Halloween has that universal appeal that adults seem to enjoy just as much as the children. The notion of dressing up in costumes, going trick-or-treating or to a costume party, and being scared out of your wits at a haunted house, serves as the inspiration for us to plan ahead for this fascinating holiday.
In anticipation, why not take advantage of some pre-holiday family activities as well as some Halloween events near Chicago? Some of the twelve activities listed here are just plain, clean fun on the farm; take delight in the country air on a crisp fall day. Other activities are designed to get that adrenalin pumping caused by the terror to which you are subjected.
You can enjoy the entire month of October leading up to and including Halloween day.
Larson Family Farm at 4404 Somonauk Road, Sandwich, IL 60548, 815-786-2249, provides some good old-fashioned fun for the whole family, while all of you can search for and pick your own pumpkin. Admission is free and if you go on a weekend, you can tour the farm on a hayride and visit the horses and goats. Browse the antiques and enjoy the delicious fresh popcorn and caramel apples in the sale barn. Call for hours and produce availability.
Settlers Pond Shelter & Rescue is a hooved animal shelter located at 1301 E. Offner Road, Beecher, IL 60401, 708-946-2248. Their attractions open September 25th, from 10:00 am – 5:00 pm, and include the following: 2 Spooky Grave Yards, Straw Maze, Corn Maze, Petting Zoo, Egg Displays, Putt Putt Golf, Exciting Rides, Pick Your Pumpkin, and several vendors. General admission prices are $6 for adults, $4 for children 2-14, and free admission for children 2 and under. The hay rides are additional. All of the profits benefit the shelter and rescue center.
Boberosa Barnworks is located 25 minutes east of Rockford at 11245 IL Route 173, Capron IL 61012, 815-569-9985. The activities include shopping for Specialty Pumpkins, Decorated Pumpkins, and Fall Decorations in the antique store and petting the resident llamas. The hours are 10 am to 5 pm daily in October.
Enjoy an antique trolley ride at the Fox Trolley Museum located at 361 South LaFox Street (Illinois Route 31), South Elgin, IL 60177, 847-697-4676. The trolley heads toward the John Duerr Forest Preserve and stops at the Ole Pumpkin Patch either on the way there or on the ride back. All the pumpkins measure four to five inches in diameter for your choosing. Adults can catch a trolley ride for $3.50, while children are $2, on every half hour on Saturdays, October 9th and 16th and Sundays, October 10th and 17th. The Halloween Haunted Ghost Story Train requires reservations at $10 for adults and children. The haunted rides take place Saturdays, October 16th and October 23rd and Sundays, October 17th and October 24th. Departure times are 5:00, 6:15 and 7:30. Sit by a campfire along the banks of the Fox River at the Jon J. Duerr Forest Preserve, while enjoying some treats and spooky stories.
Didier Farms, located at 16678 W. Aptaksic Rd., Prairie View-Lincolnshire, IL 60069, 847-634-3291, has a whole host of activities in which to choose. Their Pumpkinfest starts September 25th. The weekday admission fees of $8 and $12 include certain activities and rides. On weekends, there is no admission fee, but all rides are priced separately. Activities include the Hayride, Petting Zoo, the Cornmaze and the Strawmaze, Pony Rides, Sunshine crafts (painting activity), Inflatable Pumpkin (bouncing moonwalk), Reptile Exhibit, and several Mechanical Rides. The farm is open daily from 9:00 am – 7:00 pm and the activities take place between 10:00 am and 5:00 pm.
Choose from the variety of activities at Goebbert’s Pumpkin Farm & Garden Center at 40W. Higgins Road, South Barrington, IL 60010, 847-428-6727. The Fall Festival runs from September 25th – October 31st and general admission to the farm is free, as well as the parking. The Fall Festival Market hours are 9:00 am – 7:00 pm Monday – Friday and 9:00 am – 6:00 pm Saturdays and Sundays. Admission for Animal Land, which includes Barn yard Animals, Exotic Animals, Corn Stalk Maze, Strawtown Maze & Weekend Pig Racing activities, is $7 per person on Saturdays and Sundays and $4 per person Monday – Friday. Goebbert Ride tickets are $4 for each ride, which include Pony Ride (one ride ticket), Camel Ride (one ride ticket), Wagon Ride (one ride ticket) (2 pm -5:30 pm M-F, 10 am – 5:30 pm on S&S), Haunted House (one ride ticket), and Jumping Pillow (one ride ticket).
It’s apple pickin’ time at Homestead Orchard, with it’s 20 varieties of apples, pie cherries, pears and red raspberries, located at 11802 Charles Road, Woodstock, IL, 815-338-7443. They also carry honey from their bee hives, handmade beeswax candles and hand-crafted items for sale. Admission and parking are free, with no minimum to buy. Cash or check only is accepted. Orchard hours are 10:00 am – 5:00 pm Monday – Saturday and 12:00 noon – 5:00 pm on Sundays.
Adults, get your Halloween fix with this musical tribute to the 1978 John Carpenter’s “Halloween” called “Carpenter’s Halloween,” at the Circuit, 3641 N. Halsted St., Chicago, IL 60657, 773-325-2233. Tickets are $15 – $25 for this production which runs from October 20th – October 31st, 8:00 pm and an hour earlier, 7:00 pm, on October 31st.
Blood Wedding is a play about a young bride who makes a choice with dire consequences. This drama takes place at the Oracle Theatre, 3809 N. Broadway, Chicago, IL 60613, 773-244-2980 at 7:00 pm October 8 – November 20th on Sundays and 8:00 pm Fridays and Saturdays. You can gain admission to this event with a small monthly subscription fee, which is also good for other events as well.
Statesville Haunted Prison, 17250 S. Weber Road, Crest Hill, IL 60441, offers a spooktacular tour into thirty of the prison’s maximum-security cells, in the dark. You will encounter some of the most dangerous murderers, such as Hannibal the Cannibal, The Clown, Dr. Vierhof and his Maniacs, and the Warden, the Demon of Darkness. There is a separate Climbing Wall located outside the Haunted Prison. Take part in this tour the month of October from 7:00 pm – 11:00 pm Fridays and Saturdays and 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm on Sundays and Thursdays. During the week leading up to Halloween, Sunday, October 24th – October 31st, the prison is open every day except Monday. General admission is $30 and VIP tickets are $40.
Supernatural Chicago at the Excalibur is a show that combines paranormal with improv comedy, psychic demonstrations, magic shows, and haunted houses. The $25 price includes two drinks at the River North nightclub, 632 N. Dearborn Street, Chicago, IL 60610, 312-266-1944. Shows are on Fridays and Saturdays starting Friday, September 24th through Saturday, October 15th at 7:30 pm.
The Brookfield Jaycees Haunted House, at Jaycee Ehlert Park, 4315 Park Ave., Brookfield, IL 60513, 708-387-4695 was voted the 2nd scariest haunted house in the State in 2008, as well as 1st in having the scariest monster. This haunted house will be open Thursday – Sunday, October 14th – 31st, at 7 pm – 10 pm Thursdays and Sundays and 7 pm – 11 pm on Fridays and Saturdays. You will find a $1 off coupon on their site to get a discount on their regular $7 admission. No discount is allowed on their already discounted $5 admission on Thursdays. The “Lights On” Children’s Matinee is $3.00 for children (accompanying adults are free) on Sunday October 31, 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm.
Create many good memories of your holiday events and capture them in the way of Photo Cards, Photo Books or by creating a great Scrapbook. Happy haunting!