Free Things To Do with Chicago Kids this Fall

Chicago SummerDance photo courtesy of the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs
Chicago SummerDance photo courtesy of the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs

Fall is one of the best seasons to live in (or visit) Chicago—there's a fun neighborhood festival practically every weekend, and most of the seasonal festivities are totally FREE. Between outdoor fairs, harvest festivals, concerts and performances, cultural celebrations, and of course, Halloween and Thanksgiving, Fall in Chicago is jam-packed with no-cost family fun.

We'll update this list all season long with the best FREE things to do with kids in Chicago, so bookmark this page and watch this space. Looking for more free ideas? The city's playgrounds and parks are always free, and there are free days at most museum. For an offbeat free activity, try fishing—it's still fun well into the fall season. Our list of 100 Things to Do With Chicago Kids Before They Grow Up is full of free or low-cost ideas for local and visiting families, and of course you can always find more free activities in our Chicago Event Calendar.

Places featured in this article:


Millennium Park, Jay Pritzker Pavilion & Great Lawn

Parks Citywide

Frontier Sports Complex

Lake Ellyn Park & Boathouse

Various sites throughout Chicago

Trailside Museum of Natural History

Various Chicago Parks
Midnight Circus in the Parks
Chicago Parks - various times Pick
Jack's Pumpkin Pop-Up
Jack's Pumpkin Pop-Up - various times Pick
Free Days at the Field Museum
Field Museum - 9:00 AM
Cosley Zoo Pumpkin Fest
Cosley Zoo - 9:00 AM
Free Tuesdays at the Museum of Contemporary Art
Museum of Contemporary Art - 10:00 AM
Neighborhood Guides
Activity Guides