Upcoming Autumn Events in the Chicago AreaSeptember 26, 2023
Summer may be the primary tourist season in Chicago, but there is another time of year that many individuals flock to the city: fall. The weather is comfortable, the foliage is beautiful, and the city is alive with seasonal events. With this past Saturday marking the first official day of fall, start writing down these upcoming autumn events in the Chicago area.
There is a wide variety of both free and ticketed events seniors and their families can attend. Just remember, before making the trip out, to make sure the event is accessible to any needs you have. This may include wheelchair accessibility or easy-to-find restrooms.
Lincoln Square Ravenswood Apple Fest
Start off autumn right with the fruit of the season: apples! On Saturday, September 30 and Sunday, October 1, make your way to the Lincoln Square area for the 36th Annual Apple Fest. This is another one of Chicago’s incomparable street festivals where guests are invited to indulge in delicious food and drink, enjoy live music, and shop at local vendors.
With activities for those of all ages, this could be a great event to bring your grandchildren to—especially given the fact that it is free to attend. That being said, if you would like to give to the Chamber of Commerce, a $5 donation is suggested.
St. Charles Scarecrow Weekend
If you live out in the western suburbs and would rather not go all the way into the city for fall festivities, there are still a wide variety of events for you to enjoy. The weekend of October 6, head out to St. Charles for the 38th Annual Scarecrow Weekend. Unique, handmade scarecrows are displayed across downtown, and guests can vote on their favorites.
In addition to viewing scarecrows, attendees can enjoy live entertainment from musicians, dancers, and artists across the entire weekend. This is another free event, making it perfect for groups of friends or families alike to partake in.
Glass Pumpkin Patch
Fall marks the beginning of pumpkin season, which has swept the nation over the past decade or so. There are dozens of pumpkin patches in the Chicago suburbs for all to visit, but you can have a truly unique experience by attending the Morton Arboretum’s Glass Pumpkin Patch from Thursday, October 12 to Sunday, October 15.
Here, you are welcome to explore the stands of hundreds of beautiful glass pumpkins—and even take a few of your own home. Stick around to be amazed by the demonstrations of talented glassblowing artists. To attend this event you must pay for admission to the Arboretum, so take advantage of that and make a day of your visit. Explore the gorgeous autumnal landscapes of the gardens and get some brisk exercise in.
Attend Open House Chicago
Chicago is home to some of the most beautiful architectural marvels in the country—and for October 14-15, you can your some of these historic sites across the city. Open House Chicago is a free public festival that encourages guests to enrich their lives with gorgeous architecture and history. Venues vary from the stately Ambassador Chicago Hotel, to the National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts & Culture, to Avondale Bowl.
The event is completely free. However, because it takes place from the South Side up to Evanston, you may want to spend some time planning your stops so your trip moves as smoothly as possible.
Go on a haunted tour
If autumn brings out your interest in the macabre, join one of the city’s many ghost tours. From walking tours, to bus tours, to kayak tours, there is something for everyone. Choose a tour that best fits your mobility, and enjoy soaking up the eerie atmosphere as well as the city’s history. Be mindful of tour times, however, as some of these tours go on late in the night.
While most of these tours run year-round, they are especially popular this time of year—and some of them are even free. If you’re interested, you will likely want to book your tickets ahead of time to ensure you’re able to attend.
Enjoy the autumnal colors
By far, one of the best things about fall is the gorgeous colors that drape the city. Thankfully, Chicago is a fantastic place to see all these colors in full, as there are almost 9,000 acres of green space across the city. Explore one (or several!) of Chicago’s 600+ parks and embrace a bit of nature in the city. Some of the best places to see an explosion of color include:
- Grant Park
- Lincoln Park
- Garfield Park Conservatory
- Humboldt Park
- Rosehill Cemetery
If you live in the suburbs, there are still plenty of options to take in the fall foliage. A few great places to explore include:
- Chicago Botanic Garden
- LaBagh Woods
- Schiller Woods
- Lake Marmo
- Waterfall Glen Forest Preserve
Visit the final farmers’ markets of the year
Autumn is a bittersweet time for those who love farmer’s markets. October and November mark the last markets of the season, but with them also comes a wide variety of wonderful fresh goods. Look up markets in your area—or attend some of the city’s most popular markets, such as Lincoln Park and Logan Square—and enjoy the time outside among vendors.
Once you’ve gathered your goodies from these free markets, take them home and make something delicious out of them.
Try apple picking
When one thinks of autumnal activities, one of the first things that comes to mind is apple picking. September through October, orchards are open for guests to come pick apples as they please. Most orchards grow a variety of apples that come into season at slightly different times, so do your research to make sure your favorite type of apple is ripe before heading out!
Apple picking can be a bit of a strenuous activity for seniors, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy an orchard. Most have barns and/or cider mills with food, drink, and entertainment for guests to enjoy in the crisp fall weather.
Get the most out of fall with home care
You may be excited to take advantage of all fall has to offer, but the activities of daily living make it difficult. If you struggle with tasks such as bathing, grooming, cooking, or housekeeping, hire an at-home caregiver. These professionals are available to help you live out your golden years in comfort.
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