Fall and scarecrows go hand in hand, and you can find several events honoring the straw-stuffed sentinels around the Chicago area in October. Here are some fun scarecrow-themed events to check out with your family.
When: Oct. 1-31
Enjoying the fall foliage and scarecrows at the Morton Arboretum is an autumnal win-win. Local scout troops channeled their creativity when creating the scarecrows that line the paved, half-mile trail around Meadow Lake. Take a stroll and then vote for your favorite. Consider combining it with a Family Jack O’ Lantern Hike.
When: Oct. 11-13
Where: St. Charles
More than 100 hand-made and mechanical scarecrows will be on display at this fun fest, and families even have a chance to make your own. This fest has been going strong for more than 30 years. Find your old favorites at the fest, including a carnival and crafts, and check out some new events this year, including the Farm Tour, with a chance to tour up to six different farms in the area.
When: Oct. 5
Scarecrows are just part of the fun at this Rockford festival, which has autumn faves like horse-drawn wagon rides and games that revolve around the stars of the season—apples and pumpkins. Since the fest is held at Midway Village Museum, it also includes historic cooking and farm demos. As for the scarecrows? You can make one on site with provided clothing, or bring along your own duds to make sure Mr.—or Ms.—Scarecrow is really dressed to the nines.
When: Oct. 12
Who knew that scarecrows were speedy? You’ll see a few running at the Scarecrow Scramble, which is both a race and a fall festival. Kids ages 2 to 4 can register for the Tot Dash, which is 50 yards. Those between ages 5 and 11 can do the Youth Run, which is half a mile. All ages are welcome at the 5K run/walk, which starts at Lisle High School, which is lit by luminaria for this nighttime race. The festival includes free hayrides, face painting, a balloon artist and a bonfire.
When: Oct. 12
Where: Long Grove
Do you want to build a scarecrow? Then head to Towner Green in Long Grove. You get a basic structure for your scarecrow, straw and some guidance included in a $5 voluntary donation, which goes toward the cost of materials. Any proceeds go to local food shelters. Bring your own clothing and accessories for dressing your scarecrow, which will be on display throughout the month of October, during which time visitors can vote for their favorites.
This article was originally published on Sept. 27, 2017. It has been updated with the most recent information.