How to Have a Heavanston Halloween in ‘23

Sep 22, 2023

While Evanston may be known for its beautiful lots and breathtaking lake views, dubbing the city “Heavanston” all year round, don’t forget about Halloween. During the month of October, the city truly prepares for the fun, spooky season.

Evanston’s official trick-or-treat hours are on Tuesday, October 31st, from 4:00 – 7:00 p.m.  If you are participating, have your porch lights on and consider handing out individual goodie bags on your porch or steps. And, if you are not participating, it is suggested that you have your lights off and a sign on your door. Finally, if you’re out and about, be aware that ghouls, ghosts, princesses, and pop stars will be roaming the streets.

To help you get ready to make it another special Halloween in Evanston, here are some local seasonal events:

Harvest Fest, September 30th: Come celebrate the joys of the fall season and community agriculture at Eggleston Park during the Ecology Center’s first annual fall Harvest Festival! Enjoy a free pumpkin patch, fall-themed games, a scarecrow-making contest, fall crafts, live music, and more! Then go on tours of the Farmette, bee apiary, and Food Forest. All activities are free.

Kids Pumpkin Painting, October 4th: Come out to Chandler-Newberger for an afternoon of fun. Evanston Parks & Recreation will supply the paint and pumpkins. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Registration is required. Each child will be given a pumpkin to decorate. Please register on the City of Evanston website.

Free Halloween Pop-up Shop, October 8th: It is never too early to get your costume. Stop by the Fleetwood-Jourdain Community Center, between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m., for your chance to get free new and gently used costumes and accessories! Free and open to the public.

Ridgeville Park’s Fall Frenzy, October 19th: Enjoy live music, candy scavenger hunt, arts and crafts, and pumpkin painting between 4:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. at Ridgeville Park, 908 Seward. Dress up or come as you are. Perfect for the whole family.

Family Pumpkin Carving Night, October 20th: Looking for a fun, Halloween themed night out with the family? Bring your creativity to Chandler-Newberger, and Evanston Parks & Recreation will supply the pumpkin! Carving tools and templates provided but feel free to bring your own. Registration required, please register one person per family. Each family will receive a pumpkin to carve. If you would like additional pumpkins, please register an additional family member.

Zombie Scramble, October 22nd: Try to avoid roaming “zombies” as you walk a 2-mile course through Ladd Arboretum, Butler Park and Twilggs Park. It’s between 5:15 pm and 8pm, but you must register for a time to participate. Be sure to bring a flashlight! Perfect for ages 8 and up. For more information and to register, go to Team registration is recommended.

Trick-or-Treat on Central Street, October 22nd: Enjoy Halloween-themed crafts and trick-or-treat bag making at the Evanston Art Center. Trick-or-treat at the participating Central Street businesses (bring a bag or make one at the Art Center). Join us in costume for our Spooky DJ dance party finale in Independence Park. Go to: Central Street Trick or Treat for details.

City of Evanston Trunk or Treat, October 27th Trick-or-treat as you see costumed-up police cars, public work trucks, and other City of Evanston vehicles between 1:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. at the Robert Crown Community Center Parking lot off Main Street.  Perfect for children of all ages and their families. While the event is free, pe-registration at City of Evanston Trunk or Treat is required.

Downtown Evanston Trick or Treat Stroll, October 28th: Bring your kids downtown to trick or treating at local businesses! Stop at participating businesses for candy and other goodies. Go to Fountain Square (the plaza north of Davis Street) to pick up a map as well as to take part in fall arts and crafts activities.

Spooky Saturday Trick or Treat & Pumpkin Carving Contest, October 28th: ALL DAY: Trick or Treat at the local businesses along the 500 Block of Dempster Street during regular business hours – plus experience SCarolers between 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. and a Pumpkin Carving Contest (be sure to vote for your favorite one) from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. All ages are welcome, and costumes are encouraged!

But it’s not just businesses and City of Evanston that gets into the act. Many homeowners get into the Halloween spirit to decorate their homes. Some of our local favorites include:


  • Corner of McDaniel and Hartzell
  • Noyes & Wesley
  • 800 blocks of Monroe, Reba, Sherman and South
  • Mulford between Ridge and Asbury
  • Dobson between Ridge and Barton
  • 2100 Block of Cleveland

If you know of other favorite spots spooking up the surroundings with Halloween decorations or additional events, please let us know and we’ll help spread the word: and/ or 847-274-6676.

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