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Corn mazes, haunted houses and festivals: Activities to make the most out of fall weather this week

The Chicago area has opportunities for people of all ages to celebrate this fall season

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October is coming to an end, but there’s still plenty of time to enjoy the fall foliage and all of the spooky goodness that comes with it.

From the 13th Floor Haunted House to the world’s largest corn maze, the Chicago area offers some of the best autumn festivities for people of all ages. 

Here’s a list of 14 fall festivals, pumpkin patches and haunted houses to look out for this week: 

Lincoln Park Zoo Fall Fest

Beyond viewing the animals the iconic zoo has to offer, indulge in the fall events at the Lincoln Park Zoo until Oct. 29. Guests can enjoy the Harvest Maze, free musical entertainment, a pumpkin patch, live art and restaurant pop-ups.

Admission to Fall Fest is free, but guests can purchase tickets to the AT&T Endangered Species Carousel, Fun Slide and more. There will also be a “Adults Night Out: Howl-o-ween” event on Thursday, Oct. 26 where adults over 21 purchase tickets to explore a haunted trail, dance to a DJ and play lawn games. 

Jack’s Pumpkin Pop-Up

Though not exactly a farm, Jack’s Pumpkin Pop-Up is just a 12-minute drive from The Loop. Visitors can choose from a selection of over 10,000 pre-picked pumpkins and also explore the corn maze, try out axe throwing, play carnival games, speak with fortune tellers and go gem mining. The pop-up also features a selection of food trucks that serve fall treats. 

Jack’s Pumpkin Pop-Up is located at 1265 West Le Moyne in Chicago It’s open every day of the week and a variety of ticket packages can be purchased here

Richardson Adventure Farm

This farm boasts the world’s largest corn maze with 10 miles of pathways through 28 acres of corn and five games within it available to play. Visitors can view the farm 50-feet high from the observation tower and explore the sunflower field. Tickets can be purchased here

Richardson’s offers a long list of attractions, including a 750-foot zipline, a paintball shooting gallery, a petting zoo and so much more. 

The farm is located at 909 English Prairie Road in Spring Grove, IL from Thursdays to Sundays until Oct. 29. 

Siegel’s Cottonwood Farm

Siegel’s offers 49 attractions and activities in its annual Pumpkin Fest. Explore two corn mazes, play lawn games or take kids to farm animals at the zoo. The farm has a selection of special events including a 20-foot dinosaur show and a performance by Jonas Fiddle Blue Grass Band.  

The farm is located at 17250 Weber Road in Lockport, and is open daily until Oct. 29. Tickets can be purchased online here.

Goebbert’s Pumpkin Farm & Garden

Goebebert’s 40-acre farm offers a variety of animal-related attractions. Guests can visit the giraffe barn, watch pig races and ride camels. In addition to carnival games, the farm also organizes magic shows on weekends, has a 10-room haunted house and a corn maze. 

The farm is located at 40 W. Higgins Road in South Barrington. It’s open daily until Oct. 31 and tickets can be purchased here

Didier Farms

At The Happy Times Pumpkin Fest, visitors can explore the animal land zoo, a corn maze, animal rides, mechanical rides and wagon rides. The farm also puts on a “Wheels of Agriculture Game Show” for free throughout the month and a silly string attraction every weekend. The schedule of events can be found here.  

Didier offers free parking and admission to festival grounds. Guests can purchase tickets for specific attractions on-site. 

The farm is located at 16678 Aptakisic Road in Lincolnshire, and is open daily except Tuesdays until Oct. 29. 

HellsGate Haunted Mansion

This multi-level haunted mansion is hidden in the woods, keeping its ghouls and secrets behind a rusting gate. HellsGate features a giant slide and guests have the chance to get their ticket free if they can find the Key Master and solve their riddle correctly within 10 seconds. 

Visitors must park at 301 West 2nd Street and take a roughly five-minute shuttle bus ride to the HellsGate grounds. The haunted house is open Thursdays to Sundays in October, with additional dates running up to and on Halloween. Tickets can be purchased here

Hayride of Horror  

Knock out two birds with one stone by embarking on the Hayride of Horror after you visit HellsGate, just a five-minute drive away. Guests can also experience the Curse of the Bayou at the same venue instead, or upgrade their ticket to do both.  

Guests can watch horror movies on the venue’s 20-foot outdoor movie screen and warm up around the bonfire while waiting their turn. 

Find tickets to the Hayride of Horror, located at 1811 S. Lawrence Ave, here. The hayride is open on Fridays and Saturdays.

13th Floor Haunted House

Explore the two themed-haunted houses in suburban Schiller Park by entertainment company Thirteenth Floor. The Deadlands is a post-apocalyptic world rife with viral mutations where visitors embark on a quest to expose the corporation behind the virus. Depths of Darkness, meanwhile, is a maritime horror adventure following an ancient deep-sea creature. 

On Saturday, Oct. 28, you can sign up for a “Behind The Screams” tour where tour guides take groups of guests through each room of the haunted house, explain their history and what it takes to run the seasonal event.

On Sunday Oct. 29th, guests can attend a “Monster Free Hour” at 5 p.m. and walk through the haunted house without live actors on set. 

The attraction is located at 5050 River Road in Schiller Park and is open most days of the week. You can view the schedule and buy tickets here

Stade’s Farm and Market

Having opened in 2017, Stade’s Apple Orchard has thousands of apple trees to pick from, including Honey Crisp, Zestar and Pixie Crunch varieties.

If you’re bringing children, visit the Farmtractions which has 38 attractions or the Farm Market to purchase baked goods. Visitors can also enjoy the Shades of Autumn fall festival with over 40 farm-related attractions like corn mazes, a petting zoo and hayrides in addition to events and food options.

To enter the apple orchard, visitors are required to make a $10 minimum apple purchase. A ¼ peck bag is $10 and a full peck back is $30. 

Find the Stade’s Farm and Market at 3709 Miller Road in McHenry.

Bronkberry Farms

On Oct. 7 to 8, Bronkberry Farms will offer guests a chance to meet farm animals, meet 55 vendors, enjoy free face painting and walk through the pumpkin patch. The farm also offers $5 entry into the apple orchard and hayrack rides for $4 a person each weekend. 

The farm is located at 18061 Bronk Road in Plainfield and is open on Tuesdays to Sundays until Oct. 31. 

Cody’s Farm

Visitors can enjoy admission, parking, hayrides to the pumpkin patch, the farm market and the kids play area all for free at Cody’s Farm. With the purchase of a wristband on-site, the farm also offers a five-acre corn maze, rubber duck races, barrel rides and more. 

The farm’s Annual Pumpkin Festival is located at 19502 River Road in Marengo, and is open every weekend in October from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Apple Holler

Pick from Fuji, Rosalee, Shizuka and 12 more varieties of apples at the Apple Holler orchard. This farm is just an hour drive north from Chicago and is located in Wisconsin, where visitors can enjoy a Farm Park full of attractions and the Red Barn Restaurant. 

Visitors must enter the orchard with a purchased peck bag. The orchard offers five different sizes.  A ¼ bag can be purchased for $22 and a full peck back can be purchased for $39. These purchases include access to the orchard’s tractor ride and admission to the Farm Park which has various mazes and children’s attractions. 

Visit Apple Holler at 5006 South Sylvania Ave in Sturtevant, Wisconsin, and is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

County Line Orchard

The County Line Orchard has 22 varieties of apples available for picking, currently indicating on their website that Keepsake, Shizuka, Grimes Golden, Braeburn, Pixie Crunch and Melrose varieties are the best to pick during this early to mid-October time. 

The orchard also features live music performances that are free to watch and a corn maze that visitors can purchase tickets for. 

General admission to the orchard costs just $3 and includes a tractor ride. A ½ peck bag at the County Line Orchard can be purchased for $10.99 and a full peck bag can be purchased for $20.99. You also have the option to pay $2 for each pound of apples you purchase. 

Visit the orchard at 200 S County Line Road in Hobart, Indiana. The orchard is less than an hour’s drive from Chicago and is open daily from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

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