Family Friendly Fall Kids

It's our favorite season of the year! Autumn in Chicago is filled with delights for parents and kids alike - from fun festivals to pumpkin treats, our city is filled with opportunities to celebrate this season of change and beauty. Here are seven things our family loves about fall in Chicago.

Back to School

university of chicago fall

There's something about the smell of a new box of crayons that stirs my soul. Back to school time is always a fresh start, and even if you aren't actually returning back to classes, you can always wander the beautiful campus of the University of Chicago and pretend you are: The Chicago Architecture Foundation (CAF) offers docent-led tours of Hyde Park and the UChicago campus, where you can see buildings ranging from pre-fire frame farm houses to the ultra-modern steel and glass U of C business school. Private architecture tours of the University of Chicago campus are also available upon request; contact the University Communications office for pricing and details at 773-702-5728 or via email. (3-4 weeks notice preferred)

All things pumpkin

pumpkin soup

Pumpkins pop up everywhere around the city in the fall: Try the Pumpkin Soup with candied pumpkin seeds and ancho-crème fraiche at Atwood Café  or a sweet and spicy Pumpkin Chai at Argo Tea (locations all over Chicago). Even my favorite skincare salon, Leah Chavie Skincare Boutique in Lincoln Park, is offering a pumpkin clarifying mask!

Leaf-Peeping in the Park

Lincoln Park is our family's favorite spot to catch the changing fall colors. Visit the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum and step out onto the upper floor observatory to catch a bird's eye view of the park in all its fall splendor.

Trick or Treating

Chicago rocks at Trick or Treating; in fact, we were voted #7 in Forbes' top 20 list of best towns for trick or treating. Pop into any city neighborhood at dusk on Halloween, and you're bound to see a costumed kids running up and down the streets.  

Movie Nights!

music box 500 333

Not only does the 30th Annual Chicago International Children's Film Festival take place in the fall, with its 280 films from 43 countries, but there are so many other fun and historic movie houses in Chicago that make for a great family movie night. Check out the Music Box, with its sparkling stars, or the Logan Theatre, an affordable neighborhood theater (with an Intelligentsia coffee next door!). 

13 Terrors on the Lake

Every Halloween, our family hosts a Halloween party followed by a trip to our favorite scary haunted house, the 13 Terrors on the Lake. Housed in a former sanitarium overlooking the lake, it always manages to spook us all. 

Special Fall Dishes at Local Restaurants

Now is the time to savor all the warm flavors of fall as restaurants across the city roll out their special seasonal menus. Try the Witch's Ravioli - pumpkin ravioli filled with robiola cheese and topped with a sage butter sauce at Nando Milano Trattoria or the Mac n' Poutine at, creamy mac piled with handcut fries, white cheddar cheese curds, brown ale gravy and crispy bacon at Jake Melnick's Corner Tap.