Summer is an incredible time to be in Chicago, but the fun doesn’t stop when the calendar hits September 22. There is always something exciting to do in the Windy City, and fall is no exception. The temperatures start to drop, the leaves begin to turn, the days get a little shorter, and some of the city’s favorite events come out to play. If you’re looking for things to do in the fall in Chicago, here you go!
Fall Events In Chicago
Corn Mazes and Pumpkin Patches
Pumpkins are popping up everywhere. Sure, you could pick one up at a big-box store, but there’s something distinctly comforting about going to an all-out pumpkin festival. Throw in some hayrides and corn mazes and you’ve got fall, Midwest-style. Find a Chicago pumpkin patch
Open House Chicago
Hosted by the Chicago Architecture Foundation, Open House Chicago is a free event that gives you an inside look into over 150 buildings. Step inside the Chicago Board of Trade’s gigantic vault, visit the private Cliff Dwellers club and see elegant courtrooms and breathtaking views from inside the Richard J. Daley Center. Nearly all of the sites are open to the public during this event, but CAF members have exclusive access to some of them. Visit openhousechicago.org
Chicago Humanities Festival
Since 1989 the Chicago Humanities Festival has supported the cultural community in Chicago. Multiple events explore an overriding theme, and 2018’s is “The Year of GRAPH!C.” Featured speakers last year included former Vice President Al Gore, Alan Alda, Samantha Power, Ron Chernow, and Jill Soloway. Visit chicagohumanities.org
The Chicago Marathon is one of the biggest events of the year. It attracts runners from all over the world because of its flat course and because it’s so well organized. Another selling point is that it travels through 29 Chicago neighborhoods, each one with a different character. Whether you’re a spectator or a participant, the Chicago Marathon is not to be missed.
Halloween in Chicago is a holiday for kids of all ages. In Chicago, Halloween isn’t just one night – it’s an entire month of festivities, from Lake Michigan cruises (photo courtesy of Entertainment Cruises) to huge costume bashes. Find Halloween events in Chicago.
Oompapa! Break out your lederhosen and dirndls, because Chicago is all about Oktoberfest. The city celebrates its German heritage through October with neighborhood festivals and block parties. Check out this year’s Oktoberfest celebfrations
Chicago International Film Festival
Explore the world through cinema at this annual event that highlights the best movies and films from Brazil, Iran, Senegal, and beyond, providing an alternative to commercial Hollywood movies. October 10 – 21 More information
Photo: Chicago Ideas Week Facebook
Chicago Ideas Week
With more than 30,000 attendees and 250+ speakers, there are a lot of ideas that come out of this annual series of events. Topics range from hip hop to entrepreneurship to the Middle East and are examined through talks, conversations, and interactive labs. Tickets to most events are $15 to keep them accessible and affordable for a broad number of people. October 15 – 21 More Information
Dia de los Muertos Xicago
Finally, one of the most vibrant fall events in Chicago is the Dia de los Muertos festival in Pilsen. Find out more about the Day of the Dead festivities from our friend Leigh Wilson at Campfires and Concierges.