Chicago Fall Fun: 20+ Best Fall Festivals, Events and Activities for Kids and Families
Find the best Chicago Fall Fun for kids and families with this roundup of local Fall Fun events and activities. There are so many family-friendly events taking place including pumpkin patches, scarecrow walks, pumpkin fests, harvest festivals, Oktoberfests and more. See our top picks for Chicago's best fall fun activities below, and visit to see a full listing on our Fall Fun calendar page!
Chicago German-American Oktoberfest
September 8-10 Lincoln Square, Lincoln and Western, Chicago
Try authentic German food and traditional drinks. Dance to the music of German bands and spend the evening with friends and enjoy a fabulous festival. Traditional singing and dancing groups from Chicago will perform on Saturday after the parade and on Sunday at 2pm.Add to your entertainment with a visit to the amusement section of the fest and enjoy the many carnival games. All ages. Friday – 5pm to 11pm, Saturday – Noon to 11pm, Sunday – Noon to 10pm FREE.
Flutter into Fall
September 9 Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, 2430 N. Cannon Drive, Chicago
Enjoy a delightful story time presentation from Barb Rosenstock, author of The Mystery of the Monarchs. Wish migrating monarch butterflies ‘good luck’ as they begin their incredible journey from Chicago to Mexico where they will spend the winter! Join our scientists as they tag and release local monarch butterflies. Plus, so much more with activities for all ages to enjoy! All ages. 10am-2pm. Included with admission $8-$17.
Fall Fun at Dollinger Farm
September 11 - October 30 Dollinger Family Farm, 7502 E. Hansel Rd., Channahon
Come and find your perfect pumpkin for carving, decorating, or making a pie. There is also a wide variety of gourds, squash, corn shocks, straw bales, mums, and mini pumpkins. Fall fun on the farm includes a 4-acre corn maze, farm animals, a bee barn, corn bin, Tipi, hay rides, train rides and more. Fees for some activities like corn maze, face painting and train. Admission is free with tickets required for some activities like the Corn Maze, Face Painting and Train Ride. All ages. 10am - 6pm. Free admission, fees for some activities.
Des Plaines Fall Fest
September 15-17 Lake Park, 2200 Lee Street, Des Plaines
The free festival offers live music and entertainment, with a carnival, a Kid Zone, car show, food and vendors.
All ages. Friday 6-11pm, Saturday noon-11pm, Sunday noon-7pm. FREE.
Parkway Bank Park's Family Fall Fest
September 17 Parkway Bank Park, 5501 Park Place, Rosemont
Enjoy a variety of free activities including bounce houses, face painting, a petting zoo, balloon sculptors and more! Families can also rock out to music about the seasons, food, love and more with family entertainment group, Jeanie B! and The Jelly Beans. All ages. 1pm. FREE.
Fall Family Festival
September 17 and 24 Kohl Children's Museum of Greater Chicago, 2100 Patriot Boulevard, Glenview
Fall Family Festival from 2:30 – 5 PM on Sunday, September 17 & 24 celebrates the changing of the seasons with outdoor exploration! Our annual Fall Family Festival is back, with some old favorites and some new exciting activities. Get ready for a jam-packed afternoon of animal discovery and fall-themed fun to celebrate the changing of the seasons outdoors. Advance reservations required. All ages. 2:30 – 5 PM. $16 members, non-members $28
September 22-23 Downtown Oak Park, Marion Street and North Boulevard, Oak Park
Celebrate the changing seasons at Oaktoberfest in Downtown Oak Park. Enjoy a premier music line up, delicious fall foods from local restaurants, specialty craft beers, and a Kids Root Beer Garden. Friday 4pm to 10pm, Saturday 12pm to 10pm. FREE.
Long Grove Apple Fest
September 22-24 Downtown Long Grove, 308 Old McHenry Rd., Long Grove
Long Grove’s Apple Fest is known for the apple pies, donuts, caramel dipped to candied apples, apple wine, sangria, and more! In addition to all of the delightful apple specialties, you can even try some options right off the menu at our local hometown restaurants. Plus enjoy a stage full of great rhythm and sounds showcasing all your favorite styles of music, and curated artisans showcasing their wares and talents. All ages. Fri noon - 11pm, Sat 10am - 11pm, Sun 10am - 6pm. Cost: $5 per day, 3-day pass $10, kids 12 and under free.
St. Al's Oktoberfest
September 22-24 St. Alphonsus Church, 1429 W. Wellington, Chicago
Bring on autumn and pull out the lederhosen! One of Chicago’s most popular celebrations of fall and all things Bavarian — Oktoberfest Chicago at St. Alphonsus — returns for its 20th year of seasonal revelry. It takes place both in and outside the iconic church located in Chicago’s West Lakeview neighborhood. All ages. Friday 5-10pm, Saturday Noon - 10pm, Sunday Noon - 7pm. $10.
Brookfield Zoo Oktoberfest
September 23 Brookfield Zoo, First Avenue and 31st Street, Brookfield
Zoogoers can toss on their lederhosen and enjoy live polka music from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. Oktoberfest beer, along with a seasonal menu with bratwurst, sausages, pretzels with cheese and more will be available for purchase. Spot the Leinie’s mobile pedi-cab roaming the zoo! All ages. 11am - 5pm. Regular admission applies.
The Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival
September 23 Burnham Wildlife Corridor, 600 E. 31st Street, Chicago
The Moon Festival is one of the most important traditional events for the Chinese. This event includes community prairie planting, storytelling, Chinese folk dance performance, lantern making, acoustic music, tea and moon cake sampling, and lantern parade. This event takes place in the Set in Stone Gathering Space in the Burnham Wildlife Corridor, located at approximately 600 E 31st Street. All ages. 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM. FREE.
Huntley Fall Fest
September 29 - Oct 1 By Diecke Park, 12015 Mill St., Huntley
Fall Fest is a three-day community celebration brought to you by the Huntley Fall Fest Committee, generous business sponsors, civic organizations, and hundreds of volunteers. The 2023 Huntley Fall Fest features THREE DAYS of entertainment, a beer garden, food vendors, a full carnival midway, plenty of fall activities, and a spectacular fireworks display on Saturday night. All ages. Friday 5-11pm, Sat 10-11pm, Sun 11am-7pm. FREE, fees for some activities.
September 29 - October 29 Lincoln Park Zoo, 2200 N. Cannon Dr., Chicago
Dive into the wonderful world of autumn—from picking the perfect pumpkin to taking in the nostalgic scents of hot cider and toasted s’mores—with Lincoln Park Zoo’s ninth annual Fall Fest. This FREE, family-friendly celebration brings harvest-time fun to the heart of Chicago each year from September to October. All ages. 10am - 5pm. FREE.
Lincoln Square Ravenswood Apple Fest
September 30 - October 1 Lincoln Avenue between Lawrence and Sunnyside, Chicago
Usher in the Fall with the Lincoln Square Ravenswood Chamber of Commerce's 35th Annual Apple Fest! Apple Fest is a long standing tradition in Lincoln Square, bringing community together to celebrate the beginning of autumn.Swing by the Mark Mackey State Farm Kids Zone (located at Lincoln & Leland Avenues) for an array of children's activities includingr Wiggleworms, Musicians, Jugglers, Sing-a-longs, and much more. All ages. 9am - 6pm. FREE.
October 1 - October 31 Morton Arboretum, 4100 Illinois Route 53, Lisle
Stroll the path along Meadow Lake to see the friendly faces of nearly 50 scarecrows—each handmade by a local scout troop. Scarecrow viewing is included with admission to the Arboretum. After walking the trail, cast your vote for your favorite scarecrow. Voting information is available around the trail and in the Visitor Center. All ages. 7am - sunset. Free with admission.
Oktoberfest at Naper Settlement
October 6-7 Naper Settlement, 523 S. Webster St., Naperville
Traditional German cuisine and beer will be overflowing in a giant heated tent, with lively Oompah music on Friday and a mix of pop-polka, country, and hip hop on Saturday. There will be lawn games for the whole family and a professional pumpkin carver onsite. Guests can test their strength in a stein holding contest on Saturday from 5-5:30 p.m. Grab your lederhosen and join us at this fun German festival! Friday 5-10pm, Saturday noon - 10pm. $20/Adults | Youth (4-12)/ $15.
The Great Highwood Pumpkin Fest
October 6-8 Downtown Highwood, 111 North Ave., Highwood
This family friendly, fan favorite annual event will offer all-you-can-carve pumpkin stations throughout town, three days of live music from two stages, children’s and pet costume and pumpkin pie eating contests, a variety of food and artisan vendors, full bars, a carnival, hayrides and more. All ages. See web site for schedule and more details. Free, fees for some activities.
St. Charles Scarecrow Festival
October 6-8 Downtown St. Charles, Rte. 64 at Fox River, St. Charles
85+ handmade scarecrows will be showcased around town for visitors to view and vote on their favorites. There will be a Family Zone with live entertainment and family fun as well as an Activity Zone with festive photo ops, Scarecrow-to-Go, and family activities. All ages. Friday 12-6pm, Saturday 10am - 6pm, Sunday 10am - 5pm. FREE.
October 7 Meadowhill Park, 1479 Maple Ave., Northbrook
Enjoy fall-centered activities in Meadowhill Park with your family and friends. Featuring a pumpkin patch, DJ, Entertainment, pumpkin chuckin', face painting, inflatable games, Bonfire with s'mores, crafts, apple cider, and more. Plus a performance by Northbrook Theatre Youth Company at 3pm. All ages.2-5pm; NEW sensory friendly hour 12:30-1:30, registration required. FREE.
October 15 Indian Boundary Park, 2500 W. Lunt Ave., Chicago
Join us for an afternoon in the park at this family-friendly event! At the Chicago Park District's pumpkin patches and harvest fests, you get to pick your personal favorite from a field filled with pumpkins and personalize it at the pumpkin decorating station. Enjoy carnival-themed carnival games, inflatables and don't forget to bring a camera to capture a family memory at our harvest photo station. Plus, we have JG Reptile Show! There will be a $5 fee for the pumpkin. Everything else is free. 10am - 2pm.