Chicago bids adieu to summer in style: trees get dressed in their autumnal best, pumpkin patches pop up and urban harvest festivals offer all those seaonsal flavors you've missed. There are hundreds of opportunities for fall family fun. Here are seven things we're looking forward to this autumn in Chicago.
Apples, Apples, Apples!
Apples stand as everyone's favorite fall fruit, and Lincoln Square Apple Fest (Saturday, Oct. 3 from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.) celebrates them all - from Akanes to Zestas. Dozens of vendors will be selling apples in all shapes and forms - apple cider, candy apples, apple pie, apple strudel - as well as handcrafted items. There is also a kid zone full of children's activities and live music by local singers and instrumentalists throughout the day.
You don't have to leave the city to catch the amazing fall colors. Chicago's many parks put on quite a colorful show every Autumn. The Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum and surrounding Lincoln Park and North Park Village Nature Center are two spots that promise plenty of trees dressed up in their Autumnal best.
Fall Treats at the Farmers Markets
Chicago's farmers markets are wonderful year-round, but in the fall, there is no better place to stock up on harvest goodies. Our family enjoys shopping at the Logan Square and Green City markets most of all. We look forward to stocking up on apples, to transform into pies and lunchbox treats; cider, because nothing beats a cup of warm cup of apple cider on a chilly fall evening; and colorful pumpkins and squashes, for both baking and decorating.
Fall Fest at Lincoln Park Zoo
Usher in the harvest season with your animal friends at Lincoln Park Zoo's first-ever Fall Fest (Oct. 2-4, 9-12 & 16-18; 10 a.m.-5 p.m.), a family celebration complete with rides, activities and entertainment. An a-maize-ing corn maze, Ferris wheel, hay mountain, a giant 60-ft. burlap sack slide on the zoo's Main Mall and hay wagon rides throughout Farm-in-the-Zoo round out the fun. Pumpkins will be available for sale at the Pritzker Family Children's Zoo pumpkin patch daily throughout October. Pumpkins vary in price depending on size.
The Chicago International Children's Film Festival
The Chicago International Children's Film Festival, kicks off on Oct. 23 with more than 250 films from 40 countries - and our family can't wait! These movies always rise above the usual Hollywood kid fare and offer everything from funny to spooooooky films, all with a unique global perspective.
Theater Season Begins!
Chicago has so much excellent theater for children; we're looking forward to several shows this upcoming season. The Chicago Children's Theatre will be presenting "Goodnight, Moon & the Runaway Bunny" followed by "The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane," among many others. "The Three Little Kittens" and "Magic TreeHouse" are hitting the stage of Emerald City Theatre. Check out the League of Chicago Theatres' full listing of upcoming fall plays for kids.
Chicago is one of the best places in the world to celebrate Halloween, thanks to the many events and activities offered at our museums and cultural centers, as well as at our parks. Pumpkin patches, haunted houses, and costume parties make Halloween in Chicago a fun and spooky celebration!