Chicago events October 2019. Things to do in Chicago.

Best events for 12 months

Chicago events October 2019

Pumpkin patches & corn mazes

October 1 - 31, 2019
Chicago area
Visit pumpkin patches at local farms for fun family activities, or wander cornfields in corn mazes.

Halloween farm

October 1 - Nov. 3, 2019
(begins Sept. 13)
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 enjoy kids’ rides, pig races, a pumpkin chucker, and a petting zoo.

A taste of Korea

October 4, 2019
(6 p.m.)
7.5 miles north
A ticket to Eat, Drink, Korea gets you “an evening of phenomenal food [made by acclaimed chefs], adult beverages, and music” at Ravenswood Event Center to support North Korean refugees living in China.

Oktoberfest in Naperville

October 4 - 5, 2019
32 miles SW
Enjoy live music from classic German to classic rock, German beer and food, and family-friendly activities at Oktoberfest.

Neighborhood Oktoberfest

October 4 - 6, 2019
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.

Flower bulb festival

October 4 - 6, 2019
24 miles north
Find 250 varieties of bulbs, gourmet foods, beer, wine, cider, gardening demonstrations, live music, and kids’ activities at the Fall Bulb Festival at the Chicago Botanic Garden in Glencoe. Free except parking.

Celtic festival

October 5, 2019
35 miles NW
Celebrate Ireland, Wales, and Scotland at Northwest Celtic Fest, with dancing and music on two stages, a Celtic marketplace, food vendors, craft beer, Irish Wolfhound dogs, and kids’ activities at Sears Centre Arena in Hoffman Estates. Free including parking.

Apple festival

October 5 - 6, 2019
7 miles NW
Buy apple pie and cider, listen to local music, and visit the kids’ zone at Apple Fest on Lincoln Avenue (from Lawrence to Eastwood). Donation $5.

Food convention

October 5 - 6, 2019
16.1 miles NW
Watch cooking demonstrations, learn how to make cocktails, see celebrity chefs, sample food and wine, and shop from vendors at the Great Food Expo at the convention center in Rosemont.

Ticket deal $8 (or 2 for $10)

Women’s expo

October 5 - 6, 2019
17 miles NW
Hear celebrity speakers, watch chef demos, and shop from 600 vendors of beauty and health products at the Chicago Ultimate Women’s Expo [website has sound] in Rosemont convention center.

Circus in the park

October 5 - 20, 2019
(begins Aug. 24)
Chicago locations
Midnight Circus in the Parks is a series of shows at nine parks, which is perfect for families.

Halloween in the Parks

October 5 - 26, 2019
Chicago area parks
Enjoy family-friendly parties, dances, movies, pumpkin patches, haunted houses, craft-making, and fall festivals during Halloween in the Parks.

Ghost tour

October 5 - 26, 2019
0.5 miles SW
Take a 1.5-hour spooky stroll through downtown as your guide talks about the graveyard under Lincoln Park and Chicago’s love affair with gangsters, guns, crime, and murder on the Haunted History & Ghost Tour, beginning outside The Oriental Theatre.

Wine & dessert walk

October 6, 2019
5.2 miles north
A ticket to Lakeview East Wine & Sweets Stroll includes a glass, wine samples, and sweet bites in 12 neighborhood shops for age 21+.

Drink beer for the beasts

October 7, 2019
6.8 miles SW
A ticket to Pints for Pets includes appetizers and three drink tokens for house beer at Lagunitas Brewing Company for age 21+.

Beer tasting in the garden

October 10, 2019
24 miles north
Sample seasonally selected beers and then purchase them by the bottle, with light food for sale at Autumn Brews at Chicago Botanic Garden in Glencoe for age 21+.

Beer festival

October 11, 2019
(6:30 to 10 p.m.)
7.9 miles north
FestivAle offers Midwest specialty brews plus food and a silent auction for charity at Artifact Events.

Comics convention

October 11 - 13, 2019
17 miles NW
ACE Comic Con Midwest features superheroes, comic creators, WWE wrestling superstars, panel programming, and 100 vendors at Rosemont convention center.

Pumpkin festival

October 11 - 13, 2019
28 miles north
The Great Highwood Pumpkin Festival has trick-or-treating Fri., a 5K run/walk Sat., costume contests Sun., carnival rides, vendors, pumpkin carving, and a wall of lit pumpkins in Highwood. See schedule.

Scarecrow festival

October 11 - 13, 2019
37 miles west
Vote for your favorite handmade scarecrow at Scarecrow Fest, which includes three stages of entertainment, arts and crafts, food, a carnival, and a petting zoo in downtown St. Charles. Free.

Bacon and beer

October 12, 2019
(2 p.m., VIP 1 p.m.)
2.5 miles south
Enjoy bacon-inspired tastes from local restaurants, craft beer, music, and interactive games at Bacon and Beer Classic at Soldier Field.

Farm festival

October 12, 2019
(12 to 6 p.m.)
22 miles west
Harvest Fest [formerly Heritage Day] celebrates fall with arts and crafts, a bluegrass band, and demonstrations (spinning, weaving, doll & candle making) at Fischer Farm in Bensenville. Free except pony rides, petting zoo, and food for sale.

Ideas Week

October 12 - 17, 2019
Chicago locations
Attend talks, labs, and dinners with inspirational thought leaders (artists, scientists, musicians, inventors, and explorers) during Chicago Ideas Week.

Halloween at Brookfield Zoo

October 12-13, 19-20, and 26-27, 2019
14 miles SW
Boo at the Zoo has candy stations, kids’ crafts, a hayride, a corn maze, animal chats, a 1 p.m. costume parade, and hourly pumpkin smashing at the Brookfield Zoo.

Halloween parade for dogs

October 13, 2019
(11 a.m. to 1 p.m.)
24 miles north
Dogs in costume are allowed to enter the Chicago Botanic Garden once a year for Spooky Pooch Parade and costume contest. Free to watch, except parking.

Columbus Day Parade

October 14, 2019
1.3 miles south
The Columbus Day Parade of 150 floats, bands, and marching units celebrates the voyage of Christopher Columbus to America and Italian-American culture on State Street (from Wacker to Van Buren). Free.

Pinball Expo

October 16 - 19, 2019
32 miles north
Pinball Expo has a game hall, tournaments, vendors, and speakers at the Westin in Wheeling.

Film festival

October 16 - 27, 2019
0.5 mile east
The Chicago International Film Festival features 150 short and full-length films from 50 countries, free panel discussions, and an opening night party. Films screen at the AMC River East 21.

Halloween festival

October 16 - 20 & 23 - 27, 2019
24 miles north
Chicago Botanic Garden in Glencoe is full of spooky sights for children and adults during Night of 1,000 Jack-o’-Lanterns, including entertaining characters, live artists carving pumpkins, and ghostly trains.

German Oktoberfest

October 18, 2019
7 miles north
German American Cultural Center promises authentic German food and drinks at its Stammtisch Open Haus Oktoberfest, with “plenty of yodeling, dancing, and pretzel eating” on floor 5 of Dank Haus. Donation.

Fashion show

October 18, 2019
(6:30 to 9:30 p.m.)
7.2 miles west
Fleurotica is an haute-couture runway show where flowers meet fashion at Garfield Park Conservatory. Tickets include cocktails and hors d’oeuvres.

Family Halloween

October 18 - 20, 2019
36 miles SW
Halloween Hollow has carnival rides, hayrides, pony rides, music, contests, games, Halloween entertainment, a beer tent, and a food court at Mokena Main Park.

Halloween parade

October 19, 2019
1.1 miles south
Arts in the Dark is a Halloween parade of artistic creatures on State Street (from Lake Street to Van Buren). Spectators cannot have face masks, backpacks, or lawn chairs. Afterwards, attend parties at Millennium Park and Maggie Daley Park. Free.

Home movies

October 19, 2019
(1 to 5:30 p.m.)
1.8 miles north
Get a glimpse of adorable pets, questionable fashions, long-departed loved ones, and neighborhoods in transition at Chicago Home Movie Day at Chicago History Museum. You are welcome to bring your own movie to show. Free.

Beer tasting

October 19, 2019
17 miles SW
Taste 150 craft and import beers until 9:30 p.m., with live entertainment and food for sale at the indoor Brew Moon Beer & Band Festival in McCook for age 21+.

Tasting at the arboretum

October 19, 2019
27 miles west
Sample hard cider and seasonal beers from 45 local breweries and cideries while listening to live music at the Cider and Ale Festival at Morton Arboretum for age 21+. You are welcome to bring a lawn chair.

Halloween flea market

October 19, 2019
31 miles west
Come in costume to the Wheaton Haunted Halloween Flea Market to shop for food, antiques, and collectibles at DuPage County Fairgrounds, with a Gothic Illusion Show (7 p.m.), a costume contest (9:15 p.m.), and special guests. Children age 12 and younger are free.

Street party in Elgin

October 19, 2019
(6 to 11 p.m.)
37 miles NW
Nightmare on Chicago Street is a zombie-themed party with bands, booze, food vendors, and graffiti artists on Chicago Street (from Douglas to Villa). No pets, strollers, weapon props, or large bags. Requires a parent or guardian if younger than age 18.

Architectural open house

October 19 - 20, 2019
Chicago locations
Get a rare behind-the-scenes look at 250 of the city’s finest buildings, ranging from skyscrapers to private clubs, during Open House Chicago. Free.

Bloody Mary festival

October 20, 2019
3.8 miles north
A ticket to Bloody Mary Fest gets you samples of competing bloody mary entries (plus beer and mimosas), two full-sized drinks, brunch bites, live music, lawn games, and an artisan market at Theater on the Lake for age 21+.

Wearable art show

October 20, 2019
(10 a.m. to 3 p.m.)
47 miles west
Uncommon Threads is a luncheon, a runway show, and a boutique featuring fine textile works at Q Center in St. Charles.

Adult zoo night

October 24, 2019
(6:30 to 10 p.m.)
2.5 miles north
Leave the kids at home and head to Adults Night Out at Lincoln Park Zoo to experience unique animal chats and live entertainment. You must be age 18+ to attend, and age 21+ for the cash bars.

Arts party

October 24, 2019
(6 to 9 p.m.)
2.6 miles west
Lightbash features “music, interactive light activations, hors d’oeuvres, and an open cocktail bar” at Ovation Chicago.

Halloween carnival

October 25, 2019
(6 to 9 p.m.)
32 miles NW
Kids will enjoy crafts, inflatables, trick or treating, a costume contest, a haunted train ride, carnival games, and entertainment at Halloween Boonanza in Schaumburg.

Trick or treat in Crystal Lake

October 25, 2019
(6:30 to 8:30 p.m.)
49 miles NW
Bring kids in costume to Trunk or Treat, where they get candy from decorated car trunks, with hayrides, face-painting, a bonfire, an outdoor movie, and Halloween games at St. Paul’s United Church of Christ. Donate three canned goods per family.

Halloween party - Congress Plaza

October 26, 2019
(9 p.m.)
1 mile south
Haunted Halloween Ball turns the giant ballroom in the Congress Plaza Hotel into an abandoned hotel run by zombies, with entertainment, a costume contest, and DJ dance music for age 21+.

Halloween party - Navy Pier

October 26, 2019
(8 p.m.)
1 mile south
Join 3,000 revelers at The Nightmare at Navy Pier, with DJ dance music and cash bars at Navy Pier for age 21+.

Halloween party - opera house

October 26, 2019
1 mile SW
Halloween Masquerade includes live music, dancing, an open bar, and appetizers at the Civic Opera House. Wear either a costume or formal attire with a mask.

Halloween at Lincoln Park Zoo

October 26, 2019
2.5 miles north
Kids can wear costumes, trick-or-treat, hear music, make crafts, and visit the corn maze and haunted house during Spooky Zoo at Lincoln Park Zoo. Free.

Halloween party for charity

October 26, 2019
(9:30 p.m.)
2.5 miles west
Illumination offers an open bar and “immersive light art experiences, captivating live performances, and a late night dance party” with DJ music, dancing, and an art auction at Church of the Epiphany. A fundraiser dinner at 7:30 p.m. can be reserved at additional cost.

Halloween Concert

October 26, 2019
(7 & 9 p.m.)
9.1 miles south
The Halloween Concert is “a one-hour, family-friendly concert with costumes, storytelling, and special effects” performed by the University Symphony Orchestra and the Hyde Park School of Dance in Mandel Hall at the University of Chicago. Donation.

Family fest in Batavia

October 26, 2019
44 miles west
BatFest has trick-or-treating, a pumpkin roll, dance performances, games, an 11:50 a.m. parade, costume contests for people and pets, pumpkin carving competitions, and a farmers’ market in Batavia. Free.

Feed your mind

October 26 - Nov. 10, 2019
Chicago locations
Chicago Humanities Festival is a series of talks and events that explore the human condition and feature exciting thinkers, artists, and performers. The 2019 theme is “power.”

Halloween for kids

October 27, 2019
(1 to 4 p.m.)
32 miles west
Kids age 10 and younger will enjoy fun activities, games, fairy tales, and treats at Halloween Happening at Naperville Riverwalk’s Grand Pavilion. Free.

Clark Street Spooktacular

October 31, 2019
3 miles north
Clark Street Spooktacular has family-friendly games, trick-or-treating in shops, street magicians, jugglers, stilt walkers, and a costume contest. Free.

Halloween parade

October 31, 2019
4 miles north
Register and wear a costume to join the Northalsted Halloween Parade followed by a costume contest, or watch from the sidewalk on Halsted Street (from Belmont Avenue to Brompton Avenue). Free.

Latin classical music

October 2019
multiple locations
Chicago Latino Music Festival offers classical music concerts, with a focus on artists and composers from Latin America and Spain.

Ideas conference

October 2019
0.9 miles north
Hear dozens of “inspiring and thought-provoking presentations by people who are passionate about designing a better future” during Cusp Conference at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago.

Indian pow wow

October 2019
6.8 miles NW
The American Indian Center of Chicago Powwow features songs, dancing, drumming, arts and crafts, and native foods at DePaul College Prep High School, and organized by the American Indian Center.

Campfire festival

October 2019
8 miles north
Chicago Campfire Festival includes real campfires, marshmallow roasting, s’mores, a pumpkin patch, inflatables, face painting, food vendors, live kids’ music (5 p.m.+), a haunted house (5 to 6:30 p.m.), fire shows (6 p.m.), and professional ghost stories (7:30 p.m.) at Chase Park. Kids 2 and younger free.

Piano concert

October 2019
12.7 miles north
The Franz Liszt Birthday Gala features talented pianists playing music by Liszt at Nichols Concert Hall in Evanston. Free for children age 17 and younger.

Aquarium show

October 2019
24.5 miles west
Family-friendly Aquarium Extravaganza is a showcase for live fish and coral, display aquariums, and vendors at Odeum Expo Center in Villa Park.

Affordable haunted house

October 2019
8.1 miles north
The Park After Dark promises a $12 “highly detailed and thrilling adventure through the rotting remains of the abandoned pool deck” at Chase Park: PG-13. Kids can visit with lights on for $5 on one day.

Aurora haunted house

October 2019
38 miles west
Basement of the Dead has creative special effects and entertaining characters. Expect lines. See schedule.

Joliet haunted house

October 2019
38 miles SW
Walk through 40 terrifying rooms containing disturbing scenes, intense actors, heavy fog, strobe lights, and loud music at Statesville Haunted Prison & City of the Dead in Lockport. No children younger than age 10, and 10 to 15 require an adult. See schedule.

Intense haunted house

October 2019
45 miles NW
Realm of Terror Haunted House promises “the craziest, most intense, extreme Halloween experience” located halfway to Milwaukee in Round Lake Beach. See schedule.

Halloween dance class

October 2019
6.4 miles NW
You are welcome to dress up as your favorite character to learn the Thriller dance routine at Halloween Thriller Dance Party, with a costume contest and BYOB at Duet Dance Studio for age 21+.

Alternative dance party

October 2019
7.2 miles north
Nocturna All Hallows’ Eve Ball by American Gothic Productions has DJ dance music (goth, industrial, post-punk, deathrock, ethereal, ebm, new wave, darkwave, dark indie), games, vendors, and a costume contest at Metro on Clark Street for age 18+.

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