The Civic Orchestra of Chicago
Dan Rest

CHICAGO

October Facts & Stats
Average high/low temperature: 63/46 degrees Fahrenheit | Average rainfall: 3.24 inches
Sunset on Oct. 31: 5:46 p.m.

PIER PARTYING:  Navy Pier is Chicago’s home base for Halloween fun during the weekends leading up to Oct. 31. This year’s festivities on the 3,300-foot-long pier will include annual staples like large-scale costume contests (for kids and adults), live entertainment, spooktacular fireworks and loads of other warm-up Halloween events. www.navypier.com

CANINES IN COSTUME: The Spooky Pooch Parade (Oct. 19) at the Chicago Botanic Garden is a two-hour pet-costume pageant with official judging and an awards ceremony. Families can return a week later (without Fido) for the property’s human-oriented Halloween main event,  HallowFest (Oct. 26-27), featuring fortunetelling, face-painting and a magic show hosted by Dracula himself. www.chicagobotanic.org

CLASSIC ODE TO HALLOWEEN: The Civic Orchestra of Chicago performs some of the spookiest music ever composed at its annual Hallowed Haunts concert (Oct. 27). You’ve never heard Grieg and Prokofiev sound quite this chilling. www.cso.org

SCARIEST HAUNTED HOUSE ON WHEELS: Friday and Saturday nights through October, the Illinois Railway Museum hosts Terror on the Railroad, treating passengers to an intense, 25-minute haunted train ride aboard the Screamliner followed by Train of Chills, a stationary train walk-through. www.irm.org

BONUS LATE-OCTOBER EVENT: This year marks the 30th annual Chicago International Children’s Film Festival. North America’s largest festival of films for kids will include screenings of hundreds of culturally diverse, nonviolent, value-affirming works, including stuff made by frighteningly talented youth from around the globe. www.cicff.org