Once school starts and the weather begins to turn cooler, kids start planning their costumes and dreaming of Halloween candy. Local grocery stores are already starting to stock treats and decorations. We’re rounding up local Halloween (Chicago suburbs) happenings for Fall 2023, from not-too-spooky hayrides and pumpkin carving events to trick-or-treat hours and indoor events to have on standby in case of rain. It’s still early in the season, but we’re getting you this list so that you can register for events with limited availability and begin to plan your family’s Halloween festivities. Happy hauntings!
Click on the headings to find all kinds of Halloween fun in Chicago’s west and northwest suburbs. If you find that a link is displaying last year’s info, check back soon. We’re constantly updating articles as organizers publicize their events and programming.
This helpful resource lists all of the Halloween events by day, with times and descriptions. There are many opportunities to decorate pumpkins, watch Halloween-themed movies, take a hayride, listen to a storyteller, enjoy Halloween treats and games, and more.
Haunted houses are everywhere during the month of October… but we’ve also found some spooky Halloween walks that are sure to thrill! Descriptions are included to give you insight as to how scary these attractions and events will be.
Trick-or-treat trunk to trunk! Many of these events offer activities as well as an opportunity for kids to wear their costumes while gathering candy.
The perfect weather for a spooky Halloween may be cold and rainy, but it isn’t much fun to trick-or treat in! If the weather forecast is spooking you, check out these fun indoor options.
You’re in for a special treat. Halloween is an incredible day for Kids Eat Free! All of the details for the deals are included in this one.
Take a drive to check out these spooky houses, all decked out for Halloween! Photos are included to give you a sneak peak and of course addresses. We’ll update this one closer to Halloween, but we’ve left last year’s details up to give you an idea what to look for.
Easily find the recommended trick-or-treat hours for your town and surrounding areas.
This great guide includes farms in our area that either have pick-your-own pumpkins or pumpkins in bins with all sorts of great attractions, rides, and food. Key features of each location are highlighted, along with hours and prices.
Fall is such a beautiful time of year… with the changing leaves and crisp air comes an incredible line up of fun things to do as a family! We’ve rounded up some of the fall festivals that will be happening in your neighborhood, as well as venues that host fall activities all season long.
Saturday, November 5, 2022 is going to be the big day for pumpkin and jack-o-lantern composting events. Keep those pumpkins out of the landfill and save them for a pumpkin smash event!
We love Halloween and all the fun this time of year has to offer, but sometimes we are left with lots of extra candy. So what to do with leftover Halloween candy after everyone’s picked their favorites out of the bowl? Read on for a couple opportunities to pay it forward with that candy. We’ll update this one again closer to Halloween 2023.
The Teal Pumpkin Project and Other Allergy-Friendly Halloween Ideas
As a mom of a trick-or-treater with a peanut allergy, I’ve definitely had to come up with a strategy to help my child celebrate Halloween safely. My friends have older kids with food allergies, too, and I want to be an allergy-friendly Halloween stop on their route. After all, the scary part of Halloween isn’t supposed to be the candy!
A few years back, I reached out to Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) for their tips on having a safe, healthy Halloween.
“For kids with food allergies, trick-or-treating on Halloween can be risky because candies collected often contain many of the major allergens such as peanuts, tree nuts, and milk,” says FARE’s Senior Director of Communications, Nancy Gregory. Here are a few of her tips for a fright-free night:
No snacking en route.
Parents need a chance to look over all the candy before kids dig in. Nancy says to check labels even if your child has eaten the candy safely before, because manufacturers sometimes mix up ingredients for seasonal products. No label? Don’t eat it.
Look for the teal pumpkins.
The Teal Pumpkin Project is a nationwide effort to “create a happier, safer Halloween for kids with food allergies,” says Nancy. Homes with painted teal pumpkins (or a teal pumpkin printable sign) have non-food treats at the ready.
It’s not just families with food allergies themselves who participate. “I love the idea of making Halloween more inclusive,” says Kelly Holquist, a local mom who doesn’t have kids with allergies herself, but has friends who do. She joked that she appreciates less candy for her own kids, too.
Try the old switcheroo.
Nancy says many parents buy candy they know is safe ahead of time, then trade their kids for the unsafe or questionable treats they picked up throughout the night. Genius.
Be a safe spot yourself.
Even if you don’t have kids with food allergies, you probably have friends or neighbors who do. Nancy suggests buying some inexpensive non-food treats, then keeping them in a separate bowl to prevent cross-contact.
Having a selection of non-food items doesn’t have to break the bank! Here are a few easy ideas:
- Glow Sticks
- Halloween Mochi Squishy Toys
- Halloween LED Light up Rings
- Pumpkin Stress Balls
- Halloween Bubble Wands
- Halloween Slap Bracelets
- Variety Pack of Halloween Trick or Treat favors
- Sticker Sheets to Make Halloween-themed Faces
- Punch Balloons
- Glow in The Dark Slime
- Halloween Sticky Hands
- Small Containers of Play Doh
- Glow in the Dark Bouncy Balls
- Self-Ink Stamps
- Pull-Back Cars
- Mini Coloring Books
- Crazy Straws
- Luminous Temporary Tattoos
- Check out Oriental Trading Company and Dollar Store for more options
Our Guide to Fall Family Fun has even more seasonal activities for your family to enjoy!