It's Fall Y'all! Your 2023 Chicago Guide to Fall Fun

Apple picking, pumpkin picking, all your fall fun events in and around Chicago, and more!

By Debra Flanagan, Macaroni KID Chicago Northside October 10, 2023

It's time for fall family fun in Chicago and we can hardly wait! We are lucky to have so many fall attractions and events in Chicago where families have been making fall memories for years. From picking apples and pumpkins, to Halloween fun ... Macaroni KID Chicago Northside is busy collecting all the details for you and your family to make the most of autumn. Here is a preliminary look at some fun events coming our way, so you can get a head start on all the action. Check back often as this list will continue to grow!

Fall attractions open all season long:

Fall Fest - Lincoln Park Zoo
Fridays - Sundays September 29 - October 29, 10am-5pm
Dive into the wonderful world of autumn, from picking the perfect pumpkin to sipping festive drinks, with Lincoln Park Zoo’s annual Fall Fest. This free, family-friendly celebration is full of harvest days fun this October. Fest guests can enjoy a pumpkin walk, live pumpkin carvers, a festive pop-up bar, animal chats, musical entertainment and more!  
Festive Activities:

  • Live professional pumpkin carvers 
  • Patch’s Bar & Grill, a festive fall food pop-up
  • Pumpkin Patch
  • Animal Viewing
  • Stilt Walkers, and more...

Ticketed experiences:

  • AT&T Endangered Species Carousel
  • Lionel Train Adventure
  • Harvest maze
  • Giant slide
  • Pumpkin walk
  • Pirate’s Revenge, and more...

Jack O'Lantern World at The Forge: Lemont Quarries
October 7 - October 29
We invite you to walk our amazing trail filled with thousands of Jack O’lanterns hand-carved by over 50 artisans. Gather friends and family to experience our one-of-a-kind whimsical celebration of Halloween, art, nature & fall. Walk through thousands of hand-carved pumpkins, real 1000+ lb Jack O’Lantern, totally new, hand-carved experience every year.
Cost: $15+

Jack's Pumpkin Pop-Up
September 21 - November 5
Jack’s Pumpkin Pop-Up is located on over 2 acres in Goose Island. Experience a larger than life, outdoor, multi-sensory adventure in the heart of Chicago. Spend an autumn night outside making memories without having to travel to the suburbs while you get lost in Chicago’s largest corn maze, mine for gems, binge on apple cider donuts, and try your luck at carnival games! All ages are welcome. Under 18 must be accompanied by an adult after 7pm. 18 and up can also try their hand at axe throwing.

Six Flags Great America Kids Boo Fest
September 16 - October 29
We visit Great America every fall.  It's the perfect time to go.  The temperature is usually a little cooler, the lines are shorter, and the changing colors of all the leaves, really make it quite picturesque.  Add to that all the fun Fall, Halloween decorations, and seasonal menu items, and it is an enjoyable day even for non-riders.  
The park has three different kids' areas for the less daring, and everyone enjoyed the live shows, including the new Monster Bash, an interactive Halloween party for tiny goblins.  On Saturdays and Sundays, kids can get in costume too and join characters on a Trick or Treat Trail. At 5:45pm, The Uprising Parade: Nightly Call of the Dead begins. This is the cue for kids 13 and under to make their way to the park exit or dare to be scared.

River Walk Fall Fest
October 7 - October 28
Every Saturday you will find live music, access to hayrides on the river, pumpkin patch, a bounce house, lawn games, fall cocktails, beer, apple cider donuts, photo ops & more at the Island Party Hut. Fun for all ages. Tickets are $5.


Apple Orchards

It's a bit of a drive to get to the best Apple Orchards from Chicago, but the memories are worth it.

All Seasons Orchard
August 26 – October 29 
All Seasons has long been one of our favorites, not just for all the fun, but also their excellent customer service. In addition to a wagon ride to go apple picking among 15,000 apple and pear trees, including Honeycrisp apples, spend the day exploring the 30+ Fall family friendly activities in the barnyard including the corn maze, petting zoo, pumpkin patch and more! Pony rides, lives shows and apple cannon available on weekends. Our favorite activities are the zip lines, the cow train, and unlimited access to the jumping pillow (as opposed to some popular pumpkin farms that charge for each three minute jumping session) Don't leave without trying an apple cider slushie!  

14510 IL Route 176
Woodstock, IL 60098

Apple Holler
Open everyday 9:00AM-5:00PM – Last bags and admissions at 4:00PM
Now picking Autumn Crisp, Fuji, Gala, McIntosh, Blondee, Snow Sweet, Golden Supreme, and Sansa apples! Farm Park Fun is open every day! Enjoy activities such as a Corn Maze, Little Red Haybarn, Giant Slide, Corn Palace Corn Box, Straw Mountain, and visit the Goats at the Golden Goat Bridge, PLUS Pony Rides for kids and Peddle Cart Rides on the weekends!  This is another top choice.  And let's face it, I'm all about the seasonal food. Check out the Red Barn Cafe!

5006 South Sylvania Ave
Sturtevant, WI 53177

Lincoln Square Ravenswood Apple Fest
September 30 - October 1 
Don't want to drive too far, usher in the Fall with the Lincoln Square Ravenswood Chamber of Commerce's 36th Annual Apple Fest! Apple Fest is a long standing tradition in Lincoln Square, bringing community together to celebrate the beginning of autumn.  

Lincoln Avenue between Lawrence and Wilson

Pumpkin Picking

Get a jump start on pumpkin picking.  

Goebbert's Farm & Garden Center
September 9 - October 30
There is a ton of stuff to do.  Admission price includes access to the farm as well as admission to Animal Land, Little Farmer’s Play Yard and Haunted House, Wagon Ride & Magic Show. Goebbert's is probably most famous for the Pumpkin Eating Dinosaur, which is located in Animal Land. Get up close and personal while feeding giraffes at eye level too. That's my favorite attracion! Advance purchase is recommended. Pony ride, camel ride, jumping pillow, and gem mining are all additional fees.  

40 W. Higgins Rd.
South Barrington, IL, 60010

Happy Times Pumpkinfest 
September 16 - October 29
There is no admission fee, but all activities and rides require individual tickets. They have many mechanical kiddie rides, camel rides, pony rides, Animal Land Zoo with Pig Races, Pumpkin Playland, and more!

Didier Farms
16678 W. Aptakisic Rd.
Lincolnshire, IL 60069

Johansen Farms Children's Zoo & Pumpkin Patch
Now - October 31
Admission is $14.95 on the weekdays, and $19.95 on the weekends, with children under two always free. All rides and attractions are free and unlimited with paid zoo admissionincluding Pony Rides (offered Saturday and Sunday from 11am-5pm in October), animals & baby chicks to hold, Giant Air Slides, Hay Rides, Train Rides, Corn Maze, Sports Zone Inflatables, Toddler Pooh Bear Park, and Noah’s Miniature Golf Course! Johansen Farms is really pretty and great for younger kids.  

710 W Boughton Rd.
Bolingbrook, IL 60440

Leaf Peeping

The Illinois Fall Color Report projects that autumn colors will peak in the Chicago area mid-October.  Just another great reason to visit the Chicago Lakeshore, Millenium Park, Lincoln Park, The Morton Arboretum, Chicago Botanic Garden, Garfield Conservatory, The Forest Preserves, or take a drive out to Galena or Starved Rock for a real foliage show!

The crisp autumn breeze is rolling in and Lake Geneva’s Grand Geneva Resort & Spa is offering a variety of ways for guests to get outside and enjoy the upcoming fresh fall air, incredible Midwest fall foliage, and traditional seasonal offerings and treats. Of course, guests can simply walk around the resort’s stunning glacier-carved 1,300-acre campus to enjoy the Midwest’s magical autumn colors. Keep an eye on the Wisconsin Fall Color Report for optimal leaf-looking opportunities. 

Halloween Activities

Check out our Halloween Happenings 2023 Guide!

Do you know of a 2023 family-friendly fall event or attraction that isn't listed here? email us at