Things to do In Chicago in the Fall

Sun-drenched days and crisp nights make Chicago a paradise in the autumn months. If you’ve been looking for things to do in Chicago in the fall, you’re in for a treat. So many opportunities are happening that you might just find your calendar fills up fast!

Below, we’ve amassed some of the events and happenings in Chicago in the fall, as well as great places to go.

Visit the Museums

Did you know that the Art Institute in Chicago was named one of the top museums in the country only a few years ago? It’s true, and it’s a place where you and your loved ones can spend a day. From special exhibits to their permanent collections, the Art Institute has something to appeal to everyone.

Have kids in tow? They’ll appreciate the Museum Campus, which includes a Planetarium and other science favorites. Your budding astronomer will love the exciting hands-on activities!

Other museums to add to your “to see” list include: Chicago History Museum, National Museum of Mexican Art, Museum of Contemporary Art and Swedish American Museum.

See the Sights From All Heights

The Chicago Architecture River Cruise takes you up and down the Chicago River, giving you a taste of the history of this amazing city. You’ll love how the wind whips your hair as you journey down timeless waters. And if it gets a little chilly, don’t worry — the boat has an indoor section, too!

Think you’re ready to get an eagle’s eye view of Chicago? Head up to the top of the Willis Tower to the SkyDeck Observatory. There, you can enjoy a panoramic view of the city.

Visit Nature in All Its Glory

The Botanic Gardens will allow you to indulge your natural side from morning until night in the fall. Each year, they offer a plethora of autumn events, such as exhibits on specialty topics like butterflies and exotic flora. Remember that you can take classes here as well to encourage your green thumb!

What would nature be without the fall harvest? Apples are on the menu in and around Chicagoland in the fall, and that means one thing: Apple Fests. From pick-your-own apple orchard days, to whole street fairs devoted to all things apple, you can’t get enough of these varied fruits in all their forms.

Want even more nature excitement as you traverse Chicago in the fall? Plan to visit any of the biggest and best of Chicago’s parks. From Lincoln Park and Millennium Park, to Jackson Park and Garfield Park, you can run, walk, hike, cycle and much more. Pack a picnic lunch and spend the day in beautiful, green spaces while still enjoying the Chicago skyline.

Taste the Festival Life

Ah, what would fall in Chicago be without tons of fun festivals offering taste and sound temptations? Try out the Great Highwood Pumpkin Festival — they attempt to break the Guinness World Record for the most pumpkins carved in one location each year.

Another silly, fun opportunity for people of all ages is the Boo at the Zoo event. Come in costume, and make the animals wonder what on earth you’re doing!

On Columbus Day, enjoy some festivities and parades, and don’t forget to visit all the vendors and shops along the parade route. It’s free to attend and cheer on the parade participants. Be loud and cheer with glee!

Have a little German in you or just want to kick back and enjoy Deutschland’s delicious foods and beverages? The German Festival and Parade takes place around Labor Day in September each year. Bring your appetite — you’ll need it to get through all the flavors of the day!

Speaking of food, you might also want to prepare your seafood-loving taste buds for the Oyster Festival, Shaw’s Oyster Fest. It’s everything that’s amazing about Chicago, and its from-the-water delicacies!

There’s just so much to love about being in Chicago when the weather starts to get cooler. Make this year your best autumn ever by taking time to explore all the sides of Chicago, as well as the communities that make up our colorful, historical and splendid city.

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