Chicagoween’s Franken Plaza Extends to Five Days, October 26-30
When Daley Plaza’s fountain turns a festive shade of orange, it can only mean the return of Franken Plaza, the city’s Halloween celebration presented by UL, which runs five days this year, Friday, October 26 through Tuesday, October 30.
Returning once again will be the popular centerpiece of the festivities, Chicago’s Midnight Circus which has been entertaining the city’s Halloween audience since 1998, now in its 15th year at the Plaza and performing all five days.
And for this year’s performances audiences must fasten their seat belts and hang on to their hats for a Halloween Emergency!!! The high-flying acrobats of Midnight Circus invade Franken Plaza with their Teetering Tower of Terror known as the Green Halloween Ladder Machine. This one-of-kind contraption defies logic and reason and delivers a heart-stopping, eye-popping good time to all.
Opening night will include two performances from Midnight Circus surrounding a screening of the musical version of “Little Shop of Horrors” starring Rick Moranis, Ellen Greene, Steve Martin and Bill Murray. Science fiction, comedy and music combine together in the story of Audrey II, the Venus Flytrap with an appetite for humans. It is rated PG-13. Free popcorn will be provided to those in attendance, while supplies last.
Costumes, trick-or-treating and hayrides are the highlights of the annual Monster Bash on Saturday, October 27. The Costume Contest will include a category for children under 24 months, which will start the costume parade at noon across the stage. Then the first 150 children, ages 2-12, will also parade across the stage with the opportunity to win prizes in the following categories: Scariest Costume; Funniest Costume; Most Creative/Original Costume and Best Pop Culture Costume.
Emcees for the contest will be Franken Plaza’s own Mayor Maximillion Spookenburger joined by NBC 5 Sports Reporter Peggy Kusinski.
Immediately following the Costume Contest, trick or treat bags will be distributed while supplies last and free Hayrides are available, first come, first served to those in line.
Additional activities throughout the weekend include storytelling by Oba King, a magic show and a fun science demonstration with Steve Belliveau, the Radio Disney AM 1300 Chicago Road Crew and fcbc educational theatre presents the “Thriller” dance, plus kids can enjoy a free photo against the green screen backing of their choice.
Robinson’s #1 Ribs will be on site each day providing the opportunity to purchase food and beverage and beginning Saturday through Tuesday, the plaza will include arts and crafts and a harvest marketplace. The Green Mountain Coffee tent will sample Hot Apple Cider and Café Escapes, which visitors can brew by themselves in the special brewing area.
Franken Plaza will also host the Imagination Playground, a breakthrough play space concept that encourages child-directed, unstructured free play. With a focus on loose parts, Imagination Playground empowers children to constantly reconfigure the space around them and design their own course of play.
Franken Plaza opens Friday, October 26, 4-8 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday hours are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and on Monday and Tuesday, October 29 and 30, 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.