You’re probably not going to any Halloween parties this year, trick-or-treating has been cancelled, and wearing a mask just doesn’t feel...as special anymore. But if you want to do something for Halloween besides watching one of the Final Destination movies alone on your couch, you have options. From now until November 1st, plenty of bars and restaurants across the city will have Halloween activities and specials - with everything from haunted (and heated) cabins to fortune-tellers and free candy.
The Spooky Spots
In case your dead-plant-filled apartment isn’t scary enough, the rooftop bar on top of the Godfrey has “haunted” domes you can rent on Halloween. Each one sits two to six people, where you can have drinks, watch a fire dancer, wear a costume (there will be prizes), and hope that there’s some sort of world-wide exorcism performed on this entire year. Also worth noting is that the domes are sanitized and ventilated between each reservation.
In more “haunted” outdoor structure news, this rooftop bar in Wicker Park has heated, haunted cabins (which are genuinely disturbing - see picture above) that you can reserve for the rest of the month. They’re also playing scary movies on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays on their two giant outdoor TVs.
The Dandy Crown
This brand new bar in River West has a heated, covered patio full of Halloween decorations, and on October 25th, they’re hosting free pumpkin carving from 2-5pm. So you should probably plan on doing the majority of your drinking after that.
Recess is hosting a pop-up Halloween marketplace, along with a bunch of other events, on its giant patio. From 10/26 through 11/1, they’re giving away candy bags for kids (all prepackaged) and have activities like fortune tellers, food specials, and themed cocktails. And on the 27th, they’re having a dog costume contest with prizes, with all the proceeds going to charity.
If you feel like staying in, order some Halloween-themed food from Gadabout. This small-plates spot in Andersonville has dishes like a “stake through the heart” (beef heart skewers) and a funnel web “spider,” which is a funnel cake topped with black meringue and is way better than the spider treats you tried to make out of Oreos and pretzel sticks.
Jojo's Shake Bar
For the month of October, Jojo’s in River North has turned its large patio into a giant pumpkin patch. So you can indeed pick pumpkins, but more importantly, you can eat their over-the-top desserts (like caramel apples, shakes, pies, and shakes topped with pie) in a glass dome.
Daisies also has a pumpkin patch, as well as a photographer doing socially-distanced Halloween portraits on 10/24 and 10/31. They’re also hosting a fall market, with things like apples, pears, and sweet potatoes - basically any produce with the color palette of “autumn.”
Replay Lincoln Park
This arcade bar has a few things happening. There’s an outdoor, socially-distanced Stranger Things-themed pop-up where their patio is decorated to look like places from the show (like the Upside Down). Plus, they also have a 30-minute-long drive-through haunted house in the alley behind the bar. And if you want something even more immersive, they’re putting on a 90-minute “Highway of Horror” in the Loop. If you don’t have a car (or you want to drink while being scared), you can rent a private, BYOB dome. Tickets are available here.
On Halloween, Bar Roma (a very good Italian spot in Andersonville) is hosting a socially-distanced costume contest. First prize is a $100 gift card to the restaurant, second is a $50 gift card, and the third-place winner will receive a bottle of wine. So you have several weeks to come up with something besides “the fly on Pence’s head.”
Joy District is hosting a Halloween Drag Brunch on Saturday, October 31. It’s $30 per person, and includes your choice of bottomless mimosas or a beer package. Performances start at 12 p.m, and there will be a raffle with prizes.
Shaw's Crab House
Shaw’s is having a Halloween-themed brunch on October 25th, where kids (12 and under) can eat for free if they’re wearing a costume. So you can pretend that the Elsa outfit they’ve been wearing every day since Frozen 2 came out is a “costume.”
OK - Hubbard Inn’s Halloween experience sounds truly terrifying, but it’s our job to tell you about it. They’re doing a “Haunted Dining in the Dark” dinner on the restaurant’s third floor. Each course of the three-course meal will be revealed after diners take their first bite in pitch-black, and the restaurant will have “haunted surroundings.” Tickets are $80 per person and include dinner and wine pairings.