Fall, winter serve up lots of fun, attractions for the entire family

From Halloween haunts to classical music, check out these things to see and do.

SHARE Fall, winter serve up lots of fun, attractions for the entire family
“Illumination: Tree Lights at The Morton Arboretum” returns to the Lisle park in its original format beginning Nov. 20.

“Illumination: Tree Lights at The Morton Arboretum” returns to the Lisle park in its original format beginning Nov. 20.

Copyright 2017 Michael Hudson

Gather up the family and check out these kid-friendly things to see and do in the weeks ahead. We’ve included some ghoulish fun for the older kids, too. Check individual websites for COVID protocols and age restrictions.

Morton Arboretum: Fall programming features a variety of outdoor events including the walking play “A Haunting in Sherwood Forest” (weekends through Oct. 31), Cider and Ale Fest (Oct. 23), the Glass Pumpkin Exhibition (Oct. 13-15, display of thousands of hand-blown glass pumpkins), an the return of “Illumination: Tree Lights at The Morton Arboretum” (original mile-long walking path is back, Nov. 20 through Jan. 2). There is also a long list of other activities including wellness programs, family hikes and informational programs. 4100 Ill. 53, Lisle, $8-$16 (some events require addidtional ticketing); mortonarb.org

2021 Fall/Winter Entertainment Guide

2021 Fall/Winter Entertainment Guide

The arrival of cooler weather and shorter days can’t stop Chicago from having a good time. Find something fun to do in the city with our Fall/Winter Entertainment Guide.

13th Floor Haunted Houses: “Bad Blood” revolves around an ancient feud between vampires and werewolves and in “Spirit of Halloween,” a witch casts a spell to summon the spirits of the underworld. To Nov. 13 at 5050 River Rd, Schiller Park, $19.99+; 13thfloorchicago.com

Statesville Haunted Prison: Halloween chills and thrills get underway with the final year of this haunted site featuring 30 rooms of horrifying creatures and convicts. To Oct. 31 at 17250 S. Weber, Lockport, $30, $45; statesvillehauntedprison.com

The Forge: Lemont Quarries: Fall-themed festivities include Zombie Apocalypse Laser Tag (Fridays-Sundays to Oct. 31), a screening of “The Nightmare Before Christmas (Oct. 23), “The Tale of Talcott’s Stone – A Guided Adventure Game” (Oct. 29-30), Fireside Ghost Stories with Orion Couling (Oct. 29-30). 1001 Main, Lemont. Admission is free; prices for activities vary; forgeparks.com

The Dr. Seuss Experience: The 25,000-square-foot immersive attraction experience is a multi-sensory trip through nine Seuss books including “The Cat in the Hat,” “Horton Hears a Who!,” “The Lorax” and “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.” Plus, there’s an interconnected maze with hundreds of balloons. Begins Oct. 8 at Water Tower Place in the former Macy’s, 835 N. Michigan, $23+; experienceseuss.com

There are selfie opportunities throughout “The Dr. Seuss Experience.”

There are selfie opportunities throughout “The Dr. Seuss Experience.”

Kilburn Live

Brookfield Zoo: Fall events (Oct. 9-24) include a corn maze, family photo ops, giant inflatables and more. Holiday events include a community tree trimming (Nov. 13-14), a Reindeer Run (Nov. 20) and Holiday Magic (Nov. 26-Dec. 31), the annual light show. Brookfield Zoo, 8400 W. 31st, Brookfield, $17.95-19.95; czs.org

Open House Chicago: The Chicago Architecture Center’s annual festival that celebrates the city’s architecture features self-guided outdoor tours throughout October and indoor tours (Oct. 16-17), with more than 200 buildings in city neighborhoods and the suburbs open to the public. Free; openhousechicago.org

Fall fun at Brookfield Zoo.

Fall fun at Brookfield Zoo.

Courtesy Brookfield Zoo

Little Park of Horrors: The drive-through only Halloween experience features horror displays with music and lighting effects. Oct. 21-24, 28-31. Wing Park, 1010 Wing St., Elgin, $10 advance tickets for timed entry; ticketweb.com

CSO for Kids: Members of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra introduce children to classical music at two daytime performances (Oct. 23), the orchestra performs John Williams’ score at a screening of “Home Alone” (Nov. 26-28) and the orchestra shares holiday music for the annual family concert “Merry, Merry Chicago!” (Dec. 17-23). Prices vary; cso.org

The Laurie Berkner Band.

The Laurie Berkner Band.

Jayme Thornton

Laurie Berkner’s Halloween Party: The children’s musician invites families to her virtual party where they can sing along to original Halloween tunes and old favorites. Streams on Oct. 31, $20; laurieberkner.com

Lincoln Park Zoo’s ZooLights: The zoo grounds are transformed into a land of twinkling lights. There are also photos with Santa, a light maze, an enchanted forest and much more. Nov. 19-Jan. 2. Lincoln Park Zoo, 2001 N. Clark, $5 with some free nights; lpzoo.org

Christkindlmarket: Families can enjoy the return of this holiday tradition with its European feel and its wide array of gifts and food. Nov. 19-Dec. 24 at Daley Plaza, 50 W. Washington, and Nov. 19-Dec. 31 outside Wrigley Field, 1060 W. Addison, Free; christkindlmarket.com

Beatrix Potter Holiday Tea Party: A puppet show starring Peter Rabbit and his favorite animal friends plus photos with the cast, cookies and cocoa. Nov. 20-Dec. 24. Chicago Children’s Theatre, 100 S. Racine, $42+; chicagochildrenstheatre.org

Chicago Halloweek:The Upside-Down Parade in Washington Park (noon-3 p.m. Oct. 23) features dancers, musicians, circus acrobats and more; Arts in the Dark Halloween Parade (6-8 p.m. Oct. 30) features floats, spectacle puppets and performances downtown on State Street; the Dia de los Muertos Celebration (9 a.m.-3 p.m.) at Maxwell Street Market includes music, a sugar skull workshop, pumpkin decorating and more. Free; chicagohalloweek.org

Millennium Park: The holidays get underway with the annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony (Nov. 19) and continue with the McCormick Tribune Ice Rink (Nov. 19-March 6) and the Millennium Park Holiday Sing-Along (Nov. 26-Dec. 17). Free; millenniumpark.org

Compiled by Mary Houlihan, For the Sun-Times

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