Festivals Oct. 8-14: St. Charles Scarecrow Fest, Great Highwood Pumpkin Fest join fall fun
Cosley Zoo Pumpkin Fest: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, Oct. 1, through Sunday, Oct. 31, at Cosley Zoo, 1356 N. Gary Ave., Wheaton. See thousands of pumpkins while visiting the animals. Children's rides and apples, gourds, pumpkins, cider, cornstalks and straw bales for purchase. Timed entry tickets required. cosleyzoo.org.
Goebbert's Fall Festival: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily through Sunday, Oct. 31, at 42W813 Reinking Road, Pingree Grove, and 40 W. Higgins Road, South Barrington. Both locations have animals, mazes, wagon rides, pig races and more. See websites for activity hours. Tickets are $17 on weekdays; $20 on weekends; and free for kids 2 and younger. goebbertspumpkinpatch.com for Pingree Grove and goebbertspumpkinfarm.com for South Barrington.
Randall Oaks Fall Festival: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily through Friday, Oct. 29, at Randall Oaks Zoo, 1180 N. Randall Road, West Dundee. Weekend activities include a bonfire from noon to 5 p.m., animal shows at 10:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m., kids' crafts and hayrides for $3 (free for ages 1 and younger). Pumpkins will be available for purchase. Admission is $4 for residents; $4.75 for nonresidents; and free for kids 1 and younger and U.S. military with ID. dtpd.org/randall-oaks-zoo.
Abbey Farms Pumpkin Daze: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday through Sunday, Oct. 31, at Abbey Farms, 2855 Hart Road, Aurora. Live music, pumpkin patches, 12-acre corn maze, zip lines, rope maze challenge, slides, inflatables, tractor/hay wagon rides, petting zoo (weekends only), craft beer and wine tent, seasonal food and more. $14 weekdays; $18 weekends and holidays; free for kids 2 and younger. abbeyfarms.org.
Autumn on the Fox Art and Craft Show: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Oct. 8-9, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 10, at Pottawatomie Park, 8 North Ave., St. Charles. More than 100 crafters show and sell jewelry, metal art, stained glass, photography, primitive work and folk art, as well as soup and dip mixes, chocolates, baked goods, honey products and barbecue. artoftheheartland.com/autumnonthefox.html.
Lincoln Park Zoo Fall Fest: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Fridays through Sundays through Oct. 31 and Monday, Oct. 11, at Lincoln Park Zoo, 2001 N. Clark St., Chicago. Autumn-themed animal enrichment and musical entertainment, pop-up bar, food, pumpkins for purchase and more. Free; tickets ($3 each, 10 for $27 or 20 for $51) are required for some events. lpzoo.org.
Sonny Acres Fall Fest on the Farm: 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays; 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sundays; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesdays through Thursdays through Oct. 31 at 29W310 North Ave., West Chicago. Carnival rides, pony rides, petting zoo, haunted hayrides, haunted barn, farm market, kids' activities and more. (630) 231-3859 or sonnyacres.com/.
Chalk Howard Street: Virtually at 11 a.m. Friday, Oct. 8. Featuring 3-D chalk artist Nate Baranowski, the festival will demonstrate the creation of 3-D chalk art for the virtual sessions, which will be released via Howard Street's Instagram page, @HowardStreetChicago, and will culminate in an in-person live chalk art drawing session on Saturday, Oct. 16. howardstreetchicago.com.
St. Charles Scarecrow Fest: Noon to 6 p.m. Friday, Oct. 8; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 9; and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 10, in downtown St. Charles. See handmade scarecrows downtown and vote for your favorite; professional pumpkin carver in Lincoln Park Saturday and Sunday; Family Zone with face painter, balloon artist, magic show and performances; a festive photo op area; specials at local businesses; and the Autumn on the Fox craft show in Pottawatomie Park. scarecrowfest.com.
Fall Festival and Oktoberfest: 4-11 p.m. Friday Oct. 8, and 1-11 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 9, at the intersection of Emerson Street and Busse Avenue, Mount Prospect. Food, beer and German music. Fall Fest for kids runs from 1-4 p.m. Saturday with pumpkin decorating, trick-or-treat candy line, hayrides, food and music. Oktoberfest runs from 4-11 p.m. Saturday with authentic German food, spirits and music. Free admission. downtownmountprospect.com.
Great Highwood Pumpkin Fest: 4-11 p.m. Friday, Oct. 8; 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 10; and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 11, at Everts Park, 111 North Ave., Highwood. All-you-can-carve pumpkins, music, hayrides, carnival rides and games, 5K Scare Run at 9 a.m. Saturday, pet costume contest at noon Sunday, kids' costume contest at 1 p.m. Sunday, pumpkin pie-eating contest at 2 p.m. Sunday, pumpkin wall lightings, craft vendors and more. The Great Highwood Skeleton Invasion runs through Oct. 31 with life-size skeleton vignettes on display throughout town. www.highwoodpumpkinfest.com.
Island Party Hut Fall Fest on the Riverwalk: Hourly from 5-9 p.m. Friday, Oct. 8, and noon to 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 9, on the Chicago Riverwalk, 355 E. Riverwalk, Chicago. Hayrides, beer and cider tastings, live music, a pumpkin patch, photo ops, fall food tastings and more. Tickets required. $10. bit.ly/IPHFallFest2021.
Lincoln Park Wine Fest: 5-10 p.m. Friday, Oct. 8, and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 9, at Jonquil Park, 1001 W. Wrightwood Ave., Chicago. Wine and food pavilions featuring sommeliers and brand ambassadors. Music includes The Beatelles at 7 p.m. Friday and Simply Sound at 2 p.m. and Bree & Liz at 6 p.m. Saturday. General admission tasting tickets, which include a commemorative wineglass, start at $40 in advance, $50 at the door, with VIP packages available. chicagoevents.com.
Six Flags Great America Fright Fest: 5-11 p.m. Friday, Oct. 8; 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 9; 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 10; and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 11, at Six Flags Great America, 1 Great America Parkway, Gurnee. Family-friendly shows and attractions during the daytime hours; haunted houses, scary shows and roaming monsters at night. Tickets start at $39.99. sixflags.com/greatamerica.
Zombie Apocalypse Laser Tag: 5, 6, 7 and 8 p.m. Fridays and Sundays in October at The Forge: Lemont Quarries, 1001 Main St., Lemont. Live-action Tactical Laser Tag experience set in a post-apocalyptic world where a zombie outbreak has run rampant. Tickets required. $40. www.forgeparks.com/forge-fear.
Halloween Hoot n Howl: 5:30-8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 8, at Thatcher Woods Pavilion, 8030 Chicago Ave., River Forest. Live music, pumpkin painting, native animals, spooky stories, s'mores and more. For kids up to age 14 with a caregiver. Free. riverforestlibrary.librarymarket.com.
Bloomingdale Fall Fest: 6-8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 8, at Circle Park, 163 Fairfield Way, Bloomingdale. Hayrides around the park, arts and crafts, s'mores, DJ, entertainment. First 100 kids 12 and younger receive a gift the day of the event. Free. bloomingdaleparks.org.
Pumpkin Flotilla: 6 p.m. Friday, Oct. 8, at Diane Main Park, 200 W. 59th St., Westmont. Carving a pumpkin, listen to spooky stories and watch the Pumpkin Flotilla, which sets sail into Twin Lakes at twilight. Free. www.westmontparks.org.
Free Movie Night: 6:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 8, at Library Park, 101 N. 3rd St., Elburn. Free screening of "The Goonies." Bring blankets, lawn chairs and snacks. www.facebook.com/ElburnParks.
Jack O'Lantern World: 6:30-10:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 6:30-8:30 p.m. Sundays, Thursdays and select Wednesdays through Oct. 31 at Paulus Park, 200 S. Rand Road, Lake Zurich. Journey through 15 themed worlds of hand-carved jack-o'-lanterns designed by local artists, including Unicorn Universe, Dinosaur Den, Dragon of Fire and more. $22 for adults, $15 for kids 3-12 Friday through Sunday; $20 for adults, $14 for kids 3-12 Wednesday and Thursday. Tickets required. thejackolanternworld.com.
Brothers' Field Outdoor Movie Night: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 8, at Brothers' Field, 344 Old McHenry Road, Long Grove. "Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story" will be shown on a 40-foot outdoor movie screen. $25 for a viewing square, which fits up to six people. Bring lawn chairs. www.brothersfieldlonggrove.com.
Harvest Chicago Contemporary Dance Festival 2021: 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Oct. 8-9, at the Ruth Page Center for the Arts, 1016 N. Dearborn St., Chicago. Performers include Aerial Dance Chicago, Christopher Knowlton, Giordano II, Jesse Factor, Joel Hall Dancers & Center, MusicDance En-sem'-ble, RE|dance group and South Chicago Dance Theatre. $25 general admission, $18 military, seniors and students with ID. www.brownpapertickets.com.
Des Plaines River Trail Races: 7 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 9, at 24255 Route 21, Vernon Hills. Flat, fast, groomed limestone with scenic trails along the river and through woods and parks. Buckles to 50-mile finishers. Also includes a half marathon and full marathon with medals to finishers. Marathon is a Boston Qualifier. $85-$165. trailrunner.com/event/des-plaines-river-trail-races.
50th Anniversary Road Rally: 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 9, at Brookdale Conservation Area, Paulson Road Shelter, 2105 Paulson Road, Woodstock. Spend a morning exploring McHenry County Conservation District sites by car. A series of clues will lead you from one site to another across the county, ending with a cookout and prizes at Brookdale Conservation Area. Fee per team/car: $20 for residents, $30 for nonresidents. Register at MCCDistrict.org.
Didier Farms Pumpkinfest: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays, Sundays, through Sunday, Oct. 31, and Monday, Oct. 11, at Didier Farms, 16678 W. Aptakisic Road, Lincolnshire. Pick out a pumpkin and check out camel and pony rides, a burlap sack slide and pig races on the weekends and Columbus Day. didierfarms.com/pumpkinfest.
Keller's Fall Festivities: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays through Oct. 30 at Keller's Farmstand, 2500 Johnson Road, Oswego. Includes an 8-acre corn maze, play house, rope maze, brick maze, farm animals, tire stack for climbing, old tractors, kids' play area and more. $13. www.kellersfarmstand.com.
The Shades of Autumn Fall Festival: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Fridays through Sundays through Sunday, Oct. 31, at Stades Farm and Market, 3709 Miller Road, McHenry. Activities include petting zoos, hay bale climbing, a giant sandbox and a 2-acre corn maze. Tickets are $20; $15 for those 65 and older; season pass is $50. stadesfarmandmarket.com.
Boo! at the Zoo: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 9-10, and weekends through Oct. 24 at Brookfield Zoo, 8400 31st St., Brookfield. Corn maze on the West Mall, creepy carousel, haunted hayride, decorated photo spots, watch zookeepers feed pumpkins to the animals at 10:30 a.m., and kids will leave with a sweet treat. Costumes are allowed for kids ages 12 and younger only. General admission is $24.95 for adults; $19.95 for seniors; and $17.95 for kids 3-11. Some activities cost extra. czs.org/booatthezoo.
Cantigny Fall Festival: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 9, in the Parade Field at Cantigny Park, 1S151 Winfield Road, Wheaton. Crafters, pumpkin sales, book fair, live music and fall treats. Free admission with $5 parking. cantigny.org/event/fall-festival.
Kingswood Church HarvestFest: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 9, at Kingswood United Methodist Church, 401 W. Dundee Road, Buffalo Grove. Petting zoo, children's games and prizes, pumpkin decorating, bake sale, food and a free lunch for each child. Free admission. www.kingswoodumc.com/harvest-fest.
Sugar Skull Workshops: 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, Oct. 9, at the Jack Benny Center for the Arts, 39 Jack Benny Drive, Waukegan. Celebrate the Day of the Dead by decorating a sugar skull to take home. Free. Registration required. waukeganparks.org/diademuertos.
Blackberry Farm Pumpkin Weekends: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays in October, and on Columbus Day, Monday, Oct. 11, at Blackberry Farm, 100 S. Barnes Road, Aurora. Family-friendly, pumpkin-themed festivities. Admission is $8, $7 for ages 65 and older. blackberryfarm.info/special-events/.
Brothers' Field Fall Fest: 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 9, at Brothers' Field, 344 Old McHenry Road, Long Grove. Historic Downtown Long Grove hosts the "Do It Yourself Scarecrow Day," plus there's live music, pumpkin painting, tractor rides, face/arm painting and seasonal drinks at the Tiki Bar. Live music starts at 5 p.m. www.brothersfieldlonggrove.com.
Fun on the Farm Fundraiser: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 9, at Dream Riders, 4701 N. Oak St., Crystal Lake. Activities, games, prizes, food and more for the whole family. $8-$10; free for kids 3 and younger and adults 18 and older. Register at www.dreamriderstlc.com.
Pumpkin Swim: 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 9, in the activity pool at The Club at Prairie Stone, 5050 Sedge Blvd., Hoffman Estates. Kids 2-13 can swim in the pumpkin patch to snag a pumpkin to decorate and take home. Kids must be accompanied by an adult. $10-$12. heparks.org/event/pumpkin-swim.
Brew at the Bridge: Noon to 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 9, at Hudson Crossing Park, 65 N. Harrison St., Oswego. Sample local craft beer and food; includes music by the Pino Farina Band from 5-7 p.m. brewatthebridge.com.
Barrington Fall Wine Walk: 2-6 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 9, at NeoTeca, 130 S. Hough St., Barrington. Check in at NeoTeca. Enjoy fine wines from local suppliers while shopping and watch local artists paint in the streets as part of the Plein Air Art Festival. Must be 21 or older to attend. $25. Buy tickets in advance online. bacc.ticketleap.com.
Lake Bluff History Museum Auto Show: 2-5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 9, in downtown Lake Bluff. Classic cars from the early 1900s through the 1980s will be on display. Free. lakebluffhistory.org/events.
Old Town Brew Fest: 2-6 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 9, at Old Town Park, 111 Third St., Bloomingdale. Features more than 50 beers from over 20 craft breweries, plus local food vendors and live music. $50 ticket includes 25 3-ounce samples and a tasting glass; $10 for designated driver. 21 and older only. Benefits Bloomingdale Cares Community Fund. oldtownbrewfest.com/.
Fox Lake Pumpkin Jubilee: 3-7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 9, at Community Garden Green, 17 E. School Court, Fox Lake. Pumpkin carving ($2 per pumpkin), live music, fall-themed crafts, vendors and more. Participants are encouraged to light their pumpkin and leave it on the pumpkin wall to be displayed overnight. Pumpkin pickup will be the following morning between 10 a.m. and noon. (224) 225-1404 or www.foxlake.org.
Fall Drive-In Movie: 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 9, at West Main Community Park, 40W101 W. Main St., Batavia. "Beetlejuice" will be shown. $20 per car. Each vehicle will need to bring a personal radio or download a radio app on their phone. Registration is required. bataviaparks.org
The Glass Pumpkin Patch returns to the Morton Arboretum in Lisle Oct. 13-17.
- Courtesy of Daniel Sviland
Glass Pumpkin Patch: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday, Oct. 13-17, at Morton Arboretum, 4100 Route 53, Lisle. See more than 6,000 handblown glass pumpkins and other autumnal-themed designs and check out daily demonstrations by featured artists. The Glass Pumpkin sale begins at 1 p.m. Friday and runs through Sunday. New in 2021, a Halloween tent features works of art to decorate the home and garden. Pumpkins and other art will only be sold these three days. The Glass Pumpkin Patch is included with timed-entry admission; tickets are not available at the gate. mortonarb.org.
Night of 1,000 Jack-o'-Lanterns: Gates open to ticketholders at 6 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday, Oct. 13-17 and 20-24, at the Chicago Botanic Garden, 1000 Lake-Cook Road, Glencoe. More than 1,000 hand-carved pumpkins will light up a "boo-tanical" trail during the annual Halloween event. Parking is free for garden members; nonmembers must pay a $20 fee in advance. www.chicagobotanic.org/halloween.
Grayslake Pumpkin Fest: 5:30-7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 14, at Central Park, 250 Library Lane, Grayslake. Halloween games, hayrides and character path from 5:30-7 p.m. and costume contest at 7 p.m. $9 for residents, $11 for nonresidents registered by Wednesday, Oct. 13; $15 at the door for everyone. Adult attendance free with a paid child's admission. glpd.com.
Illinois Regional College Fair Fall 2021: 6-8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 14, at College of Lake County, 19351 W. Washington St., Grayslake. Representatives from nearly 150 colleges and universities in Illinois and across the United States will provide information about admission. www.clcillinois.edu.