Above / ‘Tis the season to take time to experience the gorgeous autumn sunsets as they reflect on the pond May Watts Park and many other places throughout this city. Sunrises can be striking, too!

October turns to color, color, color as the days cool, the trees change and the leaves begin to fall in Naperville and all around. Visit the Riverwalk, Knoch Knolls Park, neighborhood parks and local forest preserves to enjoy America, the beautiful, right here in your hometown.


Enjoy the Riverwalk every season, just steps from seasonal festivities in downtown Naperville.

Even if something is left undone, everyone must take time to sit and watch the leaves turn. —Elizabeth Lawrence

Check organized events inside and out beginning with the Harvest House Walk on Oct. 1, followed by Ghost Stories in the Park . . . In the Dark set for Oct. 6-8, and Naperville’s second annual Pumpkin Race on Oct. 28.

Trick-or-treaters and costume enthusiasts will be delighted with all the choices to experience Halloween events and family-friendly ways to run around Naperville until the last week in October.

Celebrate safely.

Small Sampling of 2017 Autumn & Halloween Events in Naperville

October is chock full of seasonal traditions and family-friendly events. Don’t be frightened by all the opportunities. No family is expected to do everything!

Please note that as these special events happen, they will receive a (check!). For planning purposes in 2018, consider that most October themed events will return about the same time next year. Events beginning Oct. 19, 2017, reflect the schedule for the last half of this busy month through Halloween Click here to see those dates.

3-Day Fall Style Weekend in Downtown Naperville thru Oct. 1 (Check!)


Start at the Main Street Bridge and find your way all along Main Street to the heart of downtown and Main Street Promenade!

Beginning Fri., Sept. 30, discover three full days packed with fun, food and fashion, especially designed for women of all ages to celebrate style and the colors of the season.

Events and great fall sales take place all weekend “enabling gals and their pals to join in at any point.”

Choose bargains galore and other specials presented at participating shops and eateries. Visit downtown to see all that new since the last special weekend for women.

Most events will take place between 10AM and 6PM.

  • Sunday Fall Wine Walk
  • Great Savings and Sales all Weekend Long!

Harvest House Walk, a benefit for Ellsworth Elementary / Oct. 1 (Check!)

Enjoy the tour of historic Naperville.

Ellsworth Elementary Home and School presents the Harvest House Walk beginning at 10AM Sun., Oct. 1, with self-guided tours throughout Naperville Historic District. The public is welcome to enjoy the colorful changes in the autumn scenery while taking a stroll through lovely distinguished homes that dot the landscape in the heart of the city. All proceeds will benefit resources for students, teachers and staff. For event details, times and tickets ($35 each), visit ellsworths-harvest-house-walk. Tickets are $40 at the door.

West Suburban Irish Quiz Night at Quigley’s Irish Pub / Oct. 3 (Check!)

Tucked away in a corner at Quigley’s, officials tally scores on WSI Quiz Nights.

The West Suburban Irish present Quiz Night at Quigley’s Irish Pub in Naperville, beginning at 7PM, Tues., Oct. 3, with seasonal and timely trivia that will test your mind’s wealth of almost-useless information.  Quigley’s is located at 43 E. Jefferson Ave.  Teams of up to 10 players are welcome to compete as well as create a prize-winning name. Prizes are awarded to First Place, Second Place and Third Place Teams. Prizes also go to the winners of each round of questions. Prizes are supplied by the West Suburban Irish, Quigley’s, Positively Naperville, and Sam Adams Beer. WSI Quiz Nights are held the first Tuesday, ten months of the year, including January, February, March, April, May, June (Championship Night), August, October, November and December. For more info about the fun-loving group that puts on the Emerald Dinner, annual St. Patrick’s Parade, trivia themes and special tips about the October game, visit www.wsirish.org. Then get ready for Nov. 7.

Oktoberfest at Naper Settlement / Oct. 6, 7 & 8, 2017 (Check!)

Get a little flavor of Germany under the big tent (heated if necessary) while listening to live music, drinking great beer and enjoying German cuisine during this family-friendly weekend at Naper Settlement, the city’s outdoor history museum. For info about times, tickets ($15 adult; $10 youth, 4-12; members are free) and tempting tastes, visit www.napersettlement.org.

Remember! Door-to-door Trick or Treating / Oct. 31

Residents are reminded to stay safe while trick-or-treating. Recommended trick-or-treating hours on October 31 are 4:30-8PM. If you still need a stash of treats for the costumed kids likely to arrive at your doorstep, check out the shelves in the candy section at Oswald’s.


For safety information see Julie Smith’s column Focus on Safety – Halloween Tips and Treats.

Halloween Trolley Rides, Trick or Treat at Safety Town, Ghost Stories in the Park, Naperville Plaza Family Fall Festival, Scare-illon Concert at Rotary Hill, Live Music at Quigley’s Irish Pub and Costume Party, and Free to Fly (new name for Family Shelter Service run) 10K/5K, return October 2017.

Ghost Stories in the Park . . . In the Dark / Oct. 6, 7 & 8  (Check!)

Ages 5 and up are invited when Summer Place Theatre presents its annual Ghost Stories in the Park… in the Dark! Enjoy an evening of scary stories sure to send shivers up your spine. Dress warmly and bring blankets and cushions for this outdoor event. Not recommended for children under 5. Tickets are available online through the Thursday before the weekend performances. After that time, tickets may be purchased at the performance for $7. Physical tickets will not be handed out. Cash only please. Sorry, no refunds. Note one weekend only.

7-8PM, Friday, October 6; 6-7PM Saturday, October 7; 8-9PMSaturday, October 7; 7-8PM Sunday, October 8.

Ghost Stories are held at the Riverwalk Grand Pavilion, 912 Sindt Court, on the Riverwalk. Tickets are $7 each.


Catch a few good witches reading PN!

Witches Night Out Naperville / Oct. 12 / Sold out! (check!)

The Naperville Woman’s Club will stir up an evening of bewitching fun and seasonally festive activities during their inaugural fundraising event to benefit Families Helping Families. SOLD OUT! Be sure to read all about it and be prepared to purchase tickets earlier in 2018.  Advance tickets are required.

Find pumpkins at The Growing Place, now celebrating 81 years!

Both Growing Place locations are filled with inspirational gardens, vast selections of plants, knowledgeable staff as well as entertaining and educational events for adults and kids. Explore the gift shop to discover thoughtful gifts, miniatures, and unique garden accents for the season. Check out special events at The Growing Place located at 2000 Montgomery Road in Aurora. In Naperville, The Growing Place is located at 25w471 Plank Road.

Check the haunts at Oswald’s Pharmacy, too!

Casey’s Fires Up the Grill, 11AM-2PM Saturdays and Sundays thru Oct. 28

Casey’s Foods located at Naperville Plaza, 124 W. Gartner Road, will be firing up its grill every Saturday and Sunday from 11AM to 2PM through October 28, weather permitting. Choose from a variety of options, including burgers, brats, tacos or the weekly special. It’s great food, at a good price, in a fun atmosphere. Dine out on the picnic table under cover.  Casey’s Saturday Specials from 8AM to 7PM only include items from the Butcher Counter and the Gourmet Deli. Check them out.

Remember that Oswald’s Pharmacy, just around the bend from Casey’s, has every scary sweet thing you need for Halloween trick or treaters and birthdays. Flu shots, too!

Stop, Drop & Run 5K & Public Safety Open House / Oct. 14 (Canceled)


Kids enjoy dressing up as first responders. (PN File Photo 2016)

9AM, Oct. 14, Event canceled due to downpour / Come for the Run and stay for the fun! At 8:30AM Sat., Oct. 14, the Naperville Professional Firefighters for a Cause and the Naperville Fire Department will be hosting the inaugural Stop, Drop and Run 5K Run/Walk to benefit the Illinois Fire Safety Alliance’s Camp ‘I am Me.’ Visit www.naperville.il.us/stopdroprun5K.

Following the run, the Naperville Fire Department and the Naperville Police Department are prepared to showcase what they do to help keep this community safe every season of the year from 10AM to 2PM Sat., Oct. 14.

The community is welcome to the Public Safety Open House at Fire Station 7 held on the campus of the Naperville Public Safety Center,  located along Aurora Avenue at River Road.  Come meet Naperville first responders and Sparky the Fire Dog and McGruff the Crime Dog.

October also is Crime Prevention Month in Naperville.

Regional Economic Forecast / 4PM Oct. 19 (Check!)

Hotel Arista At CityGate Centre / 2139 CityGate Ln.

The annual autumn event focused on the Regional Economic Forecast, co-hosted by the Naperville Area Chamber of Commerce and Calamos Investments, will be held from 4-6PM Thurs., Oct. 19, at Hotel Arista At CityGate Centre.  Every year the event features a panel of industry experts who share their unique insight and analyses of market conditions for the coming year.

This year’s panel includes experts John P. Calamos Sr., Founder, Chairman and Global Chief Investment Officer of Calamos Investments; Gus Faucher, Chief Economist for the PNC Financial Services Group; and Caroline L. Harris, Vice President, Tax Policy & Chief Tax Policy Counselor for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the world’s largest business federation.

Formerly a breakfast, this year’s Regional Economic Forecast will include light appetizers and two drink tickets, with networking following the program. Registration begins at 3:30PM, with the program beginning promptly at 4PM.  Note that seating this year is theater style unless a table of 10 is purchased. Register online. Members are $50 each. Nonmembers are $75.

CAPS Dinner at Meson Sabika / 6PM Oct. 19 (Check!)

The Fire Department Recognition Dinner hosted by Citizens Appreciate Public Safety (CAPS) will take place at 6PM on Thurs., Oct. 19, 2017, in the Pavilion at Meson Sabika, 1025 Aurora Ave.  With nominations from the community (Due by Oct. 1), CAPS Awards recognize Naperville Fire Department personnel for outstanding service.

Space is limited and tickets are available for purchase for $30 at the Fire Department Administration Office, 1380 Aurora Ave., or by calling Ruthi Sommers at (630) 305-5900.

For more information about CAPS, visit www.napervillecaps.com.

Enter Naperville Jaycees Hack the Jack at All Hallows Eve by Oct. 19 (Check!)

Good gourd, what will Jaycees think of next?

The Naperville Jaycees will host the inaugural Hack the Jack pumpkin carving contest beginning with entries on Oct. 19. After three days of visitor voting on Oct. 20-21 during Hallows Eve at Naper Settlement, winners will be named during the Fall Festival at Naperville Plaza on Oct. 28.

Individuals are welcome to enter a pumpkin into the contest for a $15 entry fee. Pumpkins must be brought to the parking lot behind the Martin Mitchell Mansion at Naper Settlement from 4:30 to 9PM on Thursday, Oct. 19. Every pumpkin must be fully carved and decorated prior to submission, ready for the exhibit.

All Hallows Eve at Naper Settlement / Oct. 20 & 21, 2017 (Check!)

All Hallows Eve is slated from 6:30-10PM both Fri., Oct. 20, and Sat., Oct. 21. Experience two scary, scary nights of the year at Naper Settlement where 12-acres of “haunting creatures, eerie entertainment, screaming delights and must-see horrors” will surprise you around every corner of the historic village, located in the heart of Naperville. All Hallows Eve is not recommended for children under 8 or pre-teens easily scared. $20 per person. No costumes allowed to be worn by patrons. Rated “PG-Creepy.”

Get ready for trick or treating! Find places to create Halloween costume ideas for all 

No matter what age, the fun of Halloween is coming up and dressing up with an original costume. Find plenty of gently-used clothing and accessories, from the basics to high fashion and from head to toe at Second Chance Resale Shops.  Family Shelter Service owns and operates the Second Chance Resale Shops in two locations. One store in Tower Crossings is located at 1512 N. Naper Blvd., Suite 172 Naperville. A second store is located at 1131 Fairview Ave. in Westmont.

Or if your dog needs a costume, stop by Dog Patch Pet and Feed. You just might find a fun outfit or seasonal scarf! Dog Patch is located at 1108 E. Ogden. (And remember their annual bird seed sale is all during the month of November!)

Anderson’s Toyshop, located at 111 W. Jefferson, two doors east from the book store, also has fun ideas of Halloween costumes.

In addition, from 4 to 7PM Monday through Friday, Fifth Avenue Costumes at the School of Performing Arts is renting costumes this year so Halloweeners can be dressed up as a “one of a kind” character. For more information or an appointment, call (630) 717-6622 ext. 115. The new address for the School of Performing Arts is 1112 S. Washington Street (a little south from Gartner Road and across Washington Street from Naperville Plaza.)

Halloween Parties at the Y / Oct. 27, 2017

On Fri., Oct. 27, Kroehler Y and the 95th Street Fry Y will host a Halloween Party. The event is free to members. Pre-registration is required. A small fee will be charged for guests. Pre-register by Oct. 24. For more information, visit www.napervilleymcas.com.

Autumn Events at Will County Forest Preserve 

Check out the calendar of events featuring fun activities and demonstrations at Whalon Lake. For more information, call (708) 534-8499 or visit www.reconnectwithnature.org.

Plan ahead for 2017 Pumpkin Race Festival at Rotary Hill / 1-3PM Sat., Oct. 28 

Memories of Oct. 15, 2016 / Seven photos from the inaugural Pumpkin Race on Oct. 15 present pretty pictures of the potential of this popular new Naperville event with origins in California. Plan to participate on the track by Rotary Hill in 2017.

The family-friendly event with referees promises even more fun this year. Just don’t try to disguise a cantaloupe or a watermelon as a pumpkin under the threat of being smashed. This event comes with rules! (Click any photo to enlarge.)

Be sure to align the axles!

Dozens of pumpkins and pumpkin-wannabees lined up in heats, usually three at a time, to run in Naperville’s first-ever Pumpkin Race hosted by Turning Pointe Autism Foundation in 2016.

After the Pumpkin Race, racers created Halloween decorations amid other pumpkins attacked by squirrels. Go, Cubs!

Get ready to roll for 2017

All ages and abilities are welcome to race a pumpkin down Rotary Hill during heats from 1-3PM Sat., Oct. 28. Get ready and set to go roll for a cause with a pumpkin race set that includes two axles, four wheels and nuts and bolts and assembly instructions to hold the pumpkin you purchase at a local farm stand.

Be the first on your block to enter the first Pumpkin Race at Rotary Hill along the Riverwalk! Encourage friends and neighbors to get in the race, too.

For more info, safety procedures and to check out the video about the Pumpkin Race, visit www.turningpointeautismfoundation.org.

Scare-illon Concert at Moser Tower / Oct. 28, 2017

Head to the Millennium Carillon at Rotary Hill, 443 Aurora Ave., for a Halloween-themed concert on Saturday, October 28 and hear spooky and atmospheric pieces, featuring both classical and popular music from 7 to 8PM. For more information, visit 2017 Schedule for Moser Tower.


Trick or Treat at Safety Town / Oct. 28

The Naperville Junior Woman’s Club will host its annual Safety Town Trick or Treat and Food Collection for Loaves & Fishes from 10AM to 2PM on Sat., Oct. 28. $1 per child and a nonperishable donation. Safety Town is located on the campus of the Naperville Public Safety Center, Aurora at River roads. For more info, visit www.napervillejuniors.org.

Fall Festival at Naperville Plaza / 2-6PM Oct. 28

At any time during October, stop by Naperville Plaza at Washington and Gartner to see the spacious addition at Oswald’s Pharmacy with lots of Halloween supplies and candy for sale, shop at Casey’s Foods for pumpkins where they grill during lunchtime on the patio every Saturday and Sunday, and visit First Community Financial Bank, recent sponsors the 2017 Riverwalk Duck Race while getting other duckies in order to local charities.


Naperville Plaza is preparing for its annual Fall Festival, petting zoo and all, from 2PM to 6PM on Halloween, Sat., Oct. 28, 2017. And other duck game is planned. Just ask, “Why a duck?”

In the spirit of public safety, always pay attention! Drive carefully.

During the Naperville Plaza Fall Festival, check out Casey’s Foods inside to find Saturday specials and other bright ideas for the holidays.

Free to Fly for Family Shelter Service / Oct. 29

Run, Walk, Run to have fun and raise funds for Family Shelter Service. Free to Fly is slated for Sunday, October 29, 2017. Consider the 5K and 10K Race at 9AM. Pets are welcome this year, too. The event will be held at Midwestern University in Downers Grove. Find complete INFO at  www.familyshelterservice.org.  Register now.

Downtown Halloween Hop / 10AM-Noon Oct. 29

Trick or Treating

Downtown Naperville hosts its popular Trick or Treat event from 10AM to Noon on Sun., Oct. 29.

Costumed goons and goblins, along with their parents, can wander door to door in the downtown business district and receive candy treats. In addition to sweets and other goodies, families also can hop on board the Trick or Treat trolley which will be circling downtown, free of charge. Ding! Ding!

Enjoy the costumed characters and photo opts, too, at the Main Street Promenade. Activities begin at 10AM and go until noon, or until the candy runs out! For complete details including all participating downtown businesses, visit www.downtownnaperville.com.

Halloween Happening / Oct. 29

Halloween Happening is 1-4PM Sun., Oct. 29, at the Naperville Riverwalk’s Grand Pavilion area where little goblins, ghouls, witches and fairies, too, are invited to Halloween Happening. Come and enjoy lots of fun activities, games, and goodies at Naperville’s best FREE Halloween fest for kids ages 10 and under.

Halloween on the Riverwalk / Oct. 30

Children of all ages and their caregivers can dress in costume and enjoy Halloween fun from 4:30 to 5:15PM at the Riverwalk Amphitheater across Jackson Avenue from Nichols Library, 200 S. Jefferson Ave., on Mon, October 30. Enjoy stories, songs and a puppet show. For more information, visit www.naperville-lib.org.

Door-to-door Trick or Treating / Oct. 31

Residents are reminded to stay safe while trick-or-treating. Recommended trick-or-treating hours on October 31 are 4:30-8PM. If you still need a stash of treats for the costumed kids likely to arrive at your doorstep, check out the displays at Oswald’s for candy, stickers, glow sticks and other novelties that make great giveaways on Halloween evening.

And there’s more…

Find seasonal treats, caramel apples, gourds and pumpkins at Casey’s Foods.

Look forward with photo-enhanced stories every day on the Latest NewsIn addition to events and other happenings, find public meeting notices scheduled at the Naperville Municipal Center.

Check out PN’s Events Calendar for other events as well as to help plan next week and upcoming weekends.

On the navigation bar atop the Events Calendar, find calendars specific to Runs & WalksCharity Golf (Little Friends Golf Outing & Dinner was Oct. 4), Festivals & Traditions over the course of the year as well as this month’s Book Events hosted by Anderson’sNorth Central College Performing Arts and happenings at Naper Settlement.

Happy Halloween! Celebrate Safely.

Editor’s Note, Oct. 1, 2017 / This post went live on Sept. 26, 2017, before all harvest and Halloween events were sent this way. We think all dates, activities and links are currently correct, but it’s always best to check with the hosting organization. Additions may be added as they become available. Thank you.