Halloween is just around the corner! If you are here for the BOOs, there’s tons to do, if not, there are plenty of fright-less activities as well. Enjoy – you deserve it!

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1. The Nightmare Before Halloween: A Tim Burton Experience

  • When:   Every day through October 31; check website for bar hours.
  • Where: Headquarters Beercade; 213 W Institute Place, Chicago, IL, 60610.

Why this is fun: Headquarters celebrates Halloween with a pop-up devoted to one of the spookiest directors of all time. Visitors can explore installations inspired by some of Tim Burton’s most memorable films, including a Beetlejuice graveyard, sculpted shrubs from Edward Scissorhands and a barber’s chair like the one used in Sweeney Todd. Grab an Ox Blood or Kill it Now! cocktail from the bar (served in a convenient pouch) or bite into a boozy caramel apple. Keep an eye out for special events throughout the pop-up’s run, including a steamy Burt-lesque show.

For more details, visit the website. 

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2. Randolph Street Market Festival

  • When: Saturday Oct. 26 and Sunday Oct. 27; 10am-5pm.
  • Where:  1341 W Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60607.

Why this is fun: Fall season is upon us and that means Randolph Street Market kicks off the indoor market season! With Halloween only days away and the holidays right around the corner, there is plenty to shop for.  Score amazing costumes from our many vintage fashion dealers or if you are looking for decor, Thanksgiving adornment will be a-plenty! If we are lucky and the weather is still spectacular, there may even be a few vendors outside . . .

For more details, visit the website.

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3. Spooky Zoo 

  • When: Saturday October 26th; 10am-1pm
  • Where: Lincoln Park Zoo; 2001 N. Clark Street, Chicago, IL 60614

Why this is fun: Hosted annually by Lincoln Park Zoo’s Auxiliary Board, Spooky Zoo offers a free and safe alternative to trick-or-treating in Chicago. This event attracts more than 25,000 children and families to the zoo each year—the majority of whom are from under-served communities—making it one of Chicago’s largest public-service initiatives.

Spooky Zoo will be held in conjunction with the zoo’s five-weekend Fall Fest celebration. Fall Fest features Ferris wheel rides, animal enrichment activities, a corn maze, a pumpkin carver, and many more fun and engaging activities for children and families. As one of the zoo’s most visible community events each year, Spooky Zoo at Fall Fest is always well loved and well attended!

For more details, visit the website.

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4. The Paper Machete

  • When: Saturday October 26 2019 – Saturday December 21 2019; 3pm every Saturday.
  • Where: The Green Mill; 4802 N Broadway, Chicago, IL 60640

Why this is fun: The Paper Machete is a weekly “live magazine” that takes place every Saturday afternoon at the Green Mill Cocktail Lounge in Uptown. Put on free of charge to its audience, the show features comedic essays and character monologues based on the current headlines, written and performed by artists from the worlds of stand-up, sketch comedy, improv, theater, live lit, and journalism in addition to music and variety acts.

For more details, visit the website.

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5. Haunted Halloween Ball

  • When:  Saturday Oct. 26; 9pm-3am.
  • Where: The Congress Hotel; 520 S. Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60605.

Why this is fun: Haunted Halloween Ball combines elements of a lavish VIP nightclub and lounge experience, with the exclusiveness of a luxury hotel gala, and the terror and chills of a haunted house. The moment you enter Congress Plaza Hotel, you will be directed to the massive 20,000 square foot ballrooms of the 122-year-old hotel, which has been transformed into an abandoned hotel run by zombies.

In Chicago, hundreds of costumed party-goers will dance to the dark and dirty beats of world renowned DJs and recording artists. Other entertainment includes encounters with the Haunted Halloween Ball vampire bellmen, zombie cocktail servers dressed as French maids and theatrical performances by costumed go-go dancers.

Outrageous, bizarre and risqué will be among the Halloween costumes competing in the $2,000 cash and prizes virtual costume contest.

For more details, visit the website.

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