Best Fall Festivals for Chicagoland Families

Celebrate the season with these great festivals for kids.

The calendar might say that summer is officially over, but here in Chicagoland, festival season continues in earnest, even after the leaves have started to turn. Our fall festival scene gets us even more excited for the cooler season.

Savor the smells of falling leaves and the tastes of all things pumpkin and apple at some of our favorite fall festivals. Find more kid-friendly fall fests near you listed in our calendar.

Looking for more fun things to do with kids this fall? Check out our fall family guide!


Photo credit: iStock/romrodinka

Taste of Polonia Festival at Copernicus Center

Sept. 1-4, 2023

Enjoy a true cultural experience that includes nonstop live music on three stages, authentic Polish food, arts and crafts, games, movie screenings, casino, face painting, balloons and more.

West Loop Art Fest

Sept. 2-3, 2023

Enjoy four blocks of art in all different mediums as talented artists showcase and sell creative work. Plus, enjoy interactive art, live music and children’s crafts.

German American Oktoberfest at Lincoln Square

Sept. 8-10, 2023

The family-friendly festival features live bands, food, beer, wine, carnival games and more.

Taste of Chicago at Grant Park

Sept. 8-10, 2023

Taste all the things that make Chicago great with more than 35 vendors and 15 food trucks, plus three stages of performances and the Lifeway Family Village with games, bounce houses and activities.

Bubblespalooza at Bubbles Academy

Sept. 9, 2023

Join Bubbles Academy to celebrate its 20th anniversary and come together to raise funds for Whole Child Arts, a free arts programming. Enjoy a day of live music, kids activities, bubble show, photo booth and more.

Printers Row Lit Fest in Historic Printers Row

Sept. 9-10, 2023

This two-day festival features carefully selected offerings from more than 100 booksellers who present everything from the tattered to the rare to ‘hot off the press,’ newly published works.

Jack’s Pumpkin Pop-Up at Goose Island

Sept. 21-Nov. 3, 2023

Spend an autumn night outside making memories while you get lost in Chicago’s largest corn maze, enjoy nighttime light displays and pick a pumpkin from the patch. Also, carnival games, fortune tellers, gem mining, food trucks and photo opportunities. All ages are welcome.

Oktoberfest Chicago at St. Alphonsus Church

Sept. 22-24, 2023

Join in on the fun at one of Chicago’s most popular fall celebrations and all things Bavarian. There will be food, music and more.

The Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival at Burnham (Daniel) Park

Sept. 23, 2023

The Mid-Autumn Festival is one of the most important traditional events in Asia, like Christmas and Thanksgiving in the West. The event falls on the 15th day of the eighth month of the lunar calendar, the round shape and completeness of the full moon symbolize family and friends reunion.

Lakeview East Oktoberfest at Our Lady of Mount Carmel

Sept. 29-Oct. 1, 2023

This 2nd annual festival features live music, food and Oktoberfest activities for the whole family. A portion of the proceeds support the Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church and the Lakeview East Community Partnership.

Lincoln Park Zoo Fall Fest

Sept. 29-Oct. 29, 2023

Celebrate fall with seasonal décor, music, large-scale chalk art, professional
pumpkin carving and fall photo ops among the pumpkin patches. Ticketed
activities include a harvest maze, fun slide, inflatable obstacle course and Kiddie Wheel.

Lincoln Square Ravenswood Apple Fest

Sept. 30-Oct. 1, 2023

  • Address: Lincoln Avenue between Lawrence and Sunnyside, Chicago
  • Cost: $5/suggested donation

There will be more than 50 market vendors and apple items from six farms at this annual event.

Harvest Fest at Indian Boundary Park

Oct. 1, 2023

Enjoy a family-friendly event where kids can pick their own pumpkins from the field and decorate them. Also, carnival-themed games, photo stations and a reptile show.

Pumpkin Patch at Horner (Henry) Park

Oct. 14, 2023

Enjoy a family-friendly event where kids can pick their own pumpkins and decorate them. Also, carnival-themed games, inflatables, photo stations and a reptile show.

Pumpkin Patch at Hamlin (Hannibal) Park

Oct. 21, 2023

Enjoy a family-friendly event where kids can pick their own pumpkins from the field and decorate them. Also, carnival-themed games, inflatables, photo stations and a reptile show.

North/Northwest Suburbs

Photo Credit: Great Highwood Pumpkin Fest

Schaumburg Septemberfest

Sept. 2-4, 2023

This outdoor festival features entertainment, arts and crafts show, a carnival, pony rides, fireworks and a Labor Day parade.

Art Fair on the Square in Historic Lake Forest Market Square

Sept. 3-4, 2023

This annual event features 120 exhibitors work in a variety of disciplines including glass, wood, fiber, ceramics, digital art, jewelry, metal, drawing/pastels, graphics/printmaking, painting, photography, sculpture and mixed media.

Art on the Fox

Sept. 9-10, 2023

This art festival shows the work from more than 75 of the nation’s top juried artists, family-friendly activities, live musical performances and more.

Elk Grove Village Oktoberfest at Rotary Green

Sept. 15-16, 2023

Enjoy traditional German food, games and activities, live music and so much more at the annual Elk Grove Village Oktoberfest Celebration. 

Happy Times Pumpkin Fest at Didier Farms

Sept. 16-Oct. 29, 2023

Pumpkin Fest is back and it will feature family activities and attractions for all ages including amusement rides, shows, fall merchandise, pumpkin sales, fall treats and more.

Fall Festival/Oktoberfest

Sept. 22-23, 2023

Oktoberfest features live entertainment with authentic German food and drinks. Plus, a kids spot on Saturday.

Long Grove Apple Fest in Downtown Long Grove

Sept. 22-24, 2023

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 doughnuts, hot apple cider, caramel apple lattes and more.

Huntley Fall Fest at Huntley Park District

Sept. 29-Oct. 1, 2023

Enjoy carnival rides, beer garden, food vendors, lots of fall activities, live music and family fun at this fall festival. There will be a fireworks display Saturday night. 

Annual Lake County Family Fun Fest at College of Lake County

Sept. 30, 2023

This annual family-friendly event features live entertainment, shopping, classic games and community resources.

Highland Park Oktoberfest at The Lot

Sept. 30, 2023

The weekend excitement will include a beer garden, traditional eats and live music acts along with activities for youngsters and families.

The Great Highwood Pumpkin Fest & Skeleton Invasion

Oct. 6-8, 2023

You can expect carnival rides, pumpkin carving stations, live music, vendors, hayrides, pumpkin walls, contests and more.

South Suburbs

Photo credit: iStock/ucpage

Autumn in the Park Festival at Palos Park Village Green

Sept. 15-16, 2023 

This fall event includes a parade at 11 a.m. Saturday, music, artisan and food vendors, face painting, bounce house and more. 

Tinley Park Oktoberfest at the 80th Avenue Metra Train Station

Sept. 15-17, 2023 

This event resembles the traditional Oktoberfest held in Munich, Bavaria, Germany, with food, drink, traditional dancing, a vendor fair, a carnival and more.

Joliet PrideFest at Billie Limacher Bicentennial Park & Theatre

Sept. 23, 2023 

This 4th annual festival will feature a vendor market, live entertainment, resource fair, food trucks, kids zone and more.

Western Suburbs

Photo credit: Scandinavian Park, Inc.

Naperville Last Fling

Sept. 1-4, 2023

The festival will include an entertainment stage, food vendors, business expo vendors, family activities, Labor Day parade and a carnival.

Scandinavian Day Festival at Vasa Park

Sept. 10, 2023

The 43rd annual festival celebrates the cultures of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden. Featuring live entertainment, activities for children, free pony rides and story time by Elsa from Frozen. Scandinavian walkway with vendors, displays and Scandinavian food.

Berwyn Oktoberfest at Berwyn’s Depot District

Sept. 15-16, 2023

The family-friendly festival includes an international food court, live music, beer garden and more at Berwyn’s Depot District.

Oaktoberfest in Downtown Oak Park

Sept. 22-23, 2023

  • Address: Between Marion Street and North Boulevard, south of Lake Street, Oak Park
  • Cost: Free; fees for food

This annual fall festival features a premiere music lineup, specialty craft beers, delicious fall foods from local places and a Kids Root Beer Garden. The kids activities include hands-on activities, games, root beer floats, zucchini races, games and more.

The Last Straw at Gregg House Museum

Oct. 1, 2023

Enjoy lots of fall fun and family-friendly activities. Features include decorating a pumpkin, making a scarecrow, taking a hayride, listening to music, making crafts and more.

Naper Settlement Oktoberfest

Oct. 6-7, 2023

At this annual event, guests can enjoy German food, local and traditional Oktoberfest beer varieties, pop-polka music and more.

St. Charles Scarecrow Festival

Oct. 6-8, 2023                     

Vote for your favorite scarecrow, purchase and build your own, see a professional pumpkin carver in action, visit the craft show and more.

Family Fall Fest at The Depot at Wild Meadows Trace

Oct. 7, 2023

Bring the family out to The Depot for Safety Town trick-or-treating plus fall festivities, games and food trucks.

This post is updated annually.

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Chicago Parent Editorial Team
Chicago Parent Editorial Team
Since 1984, the Chicago Parent editorial team is trained to be the go-to source for Chicagoland families, offering a rich blend of expert advice, compelling stories, and the top local activities for kids. Renowned for their award-winning content, the team of editors and writers are dedicated to enriching family life by connecting parents with the finest resources and experiences our community has to offer.
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