September has left us, the autumn equinox come and gone, and with it your very last justification for saying “well, technically it’s still summer” (uh, aside from 85-degree temps and humidity). But weep not for the season of fun, Logan Squarists, because October brings with it the best holiday season, for adults and children alike: It’s decorative gourd season, y’all!
Also, it means now it’s time to prep for Halloween—the holiday that comes with its own literary and movie genre and that encourages both excessive candy eating and transgressive costume wearing. Our fair neighborhood brings no shortage of chances to engage in any and all of that, with a Great Pumpkin’s worth of events both spooky and just plain fun. Check out what’s going on in this and nearby neighborhoods with our picks for the best events of October.
Tuesday, Oct. 1: 2nd Anniversary/Free Day @ Ampersand, 9 a.m.–5 p.m.
The Logan Square shared space Ampersand Coworking (3317 W. Fullerton Ave.), well-known for its active event calendar, celebrates two years in business, helping the rest of us run our own businesses. Celebrate Ampersand’s not-at-all-terrible twos with a free day of office-space use, complete with breakfast and a raffle for a Hot Desk membership.
Friday, Oct. 4: Don’t Fall Asleep PJ Party @ Logan Theatre, 8:30 p.m.–11 p.m.
It’s possible nothing will ever be as scary as hearing ghost stories or watching those movies you were too young for (no, not those—horror movies, you guys) while you trembled in your PJs in the basement. Logan Theatre (2646 N. Milwaukee Ave.) aims to bring back that eerie, late-night basement feel with a grown-up PJ party, complete with a screening of the flick that made us all dread closing our eyes: “A Nightmare on Elm Street.” Come hang with Freddy and some sleepwear-clad friends, all fueled by themed cocktails from Maplewood and, get this folks, COMPLIMENTARY Glassworks coffee to keep you awake and anxious. Plus, prizes for the best PJs and free dream interpretation (is a knife-finger just a knife-finger?).
Saturday, Oct. 5: Logan Preservation Tree Planting @ Logan Boulevard, 9 a.m.–1 p.m.
After Freddy and Glassworks conspire to keep you terrified and constantly in danger of peeing in your PJs all night, thank the Earth you still exist on it in the morning by planting some trees! Bonus: The more trees in the neighborhood, the more trunks to hid behind as knife-wielding maniacs lurch impossibly quickly after you. Logan Square Preservation teams with forestry partner Open Lands—and a battalion of volunteers (that’s you guys) to plant trees on Logan Boulevard between Mozart and Richmond. This reforestation push will help replace trees lost to the invasive emerald ash borer. The event is already full for volunteers but that doesn’t mean you can’t go and support the fun!
Sunday, Oct. 6: Walk for Cats @ Harmony House for Cats (Avondale), 11 a.m.–2 p.m.
Black cats, in particular, get a bad rap around Halloween — or a really good rap, depending on your perspective. But all cats are great, even — nay, especially — the jerky ones who hide under the sofa even though all you want to do is pet them and give them treats. Do something nice for the wrongly besmirched black cats, and all their brethren of any patterning, at Harmony House’s (2914 N. Elston Ave.) walk to benefit our furry, four-legged overlords–I mean friends. Register for $30 ahead of time or $35 the day of the event. You can craft a fundraising email to send to your friends, family and wealthy pets here.
Monday, Oct. 7: ‘Psycho’ and ‘Ed Wood’ @ Logan Arcade, 7 p.m.–12 a.m.
Logan Arcade (2410 W. Fullerton Ave.) hosts its “Monday Night Black & White” film series every first Monday, sharing a double feature of pigment-challenged classics, noir, etc. This month, things get appropriately frightful with Hitchcock’s brilliant use of chocolate syrup in the shower, as “Psycho” airs. The murderousness will give way to a lighter, more-recent black-and-white gem, in 1994’s “Ed Wood.” But even if that’s not a horror flick, what’s the Halloween season without a little Johnny Depp? While you watch, enjoy $2.50 PBR tallboys, $5 3 Floyds pints and $5 Chicago handshakes. Cap off the night with a few games of Addams Family pinball.
Saturday, Oct. 12: Pop-Up Market @ Avondale Coffee Club (Avondale), 9 a.m.–1 p.m. (Avondale)
Avondale Coffee Club (which is, if you’re reading quickly, in Avondale, at 3185 N. Elston Ave.) hosts a pop-up market with hand-made items supporting jobs for Chicago teens. All items—including hand-made soaps, lip balms and shea balms—are made by young folks in Ruckus Teen Entrepreneurs. Plus, enjoy the Coffee Club’s midcentury modern environs, caffeinated drinks, pastries—or even their recently launched cocktail menu.
Wednesday, Oct. 16: Comfort Film: ‘Alien Zone (House of the Dead)’ @ Comfort Station, 8 p.m.—10 p.m.
All spooky month, Comfort Station’s (2579 N. Milwaukee Ave.) Comfort Film series brings the dark and unsettling, with low-budget psychological horror and slasher flicks. This time out, you’ll be treated to the four linked, dark tales in 1978’s Oklahoman anthology “Alien Zone (aka House of the Dead).” From a lost husband who learns the creepy tales of four corpses to a pair of dueling detectives, these stories should keep you shivering on Comfort Station’s front lawn.
Friday, Oct. 18: A*pe*ri*od*ic Retrospective @ Elastic Arts, 8 p.m.—9:30 p.m.
Elastic Arts (3429 W. Diversey Ave. #208) hosts experimental classical music group A*pe*ri*od*ic for its 10th-season retrospective. Come see some of the “post [John] Cagean”—and “daring,” as described by Chicago Reader, a collective’s favorite works from the past decade.
Friday, Oct. 18-Monday, Oct. 21: ‘Beetlejuice’ @ Logan Theatre, 10:30 p.m—12 a.m.
I’m pretty sure Tim Burton spends most of the year crossing off calendar days until Halloween. And he probably made “Nightmare Before Christmas” just so he wouldn’t feel so out of sorts for the two months following. Anyway, Halloween remains, despite the falloff in Burton quality in more recent years, a Tim Burton Season—and “Beetlejuice” remains a big part of this. If you, yourself, are strange and unusual, come enjoy, once more, Michael Keaton hamming up up as a crude, be-striped ghost at Logan Theatre’s (2646 N. Milwaukee Ave.) late-night showings this week.
Tuesday, Oct. 22: Facebook/Instagram Post Breakfast & Learn @ Merchant, 8 a.m.—9:30 a.m.
If you’re reading this, you’re almost certainly online—you may even be extremely online. You may even, in between reading these (excellent) events blurbs, be going back to check how many people liked your most recent Facebook post about why THIS IS IT for the Trump administration or your last Instagram pic of your dog’s Halloween costume. Well, Mr. and/or Mrs. Extremely Online, it’s time to take your postings up a notch. Merchant (3137 W. Logan Blvd.) teams with the Logan Square Chamber of Commerce (3147 W. Logan Blvd.) for a Breakfast & Learn all about pumping up your dopamine levels with those sweet, sweet likes and retweets. Aside from the ninja-level social media skills, attendees will earn a complimentary breakfast and entry to a raffle for two Taste of Logan Square tickets. Keep reading for more on that.
Tuesday, Oct. 22: Taste of Logan Square @ Various Spots, 6 p.m—9 p.m.
If I were to ask you to name one thing that Logan Square’s definitely good for, what would you say? Drinking! OK, yes, but what about the second thing to come to your mind? Eating? Yes, indeed, eating. Our neighborhood boasts a wealth of fantastic restaurants and a handful of passable ones. On Taste of Logan Square, you get to take a nice fall stroll through the ‘hood sampling small plates (and yes, drink specials too) at places like Merchant (3137 W. Logan Blvd.), Young American (2545 N. Kedzie Ave.), The Whale (2427 N. Milwaukee Ave.) and Mini Mott (3057 W. Logan Blvd.). All proceeds benefit Logan Square Chamber of Commerce projects, including the Farmers Market.
Thursday, Oct. 24: Cox’s Army @ Cole’s, 7 p.m.—9 p.m.
Old-time Chicago bluegrass band Cox’s Army marches into Cole’s Bar (2338 N. Milwaukee Ave.) as part of the beloved dive’s Thursday Folkways Happy Hour. What better way than some soothing Americana to ease those Halloween-bedraggled senses?
Sunday, Oct. 27: Chicago Vegan Test Kitchen: Halloween Market @ Emporium, 11 a.m.—4 p.m.
Perhaps hockey-masked villains slaughtering teenagers like so much cattle might make us all have a little more empathy for actual cattle this Halloween season. Even if not, Chicago’s Vegan Test Kitchen should have something tasty you’ll enjoy. The vegan market goes Halloween this edition, but brings the same vegan treats from plant-based chefs and other cruelty-free items at Logan Square’s Emporium (2363 N. Milwaukee Ave.).
Sunday, Oct. 27: Logan Square Halloween Parade @ LS monument, 5 p.m.—7 p.m.
Here it is, Logan Square parents, the Halloween tradition you’ve been waiting for: the chance to show off how adorable (sorry, kids, I mean blood-curdlingly scary) your little ones look in their costumes. The 16th annual Logan Square Halloween Parade will meet at the monument (3200 W. Logan Blvd.) and surrounding traffic island starting at 5 p.m. and proceed to march adorably (sorry, horrifyingly) south on Kedzie and back up to Lula Cafe (2537 N. Kedzie Ave.), where your little ghouls will enjoy free apple cider and cookies. Of course, though, the greatest joy comes in seeing a phalanx of 4-foot-tall skeletons, Spider-Men and Draculas toddle down the avenue. Party marching band Mucca Pazza once again leads the charge.
Halloween: Spooky Readings and Music @ City Lit Books, 6:30 p.m.—8 p.m.
Before you hit the candy-handing-out or be-costumed drinking fest that is appropriate to your age group, visit City Lit Books (2523 N. Kedzie Blvd.) for an early Halloween party. The City Late Nite series brings a “Spooky” edition of the talk-show-cum-reading-series music and literary variety show. Costumes are encouraged for this Halloween edition, and there will be candy—along with wine.
Featured Photo: Danielle Marino