Fall is a magical time in Chicagoland. Between our blazing-hot summers and icy-cold winters, we get milder temperatures, a gorgeous display of leaves changing color, and a bountiful harvest of local produce. And Midwesterners know that the season is all too short, so we make the most of the days! This guide is our round-up of all our resources to help you find family-friendly fun in town, around the suburbs, in the city, and at the farm. We’ll be updating our guides throughout the season to keep you updated as events change and grow. Happy fall!
Fall Activities for Kids
Fall Festivals and Oktoberfests
This one contains all of the fall fun in the western suburbs to enjoy with your family. Keep reading to find out about fall festivals, Oktoberfests, and activities by date and throughout the season!
Where to pick apples, complete with a map to locate an orchard near you, start dates, phone numbers, hours, admission/parking fees, and descriptions.
The Best Caramel Apple Recipe
We’ve searched far and wide for a great homemade caramel apple recipe and found it! Get the recipe and tips to be successful.
Pumpkin Patches (and Apple Orchards!) with Fall Activities
All of the pumpkin patches within an hour of the western suburbs of Chicago below with descriptions, admission prices, and hours. Some spots have apple picking, so we’ve added all of those details this year, too.
Where To Take Fall Family Photographs
Some of our favorite photographers share gorgeous locations for photo sessions with examples.
Go on a Leaf Hunt
Walk around the block or through the forest preserve and use the free printable found in this one to search and hunt for common found tree leaves in our area.
The Most Amazing Places to Enjoy Fall Colors in the Suburbs
Enjoy the beauty of autumn at one of these kid-friendly places. It’s especially magical to visit these places first thing in the morning or in the evening before dusk, but they are beautiful all day!
Fall Spice Play Dough Recipe
You are going to love this homemade play dough… it smells so good!
We’ll be updating these articles for 2022 in September, so keep a look out for news on all the spookiest, silliest celebrations in the area!
Family-Friendly Halloween Events
Decorate pumpkins, watch Halloween-themed movies, take a hayride, listen to a storyteller, enjoy Halloween treats and games, and more. Mark these down on your calendar and celebrate the season all throughout the month!
You can also visit our Halloween guide for spooky fun, including the best decorated houses this season and haunted forest walks, trunk-or-treat events, and other not-so-scary options.
Ways to Explore Outdoors
Local Farms to Visit with Kids
Interact with adorable barn animals, pick seasonal fruits and veggies, learn about the pioneer days, and enjoy attractions such as carousels and wagon rides. We have descriptions for all the local farms that are open to the public!
Camping with Kids
Locations within three hours to take your kids camping!
Whether it is a weekend trail ride, on-going lessons, a birthday party or summer camp you seek, horse enthusiasts will love this list.
Best Forest Preserve Trails for Kids
Want to take a walk outside but don’t know where to go? Kidlist readers voted and these are the best for kids!
Parks with Paved Paths
Get a change of scenery at these parks with paved paths. The surfaces are smooth for the most part, making them perfect for strollers and rollerblading.
Where and How To Take Your Kids Fishing
Ponds to go fishing, where to buy kid-sized fishing poles, how to tie the hook to the line, where to buy bait, and how to cast your line. Basically everything you need to know to go fishing with your kids!
A real-world, outdoor treasure hunting game that you can do anywhere you are (locally or on vacation), any day and time using GPS coordinates.
Local Mini Golf Courses
We compiled all the fun places to play miniature golf! Some may have closed for the summer, but many remain open throughout the fall. With waterfalls and windmills, you’ll want to check out this list will all the features, prices, and locations of each.
Where to See Waterfalls Near Chicago
We are loving nature this year. There are so many beautiful things to see in the suburbs! Get the inside info on where to park and how to get to these waterfalls.
New Playgrounds in the Western Suburbs
We keep tabs on all the construction and updates going on with our wonderful park district and playgrounds. Find out what is new and what will be completed in the future!
Map of Fun Outdoor Places to Go with Kids
Want an overview of all the outdoor fun you can have this fall? Check out our gigantic map of fun!
A comprehensive list of local amusement parks and tips to make your day enjoyable for all ages. While some closed at Labor Day, others are open through the fall.
Places to Go for Outdoor Fun
The Morton Arboretum in Lisle
How amazing is it that we have a nationally renowned arboretum right in our backyard? We’ve got all the details on the Human+Nature exhibit going on right now, too. It’s worth the hike to visit all of these incredible sculptures.
Cantigny Park in Wheaton
With a large playground, beautifully-kept grounds, and of course, the tank park, Cantigny is a must-do this fall.
Peck Farm Park and Hawks Hollow Nature Playground in Geneva
Butterfly house, nature playground, sensory garden, and exploration room sound of interest? Check out this great overview of what you will find at Peck Farm Park.
St. James Farm in Warrenville
St. James Farm is a free local outing for families looking to stretch their legs, learn a little history, and enjoy the gorgeous outdoor landscaping. Get a preview of what you can explore there.
Local History Brought to Life at Naper Settlement
Explore this historical park as you learn about the history of our local towns.
Fabyan Forest Preserve in Geneva
This picture-perfect spot offers paths for hiking and biking, gardens for exploring, a river for kayaking, and plenty of photo opportunities along the way. Find out where to park and where you can find the most beautiful spots!
Even More Ways to Extend the Fun
Kid-Friendly Theater Options in Chicagoland
Don’t miss this opportunity to be entertained by local theater groups as they return to live performances again this fall.
Local Coffee Shops with Playgrounds Nearby for One Great Outing
Grab a warm beverage at these local coffee shops, then head to a nearby playground for a morning of fun!
Where Kids Eat Free in Chicago’s West Suburbs
After the last year, going out to a restaurant is a BIG deal to my kids. Take the stress out of the tab by finding amazing kids eat free deals.
Snag some good deals on all kinds of clothes, toys, equipment, and more at these sales at local organizations and schools. It’s also a great time to donate or sell things that you have moved on from as well.
Check out our guide to fall fun in the West suburbs for even more seasonal fun!