Chicago and its surrounding areas experience all four seasons; and it’s wonderful to be able to celebrate the uniqueness of each one. The fall season ushers in rich, bright colors as nature prepares itself for a long winter’s nap. Additionally, some of the best festivals, events, food and fun come alive during this time of year. See what’s in store for fall 2013 in the Chicagoland area.
Fall Zoo Festival, Lincoln Park Zoo
Celebrate the harvest at Lincoln Park Zoo with fall crafts, music, animal activities, a pumpkin patch and much more.
Saturday, October 5 and Sunday, October 6, 2013
10 a.m.–1 p.m.
Free! No registration or tickets required.
October 10 – 24, 2013
The Chicago International Film Festival features more than 100 short & full-length films from 50 countries, free panel discussions, and opening night gala. Films show at the AMC River East 21. http://www.chicagofilmfestival.com/
Chicago’s Fashion Week Returns
The 9th Annual Fashion Focus will take place October 15-20 at varying times.
201 E. Randolph St.
Chicago, IL 60602
This citywide celebration of Chicago’s fashion industry includes a variety of runway shows in Millennium Park showcasing the latest trends in menswear, emerging and established designers, shopping events and much more.
October 18 – 20, 2013
Vendors offer samples to taste plus creations to purchase at the Chicago Fine Chocolate and Dessert Show. It includes seminars and pastry demonstrations.
Adventure day at Northerly Island
October 19, 2013
Enjoy arts and crafts, fishing, a nature hike, and kayaking at Fall Adventure Day; outdoor education on the lakefront at Northerly Island (1521 S. Linn White Dr. Chicago, IL 60605, (312) 745-2910).
Children’s Film Festival
October 25 – Nov. 3, 2013
Various Chicago locations
Billed as North America’s largest film festival for children, the Chicago International Children’s Film Festival (CICFF) showcases the best in culturally diverse, non-violent, value-affirming new cinema for children and offers interactive workshops. http://www.cicff.org/
Chicago’s Farmers Markets bring more than 70 vendors selling fresh fruits, vegetables, plants and flowers to neighborhoods throughout the City of Chicago. They run through October 2013. The change of season brings a whole new crop of delicious produce and seasonal items that might only be available for a limited time.
Garden Patch Farms & Orchard
14154 W. 159th St.
Homer Glen, IL 60491
Pumpkins, fall flowers and other decorations; as well as a bounce house, fall decorations, a roadside market. Open daily 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. through December.
Heap’s Giant Pumpkin Farm
4853 Route 52
Minooka, IL 60447
In 2009, the Heap family grew a pumpkin that weighed more than 600 pounds. You’ll find pumpkins both great and small nestled in the 25 acre-pumpkin patch. In addition, this farm offers hay rides, a soy bean maze, moonlight hay rides, a kiddie corn box, giant corn maze, concessions, animals and fall plants. Open 9 a.m. – 7 p.m. daily until Oct. 31. Free admission; activities cost extra.
710 W. Boughton Rd.
Bolingbrook, IL 60440
Seven acres of kids’ attractions in their Children’s Zoo. Kids can interact with chickens, pigs, ducks, goats and rabbits; plus take hayrides, train rides and pony rides. There’s an inflatable castle and air slides available on weekends, and pre-picked pumpkins in the gift barn. Open 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily to Oct. 31. Admission: $7.50 weekdays; $10.50 weekends and Columbus Day. Children 23 months and under free. Credit cards accepted.
From mid-September to October 31 each year, Didier Farms hosts “Pumpkin Fest,” where visitors can shop for a wide array of pumpkins and gourds, enjoy pumpkin-themed games, and indulge in pumpkin treats. Didier Farms, 16678 Aptakisic Rd., Lincolnshire, IL 60069. http://didierfarms.com/