The calendar might say that summer is officially over, but here in Chicago, festival season continues in earnest, even after the leaves have started to turn. It’s not all apple this and pumpkin that when it comes to Chicago’s fall festival scene. These five fests are designed for adventurers of all varieties.
If you miss the days of Bon Jovi:
They’re not old; they’re classic. At least that’s what you’ll tell yourself while you’re getting down at the Throwback Music Festival. The event highlights the retro music you know and love, plus a kids’ area that will keep your littles busy—when you aren’t indoctrinating them about why Backstreet Boys are so much better than NSYNC. $5. 4-10 p.m. Sept. 8; 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Sept. 9-10. 6030 N. Milwaukee Ave. (at Peterson), Chicago.
If you’re a Ferris Bueller wannabe:
It’s been more than 30 years since Ferris twisted-and-shouted his way through an imaginary sick day in the movie that bears his name. But tap into your inner Ferris at the Von Steuben Parade, which features floats, ethnic costumes and maybe even a polka band or two. Want even more Teutonic fun? German-American Fest lasts all weekend long. Free. 2 p.m. Sept. 9. Lincoln Avenue between Irving Park Road and Lawrence Avenue, Chicago.
If you have Etsy bookmarked:
The DIY force is strong in this one! Makers of all shapes, sizes—and ages—descend on the Renegade Craft Fair, a weekend of creativity that is pretty hard to resist. The fall edition of this craft-ravanganza features a kids’ area with artsy workshops and a children’s book illustrator on hand. Free. 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Sept. 9-10. Division Street between Damen and Ashland, Chicago.
If you’re ready to wear some flannel:
Autumn obsessives are in heaven this time of year, thanks to PSLs at the Starbucks drive-through and crispy fruit just waiting to be plucked from the apple trees. Homewood’s annual Fall Fest celebrates the best that the season has to offer, from horse-drawn wagon rides to a suburban pumpkin patch. Plus, taste some yummy fall flavors, courtesy of local restaurants. Free. 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Sept. 16. Martin Avenue from Hickory to Ridge Road, Homewood.
If you have the traveling bug:
You can enjoy the sights, sounds and flavors of Europe without having to take another unflattering passport photo (no smiles, please). The Passport Europe Cultural Festival takes visitors across the pond with the help of authentic music, dance and cuisine, all set on the backdrop of a gorgeous, authentically American landscape. Better yet: no jetlag! Free with arboretum admission. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sept. 23-24. The Morton Arboretum, 4100 Illinois Route 53, Lisle.