Halloween is just around the corner. Get ready for the spookiest holiday of the year with our top 10 picks of things to do this weekend around Evanston, which includes theater, pumpkin patches, festivals and more to get into the spirit of late October, as well as a few other selections. For a complete listing of events, visit lakeforest.suntimes.com/calendar.
1. The Great Highwood Pumpkin Festival, 4 p.m. Friday
More than 30,000 pumpkins were carved last year at this annual fest. For more information, call 847-432-6000 or visit highwoodpumpkinfest.com. Continues at 9 a.m. Saturday. Everts Park, 130 Highwood Ave., Highwood.
Swim and enjoy Halloween-themed activities. Recreation Center of Highland Park, 1207 Park Ave. West, Highland Park.
3. Highland Park Players Presents 'CATS,' 8 p.m. Friday
The musical tells the story of a tribe of cats called the Jellicles and the night they make what is knows as "the Jellicle choice" and decide which cat will ascend to the Heaviside Layer and come back to a new life. The production runs at 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays through Oct. 19 and 2 p.m. Sundays through Oct. 20. Visit www.highlandparkplayers.com for more information. Northbrook Theatre, 3323 Walters Ave., Northbrook. Call 847-291-2367. $20.
4. PTO Pumpkin Chase and Pumpkin Fest, 8 a.m. Saturday
Come out for a beautiful run through Lake Bluff to help support the local Parent Teacher Organization. The fee for the Fun Run is $17; 5K is $24. Stick around afterward for the family-fun Pumpkin Fest. Register for the run online at bit.ly/1bVwW1S. East School Park, 121 E. Sheridan Place, Lake Bluff.
5. CROCtoberfest at the Wildlife Discovery Center, 10 a.m. Saturday
Meet live alligators, crocodiles, caimans and other reptiles in a safe setting. Learn about crocodiles in Chicago and the endangered Siamese croc. There will be kid-friendly activities, food and opportunities to talk with the experts from the Chicago Herpetological Society. Wildlife Discovery Center, 1401 Middlefork Drive, Lake Forest. $5 suggested donation.
6. Trains, Tricks and Treats, 10 a.m. Saturday
Families are invited to dress in costume and trick-or-treat throughout the Model Railroad Garden. Children 2 and under enter free. Chicago Botanic Garden, 1000 Lake Cook Road, Glencoe. Call 847-835-5440. $4-$6.
7. Halloween Hustle Dance Party, 11 a.m. Saturday
Get in the Halloween groove with children's author Charlotte Gunnufson and craft a batty hat and bookmark buddy, listen to the story of Skeleton and his friends, do the Halloween Hustle and dance along to favorites like "Monster Mash" and "Purple People Eater." Barnes & Noble Deerfield, 728 N. Waukegan Road, Deerfield. Free.
8. Spooky Pooch Parade, 11 a.m. Saturday
Costumed canines will march the parade route to celebrate Halloween, followed by a costume contest. Dogs must be on a leash at all times and must leave by 2 p.m. Chicago Botanic Garden, 1000 Lake Cook Road, Glencoe. Call 847-835-5440. $14-$25 per dog.
9. The Haunting, 2 p.m. Saturday
Come to this interactive "ghost" theater performance of spine-tingling horror stories, eerie Chicago-area history and inexplicable paranormal occurrences. For adults and teens 12 and older. Call 847-945-3311 to register. Deerfield Public Library, 920 Waukegan Road. Free.
10. Centennial 40th Anniversary Bash, 4 p.m. Saturday
Enjoy open skating and gymnastics, performances, food and music. Centennial Ice Arena, 3100 Trailway St., Highland Park. Call 847-432-4790. Free.