Chicago Fall

Chicago Fall Guide: Things to Do in and Around the City This Autumn

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Fall has officially begun across the area, bringing countless new ways to enjoy the cooler temperatures and autumn foliage in and around Chicago.

From visiting pumpkin patches and apple picking to visiting spots where the leaves are changing and walking through haunted houses, activities around Chicago are opening for business.

Here are some ways to enjoy the fall season around the city:

Visit a Pumpkin Patch

Goebbert's Farm and Garden Center

40 W. Higgins Rd., South Barrington; open daily 9 a.m to 6 p.m.

Open September through October, the pumpkin patch will have other fall activities, including an animal farm, a corn stalk maze and wagon rides. Customers will be required to use cashless payments in many locations, among other COVID-19 protocols.

Tickets available here.

Bengston's Pumpkin Fest

13341 W. 51st St., Homer Glen; open weekdays 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and weekends 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.

The pumpkin farm opens Friday and will welcome guests through October. In additional to picking pumpkins, the farm also has a variety of rides, tractor rides, a haunted barn and a petting zoo.

Tickets available here.

Sonny Acres Farm

29W310 North Ave., West Chicago; open Tuesday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., along with Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., closed Mondays.

Sonny Acres' will begin its Fall Fest celebration on Saturday, which will continue through September. Guests can enjoy an array of fall activities including picking pumpkins, riding a haunted hayride and enjoying sweet treats.

Ticket information here.

Abbey Farms

2855 Hart Rd., Aurora; open Wednesday through Sunday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., closed Mondays and Tuesdays.

Opening Saturday, Abbey Farms will welcome visitors through October, featuring an area to pick pumpkins, live music, a corn maze, various rides and homemade cider donuts.

Tickets available here.

Odyssey Fun Farm

18900 Oak Park Ave., Tinley Park; open daily 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., closed Sept. 27 through 29 and Oct. 4 through 6.

Odyssey Fun Farms will open Sept. 25 for the fall season, offering guests the chance to pick pumpkins, enjoy hay rides and feed animals at the petting zoo, among other activities.

Tickets available here.

Spot Fall Foliage

As of this week, most of the Chicago area is likely seeing minimal changes in fall foliage, according to Smoky Mountains National Park. However, there could be a shift by next week.

According to the website's map, the Chicago area will start to see patches of fall colors beginning Sept. 27. By the week of Oct. 4, the area will have partial coverage of foliage.

The week of Oct. 11 trees around Chicago will likely be nearing their peak of foliage, the map shows, while the fall colors hit their height the week of Oct. 18. By Oct. 25 into November, most of the foliage will be past its peak throughout Illinois, according to the map.

Here's a list of state parks and recreational areas around Chicago for some of the best views of the fall foliage, according to IDNR:

  • Adeline Jay Geo-Karis Illinois Beach State Park
  • Buffalo Rock State Park
  • Chain O' Lakes State Park
  • Channahon State Park
  • Des Plaines State Fish and Wildlife Area
  • Gebhard Woods State Park
  • Goose Lake Prairie State Natural Area
  • Heidecke Lake SFWA
  • Illinois & Michigan Canal State Trail
  • James "Pate" Philip (Tri-County) SP
  • Kankakee River State Park
  • Mazonia-Braidwood State Fish and Wildlife Area
  • Moraine Hills State Park and McHenry Dam State Park
  • North Point Marina State Recreation Area
  • Silver Springs State Fish and Wildlife Area
  • Volo Bog State Natural Area
  • William G. Stratton State Park
  • William W. Powers State Recreation Area

Go Apple Picking

Goebbert's Farm and Apple Orchard

40 W. Higgins Rd., South Barrington; open daily 9 a.m to 6 p.m.

Kuipers Family Farm

1N318 Watson Rd., Maple Park; open Monday through Saturday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sundays 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Prairie Sky Orchard

4914 N. Union Rd., Union; open daily 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

County Line Orchard

200 S. County Line Rd., Hobard, IN; open daily 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Catch a Scare at a Haunted House

13th Floor: 5050 River Rd., Schiller Park; open differing hours from September through early November, typically offering entry between 7 and 11 p.m.

Tickets here.

Basement of the Dead: 42 W. New York St., Aurora; open differing hours from September through early November, typically offering entry between 7 and 11 p.m.

Tickets here.

Sonny Acres Farm: 29W310 North Ave., West Chicago; open Tuesday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., along with Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., closed Mondays.

Ticket information here.

Cheer on Runners in the Chicago Marathon

The Bank of America Chicago Marathon will be back in 2021, with runners tackling the 26.2 mile course through the streets of the Windy City.

The marathon, set to take place on Sunday, Oct. 10, will feature more than 35,000 runners, including some of the most elite athletes that the sport has to offer.

Spectators will be allowed to watch the race in Grant Park on race day, with access to the post-race party opening at 9:30 a.m. Spectators will be required to go through a screening process at the entrance, with gates located off of Michigan Avenue.

Fans will also be able to follow their favorite runners on the course, and are encouraged to take CTA trains and buses to do so.

Take a Haunted Ghost Tour of Chicago

Chicago Ghost Tour

The two-hour walking Haunted History and Ghost Tour takes people through about a mile of Chicago, hearing some of the city's notorious scary stories. Tours are held each evening from Free Tours By Foot at no upfront cost. More information here.

Chicago Ghost Tour Pub Crawl

Nightly Spirits takes people through about a two-hour pub crawl of Chicago's Lincoln Park neighborhood, exploring four "haunted" bars and listening to spooky stories. Book here.

Spend the Season at Lincoln Park Zoo

Fall Fest

Fridays through Sundays from Oct. 8 to 31 and on Monday, Oct. 11, Lincoln Park Zoo will host Fall Fest free of charge from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Guests can pick pumpkins, enjoy autumn-inspired treats and drinks, and take a spin on family rides.

Adults Night Out: The Great Pumpkin Glow

On Oct. 28, the zoo will hold Adults Night Out: The Great Pumpkin Glow, which gives people over 18 years old a chance to enjoy a haunted trail, a live DJ and multiple bars, among other features. Tickets have an early bird discount, selling for $15 at this time.

Haunted History at Lincoln Park Zoo

Tuesdays and Wednesdays throughout October, host of Mysterious Chicago Tours Adam Selzer will take people on Haunted History tours through haunted parts of the zoo and cemetery from 7 to 9 p.m. for $35.

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