Halloween event roundup

For the first time since 2001, we’ll experience a full moon on Halloween. If that’s not festive enough, the weekend offers costume contests, scary movies, horror stories, magic tricks and tasty treats for kids (and pets) of all ages.

The socially distanced “Wicker Park & Bucktown Trick-or-Treat” is set for Saturday, Oct. 31. Twenty-five businesses from the area will spread out on The Bucktown Green, behind the Bucktown-Wicker Park Library, to give candy to families seeking a safe trick-or-treating experience. Timed tickets ($5 per family of five) must be purchased in advance at WickerParkBucktown.com.

Thanks to Replay Lincoln Park, scream-seekers can participate in an “Alley of Darkness Drive-Thru Experience” on Saturday, Oct. 31. After viewing a short drive-in movie, cars will take a 30-minute, 360-degree journey into an alley that includes up-close sightings of demons, zombies and more jumping out at and rocking the car with scary sounds and fake blood. For more information and tickets ($75 per car), visit AlleyofDarkness.ticketbud.com.

“The Music Box of Horrors at the Drive-In” is taking over the Chi-Town Movies Drive-In on Throop Street to project scary screenings, retro trailers, and text-to-win trivia contests. Car-loads (or folks with folding chairs) can view “Black Christmas” (1974) and “Silent Night Deadly Night 5: The Toy Maker” (1991) on Friday, Oct. 30; or “Nightmare on Elm Street” (1984) and “Mahakaal” (1994) on Saturday, Oct. 31. Admittance ($25-$40) starts 30 minutes prior to the film’s listed start time. To learn more, visit MusicBoxTheatre.com , CreepyCompany.com and Shudder.com.

AstonRep Theatre Company presents a free streaming radio broadcast of “Twisted Tales of Poe” featuring “The Tell-Tale Heart,” “The Cask of Amontillado,” “The Black Cat,” and “The Raven” by Edgar Allen Poe. “I was an avid reader as a kid and Poe was one of my favorite writers,” says Aaron Mays, who directs the broadcast performance (Oct. 26-31) on AstonRep.com via SoundCloud.

As part of “The Magic Parlour at Home” series, Dennis Watkins will perform a special Halloween-themed magic show at 8 p.m. on Oct. 31. The online event includes a costume contest that will benefit the nonprofit organization Camp Kids Are Kids Chicago, which supports children living with cancer. During intermission, participants of the costume contest will be judged by representatives of the Palmer House.The winner will receive an overnight stay at the historic hotel, dinner at Lockwood Restaurant & Bar, and seats to the in-person magic show (redeemable at a later date). For tickets ($65), visit TheMagicParlourChicago.com.

Children and furry family members of DuPage County are invited to compete in the “Virtual Halloween Costume Pageant and Contest” hosted by the McAninch Arts Center (MAC). The event will be broadcast on the MAC Facebook page beginning at noon on Friday, Oct. 30 and will available for viewing throughout Halloween weekend.

“We know COVID-19 distancing protocols mean kids and their families won’t be able to celebrate in Halloween parades as they usually do, so we wanted to do something special to help the residents of DuPage County celebrate in a fun and safe way,” says MAC Director Diana Martinez.

Winners in the kids (ages 3-11) category will receive gift baskets from the Glen Ellyn Sweet Shoppe, while animal victors will receive gift baskets from Wheaton’s Two Bostons Pet Shop. All winners will get a family pass to New Philharmonic’s “Holiday Sing-Along with the Symphony” Virtual Concert  (Dec. 12-13). For entry forms and submission details, visit AtTheMAC.org/Events/Costume-Pageant.

Ms. Arvia is a Rebellious columnist and movie critic; entertainment ghostwriter; award-winning artist; and grant-winning filmmaker.