5 Chicagoland locations perfect for taking fall family photos

It may be September, but Christmas card season will be upon us before we know it. Time to round up the family and take a few picture-perfect shots with fall foliage as your backdrop. These spots range from Chicago hot spots to under-the-radar parks, but all of them are perfect for capturing family memories.


Lincoln Park Conservatory


Where: 2391 N. Stockton Drive, Chicago


If you’re wanting to include skyline views in your photos, the bridges of Lincoln Park are an ideal place to pose. Not to mention the Caldwell Lily Pool provides a tranquil setting for an activity that, let’s face it, isn’t always easy to do with little ones. One perk of taking your photos at Lincoln Park? If your kids aren’t exactly cooperating during your photo sesh, you can always bribe them with a trip to the zoo after.


A photography permit for the park is $40 per hour.


Delnor Woods Park


Where: IL-25 at Fulton Ave., St. Charles, IL


Tree covered paths, gazebos, ponds and massive oak trees make for great fall photo backgrounds at this Western Suburbs park. If you’re wanting to include your furry friends in your family pics, Delnor Woods is quiet and pet-friendly. Bring a picnic lunch to eat and relax after your long photo session.


You must obtain a Special Use Permit from the St. Charles Parks Department before taking photos.


St. James Farm


Where: 2S541 Winfield Rd, Warrenville, IL


Featuring more than 100 acres of woodlands and wetlands, this forest preserve has endless photo opportunities. Book your session for Mid-October when foliage is at its peak and you’re guaranteed to get some gloriously colorful shots. You may even be lucky enough to spot wildlife while out taking photos since great blue herons, foxes and white-tailed deer all make their home on the farm.


A one-time photography permit is $45 for DuPage County residents and $65 for non-residents. The permit can be purchased through the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County.


Chicago Botanic Garden


Where: 1000 Lake Cook Road, Glencoe


The Botanic Garden is a popular location for family sessions and it’s easy to see why: 385 acres of plant life allow for some pretty spectacular photo ops. Make your friends jealous by posing the family in front of the purple (yep, purple!) foliage of the garden’s sumac plants or take some shots on a bridge overlooking a pond. You really can’t go wrong when you’re working with so much natural beauty.


One time photo permit fees for the garden are $150 when purchased from 8 A.M. to 1 P.M. and $250 from 1-2:30 P.M. Permits are valid for 1.5 hours from purchase.


Gompers Park


Where: 4222 W Foster Ave, Chicago


Never heard of Gompers Park? I hadn’t either until I saw the low-key North Side spot on a photography blog. The park is known for feeling like a secluded oasis despite the fact that it’s in the middle of the bustling city. The quaint red bridges dotted throughout the park just scream “family photo” and with so many trees, Grompers’ fall foliage is guaranteed to be idyllic.


Gompers requires a $40 per hour photography permit.

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