15 Best Festivals and Shows in Chicago during October 2018 - Kid 101

15 Best Festivals and Shows in Chicago during October 2018


The best of the best are in Chicago on concert tours this month – Ed Sheeran, Justin Timberlake, The Eagles, Elton John, BTS, and Twenty One Pilots. There are a variety of Halloween festivals to enjoy with kids – making a pleasant break from the city to enjoy some small town country fun with the kids. On the theatre stages, there is Hello Dolly and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory to delight audiences. And seeing as it is October you have to attend just one Oktoberfest!

 Ed Sheeran

About: Ed Sheeran has changed the face of popular music and became the Best Selling Global Recording Artist for 2017. The British singer reminds one of an unassuming slightly scruffy troubadour with his trusty guitar – but in March 2017 be had nine songs in the Top 10 at the same time. A creative genius, he brims with ideas for songs and has collaborated with artists like Taylor Swift and Andrea Bocelli, on different versions of the love song Perfect. He has sold over 100 million singles, so has obviously tapped into the zeitgeist of these times

Snow Patrol the band he is touring with has released a new album, Wildness, after a seven-year hiatus. Wildness taps into the raw and primitive with songs about our wildness, and our communion with nature and each other, how we have lost it and how we are trying to reconnect.

When: Thursday, October 4 at 7:00 pm.

Where: Soldier Field, 1410 Museum Campus Drive, Chicago, IL 60605

Contact: 312-235-7000

Cost: From $35

Justin Timberlake

About: Global superstar Justin Timberlake returns to the stage with The Man Of The Woods Tour in Chicago for the third time on October 5, due to overwhelming demand. Named after Timberlake’s new album Man Of The Woods, this tour gives him the opportunity to show off his new material giving a self-reflective look at his journey into fatherhood and offering up personal insight into his layered life experiences. The staging for the show is unusual – you have to see it understand.

When: Friday material giving October 5 at 7:30 pm.

Where: United Center, 1901 W Madison St, Chicago, IL 60612

Contact: 312-455-4500

Cost: From $55

 Bengtson’s Pumpkin Fest

About: Halloween comes to the Bengtson Farm again, with the family owned and operated Pumpkin Festival located 32 miles southwest of downtown Chicago that has served the Homer Glen area for 38 years. The farm is stroller- friendly so feel free to bring strollers or wagons as the farm is mostly paved, but there are some gravel paths. The Fun Barn has entertainment for even the youngest children. There are 9 different unlimited rides, pig races, a pumpkin chucker, and a petting zoo. The Haunted Barn is fine for mature kids who don’t mind some of the scary stuff!

When: October 1 – 30 (Starts September 14)

Where: 3341 W 151st St, Homer Glen, IL 60491

Contact: 708-301-3276

Cost: Check the schedule online for the day you are visiting – prices are cheaper from Monday to Thursday ranging from $9.99 to $11.99. Fridays and weekends prices range from $16.99 to $19.99, and as Halloween approaches, the weekends close to the end of the month go up to $20.99. Prices apply to anyone aged 3 and over. Kids aged 2 and under have free entry. Free parking.

Oktoberfest in Naperville

About: Head 32 miles southwest of downtown Chicago to enjoy live music ranging from the traditional Oompah bands to classic rock. German beer and food will be served, and family-friendly activities have been organized for the Saturday afternoon. The event takes place under a large heated tent. The lineup includes Lenny Gomulka & Chicago Push, Polkaholics, The Happy Wanderers, Steve Meisner Trio, Freeze Dried, Mike & Joe.

When: Friday and Saturday, October 5-6, from 5:00 pm to 10:00 pm on Friday and from 12:00 noon to 10:00 pm on Saturday.

Where: 523 Webster Street, Naperville, IL 60540

Contact: 630-420-6010

Cost: $15 per adult, $10 per child (4-12 years), Members, and children under 4 years of age free.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

About:  The wonderful world of Willy Wonka in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – the new musical based on Roald Dahl’s classic book is coming to Chicago to delight children and their parents. Pure Imagination, The Candy Man and I’ve Got a Golden Ticket, are songs that will be familiar to audiences from the movie, but there is toe-tapping new musical score, along with the amazing sets in this delectably delicious production with Noah Weisberg playing Willy Wonka, and Henry Boshart taking the part of Charlie Bucket.

When: October 2 – 13, Tuesday to Friday shows are at 7:30 pm. Saturday, October 6 at 11:00 am 2:00 pm and 8:00 pm, Saturday, October 13 at 2:00 pm and 8:00 pm only, Sundays 2:00 pm. No shows on Mondays.

Where: Oriental Theater, 24 W Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60601

Contact: 312-977-1700

Cost: From $22

Great Highwood Pumpkin Festival

About: Head 28 miles north of Chicago to Highwood for the Pumpkin Festival in the downtown area with trick or treating on Friday evening, a 5K fun run/walk on Saturday, and carnival rides, food, vendors and various costume contests- there is even one for your pet! At the festival, there will be an attempt to break the Guinness World Record for the most pumpkins carved and lit at once (30, 851) and raise funds for Make-A-Wish Illinois. Get down there and be part of history – you are encouraged to contribute to the effort by bringing a carved pumpkin – pumpkins will be accepted through Sunday afternoon. Place a candle in the pumpkin, and take it to the Pumpkin Drop Off location in front of City Hall. All those who bring carved pumpkins will receive a FREE admission pass to the weekend event.

When: Friday to Sunday, October 5 – 7, from 4:00 pm to 10:00 pm on Friday, 11:00 am to 10:00 pm on Saturday, and 11:00 am to 9:00 pm on Sunday.

Where: Downtown Highwood. Take Rte 41 North to Old Elm Road. Go east on Old Elm to Sheridan/Waukegan Rd. Mobil Station will be on the corner. Take a right to head south towards the Festival Grounds. Follow signs for parking.

Contact: 847-668-1213 or email info@celebratehighwood.org

Cost: $3 per day per person 7 years and older. $5 per person over 7 for a weekend pass. Children aged 6 and under free. Unlimited carnival ride special on Friday for $25.

Scarecrow Festival

About: Take a little time out from the city this autumn and head 37 miles west to visit the Scarecrow Fest where you can vote for your favorite handmade scarecrow, you could even enter a handmade scarecrow if you’re feeling particularly creative. There will be over 100 hand-made and mechanical scarecrows on display. Shop the arts and crafts show, dance to the live music, try the thrilling carnival rides, visit the petting zoo, and check out the vintage cars. While you’re in town visit the Arcada Theatre to listen to bands, and fill up on delicious artisan dishes at restaurants throughout town, that is if you have room after all the festival food from vendors. You’ll want to stay overnight to get it all done and take in some fall foliage viewing on the journey home.

When: October 5 – 7, Friday and Saturday from 10:00 am to 9:00 pm, and on Sunday from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm.

Where: Downtown St Charles – see the festival map for details of areas and activities.

Contact: 630-377-6161 or emailinfo@scarecrowfest.com

Cost: Free

Twenty-One Pilots

About: Twenty One Pilots have shared two new tracks Jumpsuit and Nico And The Niners – which will appear on the band’s anticipated new studio album. TRENCH –due for release on October 5. The GRAMMY Award-winning duo’s 2015 LP, BLURRYFACE, sold over  6.5 million copies worldwide. They are hugely popular, plus their light show and stage presence add up to a show well worth watching.

When: Wednesday, October 17 at 7:00 pm.

Where: United Center, 1901 W Madison St, Chicago, IL 60612

Contact: 312-455-4500

Cost: From $189

The Eagles

About: The Eagles – Don Henley, Joe Walsh & Timothy B. Schmit, with Vince Gill and Deacon Frey – will bring their 2018 North American Tour to Chicago on October 15. Who doesn’t know their 1976 classic Hotel California or Take it to the Limit? As they say to the audience – thank you for the last 45 years. Their American rock sound is one that generations have held close to their hearts with Hotel California considered one of the greatest classic rock albums ever.

When: Monday, October 15 at 8:00 pm.

Where: United Center, 1901 W Madison St, Chicago, IL 60612

Contact: 312-455-4500

Cost: From $62

BTS World Tour

About: BTS, the South Korean pop sensation return to the USA in 2018 with their new Love Yourself Tour. While K-pop refers to Korean pop it is not limited to Korea – the phenomenon has spread worldwide. Wings the second album released in 2016 by the seven-member boy band peaked at number 26 on the Billboard 200. It marked the highest chart ranking for a K-pop album at the time but in 2017 with the release of Love Yourself: Her the album debuted at number 7 – the first time an Asian artist had ranked so high in history and in 2017 BTS had more tweets than Justin Bieber and Donald Trump combined! Not bad going.

When: Tuesday and Wednesday, October 2-3 at 8:00 pm.

Where: United Center, 1901 W Madison St, Chicago, IL 60612

Contact: 312-455-4500

Cost: From $303

Arts in the Dark

About: A pre-parade show starts at 4:00 pm at Buckingham Fountain, and then the Halloween parade of artistic creatures starts at 6:00 pm and lasts until around 8:00 pm with a post-parade dance party starting at 7:30 pm in Millennium Park. A family movie & treats have been arranged for 8:00 pm in Maggie Daley Park. Arts in the Dark delights the audience with unique floats, lanterns and creative lighting, spectacle puppets and creative performances set against the backdrop of Chicago’s majestic skyline.

When: Saturday, October 20 from 4:00 pm to around 10:00 pm.

Where: Parade on Columbus Drive (from Balbo Avenue to Monroe Street). Movie and treats in Maggie Daley Park

Contact: 312-286-0297 or email Sharene@LUMA8.org

Cost: Free

Clark Street Spooktacular

About:  The Lincoln Park Chamber of Commerce organizes the Clark Street Spooktacular that has family-friendly games, trick-or-treating, street magicians, jugglers, stilt walkers, and a costume contest. Participating businesses from Armitage to Diversey, and on the south side of Diversey from Orchard to Lakeview, open their doors to trick-or-treaters. Dress yourself and the little ones in Halloween costumes and come down to escort them and enjoy the fun.

When: Sunday, October 28 from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm.

Where: Clark Street from Diversey to Armitage and the south side of Diversey from Orchard to Lakeview

Contact: 773 880 5200

Cost: Free

Elton John Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour

About:  After more than half a century on the road and an unparalleled career that has redefined the cultural landscape and seen Elton John claim his place as a true global icon, Elton John has announced his final tour. The Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour will make a stop in Chicago for two nights on October 26 and 27! Listen to some of his greatest hits like Don’t go Breaking my Heart, The Circle of Life (for the Lion King movie), Goodbye Yellow Brick Road and Candle in the Wind (a tribute to Lady Diana).

When: October 26-27 at 8:00 pm.

Where: United Center, 1901 W Madison St, Chicago, IL 60612

Contact: 312-455-4500

Cost: From $136

Hello, Dolly!

About: Hello Dolly! starring Betty Buckley, the Tony Award®-winning Broadway legend has been called the best show of the year and has won four Tony Awards including Best Musical Revival. Director Jerry Zaks’ production has been breaking box office records and received raves on Broadway for a production that pays tribute to the original work of legendary director/choreographer Gower Champion. This musical comedy is a must-see event, recommended for ages 9 and over. The show runs for 2 hours and 35 minutes with an intermission.

When: October 23-31 (ends November 17, 2018) Various times.

Where: Oriental Theater, 24 W Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60601

Contact: 312-977-1700

Cost: From $34

Halloween Boonanza

About: This event sponsored by Schaumburg Bank & Trust Company, N.A., A Wintrust Community Bank is for 2 to 14 year old. Parents can attend free of charge! Kids will enjoy crafts, inflatables, trick or treating, candy, a costume contest, a haunted train ride, carnival games, and entertainment at the Halloween carnival in Schaumburg, 32 miles northwest of downtown Chicago.

When: Wednesday, October 31 from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm.

Where: Community Recreation Center & Safety Park, 505 N. Springinsguth Road,  Schaumberg, IL

Contact: 847-490-7020

Cost: $10 for youngsters between the ages of 2-14, includes all activities except concessions. The day of the event cost is $12. Parents and children younger than 2 years are free.



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