Best Fall Festivals near Chicago for Families

Elim Dutch Fest photo courtesy of Elim Christian Services
Elim Dutch Fest photo courtesy of Elim Christian Services

Fall harvest season brings a host of family-friendly festivals in Chicago—many of them FREE. From neighborhood festivals honoring Chicago's diverse communities, like Lincoln Square Ravenswood Apple Fest or 79th Street Renaissance Festival, to kid-friendly festivals in Chicago that dig deep into our thriving food and art scenes, like the Lakeview East Festival of the Arts or Renegade Craft Fair, there's a celebration happening every weekend from now 'til Thanksgiving, with fun things for kids and families to do at each. Even Oktoberfest celebrations in Chicago, which might make you think of boozy crowds, make room for families with kids' zones and activities. And because it's fall, there's lots of book-reading, pumpkin-peeping, and harvest celebrating to do, too...oh, and a little thing called Halloween.

Bookmark this long list of the best fall festivals in Chicago to do with kids. And get your calendar and your favorite fall sweater ready!

Places featured in this article:


Naperville Central High School

Logan Center for the Arts

Various sites throughout Chicago

The Morton Arboretum
Christmas Around the World and Holidays of Light
Museum of Science and Industry - 9:30 AM Pick
ZooLights at Lincoln Park Zoo
Lincoln Park Zoo - 4:00 PM Pick
Let It Shine Light Show
Northbrook Court - various times Pick
Let It Shine Light Show
Wintrust Field - various times Pick
Neighborhood Guides
Activity Guides