The Big City Blog: Highlighting the many fun activities and festivals this fall in Chicago
By Olivia Polony
Fall is here in Chicago, and this means brisk walks along the lakeshore, enjoying the foliage in Millennium Park with a warm, pumpkin-flavored drink wrapped between your fingers and vibrant street festivals that carry the sounds and scents of autumn. If you are looking for something spooky, tasty or entertaining to do this season, Chicago has no shortage of activities. Here are a few to check out.
Fall Fest at Lincoln Park Zoo
Where: Lincoln Park Zoo at 2001 N. Clark
When: Fridays-Sundays, Sept. 29-Oct. 29, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
What to expect: In the heart of Chicago, this will be Lincoln Park Zoo’s third annual Fall Fest. It’s a family-friendly event that features $3 attractions such as a Ferris wheel, corn maze and hay mountain. There will also be fall-themed animal entertainment, as well as live music and a pumpkin patch with a carving station.
Lincoln Square Apple Fest 2017
Where: Giddings Plaza at 4731 N. Lincoln Ave.
When: Saturday, Sept. 30 and Sunday, Oct. 1, 9 a.m.-6 p.m.
Admission: $5 suggested donation, with money raised supporting local non-profits and neighborhood beautification projects.
What to expect: If fall is giving you a taste for apples, then you’re in luck. Vendors will be selling everything apple — from fresh apple pies, hot ciders, candies and sweets to apple-themed apparel like scarves and hats. Local music acts with also be featured at the Lawrence Ave. stage while you enjoy a bite to eat.
Chicago Haunted River Tours
Where: Seadog Cruises Chicago at 600 E. Grand
When: Fridays-Sundays, Oct. 6-Oct. 31
Admission: $36.95 per adult, $19.95 per child
What to expect: If you love unique views of the Chicago skyline when all the buildings are lit up at night, then this spooky narrated tour is worth your while. It’s a 75-minute trip on the river that features stories of urban legends and mysteries that haunt Chicago.
Chicago Campfire Festival
Where: Chase Park at 4701 N. Ashland
When: Saturday, Oct. 14 from 2-11 p.m.
Admission: $9 before Sept. 30, $11 until Oct. 14, $13 at the gate.
What to expect: The fields of Chase Park will be converted into a campground with real campfires, marshmallow roasting, food, live music and professionally told ghost stories. It’s BYOB, so don’t forget your blankets and a cooler.
Chicago Food Truck Festival Fall Social
Where: La Bagh Woods at 5268 N. Cicero
When: Saturday, Oct. 14 and Sunday, Oct. 15 from 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
What to expect: A diverse group of Chicago’s favorite gourmet and classic food trucks will be parked. Attendees are welcome to bring their own picnic setups and relax and enjoy a cold beer or glass of wine in the park. Live music will be playing throughout the weekend.
Ravenswood Farmers Market’s Harvest Celebration
Where: 4900 N. Damen
When: Wednesday, Oct. 18 from 4-8 p.m.
What to expect: Ravenswood Farmers Market is closing the season with a fall-themed harvest celebration. It’s all about shopping local with an eclectic range of produce vendors and art boutiques. Pumpkins will also be available for visitors to carve.
Fright Flicks: Free Halloween Movies in the Park
Where: Navy Pier
When: Saturday, Oct. 21 and Sunday, Oct. 28 from 3-5:30 p.m.
What to expect: Attendees are welcome to grab a blanket and get comfortable for showings of Beetlejuice, Ghostbusters and Monster House.
Halloween Fireworks presented by Miller Lite
Where: Navy Pier
When: Saturday, Oct. 28
What to expect: End the Halloween season with a fireworks show over Lake Michigan to complement all of Navy Pier’s other attractions.