The Best of Autumn in Chicago

There’s a cool change in the air, the leaves are just starting to turn to their fall fire and the holiday commercials have started…it’s fall y’all! Chicago is breathtaking in the fall, and there’s so much to do and see! There’s something for everyone in Chicago this fall. Check out our curated list of events below to get you started having some fall fun!

Jazz at the Aquarium (October 3rd & 10th @ 5pm) – Hear musicians and vocalists, see views from the terrace, buy cocktails & food, and visit the aquarium at Jazzin’ at the Shedd at Shedd Aquarium. Discount prices for Illinois residents.

Harvest Hopdown (October 5th / 5 – 8pm) – A ticket to Harvest Hopdown includes unlimited seasonal beer tastings from 25 local breweries, passed beer bites, and live music at Millennium Park Plaza.

Bacon and Beer (October 6th / 2pm) – Enjoy bacon-inspired tastes from local restaurants, craft beer, music, and interactive games at Bacon and Beer Classic at Soldier Field.

Apple Festival (October 6th & 7th) – Get some apple pie and cider, listen to local music, and visit the kids’ zone at Apple Fest on Lincoln Avenue (from Lawrence to Eastwood). Donation $5.

Lincoln Avenue Apple Festival

Circus In The Park (October 6th – 21st) – Midnight Circus in the Parks is a series of shows at nine parks, which is perfect for families. Check out their website for all dates and locations.

Chicago Marathon (October 7th) – The free Chicago Marathon Health & Fitness Expo is Friday and Saturday at McCormick Place. The Chicago Marathon begins and ends Sunday in Grant Park, with a post-race party in Butler Field.

Beer Tasting In The Garden (October 11th / 6 – 8pm) – Sample seasonally selected beers and then purchase them by the bottle, with light food for sale at Autumn Brews at Chicago Botanic Garden in Glencoe.

Beer Tasting in the Garden

VeganMania (October 13th) – Chicago VeganMania includes samples, speakers, live music, and a food court at the Broadway Armory. (Unlike vegetarians, vegans don’t eat eggs and milk.) Free.

Architectural Open House (October 13th – 14th) – Get a rare behind-the-scenes look at 200 of the city’s finest buildings during Open House Chicago. Free. This is not to be missed!

Architecture Open House Chicago

Halloween at Brookfield Zoo (October 13th – 18th) – Boo at the Zoo has games and activities for kids, a hayride, animal chats, and a 1 p.m. costume parade at the Brookfield Zoo.

Bloody Mary Festival (October 14th) – A ticket to Bloody Mary Fest gets you samples of competing Bloody Mary entries and other specialty drinks, two full-sized drinks or beers, and passed brunch bites at Theater on the Lake for age 21+.

Adults Night Out at Lincoln Park Zoo (October 18th / 6:30 – 10pm) – Leave the kids at home and head to Adults Night Out at Lincoln Park Zoo to experience unique animal chats and live entertainment. You must be age 18+ to attend, and age 21+ for the cash bars.

Spooky Pooch Parade (October 20th) – Dogs in costume are allowed to enter the Chicago Botanic Garden for two hours each year during Spooky Pooch Parade and costume contest. I mean…how can you pass this up?!

Spooky Pooch Parade

Night of 1,000 Jack-o-Lanterns (October 24th – 28th) – Chicago Botanic Garden in Glencoe is full of spooky sights for children and adults during Night of 1,000 Jack-o’-Lanterns.

Spooky Zoo at Lincoln Park Zoo (October 27th) – Kids can wear costumes, trick-or-treat, hear music, make crafts, and see a haunted house at Spooky Zoo at Lincoln Park Zoo. Free.

Clark Street Spooktactular (October 28th / 1 – 4pm) – Clark Street Spooktacular has family-friendly games, trick-or-treating, street magicians, jugglers, stilt walkers, and a costume contest. Free.

Halloween Parade (October 31st / 7:30pm) – Register and wear a costume to join the Northalsted Halloween Parade followed by a costume contest, or watch from the sidewalk on Halsted Street (from Belmont Avenue to Cornelia Avenue). Free.

North Halsted Halloween Parade