As Chicagoland begins to reopen, we are looking for safe and fun local activities for families to do. We’ve picked some events and attractions in Chicago not to miss this month. Check out our calendar to find more local and virtual events happening in October. Also, find the best things to do in the city, Western Suburbs and South Suburbs.
Note: We’re updating our website as quickly as we can, but changes may occur due to COVID-19. Please double check before heading out for the most updated information on safety precautions and any last-minute cancellations. Stay safe!
Thomas & Friends: Explore the Rails! at Kohl Children’s Museum
When: Opens Oct. 1
Where: Kohl Children’s Museum, 2100 Patriot Blvd., Glenview
Cost: $200, $150 members (Exclusive to Very Important Play Sessions)
The interactive exhibit inspired by the popular children’s series on Nickelodeon rides into Chicagoland for the first time. The STEM-focused exhibit allows kids ages 2-7 years to climb into Thomas’ cab, fix Percy’s wobbly wheels, explore the Island of Sodor, load luggage onto train cars and load Percy’s coal box and fill his tank with water from a tower. Right now, it is exclusive to Very Important Play participants, groups of as many as 10 who will have access to touch, climb and enjoy the museum for two-hour time blocks.
When: Through Nov. 8 (Thursdays-Sundays)
Where: Richardson Adventure Farm, 909 English Prairie Rd., Spring Grove
Cost: Included in general admission
The 2020 Richardson Adventure Farm corn maze will celebrate the 50th anniversary of Earth Day with a verdant globe cradled in two human hands, surrounded by flowers, trees, a waterfall, mountains, clouds, hearts, a frog and the rising sun.
When: Oct. 14-18 & 21-25
Where: Chicago Botanic Garden, 1000 Lake Cook Road, Glencoe
Cost: $18 non-members, $16 members, $14 ages 3-2, $12 member kids, free 2 and under
More than 1,000 hand-carved, real pumpkins—some as large as 150 pounds—light up the night. New for 2020, the trail is one way, with separate entrance and exit, and there is extra space between pumpkins to allow for social distancing. Face coverings are required for anyone 2 years and older.
When: Oct. 2, 23
Where: Little Beans Café, 430 Asbury Ave., Evanston
Cost: $25 cars, $18 blankets
Drive In for a movie in the Little Beans parking lot. Sit in your car, on top of your car or sign up for a limited-space blanket spot. Preregistration required and families will receive instructions how to listen to the sound. On Oct. 2, watch Frozen II with live appearances from Olaf and Elsa. On Oct. 23, celebrate Halloween with The Addams Family and caramel apples.
Attractions + More Things to Do
Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg at Illinois Holocaust Museum
Where: 9603 Woods Drive, Skokie
Museum members and guests must purchase tickets online before visiting. The newest exhibit, Notorious RBG: The Life Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, has been extended through Jan. 3, 2021.
Where: 14510 IL-176, Woodstock
Apple picking season is ending soon, but you might have some time! This orchard boasts more than 15,000 apple trees. Also, check out the on-site bakery where you may watch the making of extremely delicious apple cider doughnuts along with other amazing fall treats. Online ticketing will be available for weekend picking.
Marvel over fall colors at Edward L. Ryerson Conservation Area in Riverwoods. Hiking is encouraged, but biking is a big no-no (along with pets) due to the park’s designation as an Illinois Nature Preserve.
Where: McCormick Boulevard, Skokie
Sculpture parks and walks are a perfect way to social distance this fall. Located along the east side of McCormick Blvd, this sculpture park showcases 60 pieces of art. Take a stroll or ride your bike along the two-mile path.
There are a few outdoor mini golf courses still open this fall (weather permitting), including Par-King Skill Golf. Your kids will love to play on the wacky holes behind the bright pink castle.
If your kids love American Ninja Warrior, they can climb their hearts out at this ninja park in Schaumburg. Older kids (ages 6-10) will have a blast climbing, crawling and jumping across the obstacles.
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This article is updated regularly.