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David Lissner
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13 spooktacular Halloween weekend events in Chicago

Costumes and specialty cocktails, pumpkins and beer. Halloween is for everybody — kids, adults, families and singles. Check out a few of the events going on this weekend around Chicago:

  1. Cactus Bar and Grill Halloween Benefit, Loop, 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Friday, Oct. 28, free to attend, donations of canned goods encouraged. All-day celebration benefits The Greater Chicago Food Depository. Drink specials include $2 jello shots in festive flavors (candy apple, candy cider, orange and black liquorish) and $4 Blue Moon Winter Ale pints. Bring in a can of food for The Greater Chicago Food Depository and get a free appetizer, such as artichoke jalapeno dip and chips, quesadillas or Death Valley wings.

  2. Navy Pier Really Big Halloween Party, Friday through Monday, Oct. 28–31. Live music and dancing in the Family Pavilion, photo ops with strolling sideshow characters, trick-or-treating up and down the Pier and a daily magic show. On Saturday, the Pier will host a costume contest with prizes, as well as fireworks at 9 p.m. Harry Caray’s Tavern on the Pier will offer weekend activities for kids including a Halloween scavenger hunt and decorating giant pumpkin cookies with frosting and candy ($3/cookie). For adults, spooktacular cocktails include “Casper the Friendly Ghost” (Pinnacle Whipped Vodka and coconut rum with a splash of cream and a Halloween Peep), “Black Widow” (Pinnacle Butterscotch and Svedka Vanilla with a chocolate web and a gummy spider) and “Mad Scientist” (Three Olives Rang Tang, orange juice and lime juice with a gummy finger), $9 to $10.

  3. Zocalo Restaurant and Tequila Bar Day of the Dead Celebration, neighborhood, Friday, Oct. 28, through Tuesday, Nov. 2. Dia de Los Muertos menu features Oaxacan cuisine including ceviche con pasilla de Oaxaca (seared scallops tossed in a citrus-pasilla dressing with orange segments, red onion and cilantro; served with malanga and plantain chips, $9), braised short ribs in mole negro ($18), zucchini blossom quesadillas ($17) and more.

  4. O’Donovan’s Pub and Restaurant Mash Bash Halloween Party, North Center, Saturday, Oct. 29. Costume contest, Halloween tunes all evening, optional party package from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m., $40 (advance purchase required), includes unlimited beer, wine, and well cocktails with Halloween inspired treats created by Chef Victor DeLeon. Special drinks include black martinis, “Taffy Apple,” “Satan’s Perfect Whiskers” and spiced pear for $8.

  5. Rockit Bar and Grill “Dukes of Hubbard” Hillbilly Halloween, River North, Saturday, Oct. 29. Amid hillbilly decor, DJ iRock mixes rock and country music, $4 Budweiser tallboys (with FREE redneck coozies), and $5 Maker’s Mark drinks all night long! Country costume contest starts at midnight.

  6. El’s Kitchen & Bar Horror Movie Night, Lincoln Park, 7 p.m. to 2 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 29. Live music, drink specials including $2 Bud Lite bottles, $3 well-drinks and $4 you-call-it shots plus classic horror movies throughout the night at the bar.

  7. Kit Kat Lounge and Supper Club Three Nights of Hauntings and “Rocky Horror Picture Show” Brunch, Northalsted, Saturday, Oct. 29, through Monday, Oct. 31. Nightly Hpnotiq Halloween cocktail parties, 5:30 p.m. to 2 a.m., and midnight costume contests feature, with cash prizes. Diva Kinley Preston entertains. Each night has a theme: “Diva Zombies” Saturday, “Super Heroes” Sunday and “Vampire Nation” Monday. At brunch, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 30, Diva Madame X performs songs from “Rocky Horror Picture Show” while it’s shown on seven large screens. Come dressed as a film character for the chance to win a cash prize. Along with the regular brunch list, Chef Mark Kasper’s a la carte menu options include a special “Meatloaf” entree (hoisin-ketchup glazed meatloaf made from ground Berkshire pork and ground Korean short rib with roasted maitake mushrooms, baby heirloom carrots and white truffle potato puree, $14) plus bottomless mimosas or bloody marys and a half-priced martini list.

  8. SmallBar Fullerton, Lincoln Park, and SmallBar Division, Wicker Park, Pumpkin Party, from 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 29, no cover. Four pumpkin beers available on draft: Southern Tier Pumking, Dogfish Head Punkin, Terraneena Painted Ladie and New Belgium Kick, along with house-made candies and cupcakes made with Southern Tier Pumking and topped with bourbon butter cream icing.

  9. Michael Diversey’s Tavern Halloween Horror Trivia Night and Costume Contest, Lincoln Park, 10 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 29, no cover or entry fee. Halloween edition of team trivia and a Halloween costume contest offer cash prizes and a Halloween-theme treasure hunt offers free drinks and other giveaways. Halloween libations include “Devils Spirit” ($4 Signature Tall Mimosas) and “Craft Poison” (New Holland’s Ichabod Pumpkin Ale, $4 a pint, $16 a pitcher).

  10. Roots Handmade Pizza, High Dive and Cleo’s Chicago Avenue Halloween Bar Crawl, Ukrainian Village, from 10 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 29. Drink specials ($3 Jameson shots and $4 select craft pints), costume contests for cash prizes and a cash raffle feature all three bars.

  11. River Shannon Kids’ Halloween Party, Lincoln Park, 4 to 6 p.m. Monday, Oct. 31, free. Pizza and pop party for kids and their accompanying parent or guardian offers Halloween games, goody bags filled with candy and fun Halloween-themed toys.

  12. Quartino Beggars’ Day Halloween Celebration, River North, noon to 5 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 30, free. Family-friendly event features pumpkin carving on the patio with free pumpkins, stencils, safety gloves and tutorials from Chef John Coletta plus candy apples and candy corn. Parental supervision is required. Costumes are encouraged.

  13. III Forks Steakhouse Halloween Under the Stars, Loop, Monday, Oct. 31. The party starts with free hors d’oeuvres from 5 to 7 p.m. in the heated rooftop lounge and includes a costume contest.