Thursday, October 29, 2015

FAMILY FRIENDLY THEATRE: Mr Popper's Penguins at Lifeline Theatre

Lifeline Theatre KidSeries Presents Mr. Popper’s Penguins, World Premiere Musical Based on Novel by Richard and Florence Atwater, Opens October 25

Plus Performance with Touch Tour and Audio Description on November 7, Performance with Open Captioning on November 14, and Relaxed/Sensory-Friendly Performance on November 21 And Stories Come Alive! 
Hour Workshops Every Saturday and Sunday During the Run 

**This production is recommended for children ages five and up (children under two not permitted), and runs approximately one hour with no intermission.**

Lifeline Theatre’s KidSeries had been a favorite of ours here at ChiIL Mama for decades. They're one of the best in the city for creating high quality, original, book based productions. We haven't caught this production specifically yet, but based on the Lifeline KidSeries track record, we highly recommend checking them out.

presents Mr. Popper’s Penguins, a world premiere musical adaptation with script by Lifeline Theatre ensemble member Robert Kauzlaric (Non-Equity Jeff Awards: New Adaptation, The Island of Dr. Moreau and Neverwhere), music and lyrics by George Howe (Non-Equity Jeff Award: New Work-Musical, Queen Lucia), and directed by Lifeline Theatre ensemble member Paul S. Holmquist (Non-Equity Jeff Award: Best Production-Play, The Island of Dr. Moreau; Non-Equity Jeff nomination: Director-Musical, The Robber Bridegroom, Griffin Theatre), based on the novel by Richard and Florence Atwater

Mr. Popper’s Penguins runs Saturday, Oct. 24 – Sunday, Nov. 29 at Lifeline Theatre, 6912 N. Glenwood Ave. Regular performance times are Saturdays and Sundays at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m., with an added relaxed/sensory-friendly performance on Saturday, Nov. 21 at 3 p.m. Tickets are $15 and may be purchased at the Lifeline Theatre Box Office, 773.761.4477, or by visiting their main site HERE. 

**Lifeline Theatre also offers “Name Your Price” tickets a half-hour before the show (subject to availability), group rates and other discounts available upon request.** 

Accessible Performances: The Saturday, Nov. 7, 11 a.m. performance will feature a pre-show touch tour of the set at 10 a.m. and live audio description for patrons who are blind or have low vision. The Saturday, Nov. 14, 1 p.m. performance will feature open captioning for patrons who are deaf or hard-of-hearing. And there will be a relaxed/sensory-friendly performance on Saturday, Nov. 21 at 3 p.m. for patrons with social and/or cognitive disabilities. For more information about Lifeline’s accessibility services, please contact Accessibility Coordinator Erica Foster at 773.761.4477 x703 or click HERE. 

Money is tight and times are tough in the town of Stillwater. With no houses to paint till next spring, Mr. Popper is stuck at home daydreaming of adventures in far-off lands, while Mrs. Popper must scrimp and save just to put beans on the table. But with the unexpected arrival of a spirited penguin named Captain Cook, a new horizon opens before them. As a quiet partnership expands into a boisterous flock, the Poppers learn that there’s no problem that can’t be solved with steady determination, lots of love, and a dash of unconventionality. Join this offbeat family on an unforgettable adventure in a world premiere musical based on the 1938 classic by Richard and Florence Atwater.

PLUS: Join Lifeline Theatre every Saturday and Sunday at 12 p.m. during the run of Mr. Popper’s Penguins (following the 11 a.m. show, or before the 1 p.m. show) for our Stories Come Alive! Hour. Children will enjoy an interactive storytelling session and on-your-feet theatre games. The cost is only $5 per child. Reservations are recommended, though not required. Contact Lifeline Theatre at 773-761-4477 for more information.

The complete cast and production team for Mr. Popper’s Penguins includes:

CAST: Lifeline Theatre ensemble member Heather Currie (Mrs. Popper); with guest artists Josh Bernaski (Reporter, Admiral Drake & others), Amanda Roeder (Mrs. Callahan, Artie Greenbaum & others), and Jonathan Schwart (Mr. Popper). With understudies Nate Buursma, Michael Mulhearn, Sierra Nibbe, and Emily Tucker.

CREW: Lifeline Theatre ensemble members Paul S. Holmquist (Director) and Robert Kauzlaric (Adaptor); with guest artists Benjamin W. Dawson (Production Manager), Sarah Espinoza (Sound Designer), Noah Ginex (Puppet Designer), George Howe (Composer, Lyricist, Musical Director), Izumi Inaba (Costume Designer), Jordan Kardasz (Lighting Designer), Sam Moryoussef (Master Electrician), and Joe Schermoly (Scenic Designer, Technical Director).

A party room is available for full-service birthday and special event parties. Free parking is available at the designated lot west of the theatre (NE corner of Morse and Ravenswood) with free shuttle service before and after the show. Street parking is also available and Lifeline Theatre is handicapped and CTA accessible (Red Line Morse stop/busses). 

Now in its 33rd season, Lifeline Theatre is driven by a passion for story. Our ensemble process supports writers in the development of literary adaptations and new work, and our theatrical and educational programs foster a lifelong engagement with literature and the arts. A cultural anchor of Rogers Park, we are committed to deepening our connection to an ever-growing family of artists and audiences, both near and far. Lifeline Theatre – Big Stories, Up Close. 

Lifeline Theatre’s programs are partially supported by Alphawood Foundation; The Arts Work Fund; Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation; a CityArts grant from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events; The Common Cup; Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation; FGMK LLC; Flex Print , Inc.; The Grover Hermann Foundation; Illinois Arts Council, a state agency; MacArthur Fund for Arts and Culture at Prince; Netrix LLC; The Polk Bros. Foundation; S&C Foundation; The Shubert Foundation; and the annual support of businesses and individuals.

Mrs. Popper (Heather Currie) and Mr. Popper (Jonathan Schwart). Photography by Suzanne Plunkett.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

WIN 4 Tickets ($28 Value) to Walrus Attack And/Or Wendy & DB Concerts for Kids at Beat Kitchen

ChiIL Mama & Concerts for Kids Presents
Kids who rock hard for your rock tots, banger babies and punk kin!

Disclosure: ChiIL Mama is elated to partner up with Beat Kitchen as press sponsor for Concerts for Kids for the 5th season. Thanks to Beat Kitchen for providing giveaway tickets for our readers. As always, all photos, videos and opinions are our own.

Chicago band, Walrus Attack is Judah Sweig 14 (Guitars/Vocals), Niko Tena 13 (Guitars/Vocals) Trevor Boyd 10 (Drums). Recorded 2/8/15 at Mystery Street Studios, Chicago

*ENTER HERE for your chance to win a family 4 pack of tickets to Walrus Attack at noon THIS Sunday 11/1.** 

These guys just won a battle of the bands at Reggies and all the band members are under 15! Here at ChiIL Mama, we've known one of the band members since he was a 4 year old! Get your rock tots inspired for a life on the stage. Winner will be e-mailed here and announced on social media on Fridays. Enter each week till midnight Thursday.

**ENTER HERE for your chance to win a family 4 pack of tickets to Wendy & DB at noon on Sunday November 8th.** 

ChiIL Mama's ChiIL Picks List
**All ages welcome but concerts are geared toward birth through 8 year olds. Kids under 1 are FREE.**

ChiIL Mama is back as press sponsor for the 5th season of Concerts for Kids, and that means free weekly ticket giveaways, band video interviews, live show shots, band footage and more. Come ChiIL out with us at Chicago's ONLY LIVE weekly kindie music showcase. Sure the weather's still nice, but winter is coming... 

Even when it's still fall gorgeous out, it rocks to spend an hour of your Sundays at Concerts for Kids, dancing with your littles and hanging with friends. Let your rock tots, punk kin and banger babies rock their squirrelies out to some of the coolest kindie (kids indie) bands from Chicago and beyond, and enjoy great food and drinks. Beat Kitchen has THE best Bloody Marys in town. 

Check back with ChiIL Mama like we vote in Chi, IL... early and often. We're your resource for family friendly fun in Chi, IL and beyond with travel, arts and entertainment, product reviews and giveaways, and loads of original content including photo features.

Get Social:
Follow ChiIL Mama on FACEBOOK and TWITTER so you don't miss out. Follow us by RSS feed (add your address in the side bar to the right) to get an easy e-mail digest and/or get real time updates & first dibs on giveaways via social media.

ChiIL Mama (family friendly) FACEBOOK PAGE and TWITTER 
ChiIL Live Shows (adult)  FACEBOOK PAGE and TWITTER

YOUTUBE (We have 240+ original videos on our YouTube Channel including video interviews with musicians, theatre people, parents in the arts, live show footage & more!)

Doors open at 11:00, and Unicoi Art Studio will be painting faces for $1! Tickets are $6 online or $7 at the door.

UPCOMING CONCERTS • $6 ($7 at the door)

Nov 8 • 12 PM

Nov 15 • 12 PM

Disclosure: ChiIL Mama is elated to partner up with Beat Kitchen as press sponsor for Concerts for Kids for the 5th season. Thanks to Beat Kitchen for providing giveaway tickets for our readers. As always, all photos, videos and opinions are our own.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

WIN a Pair of Tickets ($30 value 4 available) to The NEW Skelebration for Teens Friday October 30th


NEW for 2015, Redmoon is offering Skelebration for the 14-20 demographic with a big root beer kegger, dance party! Here at ChiIL Mama and ChiIL Live Shows, we've been covering Redmoon since their inception and we've done photo features on Skelebration and Boneshaker for years. This year is no exception.

**ENTER HERE for your shot at a FREE pair of tickets to Skelebration. (4 pairs available)**

ChiIL Mama's giving out 4 pairs of tickets ($30 value each). Enter through midnight this Thursday. Winners announced here, on social media and e-mailed Friday morning. Open to 14-20 year olds (School ID or drivers license required at the Skelebration entrance to prove age. 14 year olds who are already in high school will be admitted). Winners' names will be on the guest list at the door. Enter like we vote in Chi, IL... early and often.

TEEN HALLOWEEN: Back in the day, Chicago's underage partiers had Medusa's juice bar, an alcohol free place to dance, hear music, and hang out. Now there's a scary lack of fun options between childhood and 21+. For at least one day in 2015, Redmoon is stepping in to fill the void in an epic way THIS Friday, Oct 30th. BE THERE. Ages 14-20 ONLY. Absolutely no one 21+ admitted. 

 **Check out loads of ChiIL Mama's past 
Redmoon coverage.**

CLICK HERE FOR ChiIL Live Shows' past Redmoon coverage behind the scenes 2013 build shots from Boneshaker & Skelebration

This Halloween season, Redmoon, Chicago’s leading model for using spectacle and art as a means to social change will host two Halloween-themed spectaculars: the new teen-focused Skelebration, Friday, Oct. 30 from 7 – 11 p.m. and the 6th annual Boneshaker, Saturday, Oct. 31 at 9 p.m. – Sunday, Nov. 1 at 2 a.m. at the company’s massive 57,000 square-foot Pilsen headquarters, 2120 S. Jefferson St. Tickets for Skelebration are $10 in advance or $15 at the door for ages 15-20 years. Boneshaker tickets are available for $100 through October 28. Boneshaker tickets purchased after October 28 are $125 Boneshaker tickets include snacks and an open bar. 

VIP tickets for Boneshaker are $150 until October 28  $175 after that, and include access to a private lounge, two private bars, all-you-can-eat from Dios De Los Tamales, a private video game arcade, and the best view of the party. Tickets for Skelebration and Boneshaker are available in advance online at or by calling 312-850-8440 ext. 123. Discounts are available for groups of 10 or more. Tickets will be available at the door, subject to availability.

For five years, Redmoon’s Halloween party for adults, Boneshaker, has been the must-attend spectacular celebrating the spooky season. Now, Redmoon and its newly formed teen advisory council have taken the same imaginative and immersive whimsy of the popular Boneshaker and created a teen-friendly and alcohol-free interactive experience called Skelebration.

Skelebration and Boneshaker are coordinated and produced by the 17-member Youth Board, Redmoon’s young professionals’ board.  This year, the Halloween events are co-directed by Redmoon's Will Bishop with event directors Maddy Low, Emily May, and event producer Ray Rehberg under the conceptual direction of Redmoon Producing Artistic Director Frank Maugeri.

For the Teens: Skelebration
Friday, Oct. 30 • 7 – 11 p.m.
The event is for guests 14 – 20 years old, no one 21 years old or older will be admitted (School ID or drivers license required to prove age. 14 year olds who are already in high school will be admitted).
$10 in advance
$15 at the door

The night before the adult-themed Boneshaker, Redmoon has created an event specifically targeted at young adults ages 14 – 20 years old with all of the inventive and spectacular elements of the Redmoon Halloween tradition offered in a teen-friendly format.  Redmoon has worked with their newly formed teen advisory council made up of students from around the Chicago area, and including youth from the MCA’s Teen Creative Agency, to create an immersive, imaginative night of whimsy where 1,000 costumed teens will enjoy interactive experiences, inventive machines, food trucks, multiple DJs, dancing, a video game arcade, and unexpected surprises in a safe environment with chaperones. Redmoon is dedicated to engaging teens in creative and imaginative ways to empower them in their everyday lives

For the Adults – Boneshaker
Saturday, Oct. 31 • 9 p.m. – Sunday, Nov.1 at 2 a.m.
Ages 21 years old and older
Prices will increase to $125 72 hours before the event
Upgrade to VIP for $150 ($175 after October 28) and get access to a private lounge, two private bars, all-you-can-eat from Dios De Los Tamales, a private video game arcade, and the best view of the party.
A premier event of Redmoon’s “Indoor” season, Boneshaker’s interactive celebration helps support Redmoon’s core mission of bringing free art to Chicagoans in public spaces across the city.

Redmoon’s 2015 two Halloween spectaculars promise an array of multisensory delights* including:

  • Music and dancing in the venue and outside by different DJs throughout the night
  • Haunting videos and movies projected onto Redmoon’s 100 foot video wall
  • Temporary tattoo parlour mausoleums with limited edition tattoos designed by artists Mitch O’Connell, Hillary Barta, David Carlin and Eric Doyle
  •  Berwyn’s Galloping Ghost arcade is providing classic and new video games for patrons to play all night
  • An interactive carnival game with 20 foot tall bursts of fire (for a small donation)
  •  A variety of beverages for both teens and the over 21 crowd
  • Three foot wide fire caldrons will be the centerpiece of the S’mores Garden, where guests can create and enjoy a variety of s’mores
  • Created by Johnny Payphone, pedal-powered bumper cars are available for guests to ride and compete
  • Star in a movie with your friends riding a custom Redmoon motorcycle, then share it on social media (for a small donation) 
  • Mystical and maniacal soundscapes in the bathrooms, designed by Chicago-based sound artists
  • 77 wild skeletons and sultry Devils serving food and drink from Redmoon’s signature devices
  • Many of Redmoon's signature massive contraptions will make appearances, carrying drummers, DJs, musicians and more through the party floor both evenings.
  • Food trucks from Chicago’s best vendors for additional food for purchase by the costumed partiers.

And just for the adults at Boneshaker:
  • The Kegway, a segway serving the guests Lagunitas beer
  • Modelo Especial Chelada served from The Libation Machine
  • Fire breathers and a psychic providing authentic readings
  • Pretzels for the masses! Redmoon will provide 219 pounds of pretzels for the attendees to help them keep up their energy and celebrate until 2 a.m.
  • Multiple full bars serve an array of cocktails, craft beer and wine all night long.

*Programs, spectacles, artists and events are subject to change without notice.

About Redmoon
Over the past 24 years, Redmoon has become a valued Chicago institution with its high profile collaborations, vibrant outdoor performances, and dynamic community and educational programming. Redmoon’s site-specific performances have opened in Millennium Park, animated the façade of the Museum of Contemporary Art, commemorated the groundbreaking of the Modern Wing of the Art Institute and brought tens of thousands of spectators to the banks of the Chicago River. Redmoon has also brought its work to the parks and streets of Chicago’s most underserved neighborhoods, using spectacle to bridge differences and transform the ways that people see and understand public spaces.  Since 1990, Redmoon has performed for more than 380,000 people in 49 different neighborhoods, and around the globe in Holland, Ireland, Australia, Brazil, China, Japan and France.  In its 57,000 square foot facility in Pilsen, Redmoon conducts large-scale indoor spectacles and private events, and offers structured, skills-based internships and mentoring opportunities to emerging young artists.

For more information on Redmoon and its programs, visit

Redmoon’s Halloween sponsors include Lagunitas Brewing Company, the official craft beer of Redmoon, Modelo Especial and The Galloping Ghost Arcade.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

CLOSING: The Hypocrites' American Idiot at The Den Theatre

It's your last chance to catch The Hypocrites' acclaimed production of American Idiot. If you haven't seen it, what are you waiting for?! If you have seen it, go again. They've managed to create something incredible here. They've made a more legitimately punk performance than Green Day ever was. 

This scrappy store front troupe gives a stripped down, gritty realism to the musical that works far better for the story line than the big budget Broadway versions. The set is a graffiti strewn hole in the wall where the pre show is a band. During the show, characters grab and chug beers from the audience and toss dime bags (of Smarties) to the lucky. 

In this "Hair" for the new millennium, the teens experience love, loss, addiction, military deployment, and teen pregnancy. Although the kids begin the show desperate for freedom and jonesing to leave town for adventures, ultimately they all discover there's no place like home.  The vocals are powerful stuff, and the cast connects with each other and the audience in a compelling way. We loved it and highly recommend it.

Now Playing:
The smash musical by Grammy Award-winning punk rock band Green Day
"A visceral and impassioned theatrical experience"
Chris Jones, Chicago Tribune

"Succeeding where Broadway failed"
Hedy Weiss, Chicago Sun-Times

"An impressive, immersive underground-style gig"
Kris Vire, Time Out Chicago

Book by Billie Joe Armstrong and Michael Mayer
Music by Green Day, Lyrics by Billie Joe Armstrong
Directed by Steven Wilson
Musical Direction by Andra Velis Simon
Choreography by Katie Spelman
Running August 28 – October 25, 2015

August 28 – October 25, 2015
Directed by Steven Wilson, Musical Direction by Andra Velis Simon

The critics agree, "American Idiot feels precisely as raw, real, reckless and angry as it should." - Hedy Weiss, Chicago Sun-Times; "A visceral and impassioned theatrical experience... Director, Steven Wilson, integrates the amazing flexibility of his hugely talented young cast with the material in a strikingly rich fashion." - Chris Jones, Chicago Tribune; "A rousing reinvention." - Time Out Chicago; "Utterly entertaining." - Chicago Readers; "Go see it before it's over." - Gapers Block; "This particular version ofAmerican Idiot is a work of endurance, timing, commitment, passion and insuppressible talent... The Hypocrites continue to rise not just to the rank of one of our city’s best storefronts but one of Chicago’s best theaters period." - Newcity Stage

American Idiot at The Den Theatre's Heath Main Stage, 1329 N Milwaukee Ave. Purchase American Idiot Tickets Today

It's your final chance to catch season opener, American Idiot (and pick up a Hypocrites tee & American Idiot drink ware!), but mark your calendars for 

They are some of our favorite locals with talent to spare and one of our consistent top picks here at ChiIL Live Shows. They have the dramatic chops to take on everything from French absurdist classics and ancient myths, to modern musicals, and everything in between! 

Congrats to Sean Graney and the cast of All Our Tragic for winning Best New Work and Best Ensemble respectively.

Up Next:

Sean Graney's The 4th Graders Present an Unnamed Love-SuicideOct 30 - Nov 8. Co-directed by Joel Ewing and Mechelle Moe. Featuring Brian Baren, Justin Burns, Hunter Dunn, Heather Lauritzen, Jauhara Saunders, Cleo Shine and Olivia Shine. Presented in a special artistic collaboration with Senn Arts Magnet High School's The Yard.

More info, cast bios and tickets at

Get Social:
See what's happening at The Hypocrites on TwitterFacebookInstagram,
and our Read & Watch Blog.

Follow ChiIL Mama on FACEBOOK and TWITTER so you don't miss out on Chicago theatre news, reviews and video interviews, giveaways, music coverage, foodie fun, urban lifestyle features, and photo and video filled original content. Follow us by RSS feed (add your address in the side bar to the right) to get an easy e-mail digest and/or get real time updates & first dibs on giveaways via social media.

ChiIL Mama (family friendly) FACEBOOK PAGE and TWITTER 
ChiIL Live Shows (adult)  FACEBOOK PAGE and TWITTER

YOUTUBE (We have 240+ original videos on our YouTube Channel including video interviews with musicians, theatre people, parents in the arts, live show footage & more!)

Hypocrites Tixs:

October 30 – November 8, 2015
By Sean Graney, Co-Directed by Joel Ewing and Mechelle Moe

November 17 – December 13, 2015
Co-adapted by Sean Graney, Andra Velis Simon, and Matt Kahler; Directed by Sean Graney

November 19, 2015 – January 10, 2016
By Jay Torrence, Directed by Halena Kays

January 22 – March 6, 2016
By Tennessee Williams, Re-imagined and Directed by Hans Fleischmann

March 8 – 20, 2016
Adapted and Directed by Sean Graney

March 18 – May 15, 2016
Directed by Geoff Button

May 20 – 29, 2016
Co-Adapted by Emily Casey and Sean Graney; Directed by Sean Graney

July 14 – August 21, 2016
Adapted and Directed by Sean Graney; Pirates co-adapted by Kevin O'Donnell

Heads Up San Fran:

ChiIL Live Shows adored The Hypocrites' Pirates of Penzance and highly recommend it. Now Chi, IL theatre is taking California by storm, bringing The Hypocrites' delightfully immersive, lovingly loopy, and fantastically eccentric 80-minute take on Gilbert and Sullivan’s preposterous, topsy-turvy world to Berkeley Repertory Theatre.

If you are in the Bay Area, come join the party!

October 16 – December 20, 2015
Co-adapted by Sean Graney and Kevin O'Donnell, Directed by Sean Graney

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Lyric Opera's Cinderella Wows All Ages Through November 30th

Chi, IL Live Shows On Our Radar

The beloved tale of Cinderella (La Cenerentola) meets operatic delight in this bubbling Rossini hit! You know the story: Cinderella is dressed in rags and destined to toil away for her nasty stepsisters and horrible stepfather — who is scheming to convince the Prince to marry one of his "real" daughters. But not so fast — mean girls aren't the Prince's style, and there's a happily-ever-after ending for the maid with the heart of gold in this "triumphant, dazzling production...that blends a riot of color with sophisticated comedy just oozing with mirth." (Houston Chronicle) 

by Gioachino Rossini
In Italian with projected English titles  

Superstar mezzo-soprano Isabel Leonard as leading lady, partnered with bel canto master Lawrence Brownlee in his eagerly awaited Lyric debut (he sings "with freedom and fervor…a reminder of the infectious excitement Rossini makes possible" —The New York Times) and acclaimed Lyric favorite Alessandro Corbelli as the pompous stepfather.

Performance running time: 3 hours 16 minutes including 1 intermission

Lyric Opera presentation generously made possible by Margot and Josef Lakonishok, The Nelson Cornelius Production Endowment Fund, and PowerShares QQQ.

Coproduction of Houston Grand Opera, Welsh National Opera, Gran Teatre del Liceu, and Grand Théâtre de Genève. Click HERE for tickets and schedule.

Friday, October 23, 2015

No Mercy Frightfully Fun at Six Flags Great America Fright Fest Through Nov 1.

Photo Feature: 
ChiIL Mama's Adventures at Fright Fest

Here at ChiIL Mama we adore Halloween. It's our family's favorite holiday. We're also huge fans of Six Flags Great America. So Fright Fest was a given. We highly recommend checking it out at least once a season. If you have littles or even adults who freak out easily, go early and stay through the parade at 6pm. It's fun and low scare, and the only thing creepy is some of the decor. After the parade however, BEWARE.

Many of these sweet shots were taken by my 14yo son, Dugan! Favorites are embedded below, at the bottom of this feature. 

We had a screaming good time and highly recommend it!

ChiIL Tips:
Come early to avoid bigger crowds and hit the long line rides like big coasters early. Though do note, most of the Halloween shows start after 6pm.

Water rides like the log flumes and rafts are done for the season but just about everything else is up and running except the train which is down till 6pm and runs 1 way after that, due to huge demand. This just means you have to get off at the other stop and get back in line if you want to ride back. That said, it's a great way to see a host of creeps, each in their own sections, without a ton of walking, or if you have a family member who's a bit freaked out getting stalked by characters.

Travel in packs. There's "safety in numbers" once the scares start. If you do have a kid who freaks out at the after 6pm creeps, remind them that the characters are just actors and can NOT touch them. Once we were all together, the tweens and teens in our group enjoyed being scared into shrieks and running from ghouls. Though they just about pulled the adults over more than once, clinging to us and trying to run away simultaneously.

More Fun With Friends: Though we all split up like Scooby Doo looking for a clue, we made a plan to come the same day/time as several other families. 

What we dug:
The decorations, shows and overall playful terror vibe were great. And we love the rides year round. 

We adored the extreme Cavalcade of the Odd show with fire breathing, sword swallowing, walking on glass, and more. Just don't try this at home, kids! Note-you can hang out after the show and get photos with the guys and their knives!

The characters were excellent and put their hearts and souls into scares. They can smell your fear and we saw them going for the weak and doing some excellent tag team multi scares on the screamers and runners!

Cool free Nook downloads.

Watch out for: 
They mean it when they say "NO MERCY" this year. We saw a teen girl in a near catatonic state with her button up entirely over her face, who was so terrified her friend begged security to escort them out of the park. Her BFF piggy backed her out. Fright Fest will tell you who your true friends are, that's for sure!

Even the two brave 12 year olds we had along were pretty freaked out by the freaks and had to be "rescued" from the arcade where they got trapped by ax wielding zombie stalkers. The girls had planned to squeeze in 1 more big coaster and meet us at a designated spot to watch the parade, but the lines ran long and they were too flipped out to run the zombie gauntlet to our meeting place together. Yay for cell phones.

Scary looooooong ride lines can be expected as the day progresses. 

Bad puns abound in the rock musical, but if you're expecting cheese, and you're a fan of amusement park genre crowd pleasers, than go already. Rocky Horror tunes and Halloween standards along with lame sports jokes and hokey nods to pop tune lyrics and dance moves. Aside from a bit of language the big musical is fine for most kids. Want to meet the cast and snap photos with them? Head out to the pavilion across from the entrance after the show.

The Details:
Fright Fest runs weekends through November 1. Hours are Fridays 5 p.m.-11 p.m., Saturdays 11 a.m.-midnight, Sundays 11 a.m.-10 p.m. and  Columbus Day 11 a.m.- 7 p.m. Fright Fest remains family-friendly until 6 p.m. with the children’s areas as scare-free zones and a trick-or-treat trail in Apocalypse. 
2016 Season Passes are now on sale and provide unlimited visits for the rest of the 2015 season (including Fright Fest) and all of the 2016 season. For a limited time, with the purchase of a Season Pass four-pack, guests will receive a free upgrade to a Gold Season Pass, which includes free admission and free season parking to any Six Flags theme park with every pass. Season Passes must be purchased and processed at the park by November 1, 2015.

Fall and the Halloween season are favorites of ours here at ChiIL Mama. In fact, back in the day BC (before children) I worked in a haunted house for 3 seasons as Carrie & a bloody bride, making adults pee their pants and run screaming into walls. Fun times! If you like chills & thrills too, get on over to Fright Fest at Six Flags Great America this month. Whether you're a coaster junkie, or a fan of macabre shows, people watching, and a "bag holder" for the brave and crazy family members, this season has plenty to please. ChiIL Mama will be there... will YOU?! Tag your photos and check out ours at #FrightFest #NoMercy.


13 Fright Fest Facts:
  • 250 zombies and monsters lurk the midways and haunted attractions
  • 30 master make-up artists use 2,500 ounces of make-up and fake blood to transform actors each night
  • 25 pounds of food-grade, red vegetable dye create the blood-tinged reflection pond
  • 100 flaming torches create an eerie glow over the entire park
  • 300 bales of hay add to the fall atmosphere
  • 25,200 stalks of corn complete the festive park décor
  • 4.5 tons of pumpkins and 160 yards of mulch form the “thrills by day” atmosphere
  • 1,000  gallons of fog juice generate the mysterious rising fog effect throughout the park
  • 1,600 yards of cheese cloth are used to give the illusion of spider webs around the park
  • Love at First Fright, Fright Fest’s trademark musical, kicks off its 25th season
  • Over 1,250 minutes per Fright Fest day is spent applying make-up by 15 make-up artists
  • Tiny, the 200 pound spider, has been perched on the American Eagle for 22 years
  • A 53 foot, 600 pound gorilla claims the Sky Trek Tower each Fright Fest season signaling the start of the uprising

Thrills By Day

Character Candy TrailLittle ghouls can trick-or-treat In the Mardi Gras area every Saturday and Sunday.

Kid Friendly Themed AreasScare-free zones like Camp Cartoon, Kidzopolis and Hometown Park are perfect for families with young children. These areas are open on Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Love At First FrightFright Fest’s trademark award-winning family musical is back for its 25th smash season! Join Jack and Katie on their dare to spend a night in the cemetery.

Fright By Night

NOX – NEWNox is the newest member to the Fright Fest Character lineup. As the overlord of Fright Fest, Nox will oversee all 300 characters in the park and reside in the Gates of Hell. Nox’s character was developed by Six Flags Great America in tandem with Anthony Kosart from syfy’s Face Off

Gates of Hell – NEWNox is looking for more souls to take and if you are brave you can enter his realm in the Gates of Hell. The Gates of Hell features 6 different haunted experiences in one all surrounded by the House of Torment which Nox calls home. Demons in each of these areas are competing to capture the most souls to deliver to Nox and they will do anything to win the battle. You will be lucky to escape with your soul so enter only if you dare. Additional fee required.
Apocalypse: Zombie Experience – NEW Zombies have taken over and we need your help! These zombies are starving and they only have an appetite for your flesh. Try to make it through alive, but be careful because they haven’t eaten in a while. Better your chances of survival by going to the next level and renting a machine gun to shoot them before they bite. Additional fee required.

LightMosFEAR – NEWEnjoy the largest Halloween lightshow on the world’s largest carousel! This spectacular lighting experience has over 70,000 points of light and 500 channels of animation.

Fear Haunted House – In the depths of the Bermuda Triangle you will encounter your most primal fear…darkness. Without a sliver of light and only instinct to guide, will you survive? Additional fee required.

The Abyss – Countless occurrences have been recorded of the Bermuda Triangle with each tale as mysterious as the next and all left unanswered. Anything could happen when left alone in the Abyss. Additional fee required.

Massacre Medical Center – This decrepit hospital was rumored to be vacated of patients and doctors years ago following a great massacre. Passersby near the hospital recall eerie noises and unexplainable images in the building – begging the question… who or what lurks within? Additional fee required.

Manslaughter Manor – This manor, tucked away in the Southwest Hills, has the reputation for being cursed by the residents of Skull Valley. Do you dare enter? Additional fee required.

Fright Fest haunted house wristbands provide an unlimited day of access to all six Fright Fest attractions. For more information, visit Haunted mazes and houses are not included in general admission. 

About Six Flags Great America and Hurricane Harbor
Two great parks, one destination! Located between Chicago and Milwaukee, Six Flags Great America offers endless adventures for the entire family with 14 heart-pounding roller coasters, a 20-acre water park, spectacular shows, four children’s themed areas with over 30 rides and a nighttime parade.

About Six Flags Entertainment Corporation
Six Flags Entertainment Corporation is the world’s largest regional theme park company with $1.2 billion in revenue and 18 parks across the United States, Mexico and Canada. For 54 years, Six Flags has entertained millions of families with world-class coasters, themed rides, thrilling water parks and unique attractions. For more information, visit

 Get social at
#FrightFest #NoMercy

More of ChiIL Mama's Favorite Pixs Picks: