So: haunted houses, pumpkin vendors, and horror film fests aren’t enough for you, eh? Well, how about this – a haunted Halloween boat tour! How very Chicago … though I imagine you could do it in other cities, too.
If you’re in town, there is indeed a spooky cruise you can take, courtesy of Seadog Cruises at Navy Pier. Normally, they’re one of the outfits that does architectural boat tours on the river or cruises on the lake, but this trip is seasonal and special. Highlighted are creepy history and ghostly legends from Chicago’s colorful past, including: the infamous Eastland disaster, robber baron Samuel Insull’s ghost, and the Fort Dearborn Massacre (when Chicago was barely a wet patch on the marsh), just to mention a few. Your tour guides will come onboard in costume, of course, and participants are encouraged to do the same. And at the end of the tour, you’ll be in a prime position to see the excellent evening fireworks display at Navy Pier.
Seadog Haunted Tours are held Oct. 4 – Oct. 31 and leave the pier at 6:15 pm every Friday, Saturday and Sunday in October, plus there’s a second tour Saturday nights at 8:15 pm (for you older kids without early bedtimes or curfews). Tickets are not cheap, however: they’re $29.95 plus tax per person for adults, $18.95 plus tax per person for children ages 4 through 12; kids 3 and under accompanied by an adult get on free, but y’all will have to keep them under control and not let them scream, whine or cry through the presentation, right? Right. On second thought, probably not a good idea to bring along kids who are too young to pay attention, particularly considering the cost. Just saying.
Walk-up customers are welcome, but reservations are highly recommended and can be made online or by phone at 888-636-7737. Seadog Tours as an organization won the Trip Advisor 2013 certificate of excellence award (Trip Advisor is a user-rated travel information site, one of the ones I favor, BTW). The award is for all their tours as a whole, not for any specific one. But it does mean their other tours are well liked, so that is a kind of recommendation for this one, too.
Navy Pier, where you’ll board the boat, is at 600 E. Grand Ave., just north of the Loop on Lake Michigan. Your dock will be on the south side of the pier, facing downtown. Be aware that parking in the area is expensive and tight, however, so come early to park and bring lots of cash (word to the wise: yes, there still are robber barons in town, and they control the parking and the towing companies; don’t say we didn’t warn you). Oh, and remember to bring along a warm enough jacket or coat, or at least layer some warmth under your costume: it’s always 5 to 10 degrees colder on the water than it is in town, no matter what the forecast is.
Your spooky tour guide, Marie