Chicago events October 2020. Things to do in Chicago.

Chicago
Best events for 12 months

Chicago events October 2020

Pumpkin patches & corn mazes

October 1 - 31, 2020
Chicago area
Visit pumpkin patches at local farms for fun family activities, or wander cornfields in corn mazes.

Craft expo

October 2 - 4, 2020
24 miles north
Shop from 140 artisans exhibiting one-of-a-kind “museum quality artwork” at American Craft Exposition at Chicago Botanic Garden.

Woodstock ale festival

October 3, 2020
61 miles NW
Woodstock Ale Fest features locally made beer, food, and classic rock music on Clay Street for age 21+. No pets.

Food convention

October 3 - 4, 2020
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.

Women’s expo

October 3 - 4, 2020
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 in Rosemont convention center.

Beer tasting in the garden

October 8, 2020
(6 to 8 p.m.)
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+.

Flower bulb festival

October 10 - 11, 2020
24 miles north
Find 250 varieties of bulbs (tulips, daffodils, crocuses), 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.

Columbus Day Parade

October 12, 2020
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 14 - 18, 2020
32 miles north
Pinball Expo has a game hall, tournaments, vendors, and speakers at the Westin in Wheeling.

German Oktoberfest

October 16, 2020
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 for age 21+.

Food truck festival

October 17, 2020
27 miles west
Shop from 15 food trucks and visit the playground or walk the trails during Cantigny Food Truck Festival at Cantigny Park. Bring chairs or blankets. Free admission. Held in May and October.

Halloween flea market

October 17, 2020
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.

Architectural open house

October 17 - 18, 2020
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.

Halloween at Brookfield Zoo

October 17 - 31, 2020
(weekends)
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, a 1:30 p.m. dance party, and hourly pumpkin smashing at the Brookfield Zoo.

Wearable art show

October 18, 2020
47 miles west
Uncommon Threads is a luncheon, a runway show, and a boutique featuring fine textile works at Q Center in St. Charles.

Halloween parade

October 24, 2020
(6 to 8 p.m.)
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.

Ideas Week

October 26 - 29, 2020
Chicago locations
Attend talks, labs, and labs with inspirational thought leaders (artists, scientists, musicians, inventors, and explorers) during Chicago Ideas Week.

Halloween parade

October 31, 2020
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.

Halloween parade for dogs

October 31, 2020
(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.

Tea festival

October 31 - Nov. 2, 2020
0.8 miles west
Chicago International Tea Festival promises informative presentations, workshops, and tea tastings at Holiday Inn River North.

Beer conference

October 2020
(undated)
multiple locations
Attend tastings, talks, meals, and parties in breweries and museums during Beer Culture Summit.

Circus in the park

October 2020
(undated)
Chicago locations
Midnight Circus in the Parks is a series of shows at nine parks, which is perfect for families.

Feed your mind

October 2020
(undated)
Chicago locations
Chicago Humanities Festival is a series of talks and events that explore the human condition and feature exciting thinkers, artists, and performers.

Food of the Philippines

October 2020
(undated)
multiple locations
Choose from 22 restaurants offering a special fixed-price menu during Filipino Restaurant Week.

Latin classical music

October 2020
(undated)
multiple locations
Chicago Latino Music Festival offers classical music concerts, with a focus on artists and composers from Latin America and Spain.

Film festival

October 2020
(undated)
0.5 mile east
Chicago International Film Festival features 200 short and full-length films from 70 countries, free panel discussions, and an opening night party. Films screen at the AMC River East 21.

Free opera

October 2020
(undated)
1 miles south
Hear three opera pieces performed by graduate students with piano accompaniment during OperaFest at Roosevelt University. Free.

Free talent show

October 2020
(undated)
1.1 miles east
Watch “amazing music, dance, magic, comedy, and more by some of the city’s most talented performers with and without disabilities” at Center Stage for Access and Inclusion south of the ferris wheel on Navy Pier. Free.

Innovation conference

October 2020
(undated)
1.7 miles SW
Hear dozens of fascinating speakers “discuss the most urgent issues of our time and remake the case for free markets and open societies,” watch films, and network at the Open Future Festival sponsored by The Economist at Chicago Union Station.

Home movies

October 2020
(undated)
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.

AIDS walk

October 2020
(undated)
2.1 miles south
AIDS Run/Walk Chicago at Soldier Field is 3.1 miles long, with an optional run of 6.2 miles. Free for children age 12 and younger.

Bacon and beer

October 2020
(undated)
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.

Chocolate & wine

October 2020
(undated)
2.5 miles west
Chocolate, Wine & Spirits Expo promises 50 vendors displaying products for you to sample and purchase, wine and spirits tasting, and chef demonstrations at Stephen M. Bailey Auditorium. Held in March and Oct.

Arts party

October 2020
(undated)
2.6 miles west
Lightbash features “music, interactive light activations, hors d’oeuvres, and an open cocktail bar” at Ovation Chicago.

Free horror movies outdoors

October 2020
(undated)
2.9 miles SE
Watch scary movies outdoors at Campfire Horrors Arrive at 6:30 for “campfires, family-friendly activities, and marshmallow roasting” at Northerly Island. Bring a chair or a blanket, and wear warm clothes. Free.

Bloody mary festival

October 2020
(undated)
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, lawn games, and an artisan market at Theater on the Lake for age 21+.

Beverage tasting

October 2020
(undated)
5.3 miles north
A ticket to Wine, Whiskey, & Craft Beer Stroll includes a glass, samples of wine/whiskey/beer, and “delicious local bites” in 15 neighborhood shops, beginning at Lakeview East Chamber of Commerce for age 21+.

Day of the dead

October 2020
(undated)
5.5 miles SW
Remember the dearly departed at Day of the Dead Xicágo, with altars (ofrendas), live music, face painting, art activities, and traditional Day of the Dead Bread (Pan de Muerto) inside and outside the National Museum of Mexican Art. Free.

Drink beer for the beasts

October 2020
(undated)
6.8 miles SW
A ticket to Pints for Pets includes appetizers, trivia games, and three drink tokens for house beer at Lagunitas Brewing Company for age 21+.

Apple festival

October 2020
(undated)
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.

Fashion show

October 2020
(undated)
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.

Beer festival

October 2020
(undated)
7.9 miles north
FestivAle offers Midwest specialty brews, food, and live music for charity at Artifact Events.

Campfire festival

October 2020
(undated)
8 miles north
Chicago Campfire Festival includes real campfires, marshmallow roasting, s’mores, cocoa, a pumpkin patch, a corn maze, a bounce house, face painting, food vendors, singing, professional ghost stories, and the film “Hocus Pocus” at 8:30 p.m. at Chase Park. Children age 2 and younger are free. You can bring a blanket and cooler.

Neighborhood Oktoberfest

October 2020
(undated)
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.

Free piano concert

October 2020
(undated)
12.7 miles north
The Franz Liszt Birthday Gala features talented pianists playing music by Liszt at Nichols Concert Hall in Evanston. Free.

Beer tasting

October 2020
(undated)
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+.

Comics convention

October 2020
(undated)
17 miles NW
ACE Comic Con Midwest features superheroes, comic creators, panel programming, a kids’ zone, and 150 vendors at Rosemont convention center.

Ghost conference

October 2020
(undated)
19.8 miles SW
Join ghost hunters, mediums, clairvoyants, and paranormal enthusiasts at Chicago Ghost Con to hear speakers, attend workshops, watch films, shop from 40 vendors, and watch a paranormal pro wrestling event at Holiday Inn Chicago SW Countryside.

Farm festival

October 2020
(undated)
22 miles west
Harvest Fest celebrates fall with inflatables, a petting zoo, pony rides, a craft sale, pumpkin painting, hayrides, live entertainment, a beer garden, and food at Fischer Farm in Bensenville. The cost is $6 for each child age 2 to 17.

Block party

October 2020
(undated)
25.6 miles north
Steep Ravine Infusion Fest has live bands on stage, food and drink vendors, beer, spirits, and a “make your own infusion bar” at Ravinia Brewing in Highland Park for all ages. Free admission.

Tasting at the arboretum

October 2020
(undated)
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.

Oktoberfest in Naperville

October 2020
(undated)
32 miles SW
Enjoy live music from classic German to classic rock, German beer and food, and family-friendly activities at Oktoberfest.

Celtic festival

October 2020
(undated)
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.

Scarecrow festival

October 2020
(undated)
37 miles west
Vote for your favorite handmade scarecrow at Scarecrow Fest, which includes entertainment, arts & crafts, food vendors, and a carnival in downtown St. Charles. Free.

Street party in Elgin

October 2020
(undated)
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.

Affordable haunted house

October 2020
(undated)
8.1 miles north
“Venture through a macabre play house overrun by the orphaned children trapped inside” at The Attic Haunted House in the main building at Chase Park. Children age 7 to 12 may attend with a parent. Closed Monday to Thursday.

Aurora haunted house

October 2020
(undated)
38 miles west
Visit a nightmarish basement and a 3D circus run by an evil clown at Basement of the Dead, with creative special effects and entertaining characters that earn it high ratings on Yelp. Recommended for age 13+. Expect lines. See schedule.

Joliet haunted house

October 2020
(undated)
38 miles SW
Walk through 23 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 2020
(undated)
45 miles NW
Realm of Terror Haunted House promises “the craziest, most intense, extreme Halloween experience” located halfway to Milwaukee in Round Lake Beach. Beverages for sale at the bar. See schedule.

Halloween in the Parks

October 2020
(undated)
Chicago area parks
Enjoy family-friendly parties, dances, movies, pumpkin patches, haunted houses, craft-making, and fall festivals during Halloween in the Parks.

Halloween party - Congress Plaza

October 2020
(undated)
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 2020
(undated)
1 mile south
Join 3,000 revelers at The Nightmare at Navy Pier, with DJ dance music and cash bars for age 21+.

Halloween party - opera house

October 2020
(undated)
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 2020
(undated)
2.5 miles north
Kids can wear costumes, trick-or-treat, make crafts, and walk through the corn maze and haunted house when Lincoln Park Zoo is transformed into Spooky Zoo. Free.

Halloween party for charity

October 2020
(undated)
2.5 miles west
Illumination is a costume party that offers an open bar and “immersive light art experiences, captivating live performances, and a late night dance party” with DJ music and an art auction at Church of the Epiphany. A fundraiser dinner at 7:30 p.m. is optional.

Clark Street Spooktacular

October 2020
(undated)
3 miles north
Clark Street Spooktacular has family-friendly games, trick-or-treating in shops, street magicians, jugglers, stilt walkers, and a costume contest with five age categories. Free.

Halloween Concert

October 2020
(undated)
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.

Halloween dance class

October 2020
(undated)
10.6 miles NW
Learn the spooky routine of Michael Jackson during the Thriller Dance Class at May I Have This Dance.

Halloween festival

October 2020
(undated)
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.

Pumpkin festival

October 2020
(undated)
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 the schedule for “community appreciation night.”

Halloween carnival

October 2020
(undated)
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.

Halloween farm

October 2020
(undated)
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.

Halloween for kids

October 2020
(undated)
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.

Family Halloween

October 2020
(undated)
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.

Family fest in Batavia

October 2020
(undated)
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.

Trick or treat in Crystal Lake

October 2020
(undated)
49 miles NW
Bring kids in costume to Trunk or Treat, where they get candy from decorated car trunks, with hayrides, face-painting, cookie decorating, an outdoor movie, and Halloween games at St. Paul’s United Church of Christ. Donate three canned goods per family.

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