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6 Fright-Free Ways to Celebrate Halloween for the Easily Spooked

October 25, 2016 by Constance Fred
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Let’s be real: Halloween can be scary. Ghosts, and witches, and zombies – oh my! But that’s no reason to stay in. Here are six tame alternatives to screaming your head off this Halloween.

1. Day of the Dead Chicago

a festive cemetery on the Day of the Dead in 2012 in Tlacotepec, Puebla State, Mexico, photo credit Getty Images
a festive cemetery on the Day of the Dead in 2012 in Tlacotepec, Puebla State, Mexico, photo credit Getty Images

The National Museum of Mexican Art in Pilsen is housing its second annual Day of the Dead Chicago celebration on October 30, complete with a festival of light, live performances, and transforming a neighboring soccer field into a cemetery filled with ofrendas.

2. Night of 1,000 Jack-o’-Lanterns

a Chinese dragon made of jack o' lanterns as created by Rise of the Jack O' Lanterns
a Chinese dragon made of jack o’ lanterns as created by Rise of the Jack O’ Lanterns

A short drive north of Chicago in Glencoe, the Chicago Botanic Gardens offer lush, expansive views of a whole array of natural wonders. This Halloween, however, they are working with New York artist groups Rise of the Jack O’ Lanterns to create an immersive experience of more than a thousand jack-o’-lanterns depicting classic Halloween images as well as famous Chicago landmarks. Tickets are selling fast, so hurry!

3. Spooky Zoo Spectacular

photo credit Lincoln Park Zoo © Todd Rosenberg Photography 2013
photo credit Lincoln Park Zoo Todd Rosenberg Photography 2013

Go on this family-friendly romp through Lincoln Park Zoo looking your Halloween best. The animals will be out, as well as crafts, treats, and live entertainment! Did we mention it’s free?

4. Spooky Seas

photo credit Shedd Aquarium/Brenna Hernandez
photo credit Shedd Aquarium/Brenna Hernandez

A sleepover at the Shedd Aquarium with a pumpkin scavenger hunt. What else do you need to know?

5. Young Frankenstein

image credit Metropolis Performing Arts Centre
image credit Metropolis Performing Arts Centre

What’s better for Halloween than a classic monster as hilariously interpreted by Mel Brooks and then remade into a musical? Nothing we know. Catch it onstage now at Metropolis Performing Arts Centre.

6. Lucia di Lammermoor

Albina Shagimuratova and Piotr Beczala, photo credit Phil Velasquez / Chicago Tribune
Albina Shagimuratova and Piotr Beczala, photo credit Phil Velasquez / Chicago Tribune

If after this cushiony list of Halloween activity you’re ready to bump it up a little and try something a wee bit more frightening, hop on over to the Lyric Opera for their production of Lucia di Lammermoor. (Just wait until the “Mad Scene” and then you’ll understand why we’re frightened for you.)

Not in the mood for Halloween? Check out these productions before they close!