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.

Pumpkin patches & corn mazes

October 1 - 31, 2015

Chicago area

Visit pumpkin patches at local farms for fun family activities, or romp through the cornfields in corn mazes.

Haunted farm

October 1 - Nov. 1, 2015

32 miles SW

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

Aurora haunted house

October 1 - Nov. 1, 2015

38 miles west

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

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.

Morton Grove haunted house

Oct. 1 - Nov. 7, 2015 (begins Sept. 25)

14 miles NW

House of Torment has two themes at 8240 N. Austin Ave. in Morton Grove.

Artists Month

October 1 - Nov. 15, 2015

Chicago area

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

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.

Lake Zurich beer fest

October 2 - 3, 2015

39 miles NW

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

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.

Beer festival

October 2 - 4, 2015

2.2 miles west

Rocktober Beerfest offers beers, bratwurst, and live music under a heated tent at Randolph and Ogden.

Neighborhood Oktoberfest

October 2 - 4, 2015

8 miles NW

St. Benedict’s Oktoberfest features German food, beer, and party bands under tents in St. Benedict’s Courtyard, plus a kids’ carnival. Free entry.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Tasting event

October 4, 2015

7 miles NW

Sample signature dishes made by renowned chefs at 12 grilling stations during Taste Talks All-Star BBQ at Palmer Square Park.

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.

Haunted House at Rosemont

October 4 - Nov. 1, 2015

14 miles NW

Disturbia: Screams in the Park [sound] is a 35-room nightmare at MB Financial Park at Rosemont. See hours.

Whisky tasting

October 8, 2015

1 mile south

The 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

24 miles north

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

Andersonville arts weekend

October 9 - 11, 2015

8 miles north

Andersonville Arts 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.

Bacon and beer

October 10, 2015

2 miles south

Enjoy craft beer, bacon-inspired tastes from local restaurants, music, and interactive games at Bacon and Beer Classic at Soldier Field.

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.

Marathon & fitness expo

October 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.

Halloween Segway tour

October 11 - 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.

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 an 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.

Adventure day at Northerly Island

October 17, 2015 (10 a.m. to 2 p.m.)

3 miles south

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

Green Halloween

October 17, 2015 (11 a.m. to 3 p.m.)

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 200 of the city’s finest buildings during Open House Chicago. Free.

Chili festival

October 17 - 18, 2015

1 mile NW

Chili Fest Chicago has three kinds of tickets (taste chili, or drink craft beer and mimosas, or both) at 218 West Ohio Street in River North

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.

Drink beer for the beasts

October 20, 2015

5 miles NW

Enjoy unlimited appetizers and five house beers during Pints for Pets to protect animals at Revolution Brewing on Milwaukee Avenue for age 21+.

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+.

Beer & music event

October 23, 2015

0.5 miles west

Enjoy craft beer, food pairings, and live music at Local Brews Local Grooves at House of Blues.

Irish Oktoberfest

October 23, 2015 (7 p.m.)

9.2 miles NW

McToberfest features live German and Irish music, dance, food, and drink at the Irish American Heritage Center.

Culinary events

October 23 - 24, 2015

7 miles SW

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

Halloween at Navy Pier

October 23 - 31, 2015

1 mile east

Halloween at Navy Pier includes trick-or-treating Oct. 24, 30, and 31; a costume contest at 6 p.m. and fireworks at 9:30 p.m. Oct. 31; and spooky movies Fri. & Sat. (To see movie list, click their tiny blue arrow.) Free.

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. Films.

Halloween festival & parade

October 24, 2015 (2 to 8 p.m.)

Downtown Chicago

Halloween Gathering features family-friendly activities on Chicago’s Cultural Mile, a kids’ costume parade in Maggie Daley Park, and a 6 p.m. parade on Columbus from Balbo to Monroe. Free.

Beer festival

October 24, 2015 (1 or 6 p.m.)

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.

Clark Street Spooktacular

October 24, 2015 (1 to 5 p.m.)

3 miles north

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

Street party in Elgin

October 24, 2015

37 miles NW

Nightmare on Chicago Street is a zombie-theme party with with two stages of entertainment, bands, food, booze, food vendors, a costume contest, and graffiti artists on Chicago Street between Douglas & Villa.

BatFest for families

October 24, 2015

44 miles west

BatFest has a parade, pumpkin roll, entertainment, trick-or-treating, hayrides, games, and a 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 during HallowFest. Buy tickets early.

Kids’ haunted house

October 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.

Halloween pub crawls

October 24 - 31, 2015

Multiple locations

Get drink specials at bars (costume optional).

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. Program.

Andersonville Dessert Crawl

October 25, 2015 (2 to 5 p.m.)

8 miles north

A ticket gets you sweet treats at 11 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.

Free Halloween movies

October 25 - 31, 2015

10 miles north

Scare Fest shows scary movies at 9:30 p.m. (with cocktails for sale) plus family-friendly movies Halloween Day at The New 400 Theaters. Free.

Film festival

October 28 - Nov. 8, 2015

Chicago locations

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

Horror shows

October 29 - Nov. 7, 2015

5 miles north

See murderous and macabre sketch comedy, cabaret, dance, burlesque, and plays at Chicago Horror Theatre Festival at Stage 773.

Teen Halloween

October 30, 2015 (7 to 11 p.m.)

3.4 miles SW

Explore an imaginative playground with weird inventions, video games, DJs, dancing, and food trucks during Skelebration at Redmoon Theater for ages 15 to 20.

Halloween dance class

October 30, 2015 (9 to 11 p.m.)

5 miles NW

Halloween Tango Dance Party has a Game of Thrones theme, a dance class with guided practice, a costume contest, and BYOB at Duet Dance Studio for age 21+.

Halloween dance party

October 30, 2015 (11 p.m.)

7.2 miles north

Nocturna All Hallow’s Eve Ball by American Gothic Productions has DJ dance music (goth, industrial, post-punk, deathrock, ethereal, ebm, new wave, darkwave, dark indie), performances, and a costume contest for age 18+ at Metro Chicago on N. Clark.

Ghost stories

October 30, 2015 (10:30 a.m.)

41 miles north

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

Fairy tale Halloween

October 30 - 31, 2015

13 miles north

Young children wear costumes and meet adults dressed as fairy tale characters at Fairy Tale Trail, an 8-room maze at the The Woman’s Club of Evanston.

Halloween party - Lucky Strike

October 31, 2015 (9 p.m. to 2 a.m.)

0.6 miles NE

Saints & Sinners is a costume ball with open bowling, a cash bar, and all-night dancing at Lucky Strike.

Vintage Halloween bash

October 31, 2015 (9 p.m. to midnight)

0.6 miles east

MasquArcade features DJ music (swing, house, and alternative), and cabaret performers in a “steampunk circus” style arcade room at FTW for age 21+. Free.

Halloween cruise

October 31, 2015

1 mile east

Put on a costume and arrive early for a cruise on Lake Michigan with DJ music and a cash bar for age 21+.

Halloween party - Congress Plaza

October 31, 2015

1 mile south

The Haunted Halloween Ball is a giant costume party at the Congress Plaza Hotel for age 21+, and a pre-party Oct. 30.

Halloween party - Navy Pier

October 31, 2015 (8 p.m.)

1 mile east

Join 3,000 revelers age 21+ at The Haunted Halloween Ball in the Grand Ballroom at Navy Pier, which also includes access to the Saints & Sinners Halloween at Lakeview Terrace.

Halloween party - opera house

October 31, 2015 (8 p.m. to midnight)

1 mile SW

A Night at the Opera House features DJ music, an open bar, and food for sale at the Civic Opera House. Costume optional.

Halloween party - Redmoon

October 31, 2015 (9 p.m. to 2 a.m.)

3.4 miles SW

Boneshaker is a costume party with interactive experiences, inventive machines, creative food and cocktails, DJs, dancing, and arcade games at Redmoon Theater for age 21+. (See Oct. 30 for age 15 to 20 party.)

Halloween costume party

October 31, 2015

4 miles NW

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

Halloween parade

October 31, 2015 (4 p.m.)

4 miles north

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

Halloween Party - Chop Shop

October 31, 2015 (9 p.m. to 1 a.m.)

4.1 miles NW

The Black Market Ball includes a haunting show with 20 performers, beer and wine until midnight, DJs, and a costume contest, at the Chop Shop for age 21+.

Freaky Halloween party

October 31, 2015 (8 p.m. to 5 a.m.)

16 miles SW

Midwest Freakfest is a multi-stage music and entertainment show with food and drinks for sale in McCook for age 17+ with ID. Video.

Halloween parade for dogs

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 (5 to 8 p.m.)

32 miles NW

Kids will enjoy hayrides, crafts, carnival games, entertainment, and trick-or-treating at Halloween Boonanza in Schaumburg.
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© October 2015 calendar of events in Chicago, IL: Halloween haunted houses, parties, festivals, best things to do in Chicago, Illinois.