Chicago events calendar for October 2015. Best festivals, fun things to do, weekend street fairs, kids activities and Halloween haunted houses in Chicago, Illinois.

Best events for 12 months -
Best events for 12 months
October 2015
October 2015

Enjoy the best Chicago events, festivals, and things to do with this calendar of events.

Mileage is from the Wrigley Building in downtown Chicago, Illinois.

Odd romantic musical

October 1 - 18, 2015 (begins Sept. 5)

4.8 miles north

Three Marines deploying for Vietnam bet who can get the ugliest date in Dogfight, a rousing song and dance adventure about unexpected love, loss, and brotherhood at Theater Wit. Discount tickets $15.

Fresh Peter Pan

October 1 - 18, 2015 (also Sept.)

18 miles west

Peter and the Starcatcher is a swashbuckling prequel to Peter Pan, a madcap adventure with music, pirates, orphans, and secret agents of the Queen, at Drury Lane Theatre for age 10+. Discount tickets $28.

Monty Python musical

October 1 - 25, 2015 (begins Sept. 10)

26 miles NW

Winner of 3 Tony awards, Monty Python’s Spamalot (rhymes with Camelot) is a silly tale of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table at Metropolis Performing Arts Centre in Arlington Heights. Discount tickets $19.

Artists Month

October 1 - 31, 2015

Chicago area

Enjoy performances, exhibitions, open studios, demonstrations, and neighborhood art walks during Chicago Artists Month.

Family haunts

Oct. 1 - 31, 2015 (Sept. 26 to Nov. 1)

32 miles SW

The Haunted Barn at Bengtson’s Pumpkin Farm in Homer Glen is fine for mature kids. The Fun Barn will entertain even the youngest children. Also visit the corn maze, kiddie rides, and petting zoo.

Aurora haunted house

Oct. 1 - 31, 2015 (Sept. 26 to Nov. 1)

38 miles west

Basement of the Dead and Shattered 3D are two horrifying attractions in one place. See schedule.

Discount VIP pass for two: $49.

Joliet haunted house

October 1 - Nov. 1, 2015

38 miles SW

Take a 40-minute trip through 40 terrifying rooms and play Zombie Paintball at Statesville Haunted Prison & City of the Dead [sound] in Crest Hill. Open Thurs. to Sun. plus Oct. 28.

Who killed JFK?

October 1 - Nov. 8, 2015

0.4 miles west

Your worst paranoid nightmares are realized when Assassination Theater proves its theory about who killed President John F. Kennedy, at the Museum of Broadcast Communications. Discount tickets $25.

Family drama by Steinbeck

October 1 - Nov. 15, 2015 (begins Sept. 17)

3 miles NW

East of Eden is a play based on John Steinbeck’s novel about a family starting over in California, at Steppenwolf Downstairs Theatre.

Discount tickets $26 to $52.

Art fair indoors

October 2 - 3, 2015

2.5 miles west

Enjoy visual art, music, and fashion in restaurants and shops during West Town Art Walk. Party central is 1850 W Chicago Ave. Free.

Oktoberfest in Naperville

October 2 - 3, 2015

32 miles SW

Enjoy live music from classic German to classic rock, German beer and food, and family-friendly activities on Saturday at Oktoberfest.

Knitting show

October 2 - 4, 2015

0.7 miles south

Vogue Knitting Live features knitting classes, fashion shows, and vendors at Palmer House Hilton Hotel.

LEGO expo

October 2 - 4, 2015

17 miles NW

Brick Fest Live features activities, exhibits, and vendors of LEGO plastic bricks at Rosemont convention center. Discount tickets $20.

Flower bulb festival

October 2 - 4, 2015

24 miles north

Find more than 200 varieties of bulbs, gourmet foods, gardening demonstrations, live music, and kids’ activities at the Fall Bulb Festival at the Chicago Botanic Garden in Glencoe. Free except parking.

Lake Zurich beer festival

October 2 - 4, 2015

39 miles NW

Taste 45 craft beers, hear live music, and browse arts & crafts in the park at Lake Zurich Craft Beer Fest.

Rock musical

October 2 - 25, 2015 (also Sept.)

3.4 miles NW

American Idiot features the music of Green Day and a story of three friends choosing between their dreams and the safety of the suburbs at The Den Theatre. Discount tickets $10 to $18.

Intense haunted house

October 2 - 31, 2015

45 miles NW

The Realm of Terror Horror Experience is halfway to Milwaukee in Round Lake Beach. See hours.

Haunted House at Rosemont

October 2 - Nov. 1, 2015

14 miles NW

Disturbia is a 35-room nightmare at MB Financial Park at Rosemont. See hours.

Villa Park nightmare

October 2 - Nov. 1, 2015 (schedule)

21 miles west

Great American Nightmare [sound] is 3 high-tech haunted houses based on Rob Zombie’s horror films for age 13+ in the Odeum Expo Center. See hours.

Modern dance

October 3, 2015 (7:30 p.m.)

1 mile south

Known for their passion, athleticism, and technical precision, River North Dance Chicago performs its most popular works of 23 years at the Auditorium Theatre. Discount tickets $28.

Apple festival

October 3, 2015

7 miles NW

Get some apple pie and cider, listen to local music, or visit the kid zone at Apple Fest on N Lincoln Avenue from Leland to Lawrence. Donation.

Oktoberfest in Roselle

October 3 - 4, 2015

30 miles west

Oktoberfest at Lynfred Winery includes a pig roast, grape stomping, wine tasting, and crowds.

Circus in the park

October 3 - 18, 2015 (begins Aug. 29)

Chicago locations

Midnight Circus in the Parks is a series of daytime shows at eight parks that’s perfect for families.

Walking tour & brunch

October 3 - 31, 2015 (Sat. 9:30 a.m.)

0.4 miles SE

River Walk Brunch Tour is a one-mile guided walk along the Chicago River, which includes a buffet brunch at Houlihans. Discount tickets $25.

Fashion shows

October 4 - 12, 2015

Chicago locations

Fashion Focus is a week-long celebration of Chicago’s fashion industry that includes designer shows in a tent at Millennium Park.

Comedy film festival

October 6 - 8, 2015

2 miles south

See funny feature films, short films, and student films at Chicago Comedy Film Festival at Showplace ICON Theater. Pre-party Thurs., post-party Sat.


October 6 - 20, 2015

3 miles west

Cheer for the Chicago Bulls playing a pre-season game in United Center.

Discount tickets $35.

Magic show

October 7 - 28, 2015 (8 p.m. Wednesdays)

3.3 miles north

The Magic Cabaret entertains with mind-boggling sleight of hand and audience participation in small Greenhouse Theater Center. Discount tickets $10.

Whisky tasting

October 8, 2015 (6:30 p.m.)

1 mile south

Whisky Extravaganza includes unlimited tastes from distillers and a buffet at the Union League Club. The dress code requires a jacket.

Beer tasting in the garden

October 8, 2015 (6 to 8 p.m.)

24 miles north

Sample seasonally selected beers, and then purchase them by the bottle at Autumn Brews at Chicago Botanic Garden in Glencoe.

Halloween Segway tour

October 8 - 31, 2015

0.7 miles south

Step onto a Segway and follow your guide in ghoulish costume on a Haunted Halloween Tour of Chicago’s haunted hotels and sites of gruesome disasters.

Marathon & fitness expo

October 9 - 11, 2015

Chicago locations

The free Chicago Marathon Health & Fitness Expo is Friday and Saturday at McCormick Place. The Chicago Marathon begins and ends Sunday in Grant Park, with a post-race party in Butler Field.

Andersonville arts weekend

October 9 - 11, 2015

8 miles north

Andersonville Arts & Design Weekend starts Fri. night with receptions in galleries and shops, followed by scheduled exhibits, readings, shows, and art walks.

Pumpkin festival

October 9 - 11, 2015

28 miles north

The Great Highwood Pumpkin Festival has a parade, pet costumes, 5K races, hayrides, vendors, pumpkin carving and lighting in Highwood. See schedule.

Scarecrow festival

October 9 - 11, 2015

37 miles west

Vote for your favorite handmade scarecrow at Scarecrow Fest, which includes live entertainment, arts and crafts, food, a carnival, and a petting zoo in St. Charles. Free.

Vegan event

October 10, 2015

9 miles north

Vegan Mania includes samples, speakers, live music, and a food court at the Broadway Armory. (Unlike vegetarians, vegans don’t eat eggs and milk.) Free.

Farm festival

October 10, 2015

22 miles west

Heritage Day celebrates fall with arts and crafts, a bluegrass band, demonstrations (spinning, weaving, candle making), and colonial soldiers who fire a cannon on the hour at Fischer Farm in Bensenville. Free except pony rides, petting zoo, and food items.

Kids’ haunted house

October 10 - 11 and 24 - 25, 2015

40 miles NW

Psychosis Haunted House in Elgin does a low-scare Kids’ Matinee with candy from 1 to 3 p.m.

Columbus Day Parade

October 12, 2015 (12:30 p.m.)

1.3 miles south

The Columbus Day Parade celebrates the historic voyage of Christopher Columbus to America and Italian-American culture on State Street from Wacker to Van Buren. Free.

Ideas Week

October 12 - 18, 2015

Chicago locations

Attend talks, labs, and dinners with inspirational thought leaders (artists, scientists, musicians, inventors, explorers) during Chicago Ideas Week.

Pinball Expo

October 14 - 18, 2015

32 miles north

Pinball Expo has a game hall, tournament, vendors, speakers, and a banquet at the Westin in Wheeling.

Film festival

October 15 - 29, 2015

0.5 mile east

The Chicago International Film Festival features more than 100 short and full-length films from 50 countries, free panel discussions, and opening night gala. Films show at the AMC River East 21.

Wine tasting

October 16 - 17, 2015

1.5 miles SW

Choose from 250 wines to taste at Wine Riot in the Great Hall at Union Station, and track your favorites on the free mobile app. Repeats May.

Family Halloween

October 16 - 18, 2015

36 miles SW

Halloween Hollow has carnival rides, hayrides, pony rides, laser tag, contests, treats, entertainment, and food at 10925 W La Porte Road in Mokena.

Home Movie Day

October 17, 2015

1.8 miles north

See home movies and bring your own to be shown at Home Movie Day at Chicago History Museum. Free.

Green Halloween

October 17, 2015

11 miles west

The Green Pumpkin Trail begins at Oak Park Visitors Bureau and includes healthy snacks and activities in local shops for kids 3 to 8. Costume optional. Free.

Beer tasting

October 17, 2015 (6 to 11 p.m.)

17 miles SW

Taste 150 craft and import beers with food and live entertainment at indoor Brew Moon Fest in McCook.

Architectural open house

October 17 - 18, 2015

Chicago locations

Get a rare behind-the-scenes look at 150 of the city’s finest buildings during Open House Chicago. Free.

Boo! at the Zoo

October 17-18 and 24-25, 2015

14 miles SW

Boo! at the Zoo has games and activities for kids, a hayride, and a costume parade at 1 p.m. at the Brookfield Zoo.

Wearable art show

October 18, 2015

47 miles wet

Uncommon Threads is a luncheon and juried fashion show of fine textile works at Q Center in St. Charles.

Pumpkin carving for grown ups

October 21, 2015 (7 to 9 p.m.)

5.8 miles north

The Pumpkin Carving Party includes everything you need to carve a jack-o-lantern masterpiece, plus food and drinks specials at Matilda for age 23+.

Jazz dance

October 23 - 24, 2015 (7:30 p.m.)

0.5 miles

Jazz dance company Giordano Dance Chicago performs its high-energy artistry in the Fall Series repertoire at Harris Theater.

Discount tickets $38.

Culinary events

October 23 - 24, 2015

7 miles SW

Taste Chicago features a cocktail reception and dinner by celebrity chefs at Geraghty Gallery on Friday, plus cooking demonstrations on Saturday.

Children’s film festival

October 23 - Nov. 1, 2015

Chicago locations

Billed as North America’s largest film festival for children, the Chicago International Children’s Film Festival (CICFF) showcases the best in culturally diverse, non-violent, value-affirming new cinema for children and offers interactive workshops.

Beer festival

October 24, 2015

1.5 miles SW

Buy tickets online for beer tasting and snacks during an afternoon or evening session at The Chicago Beer Festival in Union Station. Repeats March.

Halloween at the zoo

October 24, 2015 (11 a.m. to 2 p.m.)

2.5 miles north

Kids can wear costumes, trick-or-treat, hear music, make crafts, and see a haunted house at Spooky Zoo Spectacular at Lincoln Park Zoo. Free.

Macaroni & cheese festival

October 24, 2015

3 miles SW

Try cheesy dishes by 50 chefs (from truffle-braised duck to white cheddar and chorizo), and then vote for the best at Mac & Cheese Fest at UIC Forum.

Halloween flea market

October 24, 2015

31 miles west

Come in costume to the Wheaton Haunted Halloween Flea Market, which features a zombie crawl and dance with live music, plus antiques & collectibles for sale at DuPage County Fairgrounds.

BatFest for families

October 24, 2015

44 miles west

BatFest has a parade, pumpkin roll, entertainment, trick-or-treating, hayrides, games, and farmers’ market in Batavia. Free.

Halloween festival

October 24 - 25, 2015 (evening)

24 miles north

Chicago Botanic Garden in Glencoe is full of spooky sights and fun activities for children and adults evenings during HallowFest. Buy tickets early.

Expand your mind

October 24 - Nov. 8, 2015

Chicago locations

Chicago Humanities Festival is a series of talks and events that explore the human condition and feature exciting thinkers, artists, and performers.

Andersonville Dessert Crawl

October 25, 2015

9 miles north

A ticket gets you sweet treats at a dozen local restaurants on Andersonville Dessert Crawl.

Halloween run

October 25, 2015

13 miles north

Trick or Treat Trot is a 6K plus kids’ races in and near Northwestern’s campus in Evanston, with snacks.

Halloween for kids

October 25, 2015

32 miles west

Kids 10 and under will enjoy fun activities, games, fairytales, and treats at Halloween Happening at Naperville Riverwalk’s Grand Pavilion.

Film festival

October 28 - Nov. 8, 2015

mutiple locations

Chicago Festival of Israeli Cinema shows 18 films about Israeli culture at Music Box Theatre and AMC Northbrook Court, with first-night cocktail reception.

Halloween dance class

October 30, 2015 (uncertain)

5 miles NW

Learn spooky dances like Thriller in a dance class, with guided practice, a costume contest and BYOB at Halloween Dance Party at Duet Dance Studio, 21+.

Ghost stories

October 30, 2015

41 miles north

Award-winning Ray Bradbury Storytelling Festival features ghost stories, macabre fables, and creepy tales at Genesee Theatre in Waukegan.

Halloween pub crawls

October 29 - 31, 2015

Multiple locations

Get drink specials at great bars (costume optional).

Masquerade ball

October 31, 2015

1 mile east

Join 3,000 revelers at Chicago’s Masquerade Ball, which features 30 cash bars, DJ dance rooms, and a view terrace at Navy Pier.

Halloween costume party

October 31, 2015

4 miles NW

The Halloween Party at Atomic Imaging/Golan Studios includes multiple open bars, buffet, live and DJ dance rooms, a costume contest, films, and amazing decorations. Costume and ID required.

Halloween parade for adults

October 31, 2015 (7 p.m.)

4 miles north

Register and wear a Halloween costume to join the Northalsted Street Halloween Parade, or watch from the sidewalk on Halsted St. from Belmont to Addison.

Spooky Pooch Parade

October 31, 2015 (11 a.m. to 1 p.m.)

24 miles north

Dogs in costume are allowed to enter the Chicago Botanic Garden two hours every year for the Spooky Pooch Parade and costume contest.

Halloween carnival

October 31, 2015

32 miles NW

Kids 14 and under can enjoy hayrides, crafts, carnival games, entertainment, and trick-or-treating at Halloween Boonanza in Schaumburg.

Freaky Halloween concert

October 31, 2015

40 miles west

Midwest Freakfest is a multi-stage show that includes 50 music acts, vendors, and a costume contest at Pheasant Run Resort in St. Charles.

Beer festival

October 2015 (undated)

6.3 north

BeerHoptacular is all about celebrating craft beers, voting for the best, and hearing live music at the Aragon Ballroom.

Adventure day at Northerly Island

October 2015 (undated)

3 miles south

Enjoy arts and crafts, fishing, a nature hike, and kayaking at Fall Adventure Day, which has outdoor education on the lakefront at Northerly Island. Free.

Morton Grove haunted house

October 2015 (undated)

14 miles NW

Fear City and Our Lady of the Cursed are two creepy attractions in a 40,000 square-foot building.

Aurora haunted house

October 2015 (undated)

42 miles SW

Abyss Horror Zone has three intense experiences for mature audiences off Route 34. See schedule.

Non-traditional Halloween

October 2015 (undated)

3.3 miles north

Spend two hours exploring a magical playground with weird inventions, films, music, games, fun rooms, and treats during Skelebration at Redmoon Theater.

Halloween downtown

October 2015 (undated)

0.4 miles south

Chicago Cultural Center has spooky decorations, music, theater performances, costume contest, and arts and crafts during Happy Hauntings. Free.

Halloween at Navy Pier

October 2015 (undated)

1 mile east

Halloween at Navy Pier includes costume contests Saturday, fireworks Saturday at 9:30 p.m., and trick-or-treating for children ages 12 and under in costume on four days. Free.

Clark Street Spooktacular

October 2015 (undated)

3 miles north

Clark Street Spooktacular has family-friendly games, trick-or-treating, street magicians, jugglers, balloon artists, and a costume contest. Free.

Creative Halloween party

October 2015 (undated)

3.3 miles north

Boneshaker has interactive experiences, inventive machines, creative food and cocktails, acrobats, and three DJ dance floors at Redmoon Theater.
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© October 2015 calendar of events in Chicago, IL: Halloween haunted houses, parties, festivals, best things to do in Chicago, Illinois.