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Kid Friendly Spooky Destinations in Illinois

We are sharing some kid friendly spooky destinations in Illinois! Halloween can be a frightening time for young children, so we’ve found some of the more mild entertainment options that will allow your family to enjoy the holiday without causing any additional stress or anxiety (plus a couple scary ones if that’s more your speed). Happy haunting everyone!

Spooky Destinations in Illinois & Giveaway-Kids Are A Trip

Cave-in-Rock State Park, Cave-in-Rock, Illinois

There are few things that are scarier than a deep dark cave, but what about one carved by nature out of rock? And add that it has been rumored to be haunted? That is the situation here at Cave-in-Rock State Park where the water has carved a dark cavern out of the limestone cliff.

The cave is available to explore, and there are also hiking trails and playground areas. It has been said that the cave was used as both a hideout and storage location for pirate who ruled on the Ohio River in the early 1800s. Since the weather should still be nice for a few more weeks, a visit to the park might be just the ticket for a family trip.

Cave in the Rock State Park
Doesn’t look so bad from the outside, does it?
Photo credit: Creative Commons

The Timbers of Shorewood, Shorewood, Illinois

This haunted house is set up for a fundraiser at The Timbers of Shorewood, an independent assisted living community. The staff here, with the assistance of the Kiwanis Club, transform the ballroom of the center into a maze and haunted house for two days. There are skeletons, mummies and zombies. For your smaller children, there is also a Halloween game room with games and crafts. Refreshments are also served. Visitors are encouraged to dress in their best Halloween costumes. Money raised goes to the Kiwanis Club and the Alzheimer’s Association, so it’s scary fun that helps others as well. 

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Six Flags Great America, Gurnee, Illinois

This amusement park provides frights just in time for Halloween. The time and day you visit determine the kind of fright that you’ll receive. Fright Fest at Six Flags runs September 14 through November 3 this year. During daytime hours, the park is very family friendly, and kids of all ages can enjoy the themed decor and activities. In the evenings, the midways are filled with scary undead creatures and multiple Haunted Houses are open. As if they weren’t scary enough in the daytime, try riding the roller coasters in the dark. EEK!

Fright Fest Carousel Six Flags Great America Gurnee Illinois
The Six Flags Carousel all decked out for Fright Fest! Spooky!
Photo credit: Creative Commons

Peoria Public Library, Peoria, Illinois

Rumor is that the library, a former private home, has been cursed by a series of unfortunate events. In 1894, the property was purchased by the library. The first three library directors died under suspicious circumstances. In 1966, the library was torn down and rebuilt, but it is still haunted. Workers at the library hear people calling their names, feel cold drafts and some even say they have seen the face of a former library director in the basement doorway. Carrying on with the theme, the library has a ghost story contest for children in grades 7 and above with young authors entered to win a pair of tickets to the Haunted Peoria Trolley Tour. Throughout the month of October the library has a “Guess the Weight of the Pumpkin” contest at all locations and there are Spooky Screen Saturdays when they show different scary movies for youngsters. I want our library to do this!

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Frightmare Haunted House, Burbank, Illinois

Whether you take your child to this event, depends on your child. They recommend that children under the age of 10 go through the house with an adult, but they allow children of all ages. Definitely make sure your child is ready for this experience before your take them!

I hope you enjoyed some of our favorite finds around the state for fun activities to explore with your kids over the Halloween season. Where do you like to go for a spooky holiday treat?



  1. What a comprehensive list – makes me wish I lived in Illinois! This is the first Halloween when neither kid will trick or treat – I’m a little sad, but just a little. 🙂

  2. It’s so hard when they get older isn’t it? I have one that is still into it. Fingers crossed it lasts another year!

  3. Hooray!

  4. I live in Chicago and this is awesome. Especially with an older child that doesnt get a kick out of trick or treating anymore.

  5. Carve in Rock looks really spooky! When I lived in Wisconsin, I was always amazed at the number of “natural beauty” destinations Illinois has, even just outside downtown Chicago!

  6. this is such a great giveaway just before the holidays – just like you said. I would love to win as it would go towards gifts for the family. Thanks so much for the chance! =)

  7. Thanks Nicole. I completely agree. As kids get older, it’s harder to find fun activities for them. This is a great starting point.

  8. Julie it’s true! (Although Wisconsin does have its fair share of natural beauty). Carve in Rock does look cool, doesn’t it? I really need to get there and check it out for myself!

  9. You are welcome Laura. Good luck!

  10. We spend time every summer in the suburbs of Chicago. This makes me want to visit sometime in the Fall!

  11. Definitely come in the fall! It is great in the summer, but fall is just as beautiful!

  12. We live in central Illinois and get really into all things fall. Not so much Halloween, especially with young kids, but these are good places to go all year.

  13. I love Halloween! This post makes me want to hop a plane to Illinois to join the spooky fun!

  14. I just love fall too. Illinois has amazing activities everywhere!

  15. Come visit Colleen! You would love Chicago in the fall!

  16. We will be attending a party and I’m baking lots of Halloweeny cookies for the occasion.

  17. I hope you entered the contest Veronica. Good luck!

  18. Wow, so many kid-friendly things to do for kids during Halloween in Illinois! I think my daughter will enjoy Cave-in-Rock State Park the most. Thanks for such a great list.

  19. What a fun list! Pinning for future reference…

  20. Thanks Brenda. I haven’t done everything, but it’s on my list! Lol

  21. Thanks Allison!

  22. I’ve lived in Chicago my entire life and some of these spots are new to me! I’m not much of a fan of Halloween, though, and a huge scaredy cat, so I probably won’t be the one taking the kids to these kinds of places….

  23. I hear you. Some of these places can be creepy, but others don’t sound too bad. : )

  24. You have a nice warning for the scary aspect of these Illinois options. You definitely want to make sure your child is okay with the level of intensity beforehand.

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