It finally feels like fall outside, which means it’s time to get out and enjoy the season. We’ve collected some of our favorite fall activities in the Chicago area, especially those that will get you and your family out among the leaves and other autumnal delights.
Today’s pumpkin farms offer so much more than pumpkins. You can still take a hayride out to the pumpkin patch and pick the perfect future jack o’ lantern. But you’ll also find dozens of other family-friendly activities, from zip-lines to dinosaurs. (Yes, dinosaurs!)
Kuipers Family Farm in Maple Park, Illinois has apple picking, a corn maze, pig races, a haunted forest and other farm activities.
If you’re really into corn mazes, Richardson Adventure Farm in Spring Grove, Illinois has the world’s largest. This year’s corn maze theme is a tribute to the Beatles, so don’t get lost in Ringo’s hair! Richardson Adventure Farm also has a zip-line, orb rides and pig races.
Goebbert’s Pumpkin Patch in Hampshire, Illinois amps up the animal angle with a petting zoo, pony rides, camel rides and even an appearance by an animal that’s been extinct for millions of years—a dinosaur.
OK, it’s not a real dinosaur. But he does eat pumpkins, and he will entertain the whole family.
Fall Foliage Hike
Head over to your nearest forest preserve and experience the beautiful fall colors up close. Walking on the trails will give you a chance to relax and connect to nature with every crunch of the leaves. If you’re up for a longer trip, Starved Rock has beautiful, scenic views of the fall foliage.
Pick up a few perfect leaves on your hike, and you can make a beautiful fall decoration: wax leaves. The wax preserves the leaves, which you can then turn into table decorations or a framed piece of art. Creativebug has a step-by-step walkthrough of the (easy) waxing process.
Fall festivals let you dive into everything amazing that fall has to offer: outdoor fun, comforting food and maybe even a little October beer for the adults among us. Here are some of the upcoming fall festivals in the Chicago area:
Fall Festival: October 26, Deer Park, Illinois
HallowFest: October 26 & 27, Chicago Botanic Garden, Glencoe, Illinois
Sycamore Pumpkin Festival: October 26, Sycamore, Illinois
Of course, while we love fall, we can’t help but look forward to our favorite season: spring. If you want to lock in your spring fun activities, tickets to the 2014 Chicago Flower & Garden Show are already on sale, so go ahead and reserve yours now!