2017 Guide to Fall Festivals and Harvest Events in Chicago’s Far Western Suburbs
Does your family love apple picking, cornfield mazes, hayrack rides and all things pumpkin? Well, then this guide is for you! Here’s a list of special seasonal activities and festivals related to autumn, harvest, pumpkins and Halloween. We’ll have info on costume parades, Halloween storytimes and trick-or-treating events next month. And if you’re interested in apple picking, we’ll be updating our specific guide for that, too.
SEPTEMBER 16: The Geneva Park District’s annual Autumn Fair is held at Peck Farm Park, this year on Saturday, Sept. 16, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. There will be pony rides, a small petting zoo, hayrides, crafts, games, a birds of prey presentation and more. Admission to the Autumn Fair is free, but there will be activities that require a fee. Find more info here.
SEPTEMBER 23 THROUGH OCTOBER 29: Marmion’s Abbey Farms in Aurora is hosting a “Pumpkin Daze” From Sept. 23 through the month of October 2017. Features include a corn maze, donuts, a pumpkin hand catapult and more. There is an admission charged, with weekend and holiday admission costing more. A reduced nighttime admission (after 6 p.m. on Saturday) is offered. Children 2 and under are free. The park is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays with limited attractions on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. Check here for details.
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 23: The historic Corron Farm in Campton HIlls is holding its annual Prairie Fest on Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017, sponsored by Campton Township and Corron Farm Preservation Society. There will be square dancing; tractor-pulled wagon rides of the savanna, wetlands and prairie; music; tours of the 1850s Corron Home and a children’s corner. A Go West reader says her family discovered this event in 2015 and had a really good time. The event will take place from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. I believe this event has free admission with fees charged for refreshments. Find more info here.
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 23 and SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 24: The Morton Arboretum is hosting its annual “Passport Europe Festival” on Sept. 23-24, 2017, featuring authentic music, dance, cuisine and more. For children, there will be European folktales at Meadow Lake Point and crafts in the children’s garden. This event is included with regular admission to the arboretum. Find more info here.
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 23 and SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 24: The Growing Place Garden Center in Aurora is hosting its annual “Fall Fest” on Sept. 23-24, 2017, for kids. Activities include Tales from Grunyon the Gnome, hayrides, games, crafts, and activities for the whole family. Admission is free but there are individual fees for activities. Find details here.
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 24: The annual Farm Frolic at Primrose Farm in St. Charles features pumpkin painting for children, face painting, a modern “big truck” display, corn cannons, live music, old-fashioned games, a vintage tractor and equipment display, pony rides and more. The price is $8 for those 12 and older, $4 for those ages 2-11, with kids 1 and under free. Admission includes all activities; refreshments will be available to purchase. This annual event will be held on Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Find more info here on the Primrose Farm Facebook page and on this FB invite.
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 8: The Forest Preserve District of Kane County is hosting a Harvest of the Acorn Moon festival at the Oakhurst Forest Preserve in Aurora on Sunday, October 8, 2017, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. There will be nature crafts, pumpkin painting, outdoor games, folk music, and guided hikes. Admission is free but there will be a nominal fee for crafts and refreshments. Find out more info here on Page 3 or look to the forest preserve’s Facebook page.
FALL WEEKENDS: Donley’s Wild West Town in Union holds a “Fall Festival” on weekends starting Sept. 23 and running through Oct. 29, 2017, featuring spooky train rides, pony rides, a pumpkin painting contest and more. Every child receives a free pumpkin. Check the website for details, but it looks like admission is $17 for the rides, shows and attractions. Children under 3 are free with a paid adult. It’s open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.
OCTOBER 1 THROUGH OCTOBER 31: During the entire month of October 2017, Cosley Zoo in Wheaton is holding its “Pumpkin Fest,” with pumpkins for sale; a cornstalk tunnel and straw pyramid; and apples, caramel apples, cider and fall merchandise available for purchase. There are also small, carnival-style rides for children. All children and Wheaton residents get free admission to the zoo. Non-resident adults are $7, seniors are $6. The children’s rides cost extra and require tickets you purchase at the zoo. For more info, please call 630-665-5534 or visit www.cosleyzoo.org
THE MONTH OF OCTOBER: The Morton Arboretum has a variety of events throughout the month of October 2017, such as “Trick or Trees,” a “Glass Pumpkin Patch” and “Scarecrow Trail,” as part of their Fall Color Festival. There are daily activities as well as a few weekend events, so make sure to visit their website for a full schedule of events.
OCTOBER WEEKENDS: Aurora’s Blackberry Farm is holding “Pumpkin Weekends” every weekend in October 2017 plus Columbus Day (Oct. 9) 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.. Visit the pumpkin patch and for a fee, pick out a pumpkin and decorate it at the decoration station. Carousel, ponies, “Pumpkin Train” and hay rides will also be available. Plus you’ll find the Corn Crib (a sandbox full of corn) and seasonal crafts and themed activities many weekends. Park admission is $8 per non-resident adults, $7 for non-resident children. For more info, please call 630-892-1550 or visit www.foxvalleyparkdistrict.org or the Blackberry Farm Facebook page.
SEPTEMBER 29 through OCTOBER 29, and Columbus day (Monday, October 9): Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago is hosting the zoo’s Fall Fest Fridays through Sundays, starting Sept. 29, 2017, and running through Oct. 29, 2017, as well as on Columbus Day (Oct. 9). Admission to the zoo is free but activity tickets are $3 for 1; $27 for 10; or $51 for 20. There will be a corn maze, pumpkin patch, hay ride, ferris wheel, burlap sack slide, and other entertainment and activities. For more info, visit the Fall Fest page.
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 1: Durant House Museum in LeRoy Oakes Forest Preserve is hosting its annual “Heirloom Apple Fest” on Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017. All ages are welcome at this event, which will allow your family to enjoy apples not seen in the grocery store. The event is from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Donations are $3 for adults and $1 for kids. For more info, visit ppfv.org or call 630-377-6424.
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 6 through SUNDAY, OCTOBER 8: The popular Scarecrow Festival in St. Charles will feature more than 150 hand-crafted scarecrows on display, an opportunity to make your own scarecrows, live entertainment all weekend, a petting zoo and carnival, arts and craft show, and more. The center of this festival is Lincoln Park, on the west side of St. Charles, although it is smart to look at the festival maps ahead of time to see where the activities you’re most interested in are located. Admission to the festival is free. It will be held Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more info, including a detailed schedule and maps, please visit www.scarecrowfest.com.
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 6 and SATURDAY, OCTOBER 7: Batavia MainStreet and downtown Batavia businesses are teaming up to present the city’s second annual Batavia Oktoberfest on Oct. 6-7, 2017. The event will take place on North River Street and will feature authentic polka music, a yodeling competition, traditional German dances as well as activities for kids in the “Kinder-land” area. The event is free to enter with tickets for food and beverages being sold at three entry points. For more info, visit downtownbatavia.com.
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 14: The Fall Festival at Cantigny Park in Wheaton is all about celebrating autumn with harvest-time fun. There will be a craft show, inflatables, candy dive, pumpkin decorating, pumpkin ring toss, a petting zoo, book fair, children’s craft project, hay rides and pony rides. There are a variety of children’s music concerts and shows throughout the day. Admission is included in the regular $5 parking fee. There are fees involved for activities including face painting, the petting zoo and hayrides. The event will be held on Saturday, Oct. 14, 2017, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. You can find a detailed scheduled here.
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 8: The Danada Equestrian Center’s free Fall Festival in Wheaton includes a variety of riding demonstrations and the chance to see many breeds of horses. Visitors can take a hayride through the woods; watch a parade of horses; see exhibits on shoeing, grooming and feeding and more. Children can paint pumpkins or stop by the face-painting booth. Admission and parking are free. Food and drinks will be available for purchase, and some activities have a fee attached. For more information, call 630-668-6012 or see this page about the 2017 festival.
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 21 and SUNDAY, OCTOBER 22: Kline Creek Farm is hosting its annual “Corn Harvest” in which visitors can experience the fall harvest, 1890s-style! Visitors can start their visit at “corn college,” where they will see how corn grows and hear the history of this valuable crop. Then they can hit the fields at this living history farm and pick some of the corn that will feed its cows and sheep over the winter. Visitors will load wagons and may help store the harvest in the corn crib once the wagons in the field are full. Throughout each day there will be additional activities, including horse-drawn hayrides for $5 per person. At the farmhouse, visitors can make corn-husk dolls and tour the 19th-century home, and more activities will be available. Admission is free. The 2017 event is being held both Saturday, Oct. 21, and Sunday, Oct. 22, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Find more info here.
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 22: The Glen Ellyn Park District’s Pumpkin Flotilla Fest is being held at Lake Ellyn Park. There will be music and entertainment, pumpkin carving demonstrations, an arts and craft area, and a pumpkin flotilla at dusk! Admission to the festival is free and will include inflatables and rides on a trackless train. You can carve your own pumpkin at the event for $5 (while supplies last.) The festival is being held Sunday, Oct. 22, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Find more info here.
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 25 through SUNDAY, OCTOBER 29: The annual Sycamore Pumpkin Festival features a pumpkin display, a teen carnival, a kiddie carnival, scary storytimes, a pie-eating contest, great pumpkin weigh-in, house walk and a parade, plus much more, including plenty of food vendors. For more info, including a detailed schedule of events, please go to sycamorepumpkinfestival.com
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 28: “Batfest” is downtown Batavia’s annual family-friendly event. It starts at 10 a.m. and runs until 2 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 28, 2017, and will feature morning trick-or-treating, storytelling, pumpkin roll, hayrides, parade, farmers’ market, games and contests in downtown and at the Riverwalk. For a complete listing of activities (to be updated closer to the event), please visit the Batavia MainStreet website.