By Annie Alleman For Sun-Times Media October 18, 2013 10:19AM
Daley Plaza is transformed into Franken Plaza with live entertainment during Halloween weekend. | File photo
From fun family hay rides to terrifying tours through real haunted places, there is no shortage of fun Halloween activities for all price points and interests.
If you are looking for activities to get you in the Halloween spirit, look no further than this handy guide.
12-7:30 p.m. Oct. 25 and 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Oct. 26-27 at Daley Plaza, 51 W. Washington St., Chicago. Cityofchicago.org.
Franken Plaza invades Daley Plaza for the city’s free Halloween festival just for kids. The acrobatic troupe Midnight Circus will perform several times throughout the weekend. Additionally there will be Halloween crafts for kids, a costume contest, hay rides, a screening of “Hotel Transylvania,” BatBucks Game Show, candy and more.
To Oct. 31 at Navy Pier, 600 East Grand Ave., Chicago. (800) 595-7437. Navypier.com.
In addition to Navy Pier’s haunted house, “The Fear,” the Pier does Halloween up with 500-pound pumpkins, entertainment from fire spinners and a zombie Zydeco band, zombie paintball and makeup, costume contests and Halloween fireworks.
Trick or treating for kids in costume at 17 Pier locations on Oct. 26-27. Halloween fireworks will be set to a spooky soundtrack at 9:30 p.m. Oct. 26.
9:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Oct. 12-31 at Museum of Science and Industry, 5700 S. Lake Shore Dr., Chicago. Msichicago.org. $18-$45.
Spooky science this Halloween season, from a haunted coal mine to pumpkin pyrotechnics. See web site.
Halloween at the Adler Planetarium
Oct. 18-Nov. 3 at Adler Planetarium, 1300 S. Lake Shore Dr., Chicago. Adlerplanetarium.org. $8-$12.
Space gets spooky with trick or treating, a special “Spooky Space” Atwood Sphere tour, “Slime Science” family workshop and eerie tales in the “Stories Under the Moon.”
To Oct. 31 at Cosley Zoo, 1356 Gary Ave., Wheaton. (630) 665-5534. Cosleyzoo.org.
Cosley Zoo has a cornstalk-lined path, a straw pyramid, corn stalk tunnel and plenty of pumpkins. Mascot Day on Oct. 19 and a Sponsor Boo-nanza with giveaways and prizes on Oct. 26.
To Oct. 31 at Legoland Discovery Center, 601 N. Martingale Road, Schaumburg. (847) 592-9700. LegolanddiscoveryCenter.com. $12-$20.
Little builders can collect Lego bricks to create a Halloween-themed model, do a spooky scavenger hunt and see all the monsters haunting the place.
Fall Color Festival
To Oct. 27 at Morton Arboretum, 4100 Route 53, Lisle. (630) 968-0074. Mortonarb.org. $8-$11.
Activities include a daily scarecrow trail, “The Passion of Dracula” theater hike performed on weekends and a glass pumpkin patch. Kids Trick or Trees event has childrens games and crafts.
To Oct. 27 at Blackberry Farm, 100 S. Barnes Road, Aurora. (630) 892-1550. Foxvalleyparkdistrict.org. $5.
There will be pumpkins for sale, a decorating station, carousel rides, hay wagon rides and tours on the Pumpkin Train. A Trick-or-Treat Walk and Costume Contest will be from 12-3 p.m. Oct. 20.
Boo! At the Zoo
11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 19-20, 26-27 at Brookfield Zoo, 8400 W. 31 St., Brookfield. (708) 688-8000. Brookfieldzoo.org. $10.50-$15 plus parking.
Activities include a corn maze, themed Zoo Chats, scarecrow decorating, “spooky” animals, haunted hayrides, pumpkin-carving demonstrations, a professional pumpkin carver, a pumpkin smasher and a costume parade and contest. Halloween Hollow
Oct. 18-20 at Main Park, 10925 W. LaPorte Road, Mokena. (708) 390-2401. Mokenapark.com. $2.
Activities include a carnival, ghost town games, pumpkin painting, scream contest, inflatables, monster market, laser tag, food court, face painting, great pumpkin weigh-in contest, jack-o-lantern contest, mummy wrap contest, scarecrow laboratory, stage entertainment and costume contest.
Haunted Halloween Happening
5-8:30 p.m. Oct. 18 at Wheaton Park District, 1777 S. Blanchard Road, Wheaton. (630) 690-4880. Wheatonparkdistrict.com. Free, small fee for some activities.
There will be kids’ Halloween games, face painting, balloon artist, costume pageant, “Trunk or Treat” in the parking lot, bat show and Kidz Kingdom arts and crafts.
5:30-8:30 p.m. Oct. 18 at Terrace View Park, 17W063 Hodges Road, Oakbrook Terrace. (630) 941-8747. Obtpd.org/lvnc.$3-$4.
This family-friendly evening will also include an outdoor story time, exploration time in the Nature Center, a “spooky” craft activity and refreshments at the campfire circle.
Haunted House Double Feature
Oct. 18, 19, 24 and 25 at 5501 Park Place and 9701 Bryn Mawr Ave., Rosemont. (847) 349-5008. Screamsinthepark.co.
Movies shown at Muvico Theaters will be “The Shining” at 9 p.m. followed by “The Monkey’s Paw” at 11:45 p.m. Oct. 18; “Fright Night” at 9 p.m. and “The Monkey’s Paw” at 11:15 p.m. Oct. 19; “An American Werewolf in London” at 9 p.m. and “The Monkey’s Paw” at 11:15 p.m. Oct. 25-26. Ticket combos for Screams in the Park Haunted House.
6-9 p.m. Oct. 18 at Founders Community Center, 140 Oak St., Frankfort. (815) 469-9400. Frankfortparks.org. $10.
This haunted house includes inflatables, fun fair games, hayrides, entertainment, crafts and face tattoos. Wear a costume and receive $1 off admission.
10 a.m. Oct. 19 at Bark Park at Commissioners Park, Laraway Road and 80th Ave. South., Frankfort. (815) 469-9400. Frankfortparks.org. Free.
Dogs can enjoy Halloween too at this event; which includes a costume contest, boneyard hunt and canine trick or treating.
Spooky Pooch Parade
11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Oct. 19 at Chicago Botanic Garden, 1000 Lake Cook Road, Glencoe. (847) 835-5440. Chicagobotanic.org. $20 member/$25 nonmember per dog.
Leashed canines in costumes can march in a Halloween parade and participate in a costume contest.
Trains, Tricks and Treats
10 a.m.-5 p.m. Oct. 19-20 at Chicago Botanic Garden, 1000 Lake Cook Road, Glencoe. (847) 835-5440. Chicagobotanic.org. $4-$6 plus parking.
Families are invited to come in costume and trick-or-treat throughout the Model Railroad Garden.
Haunted Ghost Story Train
4:30, 5:45 and 7 p.m. Oct. 22, 23, 29 and 30 at Fox River Trolley Museum, 361 S. LaFox St., South Elgin. (847) 697-4676. Foxtrolley.org. $10.
Ride the Ghost Story Trolley, then listen to spooky stories and enjoy s’mores around a campfire. Costumes welcome, suitable for all ages. Registration is required.
Searching for Peabody’s Tomb
7 p.m. Oct. 16-31 at Mayslake Peabody Estate, 1717 W. 31st St., Oak Brook. (630) 986-8067. Firstfolio.org. $10.
This interactive Halloween experience will take you through Mayslake Hall. Ages 12 and up.
‘Nightfall with Edgar Allan Poe’
Oct. 17-20 at Center Stage Theater, 1665 Quincy Avenue, Suite 131, Naperville. (630) 291-4402. Facebook.com/ColorBoxTheatre. $16.
Colorbox Theatre presents a theatrical experience based on four of Poe’s greatest tales: “The Raven,” “The Fall of the House of Usher,” “The Cask of Amontillado” and “The Tell-Tale Heart.”
‘All Hallows Eve: Village of Fear’
Oct. 18 and 19 at Naper Settlement, 523 S. Webster St., Naperville. (630) 420-6010. Napersettlement.museum. $15.
This event brings some of literature’s scariest characters to life; like Dracula, Sweeney Todd and Frankenstein’s monster.
‘Night of the Living Dead: The Musical’
8 p.m. Oct. 18-19, 25-26 at The Riverfront Playhouse, 11-13 S. Water St., Aurora. (630) 897-9496. Riverfrontplayhouse.com. Tickets, $15-$17.
The play is based on the classic movie “Night Of The Living Dead.” Costumed zombies get $2 off admission.
Oct. 19-20 at Billie Limacher Bicentennial Park, 201 W. Jefferson St., Joliet. (815) 724-3761. Bicentennialpark.org. $5.
The family-friendly play with puppets tells the story of a hospital run by Dr. Frankenstein. The park will open an hour before show time so kids can decorate pumpkins for $3.
‘The Legend of Sleepy Hollow’
Oct. 19-Nov. 3 at Steel Beam Children’s Theatre, 111 W. Main St., St. Charles. (630) 587-8521. Steelbeamtheatre.com. $10-$15.
Performances are 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. Saturdays and 1 p.m. Sundays from Oct. 19-Nov. 3. Nov. 1-2 performances are at 7:30 p.m.
2 p.m. Oct. 20 and 26 at Knoch Knolls Park, 336 Knoch Knolls Road; Seager Park, 1163 Plank Road Naperville. (630) 848-5000. Napervilleparks.org. $8-$12.
Take a hayride along the wooded trails at Seager Park or Knoch Knolls Park.
‘Death Comes to the Tanner House: 1923’
7-10 p.m. Oct. 24-30 at Tanner House, 304 Oak Ave., Aurora. (630) 906-0650. Aurorahistory.net. $12-$15.
A look at the losses of World War I and the Spanish influenza.
‘A Nightmare on Elm Street’
Oct. 25-27 at Hollywood Blvd., 1001 W. 75th St. Woodridge; Hollywood Palms, 352 S. Route 59, Naperville. Atriptothemovies.com. $6-$8.
Robert Englund, Freddy Krueger himself, hosts “A Nightmare on Elm Street” at Hollywood Palms and Hollywood Blvd. Cinemas, Oct. 25-27. The man and the movie will be at Hollywood Blvd. in Woodridge Oct. 25 and 27 and at Hollywood Palms in Naperville Oct. 26.
6-9 p.m. Oct. 25 at Romeoville Recreation Department, 900 W. Romeo Road, Romeoville. (815) 886-6222. Romeoville.org.
This free, family event includes a trick or treat trail, craft area, moon jumps and a children’s entertainer. A costume contest will start at 7 p.m.
6-9 p.m. Oct. 25 at Joliet Area Historical Museum, 204 N. Ottawa St., Joliet. (815) 723-5201. Jolietmuseum.org. $5.
Wear a costume and tour the museum’s “haunted galleries” and meet some paranormal ghost hunters. There will be crafts and games, kid-friendly ghost stories and a Monster Mash dance party.
Halloween Egg Hunt
5-8 p.m. Oct. 25 at Beecher Community Park, 908 Game Farm Road, Yorkville. (630) 553-2582. Yorkville.il.us.
The event includes hayrides, pumpkin carving, a costume contest and not-so-scary stories. At 7 p.m. the annual Halloween Egg Hunt begins. Wear your costumes; bring a flashlight and container for your eggs.
Halloween Night Walks
6-9 p.m. Oct. 25-26 at Fullersburg Woods Nature Education Center, 3609 Spring Road, Oak Brook (630) 933-7200. Dupageforest.org. $10.
Costumed guides lead guests through the haunted forest to see original, interactive nature-related skits on these 75-minute family-friendly hikes.
12:01 a.m., Oct. 26 at Tivoli Theatre, 5021 Highland Ave., Downers Grove. (630) 968-0219. Classiccinemas.com. $5.
Midnight showing of the Mel Brooks classic film.
Goblin Gallop 5K
9 a.m. Oct. 26 at Chicagoland Speedway, 500 Speedway Blvd., Joliet. (815) 724-3024. Crimestoppersofwillcounty.org. $35.
The course includes a lap around the NASCAR track, a trek through the “tunnel” to the north end of the Speedway, then back into the stadium, with the celebration ceremonies at Victory Lane.
Heritage Halloween Fun Fest
10 a.m.-2 p.m. Oct. 26 at Bartlett Village Hall, 228 S. Main St., Bartlett. (630) 924-4263. Bartlettheritagedays.com.
The costume parade begins at 10 a.m. at Village Hall and this year’s theme is Super Heroes.
10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Oct. 26
Batavia Riverwalk, corner of Island and Houston streets, Batavia. (630) 879-5235.
This Halloween-themed family event includes, downtown trick-or-treating, Mothers’ Club parade, pumpkin roll, contests, crafts and games. Join in (or watch from a safe distance) the Zombie Walk at 4 p.m.
9 a.m. Oct. 26 at Tivoli Theatre, 5021 Highland Ave., Downers Grove. (630) 946-1855. Classiccinemas.com.
Costume contest and free screening of “Hotel Transylvania” at 11 a.m.
10 a.m. Oct. 26 at 933A Curtiss St., Downers Grove. (630) 725-0991. Downtowndg.org.
A cast of costumed actors portrays former Downers Grove residents who are buried in the cemetery. Guests can gather around each actor to learn about their life and Downers Grove history.
7 p.m. Oct. 26 at Millennium Carillon, on the base of Rotary Hill, 443 W. Aurora Ave., Naperville. (630) 848-5000. Napervilleparks.org.
This free concert will feature both classical and popular music with spooky and atmospheric themes. The Élan Dance Company dancers will perform.
5 p.m. Oct. 26 at Challenge Fitness, 2021 S. Lawrence Ave., Lockport. (815) 838-3621. Lockportpark.org. $5-$11.
Swim and hunt in a pool of “blood” for your perfect pumpkin. There will be a DJ, treats, games and prizes.
5-9:30 p.m. Oct.26 at Plowman’s Park, 48W508 Hinkley Road, Big Rock. firstname.lastname@example.org. Halloween-fest.com. Free.
Activities include crafts, scarecrow making, a costume parade, a haunted house plus kid’s haunted house, fortune tellers, haunted trail hay ride, inflatables, face painting, live entertainment and door prizes.
Edgar Allan Poe Readings
5 and 8 p.m. Oct. 26 at Clarke House Museum, 1827 S. Indiana Ave., Chicago. (312) 326-1480. Glessnerhouse.org. $20-$25.
Actors from Lifeline Theatre stage readings of Poe’s terrifying stories and poetry in the restored 1850s interior of Clarke House Museum.
HallowFest: A Garden of Good ... and Evil
6-9 p.m. Oct. 26 and 4-7 p.m. Oct. 27 at Chicago Botanic Garden, 1000 Lake Cook Road, Glencoe. (847) 835-5440. Chicagobotanic.org. $17/$22 non-member.
The Garden comes alive with Halloween events, including spooky trails, a magic show with Dracula, a creepy, crawly creatures show and tell, face painting, fortune telling, Howlin’ Express train rides and spooky treats.
6-9 p.m. Oct. 31 at Community Recreation Center, 505 N. Springinsguth Road, Schaumburg. (847) 490-7020. Parkfun.com. $10-$12.
Activities include hay rides, crafts, carnival games, moonwalk, entertainment, prizes, candy and a haunted house. Pre-register by Oct. 30.