Best family fests in September around Chicagoland

Sure, school has started and the weather is cooling off, but the festival season is in full swing. With these 27 fall fairs and festivals across Chicago and its suburbs, kids of all ages can continue to enjoy the great outdoors, kids zones and good food. 


Festival de la Villita

When: Sept. 6-8

Where: 26th Street & Kostner

Community cultural event celebrates Mexico’s independence from Spanish rule. Highlights include food, music, carnival rides and kids’ entertainment. On Sunday, the festival is the end location of the 26th Street Parade, one of the largest celebrations of Hispanic culture in the Midwest.

Throwback Music Festival

When: Sept. 6-8

Where: 6030 N. Milwaukee Ave. (at Peterson)

It’s all about retro tunes at this annual post-Labor Day festival in the Gladstone Park neighborhood on Chicago’s northwest side. In addition to three days of music acts, there will be arts and crafts and kids’ activities.

County Fair Chicago

When: Sept. 7-8

Where: Bank of America Auditorium, 4901 W. Irving Park Rd.

Taste the flavor of down home when urban meets rural as Six Corners Association blends the farm with the city in Portage Park. Stroll the Midway and graze on delicious, locally-made cuisine; pick up new skills from a variety of educational, interactive, maker-focused workshops; take in the sounds of bluegrass, rockabilly, and country jams humming from the stage; and, lace up your dancing shoes for a traditional barn dance once the sun goes down Saturday night.

Lakeview East Festival of the Arts

When: Sept. 14-15

Where: Broadway from Belmont Ave. to Roscoe Street

Showcases more than 150-juried artists featuring world-class original paintings, sculpture, photography, furniture, jewelry and more. In addition to the artists’ booths, the Festival features two live music tents and a beer and wine garden, a landscape garden oasis, interactive children’s area, a mosaic mural making booth, live glass blowing and more.

Ravenswood ArtWalk

When: Sept. 14-15

Where: Ravenswood Avenue from Irving Park Rd. to Leland

Join the Greater Ravenswood Chamber of Commerce for a tour of arts and industry for a weekend of art, music, food, and community while getting a peek inside the spaces that help to define Ravenswood. 

Andersonville Arts Fest

When: Sept. 21-22

Where: W Winona St. & N Clark St.

The new Andersonville Arts Fest features artwork, live music and food from on-site and neighboring restaurants. Activities for kids add to an array of restaurants, galleries and unique shopping experiences surrounding the festival.

Lakeview Taco Fest

When: Sept. 21-22

Where: 3500 N. Southport

The taco gets the spotlight treatment at this fest in the heart of the Southport Corridor. In addition to tacos and music, features beer and taco pairings, Mexican wrestlers, a kids’ activity area and arts/crafts.

Oktoberfest Chicago at St. Alphonsus

When: Sept. 27-28

Where: St. Alphonsus Church, 1429 W. Wellington Ave.

Annual neighborhood event features food, music and entertainment on three stages, arts crafts, and KinderFest with face paintings, storytelling, inflatables, dance parties and art activities on Saturday and Sunday.

Fall Fest at Lincoln Park Zoo

When: Sept. 27-Oct. 27

Where: Lincoln Park Zoo, 2200 N. Cannon

Features ticketed attractions throughout the zoo: corn maze, fun slide, inflatable obstacle course and more. Fall Fest also includes animal chats, musical entertainment, a pumpkin patch with pumpkins for sale, pumpkin carvers and fall-themed enrichment.

Cornucopia Fall Festival

When: Sept. 28

Where: Eugene Field Park, 5100 N. Ridgeway Ave.

Includes pony rides, a petting zoo, inflatables, a pumpkin patch, face painting, balloon art and live entertainment as well as an art fair and food trucks.

Edgewater Arts Festival

When: Sept. 28-29

Where: Granville Avenue, between Broadway and Kenmore

Features more than 100 exhibiting artists, three stages of eclectic live music, and food from local restaurants. Kid-friendly activities include the Children’s Activity Corner with entertainment for children ages 1-12: face painting, finger painting, sidewalk chalk drawing, interactive puppet shows, and arts and crafts. The Children’s Music Talent Showcase will feature performances by local elementary school age children. Plus, a “Doggie District” pet show.

Hyde Park Jazz Festival

When: Sept. 28-29

Where: Multiple Hyde Park venues

Festival features the finest in local jazz and national and international jazz artists; diverse performance venues; outdoor dance floor; food/beverage vendors and picnic areas; artisan vendors; and activities for kids.

North/Northwest Suburbs

Fall Fest at Lake County JCC

When: Sept. 15

Where: Lake County Jewish Community Campus, 23280 N. Old McHenry Road, Lake Zurich

Enjoy activities for all ages including: Garoon Gateway to Science, apple cider press, inflatable bouncy house, petting zoo, crafts, face painting, snacks and more.

Long Grove Apple Fest

When: Sept. 20-22

Where: Old McHenry Road and Robert Parker Coffin Road, Long Grove

Enjoy the beautiful fall outdoor ambiance and free live music throughout the historic village. Get your apple fix on treats like brown bag apple pies, apple cider donuts, hot apple cider, caramel apple lattes and more. Plus, participate in exciting free family activities, including a wide-variety of apple-themed games like the legendary apple pie eating contests.

Lambs Farm Fall on the Farm

When: Sept. 21-22

Where: Lambs Farm, I-94 and Route 176, Libertyville

A family-friendly event with fall themed-crafts and activities, including paint a pumpkin, sand art, face painting, decorating a cookie and more. The Lake County Farm Heritage Association will be on site with tractors for kids to touch and go for a ride in a barrel train.

Western Suburbs

Fox Valley Folk Festival

When: Sept. 1-2

Where: Island Park, Routes 25 and 38, Geneva

Festival features eight stage areas with performances of folk music and storytelling, plus workshops and kids’ activities. Plus, a Barn Dance and Ghost Stories Sunday night.

Downtown Downers Grove Fine Arts Festival

When: Sept. 7-8

Where: Main Street and Burlington Avenue, Downers Grove

The artists will come from across the country with art ranging in prices from $25 to more than $4,000. Enjoy live entertainment and a kids’ art booth while perusing the display of a variety of mediums.

The Glen Ellyn Backyard BBQ

When: Sept. 7

Where: Glenwood Avenue parking lot, Glen Ellyn

More than 60 teams compete for trophies and bragging rights in three categories. Festivities include live music, a dunk tank, and activities for kids. All proceeds support Bridge Communities in their efforts to help transition homeless families in DuPage County to self-sufficiency by means of working with partners to provide mentoring, housing, and supportive services.

Scandinavian Day Festival

When: Sept. 8

Where: Vasa Park, Route 31, 7 Miles south of 1-90 Northwest Tollway, South Elgin

Festival celebrates the cultures of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden. The day focuses on food, fellowship and fun. There will be morning church services and entertainment throughout the day, including a performance by ABBA Salute. There will be cultural displays and Scandinavian food and vendors.


When: Sept. 20-21

Where: Between Marion St. and Forest Blvd., Oak Park

Annual fall festival featuring premiere music lineup featuring local and national artists, a microbrew, kids root beer garden and ethnic food offerings.

Passport Europe Festival

When: Sept. 21-22

Where: Morton Arboretum

Immerse yourself in the diverse cultures of Europe with culinary delights, musical performances, dancing demonstrations and more during this annual festival featuring the dynamic cultures of Europe. Hike the trails and explore the Arboretum’s collections of trees and plants native to central and northern Europe.

Batavia OktoberFest

When: Sept. 27-28

Where: Downtown Batavia

A traditional Oktoberfest event that features authentic German food, music, entertainment and beer. Family-friendly activities all day Saturday and official Sam Adams stein hoisting contests on Friday night and Saturday night. Sunday is family day with games, kid-focused entertainment on stage, and even a Xfinity Sports Zone viewing area for football fans. 

South Suburbs

Fall on the Green Festival

When: Sept. 6-8

Where: 95th Street & Cook Avenue, Oak Lawn

This family friendly festival will be filled with live entertainment, a food tent, and activities that include inflatables, a climbing wall, eurobungy, and DJ/Karaoke. This year’s event features a Senior Hospitality Tent that will include Bingo.

Monarch Festival

When: Sept. 14

Where: Oak View Community Center, 4625 W. 110th St., Oak Lawn

Activities include butterfly arts and crafts for kids, an interactive puppet theater, face painting, music, and more. Plus, live butterfly tagging, a bug zoo, caterpillar aquarium, and a movie.

Autumn in the Park Festival

When: Sept. 20-21

Where: Palos Park Village Green, 8901 W. 123rd St., Palos Park

Event includes a parade at 11 a.m. Saturday, a Chili and BBQ Rib Cook-Off, music, games and entertainment, including a sports cave and a kids’ area with petting zoo, games, euro bungee and pony and hayrack rides.

The Midwest Wizard of Oz Festival

When: Sept. 21-22

Where: Odyssey Fun Farm Tinley Park, 18900 S. Oak Park Ave., Tinley Park

Includes a carnival, coloring contest, Auntie Em’s pie-eating contest, and a gathering of people dressed as characters from The Wizard of Oz. Actors from the Spirit of Oz will perform songs and skits and interact with visitors.

Homewood Fall Fest

When: Sept. 28

Where: Martin Ave. from Hickory to Ridge Road, Homewood

Features live entertainment for children and adults, horse-drawn wagon rides, the annual bean bag tournament, pony rides, games, art and craft vendors, a pumpkin patch and food from local eateries. 

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