With October's arrival, harvest festival season is in full swing for Chicago families, with apples, pumpkins, corn mazes, scarecrows, and even a bit of early Halloween candy. This weekend sees the return of the big Lincoln Square Ravenswood Apple Fest with music, a kids' zone, and all the apple pies you can eat. Meanwhile the Chicago Women's Park and Gardens hosts its yearly Applepalooza for even more apple-themed fun.
Already over apples and ready for some pumpkin action? Naper Settlement's Oktoberfest features kids' games and professionally carved pumpkins. Pier Pumpkin Days light up Navy Pier with a FREE exhibit of glowing Jack o'Lanterns, and Jack's Pumpkin Glow at the Sensory Garden Playground in Lisle is worth the later bedtime. Cosley Zoo in Wheaton starts its monthlong Pumpkin Fest, and "Pumpkins in Space" is the fun twist on the usual patch at Pumpkin Palooza in Aurora, with friendly alien pumpkins, pumpkin UFOs, and even a hay ride through a pumpkin solar system.
On Saturday, there's scarecrow building, a straw maze, and more fall fun afoot at the Lemonster Days fall festival, and a chance to kick off Halloween early with a candy hunt and pumpkin painting at the Lombard Fall Fest. Kids can run off that candy the next day at the Morton Arboretum's Fall Color Run 5K and Kids Dash, with an after-race party for participants and families.
All this, plus the Universoul Circus rolls into town with jawdropping, high-energy performances starting this weekend, and Luchadora, a new play for younger audiences presented by the Theatre School at DePaul, celebrates girl power and family bonds.
Feeling that Fall spirit yet? If you're looking for more, be sure to check out event calendar, updated daily.