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Best Alternatives To Trick-Or-Treating In Your Neighborhood

By Jessica Cage

The traditional way for a child to spend Halloween is to dress up in their costume of choice, grab their loot bags and hit the streets. House to house they travel, pounding the pavement of their neighborhood with hopes of sweet treats to be dumped in their hands. Traditions are great, but they have a tendency to get monotonous. Maybe you are looking for a different way for your child to enjoy Halloween. Chicago provides plenty of events that you can use as an alternative to trick-or-treating.


Pumpkin Fest 2012
Siegel's Cottonwood Farm
17250 S. Weber Road
Lockport, IL 60441
(815) 741-2693

Date: Now through October 31

Fun for all ages, Pumpkin Fest 2012 is a top alternative to trick-or-treating. Parents enjoy this event just as much as the children. With spooky mazes and moonwalks, your child will have a fun-filled night. When knocking on doors, you never know what you are going to get. Attending an event like this eliminates the guesswork. At the Pumpkin Fest, you are guaranteed an amazing time that will leave both you and your children in awe.

Related: Best Places To Go Apple Picking This Fall Near Chicago


Creatures of the Night
Brookfield Zoo
300 Golf Road
Brookfield, IL 60513
(708) 485-8000

Date: October 19-21 and 26-28

On Friday through Sunday from October 19 to 28, Brookfield Zoo offers its annual Creatures of the Night Halloween event. There will be music, food and mazes. The Haunted Tram will take you through the scary woods and Extreme Bugs will be waiting with all the creepy crawlies you can stand. For the child who loves to make a mess (let's face it, that's just about all children), there will be The Pumpkin Executioner where pumpkins are smashed around the clock. Brookfield Zoo leaves no stone unturned for its Halloween thrills.

America Celebrates Halloween
(Credit: Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Halloween Party at Gately Park
Gately Park
744 E. 103rd St.
Chicago, IL 60628
(312) 747-6155

Date: October 25

What's more fun than a Halloween dance? There will be lots of parties for the older crowd, but what about the children who haven't quite reached teen status? This party is offered for young kids and provides a safe environment that gives them a chance to socialize with other children while donning their greatest Halloween attire. Chaperons will attend the party to help ensure the children's safety. Refreshments will be available and candy intake limited to avoid fights over the stock pile. If Gately Park isn't close to home, check your local listings as most park districts around Chicago will be having events just like this one.

Daley Plaza
118 N. Clark St.
Chicago, IL 60602
(312) 443-5500

Date: October 26-30

Chicagoween is a classic Halloween celebration. This Halloween event will be held at Daley Plaza in downtown Chicago. It features events like the Midnight Circus, a costume contest and pumpkin decorating. You will be able to dance while listening to live music and enjoy the amazing costumes of the other attendees.


Chicago Kids Halloween Zone

The plan for Halloween may be to just stay in, but even if you plan to be at home, you still want to have a great time with your kids. offers a great solution to this, the Halloween Zone. This page offers great tips and ideas for creating a special Halloween night at home. Plan your own party or movie night with a spooky theme. Check the site for fun recipes and games to enjoy with your children. Invite a few friends over and really have a ball.

Related: Best Bilingual Activities For Kids South Of The Loop

Jessica Cage is a freelance writer from Chicago. Her work can be found at

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