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Scarecrow

When most of us think of fall, we think of October with its blazing red and yellow trees, bright blue skies, crisp temperatures and piles of pumpkins. It’s a month crammed with autumnal beauty and enough activities to keep you busy from the first until the last trick-or-treater rings your bell on Halloween night.

The city of Naperville boasts a full calendar of activities for all ages, including several that take place in the great outdoors, and others that make the most of spooky October evenings. Here are some of the best options for people of all ages.

All Hallows Eve and Hack the Jack Carving Contest, Oct. 21-22

If you’re not daunted by 12 acres haunted acres of frights, chills and scream-curdling horrors, the Naper Settlement’s annual All Hallows Eve celebration is the place to be from 6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. Buildings on the historical museum campus will be converted to Frankenstein’s Laboratory, a Victorian Insane Asylum, and a Torture Dungeon, so beware.

On the lighter side, check out the fun and frightful jack-o-lanterns entered by local carvers in the Naperville Jaycees’ Hack the Jack contest. Visitors are invited to vote for their favorites, with winners to be announced on Oct. 28.

Halloween Light Tours, October 21-31

Take in the twinkling and terrifying displays of Halloween during this hour-long trolley tour that begins and ends at Aurelio’s Pizza, 1975 Springbrook Square. The tour runs from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. every night, with additional tours from 7:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on weekends. The trolley runs rain or shine, so come prepared. Tickets are required.

Scare-Illon Concert, Oct. 28

The 72-bell Millennium Carillon located on the Naperville Riverwalk near Rotary Hill, 443 Aurora Ave., will provide a haunting concert of classical and popular music at 7 p.m., Oct. 28. The Élan Dance Company will perform. Admission is free.

Ghost Tours of Naperville, Oct. 20-22, 27-29 and 31

Looking for an encounter of the creepiest kind? Check out these tours, which start at 6 p.m., 7 p.m. or 8 p.m., depending upon the day. A special All Hallows edition of the tour is planned for Halloween night at 8 p.m. For ticket information or reservations, call 630-205-2664 or visit HauntedNaperville.com.

Morton Arboretum Scarecrow Trail, through October 31

With 1,700 acres of trees of all kinds, the Morton Arboretum in nearby Lisle provides the perfect opportunity for visitors to bask in all the colors of autumn. Hop aboard the Acorn Express for an hour-long open-air tour or enjoy the rolling landscape from your car. Or take a half-mile stroll around Meadow Lake, which in October becomes the Scarecrow Trail, dotted by scarecrows created by area scout troops. Admission is $12 for senior citizens.

And right outside our own front door, with its 80-acre campus awash in color, Monarch Landing is a beautiful place to enjoy the glorious fall weather and to enjoy the fun of Halloween.