors selling comics, toys and local crafts. Attendees get a chance to win a Ray Bradbury-signed comic book. Proceeds benefit the museum. $4 online, $5 in person. www.eventbrite.com.
Ballpark Brew Fest: 2-6 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 16, at Wintrust Field, 1999 S. Springinsguth Road, Schaumburg. Featuring 50 breweries and over 100 beers. Food from Chicago Culinary Kitchen and The Pink Cupcake. Music from The Joyce Boys. For ages 21 and older only. $45 general admission includes 25 sampling tickets; $75 VIP includes early entry at 1 p.m., 25 sampling tickets, access to special pours and two food coupons; $10 designated driver. ballparkbrewfest.com.
Brothers' Field Open Mic: 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 16, at Brothers' Field, 344 Old McHenry Road, Long Grove. Bring your voice and/or guitar. The Tiki Bar will be open. In-person sign up is at 4 p.m. Register in advance at www.brothersfieldlonggrove.com/events.
Haunted Forest: 5-9:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 16, at Diane Main Park, 200 W. 59th St., Westmont. Take a wagon ride from Diane Main Park through Sandra Smith Woods when participants will view scary scenes and then walk through the haunted woods. Merry Monsters, which is recommended for younger participants, runs from 5-6:30 p.m. Sheer Terror runs from 7-9:30 p.m. $6. www.westmontparks.org.
Big Woods Cemetery Walk: 6-8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 16, at Big Woods Cemetery, 3033 N. Eola Road, Aurora. Guides lead visitors on at 15-minute tour showcasing grave sites of five former residents, portrayed by actors in period costumes. $10; free for kids 7 and younger. Buy tickets at the cemetery gate or in advance. Bigwoodsschool.org.
Harvest Celebration: Noon to 4 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 17, at Volkening Heritage Farm, 201 S. Plum Grove Road, Schaumburg. Hands-on demonstrations of frontier-era and 1880s farm life and live music. Parking is available at St. Matthew's Church, 1001 E. Schaumburg Road. $4 per person, $16 per family. parkfun.com.
The Haunted Page, Tricks and Tales: Virtually from 7-8 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 20. William Pack returns with a new horror-themed storytelling performance featuring works by Edgar Allan Poe, Mary Shelley, Bram Stoker, M.R. James and Shirley Jackson. Sponsored by Messenger Public Library of North Aurora. Register at messengerpl.org.
Senior Resource Fair: 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 21, at Lakefront Park Building, 71 Nippersink Blvd., Fox Lake. Learn about area community programs and resources for senior adults. www.foxlake.org.
Autumn Festival, An Arts and Crafts Affair: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday and Friday, Oct. 21-22; 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 23; and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 24, at Odeum Sports & Expo Center, 1033 N. Villa Ave., Villa Park. Hundreds of artists and crafters display and sell their handcrafted works. Adults $10; seniors $9; free for kids younger than 10. www.hpifestivals.com.