Chicago guide to fall activities: Where to pick apples, pumpkins and more from the city to the suburbs

As the days grow shorter and the air turns crisper, it's time to embrace the unofficial arrival of fall and all the family-friendly fun it brings. 

Whether you're a fan of apple-picking, pumpkin-carving or haunted houses, we've compiled a comprehensive list of activities that are bound to make this fall a memorable one for you and your loved ones.

Farms and Orchards

Sonny Acres Farm:

Located in West Chicago, Sonny Acres Farm is a family-owned and operated pumpkin patch! From Sept. 16 until Oct. 29, you can enjoy pumpkin picking, hayrides, a petting zoo and mouthwatering treats during their Fall Festival. The farm is open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and admission is free. 

You can enjoy a Haunted Hayride for $22 or the Haunted Barn for $20.

The farm also has a train ride, a giant jumping pillow and a wide variety of carnival rides. Prices vary.

For more information, click here. 

Keller's Farmstand:

With three locations in Plainfield, Naperville and Oswego, Keller's Farmstand has plenty of pumpkins, gourds and straw bales to decorate your home this fall!

On Saturdays and Sundays at the Oswego location, there is an 8-acre corn maze, kids play area, farm animals and a concession stand featuring fudge, apple cider donuts, kettle corn and other treats.

At the Plainfield and Naperville locations, pre-picked apples, ornamental corn, apple butter and pumpkin butter are also available.



Monday - Friday: 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.

Saturday - Sunday: 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Admission for weekends at the Oswego location is $11.99 online and $14 at the gate. 

For more information and for tickets, click here.

Didier Farms:

Located at Didier Farm in Lincolnshire, Happy Time PumpkinFest will kick off Sept.16 and will run through Oct. 29. The fest will feature family activities and attractions including amusement rides, shows, fall merchandise, pumpkin sales and fall treats such as apple cider donuts and fudge. Pumpkin Fest will be open from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. Wednesday through Monday and the admission is free.

Pricing for pony rides, camel rides, kiddie rides, the pumpkin playland, animal land zoo, corny corn maze, horse-drawn wagon rides, silly string asylum and draft horse rides range from $4 to $6.

For more information, click here.

Jonamac Apple Orchard:

Located in Malta, the family-owned farm has a number of fall activities available including a corn maze, a haunted corn maze, campfire sites, a pumpkin patch and a play area. There will also be food trucks and live music on Saturdays and Sundays.

You can pick apples seven days a week and hand-select your choice of over 30 varieties of apples! There is also a cider house where you can explore a range of apple wines, hard ciders and collaborative beers.

The Store and Bakery, which houses all the tasty treats, including apple cider donuts, fresh-baked pies and fudge, is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The Cider House is open Monday to Friday from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. 

You can pick your own pumpkins and apples Monday - Sunday from 9 a.m. until 5:30 p.m.

All other activities are available from 2 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday - Thursday, Noon until 5:30 p.m. Fridays and 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.

General Admission is $8 online and $10 at the gate. 

For more information, click here

County Line Orchard:

County Line Orchard's Big Barn is welcoming visitors daily from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., with attractions available from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

The Big Barn has a gift shop, bakery, and a general store that features specialty jarred goods, jams and honey. 

You can pick apples for $2 a pound, pumpkins for $.40 a pound and sunflowers are $2 each. There is an entrance fee of $3 and children two and under are free. 

Family activities include a corn maze ($6/person), Kids Farm ($4/person) and Moo Choo Train ($3/person). 

For more information, click here.

Goebbert's Farm:

The Fall Festival at Goebbert's Farm in South Barrington is open from Sept. 9 until Oct. 30. Fall Festival attractions include animal land, a corn stalk maze, a duck derby, a giraffe barn, a magic show, pig racing, wagon rides, pony rides and a haunted house, among other things! 

There will also be apple cider, caramel apples, pies, donuts and fall produce for purchase.

Tickets for admission during the week cost $18. Tickets for admission on the weekend cost $24 if you purchase on-site and $22 if you purchase online.

The festival is open daily from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m.

For more information, click here

Bengtson's Pumpkin Farm:

Located in Homer Glenn, Bengtson's Pumpkin Farm has a petting zoo, eats and treats and one-of-a-kind rides. From the rooster rodeo to the barrel blast, there is something at Bengtson's for the whole family! 

And don't forget to pick the perfect pumpkin while you are there. 

You can visit the pumpkin farm for their fall festival from Sept.15 until Oct. 31. They are open from 11 a.m. until 8:30 p.m. on weekdays and from 10:30 a.m. until 8:30 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.

Tickets for admission are $25.99 for guests 2 years of age and older.

For more information, click here

Abbey Farms Pumpkin Daze:

Located in Aurora, this 40-acre pumpkin farm has a family-friendly petting zoo and tons of fall park attractions, including a corn maze, zip lines, hamster wheel race, corn cannon and lasso challenge! You can also pick your favorite pumpkin, which generally costs between $5 and $20. There is also a cafe where you can stop to get apple cider donuts.

September pricing: General admission online tickets on a weekday cost $15 and on the weekend cost $18.  General admission tickets at the door cost $18 on a weekday and $20 on a weekend.

October pricing: General admission online tickets cost $15 on a weekday and $21 on the weekend. General admission at-the-door tickets cost $18 on a weekday and $23 on the weekend.


September-October (Pumpkin Daze) Park:
Wednesday-Sunday 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
Store: Tuesday-Sunday 10 a.m.-6 p.m.

Saturdays in October only: 10 a.m.-10 p.m.

For more, click here.

Johansen Farms:

Visitors will have a wide variety of activities to explore at this farm in Bolingbrook. With paid admission to the children's zoo, visitors can hold a baby chick, minigolf, ride a pony, go through a corn maze or go on a hayride! Admission to the zoo costs $14.95 during the week and $19.95 on the weekends. Kids 23 months and younger are free. The fall season begins at Johansen Farms on Sept. 15. 

The Fall Market, Bakery and Pumpkin Patch are open from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. Monday - Sunday.

The zoo is open from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. Monday - Sunday.

For more information, click here.

Windy Acres Farm

Located in Geneva, Windy Acres Farms is open seven days a week and offers food, a beer garden, a corn maze, petting zoo and live entertainment among other things!

Other attractions include a jumping pillow, a trackless train and apple-picking.

Hours: 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. (Monday-Sunday)


Weekday: $18.00 per person (over 2 years old)
Weekend: $22.00 per person (over 2 years old)

Children under two years old are free.

For more information, click here.


Windmill Acres:

Starting Sept. 16, you can visit Windmill Acres Greenhouse in Beecher and go on a hayride while grabbing mums, cornstalks or other fall decor! There is also a petting zoo, swing lines, barrel rides and pedal cars.

Wristbands for activities at Windmill Acres are $8.50 for kids and $6 for adults. You can also get a season pass for $25.

Hours for fall:

Tuesday-Saturday: 9 a.m. until 5 p.m.

Sundays: 11 a.m. until 5 p.m.

Closed on Mondays.

For more information, click here.

Zoo events

Cosley Zoo

The 39th Annual Pumpkin Fest at Cosley Zoo in Wheaton will begin October 1 and will run through October 31.

The fest will feature a chance to celebrate autumn with the animals! Visitors will be able to choose from a variety of pumpkins and can purchase apples, corn stalks and hay bales. 

Caramel apples, doughnuts and apple cider will also be available for purchase.

There will be carnival rides available for children and each ride requires three tickets. Tickets are priced at $1/ticket or 20 tickets for $18.

Hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.

For more information on admission prices, click here.

Lincoln Park Zoo

Lincoln Park Zoo's Fall Fest runs on weekends from Sept. 29 until Oct. 29, and it is free to attend!

There are ticketed attractions throughout the zoo, including a fun slide, harvest maze, inflatable attractions and more.

Live music, story times and professional pumpkin carvers will also be on-site.

Registration is not required for the event.

Hours: 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

For more information, click here.

Brookfield Zoo

Boo! at the Zoo will run weekends from Oct. 7 until Oct. 29. 

There will be lots of photo opportunities with giant inflatables, photo frames and peekboards. There will also be a Howl-O-Scene photo spot at the Beer Garden.

The zoo will be open from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. and fall activities will run from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m.

In addition to pumpkin decorating at the Beer Garden, there will also be Sweet Treat Stations throughout the Zoo, a creepy carousel, a magician and animals eating pumpkins!

For more information, click here.

Halloween pop-ups and bars

Jack's Pumpkin Pop-Up:

Located in Goose Island, Jack's Pumpkin Pop-Up is Chicago's largest fall festival. The festival has several packages for purchase which can range from $21 to $42. Each package includes entry to the festival along with other deals, including the corn maze, drinks, donuts, pumpkin and ax throwing. Group pricing is also available. Carnival games, gem mining and fortune tellers will also be at the pop-up. The festival runs from Sept. 21 through Nov. 5. All ages are welcome!


Monday - Thursday: 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Friday: 4 p.m. to 11 p.m.

Saturday: 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Sunday: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.

For more information, click here

Nightmare on Clark Street

If you're looking for a haunted house and don't want to travel outside of Chicago, Nightmare on Clark Street is located right in Wrigleyville above the Bamboo Club. The haunted house is available from Sept. 21 until Oct. 31.

General Admission tickets are $19.95 per person and include access to the haunted house.

VIP tickets cost $29.95 per person and include access to the haunted house, a choice of a Halloween cocktail, jello shot syringe or soda as well as express entry. 

For more information, click here

We will continue to update this list as more events become available.