Make no plans, and your Halloween will likely involve nothing better than a horde of drunk frat boys stumbling toward you dressed like the kids from Stranger Things.
So if it’s legitimate thrills you seek, exercise a little foresight.
To help, we put together a few ideas for celebrating All Hallows' Eve like a gentleman.
Below you’ll find a 24-hour horror movie marathon. Dinner at “Frontback” Steakhouse. A bone-tingling Halloween burlesque show from one of our favorite starlets. And much more.
No costume necessary. Just leave the kids at home.
Test your gut at the Massacre Horror Movie Marathon.
An alternative to the annual Music Box of Horrors, the Patio Theater in Portage Park is hosting its own 24-hour horror movie marathon with screenings that include Evil Dead 2, 1925’s Dr. Pyckle and Mr. Pride scored by a live organ and many more. Come and go as you please — if you dare. 10/22-23. Patio Theater, 6008 W. Irving Park. More info here
Do the monster mash at Disco is (Un)Dead!
Meanwhile, in Logan Square, Fat Rice is transforming itself into a full-blown disco party. You’ve got two options here: a five-course dinner with drink pairings, or a three-course cocktail and snack pairing in the restaurant’s just-opened backroom speakeasy the Ladies’ Room. A ticket also grants you access to the “Haunted Dance Hall,” which takes over the Bakery at Fat Rice. Grab your tickets here. 10/29. Fat Rice, 2957 W. Diversey Ave. www.eatfatrice.com
Get spooked 30 times over at Too Much Fright Makes The Baby Go Blind.
You know the deal: 30 plays in 60 minutes. But for one night only, the city’s longest-running show changes its face for a special Halloween edition. Expect two-minute performances that explore the “macabre, the strange, the unknowable terrors of the back of your mind.” Tickets here. 10/31. The Neo-Futurists, 5153 N. Ashland Ave. www.neofuturists.org
Photo: Maple & Ash
Trick and treat yourself at Frontback Steakhouse.
This year sexy Gold Coast chophouse Maple & Ash is dressing up as Frontback Steakhouse, where you can nosh on elevated Aussie-inspired dishes like white sturgeon caviar served up with an onion blossom. Don't expect Outback prices. Do, however, expect shrimp from the barbie and onion ring towers. Reservations recommended. 10/31. Maple & Ash, 8 W. Maple St. www.mapleandash.com
Eat like a mad man at Maddy’s Dumpling House Spook-tacular pop-up.
Roving dumpling restaurant Maddy's pops-up for a spooky dinner with a menu that includes Halloween-ified dishes like the "spam mu-spooky," filled with spam, black rice and kobu, and "fang-nyeom dak," Korean fried chicken doused with gojuchang and sesame. Two seatings: 5:30 or 7:30 p.m. And BYOB. Grab your tickets right here. 10/26. In the private room of Salero, 621 W. Randolph St. www.maddysdumplinghouse.com
Walk with the living dead at the the Halloween Gathering ...
A family-friendly event now in its second year, the Halloween Gathering brings the whole city downtown for a daytime festival and nighttime parade. The soul and funk lovers at Windy City Soul Club will be providing the tunes, while the party continues after dark at Lost Arts. 10/22. The Chicago Cultural Mile. More info here
... Or just raise the dead at Chicago Sinfonietta’s Día De Los Muertos celebration.
Here’s something that can strike fear in any man’s heart: a night at the symphony. But the Chicago Sinfonietta is far from boring, what with its concerts mixing contemporary pop attitude with classical movement. The ensemble’s Day of the Dead celebration will be no different, as they offer music from the likes of Beethoven, Golijov and more, alongside silent films from the 1930s. 10/31. Symphony Center, 220 S. Michigan Ave. www.chicagosinfonietta.org
Step into the dark at the Chicago Athletic Association Hotel.
The Chicago Athletic Association Hotel hosts one of the city’s most vibrant Halloween celebrations, where guests can party in the fully restored 1890s Venetian Gothic landmark. Festivities begin on the first floor and the second-floor Drawing Room and Game Room, with pop-up bars and tarot card reading, culminating in a concert from Nikki Lane (presented by the Empty Bottle) and photo booth from Radiant Human. 10/29, Chicago Athletic Association Hotel, 12 S. Michigan Ave., www.chicagoathleticevents.com
Photo: Michelle L'amour
Unleash your inner beast at Unbridled: Menagerie.
This special Halloween edition of Untitled Supper Club's weekly running show Unbridled will be led by Grand Dame and our favorite burlesque starlet Michelle L'amour. If you've never been, we'll just say sh** gets weird. Wild birds flying around. "Kitty cats" in cages. Add a dose of fright and who knows what'll happen. 10/27. Untitled, 111 W. Kinzie St. www.untitledsupperclub.com
Nota bene: If you’re on the hunt for more on-screen frights, check out the Chicago International Film Festival’s After Dark program, which highlights horror flicks from around the world. We also recommend the late-night horror movies going down all month at the Logan Theatre, which include a screening of Nosferatu on October 28 and 29th with live organ accompaniment by Jay Warren of The Silent Film Society of Chicago.
Main Photo: Ddesigns_/Chicago Athletic Assciation Events