If you had to choose one fall color, it would have to be orange, right? After all, it’s the color of fall’s ubiquitous symbol, the pumpkin. It’s also the color of leaves, fire and sunsets. Chicago Parent Going Places has rounded up different kinds of orange fun your family can have this fall.
Ride the Orange Line
Why? Because public transportation is fun. The CTA’s Orange Line runs between the Loop and Midway Airport. Stop in Chinatown for a delicious lunch on your ride through the city’s southwest side. Buy a transit card at any station or consider a CTA 1-Day Visitor Pass for $5, for unlimited rides on buses and trains. Children under 7 ride for free. Visit www.transitchicago.com or call (888) YOUR-CTA (968-7282) for schedules and maps.
Orange (and blue) spirit
These are the official colors of both the Chicago Bears and the University of Illinois Fighting Illini football teams. (And of course, the Oak Park River Forest High School Huskies.) Bears home games include noon kickoffs Sept. 17 (vs. Detroit), Oct. 8 (vs. St. Louis), Oct. 29 (vs. San Francisco) and Nov. 5 (vs. Miami). Tickets range from $60-$340. www.chicagobears.com. Or, consider a road trip to beautiful Memorial Stadium in downstate Champaign to see the Fighting Illini take on Syracuse (Sept. 16), Iowa (Sept. 23) or Ohio (Oct. 14). The Illini Kids Club is for fans in eighth grade or younger. Members receive free admission to some sporting events (not men’s football), a free T-shirt, membership card and a quarterly newsletter. Visit www.fightingillini.com for a full season schedule. If you want a more low-key experience, the Huskies’ first home game is Sept. 9 against Lyons Township. They’ve got a great marching band and a much lower ticket price.
For a taste of Halloween, don’t let the parade pass you by. On Oct. 21, it’s the annual "Chicagoween" Halloween Happening, where costumed kids parade down State Street. See page 34. If you can’t make the parade, visit Daley Plaza Oct. 13-31 for more fall festivities. See page 33.
Parade beneath your feet
Pick a day to take full advantage of green leaves turning orange, brown, red and purple. Walk down the street looking for all the colors, shapes and sizes your little one can spot. Or take a trip to The Morton Arboretum in Lisle or the Chicago Botanic Gardens in Glencoe for truly spectacular shows. And when you find and collect those colorful leaves, make leaf notecards with your kids. See page 14 for details.
Bonafide bonfire, anyone?
Sitting around a bonfire roasting marshmallows and telling stories brings back memories, no? Make those memories for your kids. Try the cement fire ring on the Evanston lakefront. You need a permit ($50, $25 for residents) from the city’s Fire Prevention Bureau after you have arranged an available date through the Ecology Center at (847) 864-5181. For a list of rules visit www.cityofevanston.org. Remember, children should be carefully supervised, and October is Fire Safety Month.
Chocolate Shoppe Ice Cream, 5337 W. Devon Ave. in Chicago, will be doing a Halloween theme in October with orange-inspired flavors. The shop is open 10 a.m.-11 p.m. daily. (773) 763-9778. Or try your favorite ice cream parlor (see sweet treats on page 103) for some orange sherbet.