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Chicagoween Halloween fun at Franken Plaza in Chicago

The City of Chicago converts Daley Plaza into a Halloween playground for Chicagoween, a family friendly celebration on the weekend of Fri.-Sat.-Sun., Oct. 25-27, 2013. A favorite Chicago tradition for families is being held for its 16th year at Daley Plaza. The weekend theme, in addition to Halloween, is the Oriental Theatre production of 'Wicked.'

Chicagoween is the Halloween celebration at Daley Plaza in Chicago, Ill.
City of Chicago

Chicagoween is a daytime event, for the most part, beginning at noon on Fri. and continuing on Sat. and Sun. Hours are: Fri. (noon-7:30), Sat. (11 a.m. - 6 p.m.) and Sun. (11. a.m. - 6 p.m.). Costumes are encouraged, so kids can join in the not-so-spooky fun. Food trucks will sell tasty treats from their spots east of the plaza so a variety of food will be available. The Chicagoween festival is free to attend.

Entertainment during the weekend includes Midnight Circus acrobatic show and Magic Matt's Spooky Fun Show. Halloween Arts and Crafts for Kids, Radio Disney AM 1300 Road Crew, arts and crafts and a Harvest Marketplace. On Sun., a Wicked sing-a-long featuring some of the musical’s most familiar songs begins at 1:30 p.m.

Franken Plaza’s Friday Film is back again and this year’s presentation will be Hotel Transylvannia presented at 6 p.m. The animated PG film features the voices of Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Andy Samburg and Selena Gomez and tells the story of Dracula as a protective father who builds a hotel just for monsters, keeping humans away from his daughter. He is successful until a young camper shows up and the two young people fall in love.

Monster Mash, on Sat., is the highlight of the weekend. Monster Bash includes free hayrides, trick or treating (while supplies last) and the popular Kids Costume Contest. Joining Mayor Spookenberger of Midnight Circus as host of the contest will be NBC 5 Entertainment Reporter Lee Ann Trotter.

The Chicagoween Kid’s Costume Contest is open to children ages 12 and under. Costumes will be judged in the following categories: scariest, funniest and most original. There will also be a best costume category for children under 24 months. Children should line up to participate at 11:30 a.m. with the contest beginning at 12:15 p.m. The prize packages include a pair of tickets to to theater production 'Wicked,' beginning Oct. 30 at the Oriental Theatre in Chicago.

Adding a new twist to the Halloween costume contest this year will be a category for all ages in conjunction with 'Wicked,' which is celebrating its 10th anniversary. To participate and win these tickets, contestants must dress as a 'Wicked' character. Homemade and original costumes are encouraged, so get creative for the most fun. A video of the main characters is attached in the upper left hand side of this article and may offer inspiration for costumes.

'Wicked' opens at the Oriental Theatre on Oct. 30 and runs through Dec. 21. 'Wicked' is a musical that tell the background story of the characters of 'Oz," especially Glinda the Good Witch and the Wicked Witch of the West. For ticket information, see the Broadway in Chicago website.

Admission to Chicagoween is free, so this offers economical fun for families. Daley Plaza is at 50 W. Washington St. (Dearborn and Washington) in Chicago, Ill.