Chicago Fall Fun - Fests and Activities

Posted: September 05, 2019

Chicago Fall Fun and Festival Chicago for Kids and Families

This Fall is full of tons of great family-friendly events - fall festivals, harvest fests, apple picking, pumpkin patches and more. We've rounded up some of this Fall's best family fall fun. See our picks, and see a full listing on our Fall Fun calendar page!


September 8
2019 Fall Family Festival
Kohl Children's Museum of Greater Chicago, 2100 Patriot Boulevard, Glenview
This Fall Festival is a jam-packed morning of animal discovery, harvest games, and physical activities to burn off the summer energy outdoors. Activities run from 9 – 11:30 a.m. and include Kiddie train rides through our Habitat Park exhibit; A petting farm, including a cow, goats, bunnies, and a piglet; Tractor-drawn wagon rides courtesy of Historic Wagner Farm; An old-fashioned apple cider press that kids can crank; Hair styling and coloring by KidSnips; Meet and greet with Nature Cat and Rapunzel; Meet and greet exotic animals including a giant toad and snake. 9:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. Tickets for the event are $26 per person, with Museum members receiving a special rate of $15 per person.


September 14
Harvest Bonfire
Vera Meineke Nature Center at Spring Valley, 1111 E. Schaumburg Road, Schaumburg
Help celebrate fall harvest time by taking a wagon ride through Spring Valley’s Heritage Farm, and roasting hot dogs and marshmallows over an open fire. This event is for all ages. 6-8pm. Cost is $7 per person. Children age 3 and younger are free.


September 14
Flutter into Fall
Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, 2430 N. Cannon Drive, Chicago
“Flutter into Fall” at the Nature Museum with a day-long celebration of our beloved butterflies and brand new exhibit, Amazing Pollinators. Participate in monarch butterfly tagging demos, butterfly craft projects, multiple butterfly releases, a special butterfly-themed drag queen story time, and more. Plus, sip on hot spiced cider and enjoy other local, seasonal treats throughout the morning. 10am - 3pm. Illinois residents can enjoy free admission with a suggested donation.


September 20-22
Apple Fest
Downtown Long Grove, 308 Old McHenry Rd., Long Grove
Apple Fest brings “bushels of fun” to the charming village it’s called home for 28 consecutive years. From caramel apples to apple tempura, Apple Fest’s claim-to-fame are the hundreds of delicious apple-inspired treats for apple lovers young and old. As always with a Long Grove festival, live music will play out all weekend long on two stages spread throughout fest grounds. Families can enjoy entertainment in the Pop-Up Apple Orchard or with the classic carnival, and the Kid Zone has legendary apple pie-eating contests and timeless interactive games. Friday 12-11pm; Saturday 10am - 11pm; Sunday 10am - 6pm. FREE.


September 21-22
25th Annual Harvest Pow Wow
Naper Settlement, 523 S. Webster St., Naperville
All are welcome at our family fun event. Our traditional Powwow is a time to celebrate life, renew friendships, and share our Native American culture through dance, drumming, art, and story telling. Several groups - the host and invited drums - share the honor of singing and drumming at our events. The emcee welcomes everyone to the pow wow circle, introducing the different dances and drums, and the pow wow opens each day with a grand entry lead by veterans carrying flags, and followed by all the dancers dressed in bright regalia characteristic to their specific dance. A children's activity tent offers arts and crafts and the opportunity to flintknapp (make an arrowhead). Saturday 11AM - 10PM, Sunday 11AM - 5PM. Adults $12, Seniors 62+ $9, Children 3-12 $7. Kids under 3 free.


September 21
Harvest Day
Garfield Park Conservatory, 300 North Central Park Ave., Chicago
Celebrate the fall harvest in the city! Come and meet urban goats, chickens, and bees. Play veggie bingo, lawn games, and taste fresh local foods. Learn about worm bin composting from our Urban Roots students. Bring the whole family and join us at the Garfield Park Conservatory for our 7th annual celebration of urban agriculture. 12:00 pm - 4:00 pm. $5 suggested donation / FREE for GPCA Members and kids under 3.


September 21-22
Fall on the Farm
Lamb's Farm, 14245 W. Rockland Road, Libertyville
This family-friendly event allows guests to explore the Farmyard & Attractions, partake in crafts, browse the Community Tent Sale, go for a spin in the barrel train ride (courtesy of Lake County Farm Heritage Association) and enjoy food, music and entertainment. All ages. 10am – 4pm. $8-15. We will have also plenty of fun fall activities including Decorate a Cookie, Craft Kits, Activity Sheets, Bounce House, Touch a Tractor, Cow Milking Game, Pumpkin Painting, Sand Art, Eye Ball Bounce Game, Poop Shoot, Pumpkin Bowling, Face Painting & Tattoos! 10am - 5pm. $8-15.


September 27 - October 27
Fall Fest
Lincoln Park Zoo, 2200 N. Cannon Dr., Chicago
Fridays - Sundays. Dive into the wonderful world of autumn, from picking the perfect pumpkin to clambering up a hay mountain, with Lincoln Park Zoo’s fifth annual Fall Fest. This free, family-friendly celebration injects the heart of Chicago with a little harvest fun each year from September–October. This year’s festival features ticketed attractions throughout the zoo, including a Ferris wheel, corn maze, corn pool, fun slide, inflatable obstacle course, and more. Guests can also enjoy animal chats, musical entertainment, a pumpkin patch, professional pumpkin carvers, and fall-themed enrichment for the animals. Admission is free, tickets required for some activities. 10 a.m.-5 p.m., until 8pm on Saturdays.


September 28
Homewood Fall Fest
Downtown Homewood, Martin Ave. from Hickory to Ridge Road, Homewood
The 18th Annual Homewood Fall Fest and Chili Cook-Off features a “spirited” pumpkin carving contest for both individuals/families and organizations/businesses, a multiple bags tournament and a Safety Town bike race for kids of all ages. Festival goers can enjoy live music including Crawford’s Daughter, Eric Lambert, and Marlon and the Shakes, enchanting horse-drawn wagon rides, an outdoor viewing of the 2019 version of “Aladdin” starring Will Smith, food and beverage vendors and more. 11am - 10pm. FREE.


September 28
Fall Fest 2019
Duke Childs Field Winnetka, 1321 Willow Rd., Winnetka
This Fall Fest event is one of the village’s largest events, bringing visitors to celebrate this great community and welcome fall amongst neighbors, friends, and family. Activities include a Touch-A-Truck from 3:30-5pm; Attractions like music, inflatables, face painting, balloon animals, and more from 3:30-6:30pm; and a Pumpkin Roll from 5-5:30pm. 3 PM – 6:30 PM. FREE.


October 1-31
Fall Color Festival
Morton Arboretum, 4100 Illinois Route 53, Lisle
The Fall Color Festival celebrates the most brilliant season at The Morton Arboretum. Take in 1,700 acres of seasonal splendor, as hundreds of thousands of trees from 40 countries blaze with fiery orange, warm gold, and vivid crimson. Hike or bike in the crisp fall air. Drive scenic roads to see spectacular vistas. Make family memories in our award-winning Children’s Garden, or enjoy fall-themed events. During regular hours. Regular admission applies.


October 1-31
Pumpkin Fest
Cosley Zoo, 1356 Gary Ave., Wheaton
Come out to Cosley Zoo this fall and enjoy the colors of the season, see the animals, and pick out your pumpkin. Pumpkins, gourds, apples, cider, corn stalks, and straw bales are all available for purchase. During regular hours. Regular admission rates apply with fees for rides.


October 5-6
Lincoln Square Apple Fest
Lincoln Square, Lincoln Ave between Lawrence & Eastwood, Chicago
Dozens of vendors participate in Apple Fest every year, selling everything from candy apples to scarves and hats. Pick up fresh apple pie, hot apple cider, or even a whole bushel of apples! When you're finished, bring your food to our Lawrence Avenue Music Stage to hear great local music while you eat. Kids can play in our Leland Avenue Kids Zone, featuring child-focused activities throughout the day. Saturday 9am – 6pm & Sunday 9am-6pm. $5 Suggested Donation.


October 11-13
St. Charles Scarecrow Festival
Downtown St. Charles, 450 W. Main Street, St. Charles
Make your own scarecrow and then hit the town to vote for your favorite. Over 100 hand-made and mechanical scarecrows will be on display. This nationally recognized festival is St. Charles' signature event, featuring a Scarecrow Contest with over 100 unique, handmade scarecrows. Other festival favorites include the Make-Your-Own Scarecrow station, carnival and craft show. Friday/Saturday 10am - 9pm; Sunday 10am-5pm. FREE.


October 12
Cantigny Fall Festival
Cantigny Park Parade Field, 1S151 Winfield Road, Wheaton
Celebrate at Cantigny with harvest-time fun for all ages including a craft show, live music, hayrides and more. Stop by Bertie’s Bistro inside the Visitors Center for a taste of autumn and visit the Cantigny Shop to browse our new fall merchandise. The fun includes pumpkin decorating, hayrides, petting zoo, inflatables, face painting, children's book sale, craft fair, food trucks, live entertainment. 10 am to 4 pm. $5 per car.


October 19
9th Annual Pumpkin Patch
Jahn Elementary, 3149 N Wolcott Ave., Chicago
Join us for our 9th Annual Pumpkin Patch! Kids can have a blast in costume with a wide variety of Fall-themed activities including bouncers, petting zoo, arts & crafts, games, food trucks, School of Rock and much more. And of course, pumpkins and food are available for purchase. Costumes encouraged! 10 AM – 2 PM. $10/person or $25/family.


October 25
October Hayride & Campfire
Lake Katherine Nature Center & Botanic Garden, 7402 W. Lake Katherine Drive, Palos Heights
October is “pumpkin time”! This hayride/campfire will feature pumpkin painting, pumpkin treats, and songs around the campfire. Sign up at the Nature Center. 7:00pm-9:30pm. $10 per person.

See a full listing of this season's remaining Fall Fun!