As you start to pack your sunglasses and bathing suit away for the year, you may find yourself looking for fun things to do around Chicago for the fall season. Below, you can explore some of the most exciting things to do as the seasons turn and the weather starts to cool down.
Corn Maze by Anthony Easton is licensed by CC BY 2.0
Jack’s Pumpkin Pop-Up is home to the largest corn maze in Chicago and will open once again in September 2022. It takes place in the Goose Island neighborhood and is sure to be a fun time for all who attend. If your head starts spinning from the corn maze, you can make your way out to enjoy all the other activities that the two-acre site has to offer.
For instance, you can partake in various carnival games that different vendors host and wander around the different food and drink stations. For some more adult fun, you can check out the ax-throwing activities or any one of the three full-service bars.
The Chicago Botanic Garden always provides an enjoyable experience, but it’s extra fun for Halloween enthusiasts in the fall. In 2022, the Chicago Botanic Garden will host its annual Night of 1,000 Jack-o’-Lanterns. This festivity will run on Oct. 12–16 and 19–23.
As the name implies, the main attraction of this event will be the jack-o’-lanterns. There will be more than 1,000 pumpkins that are hand-carved by professional artists. You’ll want to keep an eye out for all the fascinating designs, which will include images of celebrities and superheroes. You may even see some allusions to Chicago’s history in some of the designs, but you’ll have to visit yourself to see what exactly the artists end up creating.
The pumpkins, some of which weigh up to 150 pounds, will be strategically placed on a paved path along which you and your family can walk. As you participate in this event, you’ll have the opportunity to watch costumed entertainers in their natural element and eat and drink seasonal foods and beverages. You can even view carving demonstrations. Feel free to observe for the fun of it, or take notes so that you can try to replicate some of the fascinating designs that you see.
Every year, the Brookfield Zoo in Chicago hosts its Boo! at the Zoo event. This fun-filled event lets your little animal lovers get into the spirit of Halloween in the presence of their favorite creatures. Boo! at the Zoo occurs every Saturday and Sunday in October leading up to Halloween. This year, it starts on Oct. 8 and runs every weekend until Oct. 23. Your family can enter the zoo rocking your best costumes to meet the animals and take advantage of awesome photo opportunities.
Some of the activities available for you and your family to partake in include scarecrow building, pumpkin smashing, corn maze navigating, and cowboy carousel riding. During this spooky season, the Brookfield Zoo is sure to put on special exhibits featuring creatures like bats and scorpions. Your little ones can learn a bunch of new hair-raising fun facts about these creatures as they listen in on staff-guided educational chats.
While it may be too hot to take a walking tour during the summer, the fall is the perfect time to sign up for the Chicago Gangsters and Ghosts Tour. This tour has a basis in history, so you’ll get to learn about the darker side of Chicago’s past during the 1920s and 1930s. You’ll hear true stories about gangsters and folklore about the ghosts attached to them.
Notable stops along this route include Palmer House, Death Alley, and Congress Hotel. The tour lasts for two hours and occurs along a 1.5-mile loop, which is leisurely enough to allow you to soak up all the stories’ details. Regarding the ghosts, it’ll be up to you to choose what to believe, though hearing the enthusiastic guides relay stories along the route will be an experience to remember even if you’re a skeptic.
Did you know that Chicago has quite the ramen scene? As fall starts to settle and you start finding it difficult to escape the chill in the air, you can head over to Ramen-San to enjoy a hearty bowl of ramen. Ramen-San has three different locations in Chicago for your convenience, so you can stop in whenever you’re on or near West Hubbard Street, North Green Street, or East Huron Street.
Any ramen dish you get comes with Tokyo wavy noodles from Sun Noodle. One of the most popular bowls is the Katsu Tonkotsu bowl, which comes with molten egg, mustard miso, and Panko-breaded pork loin. You can make any ramen bowl a bit more personalized with available additions like buttered corn, bok choy, sesame chili, and fried garlic.
Before fall arrives, you’ll want to have a good candy store on your radar. This way, you can shop for trick-or-treaters that come by your house, spoil your kids and grandkids, and stock up on sweets that make you feel like a child again. Windy City Sweets is the place to go in Chicago, as it has endless shelves of popular sweets. Some treats you’ll find include chocolate-covered fruit and pretzels, licorice candy, and English toffee. With all the options, you’ll likely have to make several visits throughout the fall to ensure you try everything that catches your attention.
As you make your way around Chicago this fall, it’s important that your feet are in the best possible condition. You can make an appointment with Dr. Schoene at Gurnee Podiatry & Sports Medicine Association to receive comprehensive podiatric care. After an initial consultation, we’ll recommend the best course of treatment, whether that be orthotics, physical therapy, surgery, or some combination of services. Our goal is to get you up and moving so that you can explore all that Chicago has to offer this fall.