As you probably already know, I love fall. Which means that
I also love Halloween. What may surprise you is that I occasionally turn off my
TV, which is usually playing Hocus Pocus on a constant loop during this time of
year, and do something outside. Of course, despite the implication, I’m not
talking about doing any sort of athletic activity (my current excuse is that
I’m gaining protective fat in order to survive through winter). I bravely
venture outside, wearing the jack-o-lantern t-shirt that I bought at Walmart,
to go do Halloween-related things or, as you read, to buy pumpkin-flavored
Now, some of you may be wondering what Chicago offers for
Halloween. Others of you may be questioning how you can pick from the seemingly
endless number of Halloween parties and events. Or if you’re like me, you’re
sitting in bed and wondering why Disney Channel stopped showing Don’t Look Under The Bed.
If you’re in the third group with me, the answer is that
Don’t Look Under The Bed was supposedly too scary for the intended audience
(although I don’t remember trying to burrow into my couch to hide from the
monster in Don’t Look Under The Bed like I did during Halloweentown).
If you’re in either of the other two groups, you’re in luck.
I’ve gone through and selected the best of the best so that your Halloween is
all treat and no trick.
The Halloween Gathering (October 24th)
I can’t believe a bunch of artists are throwing this and the
best name they could come up with is “The Halloween Gathering.” That being
said, the actual event has a lot of promise. Hosted by Chicago Cultural Mile in
conjunction with a ton of fine arts organizations (including the Art Institute
of Chicago and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra), this first-year event has tons
of music and drama performances planned, tons of crafts, and some really
interesting art installations. The culminating activity (besides the super
expensive after-party) is a costume parade through downtown, complete with a
Thriller flash mob.
19th Annual Northalsted Halloween Parade
What happens when you cross a pride parade with Party City? You get the 19th Annual Northalsted Halloween Parade. Running straight
through Boystown, one of the costume contest categories is drag. If that
doesn’t make you want to go, I don’t know what will. I want to go just to count
how many queens are dressed up as one of the Golden Girls. If drag queens aren’t your
thing, you really shouldn’t be in Boystown there’s a pet parade earlier in the
day as well.
Day of the Dead (November 1st)
This year, The National Museum of Mexican Art is hosting its
biggest and most interactive Day of the Dead celebration ever (which is saying
something if you’ve been to any of them in the past). Anyone can upload a photo
of a loved one who has passed on their website and it will be projected onto
the side of the museum during the festivities. Apart from that art
installation, you can expect tons of live music, hot chocolate, art, and skulls.