These towns are perfect for Halloween-loving families…
The Chicago suburbs are jam-packed with Halloween fun—but a few towns go over-the-top when it comes to this ghoulishly fun holiday. Not only do these communities play host to annual events celebrating the season (and offer epically good for trick-or-treating options), but each has its own spooky heritage that comes to life every Halloween.
With a historic downtown filled with century-old Victorian homes, old-fashioned street lights and seemingly endless ghost stories that start and end in Naperville, it’s easy to see why this suburb is among the most haunted places in Illinois. Here, you can hunt for ghosts like the Specter of Seibert Hall—ghost tours take place year-round, but are especially spooky this time of year.
And if you aren’t into the spooky? Locals go all out for Halloween, decorating their yards and closing off streets so kids can go door-to-door. Earlier in the day, head to Casey’s Foods for Halloween Crazy Bones from 11am to 4pm (be sure to book a time slot in advance). This free event is open to all ages.
#2. Lincoln Park
Lincoln Park strikes the perfect balance between family-friendly Halloween destination and, for those who crave something spookier, a haunted history that draws visitors year after year.
The spookiest spot in town is, hands down, the former Chicago City Cemetery and home to the Couch Tomb, one of the most haunted sites in Chicagoland.
For kids or those less inclined towards ghosts and ghouls, the Lincoln Park Zoo is the perfect Halloween go-to. Every Halloween, the zoo displays hundreds of hand-carved jack-o-lanterns, with opportunities for kids to snag treats and other goodies, right onsite. Teens and adults can also sign up for virtual haunted history tours starting at 7pm, now through Halloween night.
Packed with plenty of Halloween-loving young families, Wheaton is, hands down, one of the best spots to get your boo on. Every October, residents line their homes with orange lights, bat ornaments and pumpkin inflatables.
While many of the activities are on pause this year, most Halloweens the town plays host to everything from a costume parade to spooky storytimes, a pet costume competition and more. Even so, there’s still lots to do including Pumpkin Fest at the Cosley Zoo (through Halloween).
Central to Glencoe Halloween are the Chicago Botanic Garden which, each year, rises to the challenge each year, planning a variety of spell-binding events for kids and adults. Start your Halloween by visiting the Night of 1,000 Jack-O-Lanterns at the Chicago Botanic Garden, then trick-or-treat from 3pm to 7pm—the official trick-or-treating hours in town.
#5. Oak Brook
Between spooky nature walks, pumpkin swims and top-notch trick-or-treating, Oak Brook is a no-brainer for Halloween enthusiasts. Residents go all out with decorations, set up impromptu haunted houses and flock to local events, like moonlit Halloween walks at Fullersburg Woods Nature Education Center.
Halloween in Oak Brook can take a spine-chilling spin, which you’ll probably love if Halloween is your holiday. A large part of the town is transformed into the Haunted Forest every fall and features fun for the whole family, with hayrides and pumpkin patches during the day and a scream-worthy maze at night.
Starting October 1 and running through November 1, Downtown Highwood gets all decked out for Halloween, with hundreds of costumed skeletons lining the streets. Families are encouraged to snap selfies with the skeletons and post with #CelebrateHighwood, #HighwoodStrong and #CityofHighwood. While you’re exploring the spooky decor, be sure to head towards City Hall and check out the skeletons following the Yellow Brick Road.
Also happening this year: trick-or-treating, from 3pm to 6pm on Friday, October 30. Start from Highwood City Hall and the Bank of Highwood-Fort Sheridan, then snag candy all through downtown.
Looking for a spooky town to call “home?” Let’s talk! Schedule your Suburbs Strategy session now.