Can you believe we’re halfway through October already and only two weeks away from Halloween!  I say it’s time to pick your own pumpkins at a local pumpkin patch and partake in pre-Halloween festivities this weekend!

Once again, Navy Pier (600 E. Grand Ave.) in the Streeterville neighborhood is transforming into a fall spectacle with nearly 1,000 pumpkins for their Pier Pumpkin Lights now through October 31st (10 a.m. – 11:30 p.m.)  As guests wander around the glowing, spooky spectacles with elaborate jack o’lantern towers and light displays, they’ll also be able to catch deals from the Pier’s many restaurants and bars and also enjoy other seasonal and Halloween festivities fit for the whole family! Remember, the pumpkins are best experienced after dusk!

The biggest pumpkin patch pop-up, Jack’s Pumpkin Pop-Up, is located in the heart of Chicago at 1467 N. Elston Ave. in the River West neighborhood now through October 31st. This newest interactive pop-up experience is on over 2 acres of land where guests can experience a larger than life, outdoor, multi-sensory adventure in the city rather than traveling to the suburbs. This event brings you Chicago’s largest corn maze, thousands of pumpkins, food trucks, three full-service bars, axe throwing, carnival games and more!  There’s an experience here for everyone!

JoJo’s Shake Bar (23 W. Hubbard St.) in the River North neighborhood will be transforming their 5,000 square-foot outdoor patio into JoJo’s Pumpkin Patch now through November 1st (11 a.m. – 11:30 p.m.) where you will find hay bales, festive lights and “pumpkin domes” outfitted with tables of six or less for dining and hanging out. And, besides hand picking your own pumpkin, guests can enjoy a menu of special seasonal dishes that include gourmet caramel apples, pumpkin and apple pies, spiked ciders, and hot chocolates as well as their decadent Pumpkin Patch Shake that’s topped with a slice of pumpkin pie, a taffy apple, roasted marshmallow and a Reese’s pretzel Best part is you can take all these fall favorites home with you!

It’s back for its 9th year! The annual Rosehill Cemetery ‘Crypt’ 5K Run/Walk is fall’s most spirited event taking place on the grounds of the north side’s historic Rosehill Cemetery (5800 N. Ravenswood Ave.) this Saturday at 7 p.m. Run or walk this candle-lit 5K course on Rosehill’s sprawling 350-acre Victorian-era cemetery that opened back in 1864. Not only will you come across monuments, mausoleums, and scenic paths, but you may also be greeted by some of the famous eternal spirits who reside in Rosehill!  

Afterwards, head on over to the Fireside Restaurant located right across from the start/finish area for the post run/walk party. Enjoy a complimentary sponsored beverage and delicious food (for an additional charge) while the overall and age group winners are announced. Then stick around for the band playing some spook-tastic tunes! Everyone is welcome, not just the participants!

Join tens of thousands of fans as they converge at the 2021 Wizard World Chicago this Saturday (10 a.m. – 7 p.m.) and Sunday (10 a.m. – 5 p.m.) at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center (5555 N. River Rd.) in Rosemont. This event celebrates the best in pop culture: movies, comics, cosplay, video gaming, collectibles, contests and more! It also features non-stop live entertainment throughout the evening hours, gaming, exclusive Q&A sessions with top celebrities, movie screenings, anime, a kids’ zone and more!

If you wish to partake in a real scary pre-Halloween event, the Chicago Bears are hosting the Green Bay Packers this Sunday (12:00 p.m.) at Soldier Field!

Sue Moss and Dean’s Team Chicago