October 11: Focus on Family - Halloween Activities for Kids

Halloween Family Fun in Chicago

Taltree Haunted Railway Garden
The Taltree Railway Garden covering nearly an acre, is an outdoor garden-scale model railway garden that engages visitors of all ages in an environment where they can explore, discover, play, and learn about horticulture and natural history. The Taltree Railway Garden tells amazing stories of American railroads in the context of a large display garden.
During the month of October, the Railway Garden is decked out for Halloween. Guests will be treated to especially spooky sights and sounds plus storytime and craft projects during Twilight Witching Hours on selected Thursday - Saturday evenings through October 28th. On October 29, 30 and 31, trick or treat at the Arboretum.
Where: Taltree Arboretum and Gardens, 450 West 100 North, Valparaiso, IN
When: Taltree Railway Garden open 7 days a week May - October - 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Twilight Witching Hour events from 4 – 7 p.m. on selected Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.
Cost: $10 age 13+ /$8 seniors /$5 kids 5-12 /Free for members and kids 4 and under
Ages: All ages

Lambs Farm – Haunted Harvest and Goblins Gathering
Lambs Farm is an iconic destination in the Chicago area where families can come to visit animals in the farmyard, play mini golf, ride a wooden carousel and take a mini train ride. On Saturday nights in October, thrill-seekers of all ages can experience The Haunted Harvest -- a spooky celebration full of fun and adventure, featuring the unique Train of Terror! This event transforms the Farmyard with delightfully frightening activities including the Creature Walk, Graveyard Golf, an Enchanted Carousel, and the Monster Midway. This is a kid-friendly event, but beware, the Train of Terror is not for the faint of heart!
On Saturday, October 29th, children can enjoy a host of activities and compete in a costume contest with their pets when Lambs Farm hosts their annual Goblins Gathering event. This event is free with admission to the Farm.
Where: Lambs Farm, 14245 W. Rockland Road, Libertyville, IL
When: Haunted Harvest is held Saturday nights in October 6-10 p.m.

Goblins Gathering is held Saturday, Oct. 29th, 12 - 4 p.m..
Cost: An ALL NIGHT PASS for Haunted Harvest is $15 per person, Kids under 3 FREE (with purchase of adult pass). Individual activity pricing is also available.
Admission to Lambs Farm: Day Pass is $12 for kids under 12; $8 for ages 12+
Ages: All ages welcome, but probably best for kids 10 or so and under

Mummies Night! Oriental Museum
The Oriental Institute Museum at the University of Chicago annually hosts this pre-Halloween celebration for a "tomb-full" of family fun! Various mummy-themed activities are planned, including:
Get up close and personal with a mummy
Discover painted coffins and a Book of the Dead
View "Mummies Made in Egypt," an award-winning children's film
Try on an outfit from King Tut's closet
Take a treasure hunt in the Egyptian Gallery to see if you can find out what a mummified ancient Egyptian priestess actually looked like when she was alive 3,000 years ago!
Where: University of Chicago Oriental Institute Museum, 1155 E 58th Street, Chicago, IL
When: Thursday, October 27th, 6 - 8 p.m.
Cost: $3 per person, payable at the door. Free for Oriental Institute members.
Ages: Ages 5 and up accompanied by an adult.

Haunted Nature Trail – Ellis Equestrian Center
If your kids love horses, the Ellis Equestrian Center's Haunted Nature Trail event is sure to be a hit.
Two trails are offered. Tour the spooky trail or if you don't like scary trails, walk the educational nature trail and learn about bats, beetles, spiders and trees. When not on the Haunted Trail enjoy a hayrack ride through the fields, costumed pony rides ($2 per ride), pumpkin decorating, scavenger hunt for treats, horse painting, and loads of other fun fall activities. Concessions will be available for purchase.
Where: Ellis Equestrian Center, 13986 McKanna Rd, Minooka, IL
When: Friday, October 28, 2011
Cost: Admission and most activities are free. Pony rides are $2.
Ages: All ages

Halloween Treats from Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory
Chocoholics will delight in the fantastic variety of yummy chocolates and confections found in this store. If your timing is right, you may watch the staff dip crisp apples in thick, bubbling caramel from a traditional copper kettle and then roll them in tasty toppings. Or you may learn how fudge is made when they fashion a creamy loaf on a traditional marble slab, the old fashioned way, right before your eyes.
Where: 31 S. Northwest Highway, Park Ridge, IL
When: Open 7 days a week.
Cost: Varies by purchase.
Ages: All ages

Quick Links to Chicago Fall Family Fun:

Chicago Kids Halloween Guide
Kidwinks Fall Fun Guide
Chicago Area Pumpkin Farms
Chicago Area Apple Orchards
Chicago Area Fall Events Chicago Area Fall Kids Activities