Girlfriends: Creatures of the Night

October 30, 2009 PHOTO GALLERY: Creatures of the Night at 190 N. State St. studio

From bats to owls to spiders, discover how some creatures have special adaptations or "tricks" that help them roam in the dark, at "Creatures of the Night" a free Halloween event at the Garfield Park Conservatory, 300 N. Central Park Ave., Chicago, on Saturday, October 31 from noon to 3p.m.

Families can meet live nocturnal animals like fruit bats, spiders, owls and more, as they make a rare daytime appearance at the Conservatory. Visitors will learn about the creatures' ability to learn adaptation "tricks" and get a very special "treat" at special critter stations. Other fun activities include spider plantings and wormy apples.

Admission to Creatures of the Night is free. For more information go to or call 773.638.1766.

Here are some the Creatures of the Night you'll meet and the treat you'll receive at the conservatory:

Fennec Fox
Its Trick: It has super sensing ears, so strong in its ability that it can even hear insects walking on the sand in its native desert habitat. Our Treat: plastic insects

Fruit Bat
Its Trick: Bats throw out high pitched sounds from their mouths or nose, and this sound bounces off objects in front of them. Bats calculate how long this sound takes to return to them, thereby locating the approaching object. This strategy of "sensing" objects is called "echolocation." Our Treat: Balls to bounce like bats echolocate

Its Trick: Rolls in a ball to protect itself at night
Our Treat: A Hedgehog Ring

Sugar Glider

  • Its Trick: Can see very well at night because of its big eyes
  • Our Treat: Googly Eyed Glasses
  • Armadillo

  • Its Trick: Has a hard armor to protect itself at night
  • Our Treat: A special band-aid to protect our own fingers.


    The Chicago Park District hosts several haunted houses, numerous pumpkin patches, corn mazes and parties and much more. This year marks the debut of the Doggie PUPkin Party, a Halloween event for dogs, and also features a ghostly movie series. Click here for the full listing of Halloween events or call 312-742-PLAY.

    Halloween highlights this fall include:

    Pumpkin Patches & Halloween Parties
    Fall pumpkin patches throughout the city features a selection of all shapes and sizes and decorating stations. Some pumpkin patches and Halloween parties include a petting zoo, hayride, pony ride, inflatables, games and a chance to take a photo at the harvest photo station. Visit the website for a schedule or call 312-742-PLAY. Through October 31

  • Various parks
  • All ages, entrance fees vary from free to nominal
  • Nominal fees may apply for on-site activities
  • Nightmare at 63rd St. Beach House Get spooked along the lake at this haunted house.

  • Thursday-Friday, October 29-30
  • 63rd St. Beach House, 6300 South, 312-742-5369
  • Admission: $7
  • Trails of Terror 2009
    Wind your way through nearly one-half mile of spine-tingling terror in the woods crawling with creepy characters set in a small seaside town complete with the old general store and abandoned fishing boats haunted by the ghostly remains of their crews.

  • October 29-31
  • 6:30 - 9:30 p.m.
  • Peterson Park, 5801 N. Pulaski Rd., 312-742-7584
  • Recommended for ages 8 and up; free parking available
  • Admission: $8 for ages 12 and under, $10 for ages 13 and up
  • Haunted House
    Experience several rooms of spooky fun in this neighborhood tradition.

  • Friday, October 30
  • 7-9 p.m.
  • Columbus Park, 500 S. Central Ave., 773-287-7641
  • All ages
  • Admission: $3
  • Haunted House
    This haunted house features 10 scary scenes and includes candy as a treat.

  • Friday-Saturday, October 30-31
  • 6-9 p.m.
  • Archer Park, 4901 S. Kilbourn Ave., 773-284-7029
  • Ages 6 and up
  • Admission: $5
  • Halloween Teen Dance
    Teens enjoy dancing and music in a safe environment.

  • Friday, October 30
  • 6-9 p.m.
  • Vittum Park, 5010 W. 50th St., 773-284-6022
  • Grades 6-8
  • Admission $10
  • Doggie PUPkin Party
    Halloween has gone to the dogs at this new event that is open to all size pups. Owners and dogs are encouraged to come dressed up in their favorite costumes. Activities include a doggie parade, photos with the owner and dog that can be purchased from the photographer, doggie/owner look-a-like contest, art project, drawings and give-a-ways. The local pet businesses will set up tables and offer goods and services for dogs.

  • Saturday, October 31
  • 9 a.m. - noon
  • Brands Park, 3259 N. Elston Ave., 773-478-2414
  • Admission: $5 per dog
  • The event will be held rain or shine.
  • Creatures of the Night
    Night-time creatures, like fruit bats, spiders, owls, and more, make a rare daytime greenhouse appearance.

  • Saturday, October 31
  • 12 noon -3 p.m.
  • Garfield Park Conservatory, 300 N. Central Park Ave., 312-746-5100
  • All ages
  • Admission free
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