October 16, 2008

Get out there and play


This weekend, meet your favorite spooky, creepy and crawly creatures at Boo at the Zoo, hosted by the Brookfield Zoo. As part of the celebration, Zoo Chats take a decidedly spooky theme featuring animals such as black widow spiders, snakes and Mexican gray wolves, with zoo staff members telling kids all about these animals and more.


Wander around a maze made of 600 straw bales, then take in professional pumpkin carving demonstrations for ideas to carve your own pumpkins this year. Wear your costumes to participate in the costume parade, kicking off at 1 p.m. at the North Gate, which includes high school drum and bugle corps, marching bands and color guards. See how your costumes rate at the costume showcase at 1:30 p.m. for a chance to win a prize.


Head over to the Children’s Zoo, open until 3 p.m., with your little ones for un-scary activities such as‘pin the eye on the owl’ and scarecrow making. Character appearances will be made by several Chicago sports teams—including the Chicago Wolves and Chicago Steel—and Planet Heroes from Fisher Price. As you head home from your boo-, we mean zoo-, filled adventure, don’t forget to pick up your bag filled with treats from zoo volunteers.


Boo at the Zoo is at the Brookfield Zoo, First Avenue and 31st Street, Brookfield, 11 a.m. Saturdays and Sundays Oct. 18-26 and is included with general admission prices. For a full schedule of activities and more information, call (708) 688-8000 or visit brookfieldzoo.org.

Get your tickets here


This week, three lucky Chicago Parent readers will win four passes to see“Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey Circus presents Over the Top” coming to the Allstate Arena, 6920 Mannheim Road, Rosemont, Nov. 6-16 and the United Center, 1901 W. Madison St., Chicago, Nov. 18-30. The passes must be exchanged for tickets at the box office of choice and are valid for select performances. For more information, visit ringling.com. To win, visit our discussion board.


Get out there and play some more


You don’t have to be Charlie Brown to find“The Great Pumpkin.” This Saturday, celebrate the big, bright orange fruit you love to carve at The Great Pumpkin Fest from 10 a.m.-3 p.m.


But the festival isn’t just about pumpkins, with horse-drawn hayrides, train rides and games to name a few. Once you do pick out your perfect pumpkin, take an old-fashioned cake walk and then burn off some extra energy on the inflatable moonwalk.


The Great Pumpkin Festival will take place on Winnetka’s Village Green, on the corner of Elm and Maple streets, Winnetka. The festival is free, but some activities are extra. For more information, call (847) 446-5153 or visit wpsn.org.



Outside fun


Halloween is two weeks away and your kid still hasn’t chosen their costume, but that doesn’t mean you can’t start celebrating. Chicagoween, opening Friday through Oct. 31, offers your family plenty of festive fun to help you find the spirit of All Hallows Eve.


The festivities start at 5 p.m. Friday at Franken Plaza—better known as Daley Plaza—with pumpkin decorating, mask decorating and plenty of hair-raising performances from Midnight Circus. The aerial troupe, which travels exclusively on bikes, will perform acts including aerial ropes, acrobatic juggling and a special act by Lola the Circus Dog. After Friday, there are daily performances Thursday-Sunday. For hours, please visit the Web site. Free pumpkin decorating occurs Saturdays and Sundays.


New to this year’s Chicagoween are movies, a haunted house and pyrotechnic performers. Bring a chair or a blanket to watch scary movies under a tent starting at 6 p.m. including“The Goonies” (Saturday),“ET: The Extra-Terrestrial” (Sunday),“Monster House” (Oct. 25),“Ghostbusters” (Oct. 26) and the 1931 version of“Frankenstein” (Oct. 31). For more frightful entertainment, explore Monstro-city, a modern haunted house with a Chicago twist. Watch out for the oozing gore from the pipes. Oct. 23, 24, 30 and 31, watch the professionals play with fire through dance and theater as Spunn and Pyrotechniq perform at 5:30 and 7 p.m.


On Oct. 25, grab your costumes and start marching… in the State Street Halloween Happening Parade. The parade begins at noon at State and Randolph streets. Trick-or-treating and a costume contest will commence after the parade’s end. Stop by the Chicago Parent booth for a treat. Free flu shots are also provided to families on parade day. Pumpkin decorating and mask making are not available on parade day.


Want more haunting good fun? Check the city’s Web site for more activities at various parks, museums and libraries around the city through Oct. 31. Admission and activities at Chicagoween are free. Franken (Daley) Plaza, 50 W. Washington St., Chicago, is open 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday-Wednesday and 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Thursday-Sunday. For more information, visit chicagoween.us.


Piece of the prize


This week, five lucky Chicago Parent readers will win a Super WHY! costume (size 3T/4T). To win, visit our discussion board.

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