ChiIL Mama's Chi, IL Picks List for Scary & Scare-Free Fun
Thrills By Day... Fright By Night
Last Sunday the teens and I hit up Six Flags Great America's annual Fright Fest. It's become a fall ritual and a last hoorah before the cold season shutters the park till spring. My son Dugan (15), took my pro camera for the day and documented the adventures of his 13 year old sister and her school friends as they ran from coaster to coaster, cramming in all the thrill rides they could.
Disclosure: Thanks to Six Flags Great America for providing my family with press comps, so we could come out and shoot and review. We were not compensated in any other way. As always all opinions, photos and adventures are our own.
Check out our full slideshow here:
More favorite shots are embedded below.
Mid afternoon, the friends stayed and the teens and I had to duck out for a few hours for tech rehearsals for Cursed Costumes, a Halloween themed circus arts show both my kids are in at Actor's Gymnasium the final two weekends of the month.
We returned to Six Flags Great America around 7pm and were back till the park closed at 10pm.
I took the camera this time and set the teens loose with their friends. They had a blast riding coasters, fleeing screaming from creepy costumed characters, and enjoying their friends. I stalked a few vampires, werewolves and freaks myself and shot them (with my camera).
The costuming is excellent, with airbrushed makeup and impressive attention to detail, even down to creepy contacts.
And the monsters put on a high energy show for their shifts, messing with people, hiding for startle scares, and rushing the fearful and chasing them.
Then I settled in for a show and watched a slew of people get hypnotized by Susan Rosen, Mistress of Mesmerism at The Pictorium. Fun fun.
We all met back up by the fountain at the end of the night. Fright fest after dark is an exciting mash up of pounding metal, screams, costumed creeps, shows, haunted houses and rides galore. Do note, the haunted houses require extra admission fees or an all access wristband. Shows are included with general admission. Don't miss this. Fright Fest is fantastic Halloween themed fun for all ages. Highly recommended.
**Click here to check out all the Fright Fest details plus our past photo recap, which includes the 6pm parade (highly recommended) and more.**
The parade is a great climax to an early day with kids before leaving for home. It's also a great starting time for teens and up, as the "witching hour" when the costumed creeps start stalking park patrons, and the music and attitude gets pumped up. Lines do increase as the day goes on, so if you love the big rides with the big lines, come early when the park opens to maximize ride time. It was as bit overcast when we went, with thunderstorms forecast, so the lines were minimal. We got lucky and the rains held off and so did the crowds! It was excellent.
Families with young kids can enjoy daylight trick or treating with non-scary characters and lots of family friendly rides. Do note, there is scary decor up in the park during the day, if your kids are easily unhinged, but nothing will pop out at them, and the creepy costumed characters stay hidden till after the parade.
ChiIL Mama's ChiIL Tips:
DROP OFF: Yes, there is a drop off if your kids are older and comfortable staying by themselves and you want to avoid the $25 parking fee. Stay to the far left as you enter the main entrance to parking and follow the signs. The drop off is spacious and has pull in spaces where you can wait for up to an hour. There are even picnic tables there in a little grove. Do note, unattended cars will be towed, so no parking there and trying to sneak in.
HOURS: We had the hardest time finding the open hours for Fright Fest as it varies by day and by weekend. They're hiding under the calendar, but we'll make it even easier on ya. Click HERE.
BUYER BEWARE: There are many 6 Flags parks across the country running Fright Fests and even some other unrelated haunts with the same name. We came across one poor couple on line who bought tickets to the WRONG park and were desperately trying to sell them for less than cost. Don't let this be you. Tickets are not refundable so make sure your date, location and everything is correct before you hit enter. Check and check again.
BE KIND TO MONSTERS: Sure it's instinct to lash out at or kick something creepy coming at you when you're pumped on adrenalin, but these are actors, and their job is to scare the pee out of you. If you're seriously freaking out, remember they can NOT touch you. Please don't hit or kick the actors even by accident, if you're flailing around. I had this job at a haunted house for 3 seasons and it's a ton of fun till someone gets punched. Don't get yourself ejected from the park. Play nice.
ChiIL Photo Favorites:
Once again, Dugan Kenaz-Mara gets photo credit for all the daylight hours shots, and I shot the after darks.
Disclosure: Once again, thanks to Six Flags Great America for providing my family with press comps, so we could come out and shoot and review. We were not compensated in any other way. As always all opinions, photos and adventures are our own.