First comes pumpkin spice everything, then comes Halloween. In between that? Apple picking, fall colors, supernatural tours, haunted houses...and of course, Fright Fest.
Fright Fest, Six Flags Great America's spookiest celebration is back at the Gurnee amusement park for its 31st terrifying season with haunted houses, live performances, spooky scare zones, rides after dark and more.
And while the park offers family-friendly fun during the day, the frights show "NO MERCY" according to the park, after 6 p.m.
Here's what we know so far about this year's Fright Fest.
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When is Fright Fest?
According to a spokesperson from the park, Fright Fest begins Sept. 17 and ends Oct 31 -- Halloween Night.
The amusement park is currently only open Saturdays and Sundays. However, the park will also open on select Mondays and Fridays through the duration of Fright Fest. Hours of operation vary by day.
On Oct. 31 -- the final day of Fright Fest -- the park will only be open in the evening, from 6 p.m. - 11 p.m.
Kids Boo Fest
New this year, family-friendly events are offered throughout the day.
Kids can collect candy along Trick-or-Treat Trail, visit a S'mores station, or take part in the Monster Bash Dance Party.
But families, beware: once dusk hits at 6 p.m., the park shifts into Fright mode.
Events at Fright Fest
Fright Fest at Six Flags Great America this year features six different haunted houses, each with different themes: 13th Order, Big Top Terror, Bloodshed, Condemned and Gates of Hell. Admission to the houses requires either a "Haunted Attraction Pass." Bundled tickets that include admission to the park and haunted house access are also available.
Nine "Scare Zones" can be found throughout the park with a variety of guests and hauntings to match: Demon Lair, located at the Mardi Gras/Orleans Place Bridge; Nightmares, located in the Yukon Territory/County Fair Bridge; Forbidden Forest, also located in the Yukon Territory; Lost Circus, located in the County Fair area; and Wretched Meadows, located in the Southwest Territory.
A variety of live shows and events are set to take place during Fright Fest, with some more family-friendly than others. Here's a run down of what's playing, according to the park:
- Love at First Fright, one of the park's longest running musical shows
- Monster Bash Dance Party, which features family-friend interactive performers singing and dancing to Halloween-themed music
- The Nightmare Rhythm Machine, a rhythmic drum experience with "melodic beats" and "freakish dancing"
- The Ringmaster's Cabaret, a circus-like show with illusions, contortions and more
- The Uprising Parade: Nightly Call of the Dead: An "evil army" stirs and takes over the Hometown Square every Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 5:45 p.m.
- The Witching Hour, when a gathering of each of the show's spooky creatures come out to play
Times, dates and locations of each show vary. Admission to the shows are included with park admission. More information can be found here.