As Chicagoland begins to reopen, we are looking for safe and fun local activities for families to do. We’ve picked the best 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, North/Northwest 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!
Dinos Everywhere! at Brookfield Zoo
When: Oct. 1-31
Where: Cosley Zoo, 1356 Gary Ave., Wheaton
Cost: Free with zoo admission (Pre-reserved timed tickets are required)
Come out to Cosley Zoo this fall and enjoy the colors of the season, see the animals, and pick out your pumpkins. Pumpkins, gourds, apples, cider, corn stalks, and straw bales are all available for purchase.
When: Through Nov. 1
Where: Brookfield Zoo, 8400 31st St., Brookfield
Cost: Included in general admission (Pre-reserved timed tickets are required)
Explore Brookfield Zoo to see more than 40 animatronic dinosaurs. In lieu of Boo at the Zoo this year, enjoy Fall at the Zoo. Families are encouraged to arrive in costume and snap selfies at pre-set stations for a chance to earn prizes.
When: Oct. 9-11
Where: St. Charles (Map coming soon)
The stroll will look very different than years past including the cancellation of the carnival and craft show, along with how the scarecrows will be placed. Typically placed at Lincoln Park, scarecrows will instead be spread around the town to encourage social distancing, while also supporting local businesses that will be paired with the scarecrows.
When: Oct. 16-17
Where: Austin Gardens, 167 Forest Ave., Oak Park
Join The Park District of Oak Park for a spooky night in Austin Gardens, if you dare. The park will be decked out for you to safely explore the spooky settings all around the park. Decorate or carve a pumpkin, make your own monster, listen to Halloween stories and more. Recommended for ages 3+.
Attractions + Other Things to Do
St. James Farm, Photo Credit: Forest Preserve District of DuPage County
Pumpkin patches are back! Step into the expansive 71-acre pumpkin patch to find your special pumpkin, which is included with admission. As always, save time to indulge in sweet treats like apple cider doughnuts, home-baked pies, fudge, fresh-pressed apple cider and hand-spun caramel apples.
Marvel over fall colors at St. James Farm. There’s no better way to spend a brisk day than exploring this forest preserve’s 100 acres of woodland. You may even be lucky enough to spot a white-tailed deer while visiting, as they’re known to roam the Warrenville farm.
Sculpture parks and walks are a perfect way to social distance this fall. Seeing art has never been easier here — just follow the paved path. While you’re taking a stroll around the park, you can admire the views of the Fox River and have a picnic.
Guests can learn so much about gems and rocks at Lizzadro Museum of Lapidary Art. Reserve timed tickets in advance before visiting.
Where: 104 N. Maple Ave., Oak Park
There are plenty of donut shops in Chicagoland, but have you ever had a donut ice cream sandwich? Luckily, Firecakes offers build-your-own donut ice cream sandwiches.
There’s a great playground adjacent to the building that houses the nature center with sections for kids ages 2-5 and 5-12. You can also enjoy several hiking and biking trails, as well as an 18-hole disc golf course.
Waterlemon’s indoor play space has reopened with some new COVID-19 guidelines. Visitors ages 2 and older must wear a mask and must book time slots in advance. There will be a limited capacity for each time slot.
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This article is updated regularly.