Halloween is no longer a one-day holiday for the sole purpose of accumulating as many Smarties and Tootsie Rolls as humanly possible.
In Park Ridge, especially, it’s a month-long season.
From the park district to the library to Iannelli Studios, there are a number of activities on deck to help families capture the Halloween spirit. Here are some of them:
AutumnFest at the library, Oct. 19
Autumnfest will take place Saturday, Oct. 19 on the lawn of the Park Ridge Library, 20 S. Prospect Ave., from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Pet owners are encouraged to join the costumed pet parade at 10:30 a.m., which will be followed by scarecrow making at 11:30 a.m. Participants should bring old clothing (child or adult sizes) to create their own scarecrow, while the library will provide the hay.
Oct. 19 is also the first day of the library’s Harry Potter-themed scavenger hunt. Stop by the Children’s Department to pick up clues to begin the hunt for Harry Potter objects around town. The hunt lasts through Oct. 31 and successful finishers quality for prizes. For more information, call (847) 825-4527.
Boo-Tastic Bash, Oct. 20
Brickton Art Center is again celebrating Halloween with the Boo-Tastic Bash on Sunday, Oct. 20, from 1 to 4 p.m. at South Park Recreation Center, 833 Talcott Rd. The afternoon will allow children to show off their creatively spooky sides with art projects while also participating in pumpkin decorating and costume contests. Jodi Koplin’s Jigglejam Band and DJ Dave will provide the afternoon’s musical backdrop.
Tickets are $15 per child; parents and children under age 1 are free. To register, visit www.bricktonartcenter.org or call (847) 823-6611.
Spooky Skate, Oct. 26
Oakton Ice Arena brings back its annual Halloween-themed skate on Saturday, Oct. 26 from 1 to 2 p.m. Open to all ages, skate rentals are $1 and anyone wearing a costume pays half-price admission. Eerie music and trick-or-treating are also part of the festivities.
Halloween Party, Oct. 26
Costumes, games, and a viewing of “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown,” are all part of the Park Ridge Park District’s Oct. 26 Halloween Party at Maine Park Leisure Center, 2701 W. Sibley Ave. The party, open to children ages 4 to 10, takes place from 6 to 9 p.m. and caps off with a costume parade. Cost is $14 for residents. To register, call (847) 692-5127.
Homegrown Horrorfest, Oct. 27
The Kalo Foundation will host an afternoon of visits from local authors, live music, and a special “Eerie Art Exhibit” on Sunday, Oct. 27, from 2 to 5 p.m. at Iannelli Studios Heritage Center, 255 N. Northwest Hwy. Writer Denise Fleischer will read selections from her book “Deadly Reservations,” while Park Ridge native Christian A. Larsen reads from his book “Losing Touch.” Scott Fischer of Fischer’s Flicker will perform, while visitors can view art works by Adam Nardi, a tattoo artist and instructor for the Chicago Park District. Scarecrows made by members of the community will be on display and awards for the best creations will be presented during the Horrorfest. For more information call (847) 261-4595.
Halloween concert, Oct. 30
The Park Ridge Civic Orchestra kicks off its 20th season with a Halloween-themed concert on Wednesday, Oct. 30 at 7 p.m. at the Pickwick Theatre, 5 S. Prospect Ave. The orchestra will perform selections from “Phantom of the Opera,” “Sorcerer’s Apprentice,” “Night on Bald Mountain,” and theme music from “Harry Potter.” The Pickwick’s historic pipe organ will also be played. A costume parade and other activities outside the theater precede the concert at 5 p.m. Tickets are available at parkridgecivicorchestra.org or by calling (847) 692-7726.
Wizard games, Oct. 30
From 5 to 6:30 p.m. at the Park Ridge Public Library, 20 S. Prospect Ave., wizard-themed games and activities will be offered in the Children’s Department, as well as a telling of the “Sorcerer’s Apprentice.”
Library trick-or-treating, Oct. 31
The library will again be open for trick-or-treating on Halloween. Special treats will be available for children visiting library departments.
Pumpkin smashing, Nov. 2
The Park Ridge Park District is again offering a way to recycle Halloween pumpkins once the holiday is over. The annual Pumpkin Smash and Bash will take place Saturday, Nov. 2 from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m., allowing pumpkin owners to roll their pumpkins down a sled hill and then smash them into piles of compost. Due to construction at Park Ridge’s Centennial Park, this year’s pumpkin smash will take place at the Flick Park Sled Hill, 3600 Glenview Rd. in Glenview. The event is free.
A previous version of this story that appeared online and in print included the incorrect date for wizard-themed games and a telling of the "Sorcerer's Apprentice" at the Park Ridge Public Library.