Glowing gourds invade the North Shore when an otherwise tranquil garden is transformed into the Night of 1,000 Jack-o’-Lanterns. The hand-carved pumpkins, festooned with Chicago-centric images, Day of the Dead artwork and classic Halloween characters, are the handiwork of New York-based company Rise of the Jack O’Lanterns. Keep your eyes peeled for costumed characters; seasonal treats and beer are for sale.
Details: 6:30-10:30 p.m. Thursday-Sunday (some time slots sold out) at Chicago Botanic Garden, 1000 Lake Cook Road, Glencoe. $12-$16; free for kids ages 2 and under. | MAP
The humble campfire ghost story gets a big screen injection when the Park District puts Tobe Hooper’s 1982 flick “Poltergeist” on rotation at its outdoor series Campfire Horrors. Marshmallows included; BYO chair and blanket. Screening will move indoors in case of rain.
Details: Campfires lit at 6 p.m.; movie at 7 p.m. Friday at Northerly Island Visitors Center, 1521 S. Linn White Drive. Free. | MAP
Promising “rapid-fire telepathy” from an “awesome psychic entertainer” sounds like a bit of sideshow pomp, but Sidney Friedman’s interactive “Mind Shivers” show is no one-trick pony: 2016 marks its 18th Halloween in Chicago. This year, Friedman throws in a digital copy of his new book, “How to Read Minds – For Real.”
Details: 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays through Oct. 29 at Davenport’s Cabaret Room, 1383 N. Milwaukee Ave. $29, plus a two-drink minimum. | MAP
Suspend your belief in gravity for an Open House at the Actors Gymnasium. The two-hour trial offers anyone with an itch for aerial arts a chance to get launched, meet teachers and check out the 3,000-square-foot space.
Details: 1-3 p.m. Saturday at the Noyes Cultural Arts Center, 927 Noyes St., Evanston. Free; RSVP not needed. | MAP
Just when you think you've heard it all, along comes Dr. Ruth Westheimer. The diminutive sexpert joins local ensemble Chicago a Cappella as guest narrator for the return of “The Birds & The Bees: Songs of Nature and Naughtiness.” Expect a range of music, from Renaissance songs to Motown to jazz standards – along with what executive director Matthew Greenberg calls “wit and cheekiness.” In addition to Sunday’s show in Hyde Park, Westheimer narrates a performance in Naperville on Saturday. Next weekend, Dr. Laura Berman narrates performances in Evanston (Oct. 29) and Oak Park (Oct. 30). Full details here.
Details: 4 p.m. Sunday at Logan Center for the Arts, 915 E. 60th St. $15-$45. | MAP
If you’ve yet to explore the cavernous Zhou B. Art Center, Friday is a great time to do so. On the lower level, local art events producer Art Depth celebrates its “7th Annual,” featuring works by local artists on this year’s theme – Change – plus live music and spoken word, drawing stations, figure models, DJ RomaSoul and activities for kids. Elsewhere in the space, resident artists open their studios as part of the center’s 3rd Fridays event (7-10 p.m.).
Details: 6-11 p.m. Friday at Zhou B. Art Center, 1029 W. 35th St. Free. | MAP
See another side of Lincoln Park when the Driehaus Museum revives its 90-minute tour for the third year. Historian Sally Sexton Kalmbach leads Death, Disease and Bones: The Lincoln Park Walking Tour that offers a lesson on the area’s “macabre history as a vast, windswept burial site.”
Details: 4 p.m. Thursdays through Oct. 27; and Saturday. Meet at the Benjamin Franklin Monument in Lincoln Park. $30; $22 for members.| MAP
Support Facets – a local cultural institution since 1975 – while kicking off the 2016 Chicago International Children’s Film Festival (Oct. 28-Nov. 6) at the annual family party Boo! Bash 2016. Bonus: Party guests double as players in “Boo! Bash: The Movie!” as they tackle Halloween-themed activities such as a screaming contest and relay race. The short film will screen on closing night of the festival. Tickets include food and drinks, performances, a costume contest and more. Proceeds benefit the Facets Academy education programs and this year's film fest.
Details: 2:30-5:30 p.m. Sunday at Park West, 322 W. Armitage Ave. $125; $50 per child. | MAP
9. Tune in
The Grammy Award-winning ensemble Eighth Blackbird performs a free show in honor of the centennial celebration of the Arts Club of Chicago. In addition to performances throughout the day of "Composition as Explanation" by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer David Lang (see video below), the institution's Centennial Open House features artist performances, talks and installations. Guests can explore the entire building, including the upstairs salon and dining room.
Details: Noon-5 p.m. Saturday at the Arts Club of Chicago, 201 E. Ontario St. Free. | MAP
The Field Museum needs your enthusiam for research – and computers. Help increase the number of specimens in its vast collection, estimated at some 30 million objects, as part of WeDigBio: Chicago. Volunteers must be at least 15 years old and can work on site at the museum or remotely online. Includes snacks, free parking and a behind-the-scenes tour. Read more about the event here.
Details: Sessions at 8:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. Thursday through Sunday (some sessions full) at the Field Museum, 1400 S. Lake Shore Drive. Volunteers can also work remotely. Free | MAP
Events listed are subject to change. We recommend double-checking times and locations before you head out the door. Want to share your upcoming events with us for consideration in a future roundup? Send us an email.