The Kickass Chicago Halloween Parties You Need to Book ASAP

Pick your poison: Haunted cruises, masquerade balls and more

By Walker Loetscher

The Kickass Chicago Halloween Parties You Need to Book ASAP
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04 October 2018

In our opinion, the best nights tend to occur spontaneously.

Hence why we typically forgo New Year’s Eve extravaganzas, St. Paddy’s parades and any occasion that triggers Surge Fares.

But we’ll make one exception: Halloween, the one day on which donning a costume and acting a fool with a roomful of strangers hasn’t lost its charm.

If you feel the same, consider one of these four elegant, highbrow, devilishly fun ways to celebrate in 2018.


Image via Illumination Chicago

You Want to Go to a Halloween Party From the Future: Illumination
Now in its third year, Illumination is an annual bacchanal of the senses incorporating circus-style acrobatics and performances, top-shelf food and drink sponsors (Il Porcellino, Longman and Eagle, Happy Camper), interactive experiences (a giant seasaw), live music and plenty of light shows (hence the name). It takes place at Moonlight Studios, and the whole bonanza benefits RVCL, a rare genetic condition in serious need of research. Oct 27; Tickets here


Image via The Drake Hotel

You Want to Go to a Halloween Party From the Past: The Drake Masquerade Ball
The Drake was famous for throwing decadent masquerade parties in its Palm Court as far back as the 1920s and, well, not much has changed. The newest iteration has now been running for over a decade, and invites guests to don black ties, evening gowns and masques (their spelling, the fancy way) for an evening of jazz music, Champagne toasts and a Gatsby-esque throwback ambience. Oct 27; Tickets here


Image via Chicago Athletic Association

You Just Want to Dance With Somebody: Underworld's Fair
Set in the Chicago Athletic Association's Stagg Court event space, Underworld's Fair will pay homage to the acid house scene of 1980s Chicago. Guest are encouraged to dress for the end of the world — “think Mad Max meets '80s warehouse gathering,” they say — and dance accordingly. And when the party ends, things will proceed to the on-premise Game Room for an after party. Oct 27; Tickets here

Image via Adam Selzer / Atlas Obscura

You'd Rather Just Be on a Haunted Boat: Atlas Obscura's “The Curious Cruise”
Earlier this year, Atlas Obscura launched a series of river cruises hosted by noted Chicago historian Adam Selzer, who regaled guests with wild, bawdy and little-known tales of the city's architectural  evolution. For Halloween, they're bringing that tour back with a twist: this version is haunted, meaning you'll get ghost stories, urban legends, unsolved mysteries and the like. And yes, there is a bar on board. Oct 25; Tickets here

Main image via Illumination Chicago

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