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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- Join the Illinois Holocaust Museum on Nov. 1 for a Donald & Sue Pritzker Voices of Conscience Lecture with Mohammed Al Samawi, author of “The Fox Hunt: A Refugee’s Memoir of Coming to America,” and Justin Hefter and Daniel Pincus. A book signing will follow the program.
More from Make It Better:
- 8 of the Most Haunted Places in Chicago
- 31 of the Best Things to Do in Chicago This October
- 8 Seriously Scary Books to Read Just in Time for Halloween
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.