6 Chicago Halloween Spooks for kids

It’s the most spectacularly spooky time of year, and Chicago has heaps of hauntingly playful activities to celebrate. Beware: sugar highs and adorable costumes ahead.

For the little pumpkins

Ghost stories of Chicagoland

Chicago Water Tower

As one of the few buildings to survive the Great Chicago Fire, this tower is bound to be haunted by a few lost souls. According to legend, one of the tower workers manning the pipes at the time was trapped. Instead of facing death by fire, he hanged himself in the upper level of the tower. Locals and tourists have claimed over the years to see the shadow of the hanging man through the upstairs window.

Al Capone’s grave

The former crime boss of Chicagoland is buried in Hillside, where locals rumor that his troubled spirit still resides. In his final years of life, Capone believed he was haunted by a ghost’s presence. Many Chicagoland residents still leave tokens on the gangster’s grave to appease his restless soul.

Resurrection Catholic Cemetery

Resurrection Mary went dancing with her boyfriend in the 1930s, but when they got into an argument, she took off walking down Archer Road. She was hit by a car and left for dead. Ever since, passersby have claimed to see her ghost hitchhiking in her party dress and racing into Resurrection Catholic Cemetery.

Biograph Theater

This theater near Lincoln Park is where infamous bank robber John Dillinger took his final breath. After notably dodging police for years, Dillinger caught a Clark Gable movie in the Biograph and was shot by an FBI agent as he left. Patrons can still go watch performances at the landmark, now known as the Victory Gardens Theater, and walk into the renowned alley, where many have reported seeing Dillinger’s ghost lurking.

Go batty

Holy spooks, Batman! The bat cave at Brookfield Zoo might not have an ultra-cool superhero dwelling inside, but it is the perfect seasonal spook for an adventurous tyke. Take on the epic mission of trekking through the bat house and spend the rest of the day looking at cuter, less icky animals. czs.org

Mummy and me

Mummy needs some adult time. At “Strolling through History: Magic& Mummies” at the Oriental Institute Museum on Oct. 13, you can take a light-hearted gallery tour with other parents and their babies, all 18 months and younger. After the tour, babies get special playtime while you get grown-up conversation. oi.uchicago.edu

For the ghosts in between

Survive the Zombie Apocalypse

Who in your family would survive a zombie apocalypse? Find out by visiting Wheeler Park on Oct. 24 to join in the Zombie Apocalypse, where families will have the chance to test their survival skills in the “land of the undead” through a zombie obstacle course. Go from 5-6 p.m. for kids 10 and under to join in the fun or from 6:30-9:30 p.m. for those ready for an even more deadly challenge. genevaparks.org

Hop onboard the eerie express

Calling all kids who love ghost stories, trains and s’mores. (Basically, every kid ever.) Fox River Trolley Museum takes families out on its Ghost Story Trolley Tour on Oct. 17 and 24. You’ll ride to the John Duerr Forest Preserve, gather around a roaring campfire, listen to creeeepy stories, sing songs and eat the greatest snack known to man. foxtrolley.org

For the teen wolves

Don’t act like you aren’t scared

Six Flags Great America’s Fright Fest is a teen Halloween tradish with more than a month’s worth of thrills and chills. Ride your favorite roller coasters by moonlight, run through an amusement park filled with the living dead and visit multiple haunted houses in just one trip. sixflags.com

This film fest kills

Music Box Theatre’s annual horror film fest, Music Box of Horrors, is a scream. The theater screens obscure and classic flicks of the scariest order each October, which makes for the perfect hipster teen date night or family fun experience. musicboxtheatre.com

- Advertisement -


Family Travel Guide to Wisconsin Dells: What’s New in 2024

Uncover Wisconsin Dells’ family-friendly attractions and activities, perfect for creating the most unforgettable vacation.

Brighten Your Day at These Sunflower Fields Near Chicagoland

These sunflower fields near Chicagoland are filled with brilliant blooms from July through Labor Day.

These Are The Top 10 Healthiest Places to Live in Cook County

Explore Cook County’s healthiest places to live in 2024, ranked by Niche.

Celebrate Christmas in July at Santa’s Village Amusement & Water Park

Make every day a holiday with kiddie rides, petting zoos, carnival games and more at this beloved holiday-themed amusement park.

- Advertisement -