Spooky and Festive Events for the Season


Halloween is almost here and Dia de Los Muertos is also upon us. This weekend offers some spooky art and ghoulish inspiration. The spirits are out and so is the art. Below is our wrap up of festive exhibitions and art events taking place around Chicago this holiday! 

Trick or treat! 



Martha Gabriela Driessen, Mayra y su vestido (Mayra and her Dress), Guanajuato, México, 2021, black and white digital photograph / fotografía digital blanco y negro, 17" x 22", courtesy of the artist

Día de Muertos, Living Presence

Thru December 10

National Museum of Mexican Art

The museum's 37th annual Day of the Dead exhibition remembers the thousands of people who died in the February 2023 earthquakes in Turkey and Syria. The exhibition will also memorialize women around the world who have been violated, disappeared or murdered, with a large installation by 18 local artists. This year the Mexican community lost distinguished artists and dear friends whose lives and work we will also celebrate. 

With flowers, food and drinks, we await the return home of loved ones who no longer walk this Earth. The living presence of loved ones is felt on the Day of the Dead (November 1 and 2) by offering them what they enjoyed in life. This ancient tradition, with Mesoamerican and Spanish roots, unites Mexicans on both sides of the US/Mexico border as they create ofrendas and altars in homes, cemeteries, galleries, and museums to celebrate their lives. Curated by Dolores Mercado and Gustavo Herrera

• Also taking place at the museum October 28: Join us on Saturday, October 28th as we celebrate Día de los Muertos by transforming the Museum and its surroundings into a beautiful space to remember our loved ones. On this special day, guests can enjoy ofrendas created by community members, live musical performances, art activities, and a large illuminated ofrenda projected outside of the museum.

• Then next weekend: Día de Muertos: Love Never Dies Ball, November 4, 2023, 6:00 pm


Photo: Nathan Keay, © MCA Chicago

Streeterville Dog Halloween Party 2023

October 28, 9-11:00 am

Museum of Contemporary Art 

From the Queen of England to a furry taco, from Dorothy and Toto to dinosaurs from Jurassic Bark, over 250 doggies and frequently their people, will don their most elaborate costumes for the 34th annual Streeterville Doggy (And Kitty) Halloween Costume Party and Parade, on Saturday October 28th, hosted at the MCA Sculpture Garden! It will be a pawsitvely fun morning where everyone is a wiener. Registration is recommended.

The Doggy Parade kicks off at 9:30 AM and will be judged by 2nd Ward Alderman Brian Hopkins and Streeterville resident Maureen Schulman, who will award prizes to every pawtcipant.

Have a kitty at home? Upload pics of your feline friend to the Facebook event page to enter the Virtual Cat Costume Content.

Register Here

Taking place in the Kern Terrace Garden. Enter through the MCA's back gate bordering Lake Shore Park.

This is a free event, but registration is recommended. Leashes and/or carriers are required.


Picture of Dorian Gray, 1943–44, Ivan Albright

Teen Studio Workshop: Halloween Block Prints

October 28, 1:00–3:00

The Art Institute of Chicago

This spooky season, take inspiration from the work of Caravaggio, Ivan Albright, and other Art Institute horror icons to experiment in block printing. You’ll join teaching artist Jose Casales for lessons on image transferring, carving, and inking your own block prints to share with friends and family.



Logan Center Ofrenda

Oct 30–Nov 6

Logan Center for the Arts

In celebration of Día de los Muertos, the Reva & David Logan Center for the Arts present an altar about remembering and honoring. A chance to connect the living world with the invisible one, we invite visitors to place images of their loved ones who have transitioned, leave delicious foods and satisfying drinks they took pleasure in, and gift toys to the children who couldn’t stay with us long. All the little trinkets that brought joy to our furry friends while alive also have a space here.

Empty picture frames on the altar are available for anyone to use. Include completely sealed food items, fresh flowers, knick-knacks, and un-opened drinks. Incense may be left, but it cannot be burned. Donate any items you feel comfortable leaving out to the public.

The marigolds and butterflies will help guide our people here. Our love and tributes will return them full and whole till next year.