Halloween offers many fun adventures, from trolling the pumpkin patch in search of the perfect jack-o-lantern to dressing up in costume. One of the events many older children and plenty of adults as well enjoy is visiting haunted houses created just for the holiday. Anyone in the Chicago area can find plenty of frightening experiences and other Halloween fun for a spook-tacular good time this season.
Statesville Haunted Prison and City of the Dead
Since 1996 this real prison site has been scaring people witless. Voted the “Number 1” haunted attraction in the Chicago area for more than 5 years, this haunted location has been forcing victims through its maximum security cells to frightfully good scares. Those who dare to walk its prison walls will encounter no less than 200 dangerous creatures.
Located just 5 miles southwest of Chicago, this haunted setting requires visitors to be at least 10 years of age, with all those 15 and under accompanied by a legal guardian. Tickets are $30 and available both on-site and online (where a discount coupon can be found). Beginning October 1, 2010, the haunted prison will be open from 7-10 pm Thursdays through Sundays, with extended hours Halloween week.
Tread carefully as you leave, victims of the haunted prison must descend into the halls of the City of the Dead before they are released!
Navy Pier Costume Party and Fireworks
For those looking for something a little less sinister (and appropriate for the younger set), there’s plenty of fun to be had this Halloween at Chicago’s own Navy Pier. All year round, the pier offers family programs and firework displays, and Halloween is no exception. Best of all, its Halloween events are free for the whole family.
This year Navy Pier will feature Patch and Pickle’s Costume Party beginning at 11 am on the following Saturdays in October: 2, 9, 16, 23, and 30. Held in the Family Pavilion, kids in costumes can win prizes, dance, and play along with Shrimp Louie and other Navy Pier friends. At 12:30 and 2 pm, there are additional Patch and Pickle Halloween shows.
From downtown Chicago, there is a free shuttle or public transportation via bus to Navy Pier. Parking at the Pier does require a fee.
Dream Reapers Haunted House
In the Chicago suburb of Melrose Park, there’s a particularly spooky haunted house lurking. With 22 rooms and more than 40 animatronics involved, there’s plenty of fright and entertainment for kids of all ages. This spooky setting also features special scents, something few other haunted houses can offer. Another great feature is that Dream Reapers is wheelchair accessible.
Admission is $16 per person (or $30 for VIP treatment, which allows victims to skip the lines and enter through a special door). There are also group discounts available, beginning with groups of 10; those with 50 or more can gain the greatest benefit from group rates. With a kick-off weekend of September 25, the haunted house is open Friday to Sunday from 7-11 pm through October 31st.
No matter whether you are looking for a sinister setting like Statesville or just want some harmless costumed fun and fireworks at Navy Pier, there are plenty of Halloween events for every age and fright group, from the youngest toddlers to adults.