Updated Sept. 17, 2018

Temperatures are falling, but outdoor fun is just starting to heat up.

Even if you’re missing sun and sand, you’ll love a Saturday afternoon spent picking apples and searching for that perfectly round pumpkin. It’s definitely worth the drive!

Your family can also stay closer to home with many of the fall activities offered throughout Chicago and the North Shore. So grab your calendar and start planning for these fall festivities.

Apple Orchards and Pumpkin Patches 

All Seasons Apple Orchard

This orchard offers two maze options: a short path for kiddos and a longer path for the experts. 14510 Route 176, Woodstock

County Line Orchard 

Don’t forget to say hello to Peter the Pumpkin Eating Dinosaur. 200 S. County Line Road, Hobart, Indiana

Didier Farms

Didier’s Pumpkinfest runs Sept. 22 to Oct. 31 and features a Silly String Asylum and Pig Races. 16678 W. Aptakisic Road, Lincolnshire

Goebbert’s Pumpkin Patch

Enjoy Goebbert’s Pumpkin Express, pig racing, a pumpkin slide, giraffe barn, pumpkin eating dinosaur, and more! 42W813 Reinking Road, Hampshire

fall in chicago: pumpkins

Green Meadows Petting Farm 

If your child loves animals, don’t miss out on milking a cow or visiting the “Kitty Barn.” You also get to pick out a free pumpkin. 33603 High Drive, East Troy, Wisconsin

Heinz Orchard

This no-frills orchard opens Sept. 21 and is just 37 miles from downtown Chicago. Check their website to see what varieties of apples are currently available. 1050 Crest Road, Green Oaks

Kuipers Family Farm 

Once you make your way through the haunted forest, enjoy a haywagon ride, woodland walk, bale maze, and more fall activities. 1N318 Watson Road, Maple Park

Odyssey Fun Farm 

Odyssey offers a corn maze, cow train, corn cannon, zip lines, and more. 19111 S. Oak Park Ave., Tinley Park

Richardson Farm 

Not only can you pick the perfect pumpkin, but you can also take a ride down a slide in a giant 11-foot ball before getting lost in the world’s largest corn maze. 909 English Prairie Road, Spring Grove 

The Apple Barn Orchard and Winery

Make it a date night! Pick your own apples (weekends only) and then sample fruit wines. W6384 Sugar Creek Road, Elkhorn, Wisconsin

Windy Acres Farm

Find décor for Halloween decorating as well as jams, jellies, and local honey. 37W446 Fabyan Parkway, Geneva 

Fall Fun

Fall Color Festival 
Throughout October

This fest features a Scarecrow Trail, Fall Color 5K Run & Walk, Walking Plays, a Glass Pumpkin Patch, and more! Morton Arboretum, 4100 Illinois Route 53, Lisle

fall in chicago: morton arboretum

Photo courtesy of The Morton Arboretum.

House of Torment  

This nationally celebrated haunted house has been featured by BuzzFeed, The Huffington Post, and Discovery Channel. 8240 N. Austin Ave., Morton Grove

The Great Highwood Pumpkin Festival 
Oct. 5-7

You’ll be surrounded by pumpkins at this favorite local fest. Go trick-or-treating, rock out to live music, cheer on your furry friend during the pet costume contest, and more, all while supporting Make-A-Wish Illinois. Downtown Highwood

fall in chicago: great highwood pumpkin festival

Photo courtesy of The Great Highwood Pumpkin Festival.

Spooky Pooch Parade 
Oct. 20

It doesn’t get much cuter than this! Start planning your pup’s costume now because he or she can win Best Costume Overall, Best Dog/Owner Costume, Best Horticultural Interpretation, and other categories. Chicago Botanic Garden, 1000 Lake Cook Road, Glencoe

Night of 1,000 Jack-o’-Lanterns
Oct. 24-28 

Walk amongst more than 1,000 hand-carved pumpkins (some up to 150 pounds!) and enjoy other Halloween activities and treats. Chicago Botanic Garden, 1000 Lake Cook Road, Glencoe