Do you have a hankering for apple cider, craft beer, pumpkin pie, hayrides and good times?
If so, whether you’re taking the kids out for some family-friendly fun, or looking for something to do with friends, we have a list of 64 fall festivals and events happening from Chicago, to the suburbs, and out to Northwest Indiana as the leaves change on the way to the holiday season.
Sept. 8-10, 12-8 p.m. — Taste of Chicago
Set to take over Grant Park for three days, the Taste of Chicago will include 35 of Chicago’s most popular food vendors’ live music entertainment and a number of other hand-on activities for Chicagoans to partake in.
For information on the event’s schedule, participating restaurants, and concerts set to take place, visit choosechicago.com.
Sept. 8, 5-11 p.m. / Sept. 9, 12-11 p.m. / Sept. 10, 12-10 p.m. — German-American Fest
For more than 100 years, Chicagoans have come out for German-themed bands, dancing, singing and food at this North Side festival, which is set to make it’s return.
Special events include the festival’s opening ceremony, which begins at 8 p.m. Friday, and the Von Steuben Parade, which begins at 2 p.m. on Saturday. The parade’s route will travel northbound on Lincoln Avenue from Irving Park, then to Wilson, turning west to Western Avenue, where parade participants will pass the viewing stand at Leland and Western.
For more information on German-American Fest, visit their website.
Sept. 16, 12-6 p.m. — Fulton Fest
Taking place on Fulton Street in between Damen and Hoyne Avenue in Chicago’s Uptown neighborhood, Fulton Fest is a street festival intended to showcase entrepreneurs from the Make City and Hatchery Chicago business incubators. Happening rain or shine, those in attendance will eat, drink and shop from the businesses that call Make City and The Hatchery Chicago home.
Sept. 16, 6:30-10 p.m. — Oktoberfest at the Zoo
An adults-only evening taking place at the Lincoln Park Zoo, organizers have an after-hours event planned featuring a live polka band, live DJ, beer, wine, giant pretzels, brats, and more.
For more information and the opportunity to buy tickets, visit Eventbrite’s website.
Sept. 21-24 — Chicago Gourmet
Described as one of the United States’ most distinguished food festivals, each year celebrates the City’s diverse dining scene with a dynamic line-up of culinary events that the City’s top chefs design.
Coming to the Harris Theater Rooftop in Millennium Park and other culinary venues throughout Chicago, there are six food categories being showcased at the festival.
More info can be found on choosechicago.com.
Sept. 23, 1-8 p.m. — St. Pauls’ Oktoberfest 2023
Taking place at St. Pauls’ United Church of Christ on North Orchard Street in Lincoln Park, organizers say it’s a festival where Munich meets Chicago. An annual Bavarian tradition on the City’s North Side, festivities include authentic German food, local Oktoberfest beers, live music and dancing, a jumpy house, and games for all ages.
More information on the fest can be found by clicking here.
Sept. 23, 1-10:30 p.m. / Sept. 24, 1-7 p.m. — Hyde Park Jazz Festival
The 17th annual Hyde Park Jazz festival makes its return to the South Side and is a free event to the public, with organizers asking attendees to consider a $10 donation.
According to an article from the Hyde Park Herald, this year’s festival will feature 36 performers, including 28 who are from Chicago.
For more information on the Hyde Park Jazz Festival, visit the organization’s website.
Sept. 24, 2-7 p.m. — Jarvis Square Oktoberfest
The Rogers Park Business Alliance says to come out and join the fun with plenty of beer and brats!
The festival will be taking place between Greenview and the Jarvis Red Line station. For more information, reach out to the R Public House at 872-208-7916.
Sept. 30, Oct. 19 a.m. – 6 p.m. — Lincoln Square Ravenswood Apple Fest
Usher in the Fall with the Lincoln Square Ravenswood Chamber of Commerce’s 36th Annual Apple Fest! More information on food and beverages, vendors, entertainment and more can be found online on the chamber’s website.
Oct. 6, 5-10 p.m. / Oct. 7, 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. / Oct. 8, 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. — Lincoln Park Wine Fest
For the seventh time, the annual Lincoln Park Wine Fest transforms Jonquil Park into an open-air market, featuring wine and food pavilions centered around ticketed wine tastings with a wide variety of choices for wine connoisseurs in attendance.
Oct. 7, 7-11 p.m. — Chicago Beer Festival
Taking place at the Field Museum, this festival features over 65 breweries sampling their fall beer selections, with attendees having access to a select number of limited edition beers.
Early admission tickets are $65, while general admission is $50. For more information on the festival, visit the Chicago Beer Festival’s website.
Oct. 7-8, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. — Chicago Food Truck Festival
In it’s tenth season, the Chicago Food Truck Festival is coming to LaBagh Woods in the North Park neighborhood along North Cicero Avenue and will feature some of the Midwest’s top mobile chefs, along with Fall cocktails, music and games.
For more information on the festival and tickets, visit eventbrite.com.
Oct. 7-8 — Oktoberfest-iversary
Hosted by Dovetail Brewery and Begyle Brewing in North Center, this annual Fall party celebrates Chicago’s coolest season and the 11th anniversary of Begyle Brewing with food trucks, live music and plenty of beer, in addition to raising money to donate meals through the Chicago non-profit The friendship Center.
Nov. 18 — Magnificent Mile Lights Festival
Making its 32nd return to downtown Chicago, The Magnificent Mile Lights Festival marks the official transition from Fall to the holiday season the weekend before Thanksgiving.
For more information on the festival, visit the Magnificent Mile’s website.
Sept. 29, 5-11 p.m. / Sept. 30, 3-11 p.m. — Harmony Fest
Harmony Fest, a street festival that features the Taste of Arlington Heights, returns to downtown Arlington Heights and will offer more than 50 local vendors and restaurants during the two-day event. On top of plenty of food and beverage options offered, live music entertainment will take place in Harmony Park, along with other kid-friendly activities.
More information on the festival can be found on chicagonorthwest.com.
Oct. 7, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. — Autumn Harvest
Autumn Harvest is a family-friendly event at North School Park featuring plenty of fall activities, including free crafts, face painting, balloon artists, a scarecrow decorating competition with prizes, a petting zoo, photo opportunities, live music, dancing and more.
Sept. 9, 2-8 p.m. — The Moon Festival
Taking place in Pacifica Square, The Moon Festival is a free outdoor festival with local Asian-American restaurants and vendors offering food, giveaways, musical performances featuring genres like cultural to KPOP and hip hop.
Sept. 16, 4:30-9 p.m. — Water Lantern Festival
Taking place at RiverEdge Park, The Water Lantern Festival is a floating lantern event based around connections. The festival includes food, games, activities, vendors and music, on top of thousands of paper lanterns released onto the water at sunset.
Sept. 29-30 — Yorktoberfest
Taking place at Riverfront Park East in Yorkville, Yorktoberfest is a free admission, two-day fall festival featuring craft beer, live music performances, family-friendly activities to keep the kids busy, and the Mary M. Ratos Memorial 5K Run.
For more information on music artists set to perform at the festival, visit Yorktoberfest’s website.
Nov. 17, 6 p.m. — Winter Lights Festival
Aurora’s official kick-off event for the holiday season, the Winter Lights Parade kicks off at 6:30 p.m. at Downers Place, and extends from Water Street to River Street in downtown Aurora. Following the parade, Mr. and Mrs. Claus, along with Mayor Irvin, will lead the crowd in a countdown to flip a magic switch, which will illuminate the City’s holiday tree.
A fireworks celebration will take place after illuminating the tree, and once the fireworks come to a close, Stolp Avenue from Downer Place to Galena Boulevard will be filled with food vendors, roaming costumed characters, and musical entertainment at Millennium Plaza.
Oct. 14 — Scarecrow Fest
A yearly festival held in Barrington designed to have fun for the entire family, attendees can expect pumpkin decorating, pony rides, scarecrow decorating, face painting and more.
Sept. 9, 3-11 p.m. — Lead Farm Live 2023
Lead Farm Live is a one day festival put together to raise money in support of Armed Service veterans. This year, the event will benefit Veterans Path to Hope, and will feature live bands, great food, and other lively activities, according to organizers.
Sept. 17, 12-8 p.m. — Crystal Lake Block Party
Being held at Crystal Lake Brewing, organizers say the vent will be a day full of great food, music, and fun! Two live bands will perform from 2-4 p.m. and 5-7 p.m. and a ‘Swift Boutique’ offering free makeovers.
For more information on the block party and how to buy tickets, visit the Crystal Lake Chamber of Commerce’s website.
Sept. 30, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. — Johnny Appleseed Festival
Organizers say the Johnny Appleseed Festival is fun for the whole family, and incldues rides, games, a petting zoo, food vendors, live music and more.
For more information on Crystal Lake’s largest one-day event, visit downtown Crystal Lake’s website.
Oct. 7, 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. — Family Fall Fest
Elmhurst Park District invites you to get your costumes ready and bring the family to The Depot at Wild Meadows Trace for Safety Town trick-or-treating plus fall festivities, including inflatable corn maze, photo opportunities and more! Free admission.
For more info on Family Fall Fest, visit the event’s website.
Sept. 17, 3-6 p.m. — Taste of Evanston
Being held at the Charles Gates Dawes House on Greenwood Street, the Taste of Evanston is an event that brings together appetizers, entrees and deserts from Evanston’s most popular restaurants, local breweries and wine shops while fundraising for two local organizations: Connections for the Homeless and Reba Place Development Corporation.
For more information on purchasing tickets and the event itself, visit the City of Evanston’s website.
Oct. 21, 3-9:15 p.m. — Zombie Scramble
Held at the Evanston Ecology Center, this event is a flag football-style race where participating teams look to have all of their team members finish the race with their lives intact, aka not having their flags taken off their belt.
For more info on the event and how to get involved, visit the City of Evanston’s website.
Oct. 1, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. — Fall Festival
The Village of Fox Lake and Grant Township have partnered together to host the Fall Festival at the Grant Township Center. The free event will have music, craft vendors, pumpkin carving, food, refreshments, and more.
If you have more questions about the Fall Festival, Village of Fox Lake officials have provided an assistance line at 847-740-2233.
Sept. 8-10, Friday/Saturday 12-10 p.m., Sunday 12-5 p.m. — Festival of the Vine
Taking place on James Street between South Fourth and South Fifth Avenues in Geneva, this festival is a three-day event where Geneva restaurants create an array of specialties under an outdoor tent at the “Flavor Fare,” partnered with wine and live musical entertainment.
An arts and crafts show, horse-drawn carriage rides, and several wine tastings and dinner events are all a part of the festival.
More information can be found on the Geneva Chamber of Commerce’s website.
Sept. 9, 1-5 p.m. — Tomato Fest
Happening at historic Wagner Farm in Glenview, this festival is centered around tasting different varieties and tomato-based recipes, playing games, and much more. Entry to Tomato Fest is free and tickets for activities and tastings can be purchased onsite.
For more info on Tomato Fest, click here.
Sept. 9, 6-9 p.m. — Taste of Glenview
The Glenview Sunrise Rotary Club is hosting the Taste of Glenview at Glenview Luxury Imports.
Described by organizers as a fun, community-centered event featuring local restaurants, global cuisine, local businesses and live music.
Net proceeds from the event benefit the rotary club’s service projects, such as Feeding the Unhoused, Waukegan Road Clean up, and Rebuilding projects.
To buy tickets for the event, visit the Taste of Glenview’s website.
Oct. 1, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. — Grove Folk Fest
Taking place at The Grove in Glenview, costumed interpreters relive local history while visitors celebrate autumn with folk music, square dancing, hayrides and more.
For more information on the event and purchasing tickets, visit the Glenview Park District’s website.
Oct. 20, 5:30-8 p.m. — Halloween Skele-bration!
Get in the Halloween spirit with a family-friendly Halloween party held at the Glenview Park Center! Activities include celebrating a “not-so-haunted” train, inflatables, face painting, creepy crafts, trick-or-treating, music from a live DJ and more.
Admission costs $10 per child ages 2-12, and $5 per child ages 13 and older. More info on the event can be found on the Glenview Park District’s website.
Sept. 30, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. — Festival of Arts & Crafts
Happening at the Lake County Fairgrounds, admission is $4-5, with children age 11 and under getting in for free.
Organizers say at least 280 booths of hand-crafted products from exhibitors hailing from eight different states will be at the festival. Many unique items include metal and copper art, stained glass, indoor and outdoor wood décor, purses, floral, jewelry, candles, clothing, artesian soaps, watercolor paintings and various wall art, photography, calligraphy and much more.
Sept. 10, starting at 5 p.m. — Fiesta Ravinia
Organizers describe the festival as a day-long celebration of Mexican culture, featuring performances and activities throughout the Ravinia Festival Pavilion at 200 Ravinia Park Road.
For more information on ticket prices and the event itself, visit the Ravinia Festival’s website.
Sept. 30, 12-10 p.m. — Oktoberfest
Taking place at The Lot, organizers of the festival say there will be a beer garden with great music and delicious traditional bites of food to bring the entire community together.
Oct. 7-8, starting at noon — Highwood Pumpkin Festival
Celebrate Highwood has announced that the Highwood Pumpkin Festival will again feature the popular Skeletons on Display with the theme of Rock N’ Roll through history.
For more information on the Highwood Pumpkin Festival and the skeletons on display during the event, visit Celebrate Highwood’s website
Sept. 16, 11 a.m. — Rescue Fest
Midwest Rescue of Illinois will host the second annual Rescue Fest at the Community House on West Eighth Street in Hinsdale, where the event will feature adoptable pets, a food truck and unique items for purchase from local craftsmen and small businesses, including pet-friendly essential oils, jewelry, tumblers, pre-packed meals and pet accessories.
Admission is a $1 donation to Midwest Rescue, but children ages 12 and under get in for free. For more info, visit Midwest Rescue’s website.
Sept. 10, 8 a.m. — Joliet Airport Festival
A one day festival being held at the Joliet Regional Airport, organizers describe the event as fun for the entire family, with free admission and parking.
Activities at the festival include a pancake breakfast from 8-10 a.m., a classic car show, airplane rides, and plenty of food vendors on site for lunch.
For more info on the Joliet Airport Festival, visit the Joliet Park District’s website.
Sept. 16-17, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. — Celebración de los Árboles
Experience the diverse and vibrant cultures of Latin America through music, dance and food at The Morton Arboretum’s Celebración de los Árboles, which translates to “Celebration of Trees.”
This event is part of the Arboretum’s Hispanic Heritage Month programming and celebrates the vibrant cultures of Latin America, where the Arboretum does important work to protect and conserve threatened trees and the ecosystems they support.
More information will be available closer to the event date at mortonarb.org.
Sept. 22, 12-11 p.m. / Sept. 23 10 a.m. – 11 p.m. / Sept. 24, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. — Apple Fest 2023
Whether you’re looking for fresh apples, apples baked in pies, or apples dipped in chocolate and caramel, Long Grove Apple Fest will have all of the above.
Happening in downtown Long Grove at 145 Old McHenry Road, more information on the festival can be found on Long Grove’s website.
Sept. 16, 6-9 p.m. — Hispanic Heritage Festival
Hispanic Heritage Festival is an immersive celebration of Hispanic culture, music and traditions in Naperville. Taking place in Central Park, the festival is free and open to all, and features stage performances as well as plenty of traditional Hispanic cuisine for festival-goers to enjoy.
Sept. 22-23, 3-10 p.m. — Naperville Irish Fest
Also taking place at Central Park in Naperville is the City’s yearly Irish festival! Attendees will be able to immerse themselves in traditional Irish music, with performers set to take the stage, as well as traditional Irish food and drink.
More info and the opportunity to buy early bird tickets can be found here.
Sept. 30, 7 a.m. – 12 p.m. — Farmers’ Market Fall Fest
Found at Fifth Avenue Station in Naperville, those who attend will be able to build a farm-to-table meal with a plethora of locally-grown food, in addition to finding an array of products, performances and events to entertain the entire family!
Oct. 6-7, 5-10 p.m. — Oktoberfest
Naperville’s edition of Oktoberfest, the event takes place at the Naper Settlement, and organizers encourage attendees to grab their lederhosen and join them under a giant heated tent for traditional German cuisine, plenty of beer, and lively Oompah music on Friday (Oct. 6) and Saturday (Oct. 7).
Other activities include lawn games for the whole family, a professional pumpkin carver onsite, and a stein holding contest to see how strong your friends and family are! More info and ticket prices can be found on Naper Settlement’s website.
Oct. 21, 6:30-10 p.m. — All Hallows Eve
Also taking place at the Naper Settlement, organizers say magic, monsters and mythical entertainment will be summoned during this annual fall festival. Those in attendance can expect plenty of Halloween-themed outdoor activities, art and performances for the whole family.
Organizers say All Hallows Eve is recommended for families with children age 16 and under. Form more information on the festival, potential attendees can visit Naper Settlement’s website.
Oct. 28, 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. — Pumpkin Palooza
Taking place at the DuPage Children’s Museum in Naperville, Pumpkin Palooza is an event centered around creative, not-so-scary experiences that explore S.T.E.A.M. concepts through play with families and their children.
Oct. 29 — Downtown Naperville Halloween Hop
Organizers say ghouls, goblins, witches and more are invited to celebrate Halloween in downtown Naperville at this event.
Sept. 22, 4-10 p.m./Sept. 23, 12-10 p.m. — Oaktoberfest
Celebrate the changing seasons at Oaktoberfest in downtown Oak Park. Organizers say the festival features a premier music line-up, delicious fall food from local restaurants, specialty craft beers, and a kids root beer garden.
For more information on Oaktoberfest, those interested can visit the festival’s website.
Sept. 16, 6:30-9:30 p.m. — Orland Park Brewfest
Organizers say craft beer lovers will enjoy this one-day festival, as attendees will be able to sample craft beer from over 50 selections, while also enjoying dinner and live entertainment.
Tickets include 20 tasting tickets, a souvenir glass, dinner and live entertainment.
Information on how to buy tickets can be found by clicking here.
Sept. 23, 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. — Dutch Festival
According to organizers, you don’t have to be Dutch to love the Dutch Fest! Taking place at Elm Christian Services on South Central Avenue, this year’s festival marks its 27th edition and will be a fun-filled day of live entertainment, traditional Dutch food, shopping and more. Admission and parking are free.
For more information, visit the festival’s web page.
Oct. 7, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. — The Great Pumpkin Party
Organizers say they have a fun-filled afternoon of fall activities planned, including pony rides, toasting marshmallows, hay rides, barrel train car rides, a great pumpkin smash, inflatables, games, a DJ, dancing, a children’s costume contest, and a candy and pumpkin weight guessing contest.
Admission is $7 per person and more information on the event can be found Orland Park’s website.
Oct. 1, 12-4 p.m. — Autumn Harvest Festival
Taking place at Heritage Farm on South Plum Grove Road, organizers say attendees will experience the fall harvest with demonstrations of 19th century farm life. Other activities include kids’ crafts and games, pumpkin decorating, live music, food and beverages, and more.
Admission is $5 per person, or $20 per family, paid at the door. For more information on the festival, visit the Schaumburg Park District’s website.
Oct. 7, 3-7 p.m. — Octoberfest
Taking place at Meineke Park on East Weathersfield Way, all ages are welcome and admission is free at Schaumburg’s Octoberfest. Event features include food trucks and live entertainment for kids and adults.
A $5 activities bracelet will be available for purchase that gives access to activities like a balloon twister, face painting and inflatables.
For more info, visit the Schaumburg Park District’s website.
Oct. 21, 5:30-7:30 p.m. — Halloween Spooktacular Disco Ball
Being put on at the Community Recreation Center on North Springinsguth Road, this disco-themed, not-too-spooky ball will be a Halloween-themed party with music from The Dynamix, games goody bags and a costume contest, including photo opportunities with some of your favorite characters!
Concessions will be available for purchase and admission is $12. For more information, visit the Schaumburg Park District’s website.
Oct. 26, 6-8 p.m. — Pumpkin Splash
Taking place at The Water Works on North Springinsguth Road, organizers invite you to swim with pumpkins and enjoy pool pumpkin picking, with DJ entertainment and a goody bag filled with treats included along the way.
Don’t forget your swimsuit, and make sure to register online for the event on the Schaumburg Park District’s website.
Sept. 7-10 — St. Charles Jazz Weekend
A four-day festival hitting downtown St. Charles, this event promotes live jazz music with an array of downtown St. Charles venues taking part this year.
For more information on performers and other activities planned at St. Charles Jazz Weekend, visit the St. Charles Business Alliance’s website.
Sept. 16, 3-10 p.m. — United Fall Fest
Hosted by the Congregational United Church of Christ in Campton Hills/St. Charles, this one-day festival features brisket street tacos, pulled pork, hot dogs, craft beer and wine. Additional activities include live music entertainment, family activities like a classic car show, kids’ corner, inflatables, face painting, a helicopter landing, hay ride and more.
Fore more information on the festival, visit United Fall Fest’s website.
Oct. 6-8 — Scarecrow Weekend
The annual Scarecrow Weekend held in downtown St. Charles features 85-plus unique, handmade scarecrows to be showcased around town for visitors to view and vote on.
Organizers say there will be a family zone with live entertainment and other family-friendly activities, as well as an Activity Zone with festive photo ops, Scarecrow in a Box, Touch-A-Truck, and a professional pumpkin carver.
For more information, visit scarecrowfest.com.
Sept. 15, 5-11 p.m. / Sept. 16, 1-11 p.m. / Sept. 17, 1-6 p.m. — Oktoberfest
Taking place in the south lot of the 80th Avenue Metra Train Station, organizers invite visitors to enjoy authentic German food, vendor fair, traditional and modern music entertainment with a ceremonial keg tapping, food and beer from local vendors.
For more information on live performers and vendors participating in Tinley Park’s Oktoberfest, visit the Tinley Park Chamber of Commerce’s website.
Sept. 9, 12-10 p.m. — The Wilmette Block Party
Organizers say exciting music, food drinks and kids’ activities are on-deck for the event, including a few new extras this year. The event will span the area around Wilmette’s Village Center on Wilmette and Central Avenues with free admission for all.
More information on the block party can be found on the Wilmette Park District’s website.
Sept. 9, 8 a.m. – 6:30 p.m. — 44th Annual Popcorn Festival (Valparaiso)
Returning for its 44th year, the Valparaiso Popcorn Festival offers more than 250 arts and crafts booths, 40 food booths, the “Ultimate Poppin’ Play Zone,” popcorn panic races, live music, a beer tent and the nation’s first popcorn parade.
The parade starts at 10 a.m. and more information can be found on valparaisoevents.com.
Sept. 16, starting at 11 a.m. — Festival de la Monarca (East Chicago)
Coinciding with National Hispanic Heritage Month at Kosciuszko Park, celebrates the Monarch Butterfly alongside plenty of fun activities, including music, art, dance and food.
For more information on the festival and a schedule of events planned, visit Festival de la Monarca’s Facebook Page.
Sept. 23-24, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. — Pioneer Days (Michigan City)
This two-day festival is based on historically recreating the experience of old west pioneers through re-enactors and vendors. Organizers say to bring the whole family and experience outdoor cooking, crafts, candle dipping, wagon rides, food, and more.
For more information on the festival, click here.
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