Apple festivals in Chicago for families

Lincoln Square Apple Fest

  • When: 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Sept. 22
  • Where: 4700 block of North Lincoln Avenue, from Lawrence to Leland, Chicago
  • Celebrating: 25 years
  • Why to stop by: “It’s a fun event to take your kids to,” says Executive Director Melissa Flynn. “It’s not a crazy event. It’s all family-centric.”
  • Kids will love: The apple clearly is king, with a wide range of apple games and activities, including decorate-an-apple and apple-based science experiments. Plus, visit the kids’ stage at Giddings Plaza for entertainment all day long.
  • Parents will love: Creative apple-themed food, like apple pulled-pork sandwiches, can be found among the many “non-typical street food” vendors. And don’t forget to try some hard apple cider or a craft beer.
  • Apple treat to try: “Chopping Block’s apple pies are what people line up for at 7:59,” Flynn says. The smell of the pies, which come with freshly made whipped cream to order, wafts throughout Lincoln Square starting the day before.
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Long Grove Apple Festival

  • When: 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Sept. 28-30
  • Where: Old McHenry Road and Robert Parker Coffin Road, Long Grove
  • Celebrating: 20 years
  • Why to stop by: “It’s new and improved,” says Long Grove Business and Community Partners President Rachel Perkal. “Apple Fest is going to be offering a ton of things we’ve never had before.”
  • Kids will love: The wide variety of street performers, including kid favorites like jugglers, puppeteers, magicians and balloon artists. “It literally just is a place that a family can come and kids can just be kids,” Perkal says.
  • Parents will love: An amped-up music schedule with three stages running all day. The Hat Guys and Seventh Heaven headline Saturday and Sunday evenings.
  • Apple treat to try: “People kind of equate Apple Fest with apple cider doughnuts and apple pie,” Perkal says. In fact, there will be an apple cider doughnut-eating contest on Saturday and Sunday afternoons. Perkal says they challenge vendors to bring apple treats, so keep your eyes peeled for apple popcorn and apple cotton candy.
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