Weekend 101: Oct. 26-28

Weekend 101: 8 Things to Do Around Chicago Oct. 26-28 (Halloween at Navy Pier)

Halloween is in full swing this weekend with events at Chicago Botanic Garden, Navy Pier, and Wagner Farm. Plus, don’t miss the beginning of Chicago Humanities Festival and Make a Difference Day in Winnetka.

Night of 1,000 Jack-o’-Lanterns

Weekend 101 (Chicago): Night of 1,000 Jack-o'-Lanterns at Chicago Botanic Garden
Photo courtesy of Chicago Botanic Garden.

Oct. 24-28

Explore Chicago Botanic Garden as it’s lit by more than 1,000 hand-carved pumpkins. Guests can meet characters, watch pumpkin carving, and visit the Model Railroad Garden.

Make a Difference Day

Weekend 101 (Chicago): Make a Difference Day — The Volunteer Center
Photo courtesy of The Volunteer Center.

Oct. 27

Join The Volunteer Center at the Indian Hill Train Station Parking Lot for a one-day collection drive benefitting local nonprofits. Donate items like clothing, books, sports equipment, eyeglasses, various household items, and more for organizations like Bernie’s Book Bank, Hadley Institute for the Blind & Visually Impaired, New Trier Township Food Pantry, Northwestern University Settlement House, RefugeeOne, and YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago. Find a complete list of requested items and recipient nonprofits on The Volunteer Center’s website.

Trick-or-Treat on Navy Pier

Weekend 101 (Chicago): Halloween at Navy Pier
Photo by James Richards IV.

Oct. 27

Grab a trick-or-treat bag and head out to Navy Pier for some Halloween fun. (Trick-or-treating will also take place Oct. 31, as will Hallowheel — the first 1,031 guests to register for tickets will receive a complimentary ride on the Centennial Wheel.) While you’re there, visit Chicago Children’s Museum Oct. 27-28 for Sensory Suspense, a Halloween celebration featuring face painting, costume making, a mad science lab, and more.

Chicago Humanities Festival: Graphic!

Weekend 101 (Chicago): Chicago Humanities Festival
Image courtesy of Chicago Humanities Festival.

Oct. 27 to Nov. 11

Chicago Humanities Festival’s fall festival will take a look at “the history and impact of our visual culture.” Events include Ron Chernow, author of “Alexander Hamilton,” on Oct. 27; Alex Ross & Chip Kidd: Marvelocity on Oct. 27; Americans and the Holocaust on Oct. 28; and Phoebe Robinson: Everything’s Trash, But It’s Okay on Oct. 29.

A Family Halloween

Weekend 101 (Chicago): A Family Halloween at Wagner Farm
Photo courtesy of the Glenview Park District.

Oct. 28

Dress up in your best costume for an afternoon of wagon rides, pumpkin games, a haunted barn, and more at Wagner Farm.

More Can’t-Miss Events:

  • Search for clues around Winnetka during the Spooky Scavenger Hunt on Oct. 27. The winning team (2-4 adults 21+ years old) will receive gift cards.
  • Eve J. Alfillé Gallery & Studio’s Sacred Geometries series of fine art jewelry “draws inspiration from age-old shapes and beliefs dating back to prehistoric times.” Stop by Oct. 27 to see these new pieces and enjoy a glass of wine, snacks, and a raffle to win a Chopping Block Gift Basket ($200 value) and a Sacred Geometries necklace.
  • Chicago History Museum’s Graceland Cemetery Tour Oct. 27, 28, and 31 gives you inside information about famous Chicagoans buried there, including Marshall Field and George Pullman.

Looking Ahead


More from Make It Better: 

Anna Carlson writes the weekly Weekend 101 column and monthly Recommended Events. A graduate of the University of Missouri, her work has been published in Chicago Parent, Inside Columbia Magazine, and Central California Parent Magazine. She is a proud supporter of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital