Written by Bridgette Outten
Halloween is only a week away. Before you indulge in a night of trick-or-treating with a bevy of ghost, goblins and ghouls, make time for your family to enjoy these great Halloween-themed day trips:
Bolingbrook Recreation and Aquatic Complex
200 S. Lindsey Lane
Bolingbrook, IL 60440
Bolingbrook Park District offers a spooky funeral home while wending through hearses, graveyards and more with the new ` at Pelican Harbor. Once you're finished with the tour, you'll get a voucher for some spooky fun at the indoor aquatic park. The annual Halloween Happenings is a staple in the community at the Bolingbrook Recreation and Aquatic Complex (BRAC).
Halloween Happenings welcomes all ages, says Dan Leahy, the marketing and communications manager, while Haunted Harbor is meant for older guys and ghouls—er, girls—over the age of 9.
It would probably be worthwhile to bring enough money for the Halloween-themed concessions. Leahy recommends the Devil Dogs and promises the events will be a lot of fun.
The Fine Print
Halloween Happenings at the BRAC, is 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., Friday, Oct. 25, with carnival games, inflatables and magic show. Admission is $5 per child at the door. Pelican Harbor runs from 5 to 10 p.m. Friday for ages 9 and up. Admission is $10.
The Wishcraft Workshop
2312 W. Roscoe St.
Chicago, IL 60618
(773) 348-WISH (9474)
Cool Halloween-themed workshops prepare youngsters and their parents for the big day. Described by Founder and Chief Giggle Officer Candice Blansett-Cummins as "more kooky than spooky," the workshops are designed “to bring the fun instead of making them run (Halloween can be SCARY.)”
You have to register for the workshops and they’re for youngsters in kindergarten through fifth grade.
“All of our workshops are open-ended—this means that kids create using their own ideas and our guidance/support (we don't use any kits, stickers, etc...no assembly projects),” Blansett-Cummins shares. The goal is to create confidence and self-esteem, with the children proud of what they created, she adds. The Friday workshops are drop-offs and Blansett-Cummins said parents can run errands (there are great grocery stores nearby) while the kids are creating.
The Fine Print
There is a Costume Rx from 5 to 6 p.m. Friday, Oct. 25. Registration is $25. Bring what you’ve got “and we’ll fix ‘er up or see what we can do in an hour.” And if all else fails there is a Saturday workshop for grades 2 to 8 or for parents from 10 a.m. to noon. If you’re stuck for an idea, $40 will get you help finding a vision and a hand to execute it. “Participants will have access to our supplies, sewing machines and some awfully resourceful people,” Blansett-Cummins said.
50 W. Washington St.
Chicago, IL 60602
Chicago’s Daley Plaza will be taken over by things that usually go bump in the night as “Chicagoween” descends upon us.
Keep trip costs down by taking public transportation; you haven’t been truly terrified until you have seen the rates for parking downtown.
“A favorite tradition continues,” according to the city’s website, “as Midnight Circus will participate in the City of Chicago’s Halloween festival for its 16th straight year with performances throughout the weekend. Hang on to your hats (and hearts) as the gravity-defying ghosts and ghouls of Midnight Circus amaze audiences of all ages with their otherworldly acrobatics and spook-tacular theatrics. Featured this year, from who-knows-where, is the one and only Demon Duo!” Sounds good to us.
The Fine Print
Admission is free and Chicagoween weekend takes place from Oct. 25 to 27, Friday, noon to 7:30 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Click here for the full schedule of Kid’s Costume contests, hayrides, trick-or-treating and more. Midnight Circus will perform all three days.
19412 Shabbona Road
Malta, IL 60150
There’s something more than a little creepy about freakishly tall corn—especially at night. The Jonamac Orchard plays on that fear of the stalks with the Haunted Corn Mazes.
No flashlights allowed, only glow sticks or penlights (how scary!).
There is something involved here that includes a “Zombie Quarantine.” Enough said.
The Fine Print
You can visit the maze—if you dare—on Friday and Saturday nights through Oct. 26. The maze begins at dark and ends at 10:30 p.m. Admission is $10 for adults and $8 for kids 12 and under. Remember to check the weather. In the event of rain, the maze will be closed.