It’s that time of year again! The leaves are changing colors, the breeze is getting cooler, the nights are falling sooner and you can finally bust out those hoodies and boots you’ve been dying to wear since July.
That’s right—fall is here! It’s time to sip those pumpkin spice lattes, watch some football, carve them pumpkins and enjoy those last few months outside with the family before those long chilly winter nights are upon us.
With perfect fall weather and an abundance of activities, what better place to do that than the windy city of Chicago. Whether you decide to attend a game, spend the day museum hopping or exploring one of their many festivals, your options are limitless in the big city and surrounding areas.
Below, five memory-making, kid-friendly, family-fun, fall adventures fit for everyone to enjoy:
Richardson Adventure Farm
There’s seriously nothing better than the feeling of corn stalk leaves brushing against your arms as you run by, that awful and uncomfortable hay digging into your legs with each bump you hit and that rich indulgent hot chocolate hitting your tongue while you sit around a fire with family and friends. Your kids will love experiencing the same things you enjoyed as a child and they can do all this and more at Richardson Adventure Farm.
Home to the trickiest and largest corn maze in the world, this is the perfect place to make new family memories. Their insanely intricate maze sits on 33 acres and has over 10 miles of twists and turns. Before you enter, climb atop the 50-foot observation tower that overlooks the maze and take a minute to plan your escape.
Once you finally break free, head on over to the pumpkin patch and let your little ones get their hands dirty while they search for that perfect pumpkin to take home. Once you’ve got your pumpkin, hop onto their one-of-a-kind wagon to make it out quicker. Bonus, they actually used school bus seats to make the ride more comfortable.
You can choose to roast some marshmallows around the community fire, take a ride on the carousel, hop aboard the train, soar through the sky on the zipline or get up-close-and-personal with the animals at the petting zoo. So take the day off, pack everyone into the car, leave your phone and electronics behind and just enjoy the beautiful crisp fall day with your family.
Go to a Game
Who doesn’t love the sound of a chanting crowd and the smell of ballpark hot dogs and popcorn? One of the best memories you can make with your youngsters is relishing in America’s favorite past time together.
Go catch a Cubs game at Wrigley or a White Sox game at Guaranteed Rate Field—although it will always be Comiskey Park to me. After breaking the 71-year long Curse of the Billy Goat, Cubs fans are as exciting and rowdy as ever. Listen to the sound of the bat cracking, fly the W and watch the joy on the faces around you—baseball really is something special.
Not your sport of choice? No problem—insert the Monsters of the Midway, the Chicago Bears. It’s finally football season! Grab the crew and head on down to Soldier Field for some good ol’ family-fun tailgating.
Paint your faces, wear the most ridiculous clothing you can find and just go all out. Sure the Bears haven’t won a Super Bowl since 1985, but they’ve got some great talent, tons of heart and some of the loudest and loyal fans out there.
Architecture River Cruise
Who would think that fall would be the perfect time for a river cruise? Hailed as one of the top 10 tours in the US by TripAdvisor users, the Architecture River Cruise will truly be one of the more beautiful things you’ve seen—and perfect for kids and adults of all ages.
Bundle into your coats, scarves and gloves, as it’s a bit cooler on the water, and enjoy 90-minutes of learning the ins-and-outs of Chicago’s history and architecture. For the best experience, wait until dusk to enjoy the Twilight River Cruise. With the city lights and skyline reflecting on the water under the twinkling stars and bright moonlight, the entire family will be in awe.
Be sure to arrive at least 30 minutes prior to departure and allow additional time for traffic. Boarding begins 15 minutes before departure. Make sure to check the weather and dress everyone appropriately—rain or shine, the tour must go on!
Midnight Circus in the Park
From McKinley to Ridge, the circus is stopping in nine different parks this year! Who wouldn’t love that? Grab some hot apple cider, pack a picnic basket and spend the day outside before settling in for the show.
With both daytime and evening shows, you don’t need to worry about keeping those wee little ones up all night. Past Midnight Circus in the Park performances have included trapeze artists, juggling acts, performers sailing through stacks of rings, and every show includes an acrobatics performance from a rescued four-legged friend.
Your entire family will feel engaged, inspired and mesmerized.
And not only do you get to enjoy two full hours of family-fun, but by doing so you’re also helping out the entire city of Chicago. Midnight Circus in the Park uses their proceeds to help local community groups, renovate play-lots and improve local parks and communities all throughout Chicago.
Head on over to their website to purchase your tickets now. You gotta be quick—these tickets sell out pretty fast.
Fun for all ages, the Scarecrow Fest brings you arts and crafts, live music, a pumpkin patch, carnival rides and so much more. Best of all, admission is FREE!
Your little ones will love being able to bring their own unique scarecrow to life. Bring some old clothes from home, stuff them with hay and take your handmade creation home with you.
Next, head on over to the Windy City Amusements Carnival. Inhale the sweet and greasy scent of the delicious fried carnival food. Can you taste the funnel cake yet—all of that doughy goodness smothered in powdered sugar?
The whole family will love taking in the beautiful city view atop the Ferris wheel. Let those youngsters spin and twirl on as many rides as they can stomach—they’re only kids once. Play one of those insanely hard and near-impossible carnival games and win them that giant stuffed animal they’ve been eyeing the entire day.
Pick an activity, any activity. Great family-fun is around every corner in the windy city. HAPPY FALL!