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Halloween Spooktacular, Children's Film Fest Top Weekend Events

By Ted Cox | October 27, 2017 5:52am
 The annual Clark Street Spooktacular lives up to its name.
The annual Clark Street Spooktacular lives up to its name.
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Lincoln Park Chamber of Commerce

LINCOLN PARK — It's the last weekend before Halloween, which means kids rule at pumpkin patches, at costume and candy stores — and at Facets.

The 34th annual Chicago International Children's Film Festival kicks off Friday, with an invitation-only sampling of short movies from this year's selection at 7 p.m. at Facets, 1517 W. Fullerton Ave.

The festival runs through Nov. 5 and includes 132 separate programs featuring more than 280 films at eight Chicago-area locations: Facets, the Davis Theater in Lincoln Square, the Music Box Theatre in Lakeview, Alliance Française on the Gold Coast, the Cervantes Institute in River North, the University of Chicago's Logan Center for the Arts in Hyde Park and in the suburbs at the Wilmette Theatre and the Gorton Community Center in Lake Forest.

The "Vampire Sisters" film series is playing as part of this year's Chicago International Children's Film Festival.
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The schedule can be unwieldy, obviously, but Facets is touting a new website with day-by-day listings and offering a download of the complete schedule, created by the Normal Studio.

"We are very excited about our new brand identity and website for the festival," Facets Marketing Director Paul Gonter said. "It has been such a great experience working with the design team at Normal, and we are really blown away by what they have produced.

"Not only does the website look beautiful," he added, "but the browseable schedule offers our patrons — whether they are parents, kids, teens, filmmakers or media professionals — an easy way into our over 130 film programs."

The fest also includes a series of hands-on workshops, including a couple on Nov. 3, a day off for Chicago Public Schools.

Before that, however, Chicago kids of all ages will be gearing up for Halloween Tuesday night.

Lincoln Park Zoo's Fall Fest is ongoing through Sunday, with a slide, a pumpkin bounce house, a corn maze and tractor rides (all at $3 a ticket) as well as a Ferris wheel ($6). But the fest peaks with the annual Spooky Zoo trick-or-treating from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday.

The Green City Market shuts down its outdoor season after Saturday from 7 a.m.-1 p.m. at 1817 N. Clark St. But kids in costume can paint pumpkins at Club Sprouts and get free treats at Abby's Crepes. Next Saturday, Green City Market begins its winter indoor season at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, 2430 N. Cannon Drive.

The Lincoln Central Association holds its 10th annual Howler at the Bauler from 3-5 p.m. Saturday, of course at Bauler Park, 501 W. Wisconsin St. There will be games, treats and other activities, and magician Danny Orleans will perform.

The Lincoln Park Chamber of Commerce holds its annual Spooktacular from 1-4 p.m. Sunday. Participating businesses open their doors to trick-or-treaters on Clark Street between Diversey and Armitage avenues, and on the south side of Diversey between Orchard Street and Lakeview Avenue.

The RANCH Triangle Community Conservation Association sponsors trick-or-treating along Armitage Avenue starting at 11 a.m. Sunday, with activities centered on the Bridgeview Bank parking lot at 1970 N. Halsted St. There's judging for kids' costumes at 11:30 a.m., followed by a dog costume contest at 12:30 p.m.