The best things to do in the fall in Chicago

Go leaf peeping, wander amid pumpkin patches and find more of the most autumn-friendly things to do in Chicago.

Fall in Chicago
Photograph: Shutterstock

It's always sad to say goodbye to summer, but fall in Chicago offers its own special set of perks. As the season starts to ramp up, plan a day trip from Chicago to check out local farms where you'll find apple orchards, pumpkin patches, corn mazes and more autumnal fun (not to mention plenty of spiced baked goods to take home), or celebrate German-style at one of the many Oktoberfest parties happening throughout the city. Then, when the leaves begin to turn, head to the best parks in Chicago to spot gorgeous fall foliage, or travel to neighboring states for a quick and easy weekend getaway. Last—and certainly not least—experience the best of spooky season with Halloween events, haunted houses, historic cemeteries and more Chicago attractions that are sure to provide thrills. Make the most of this fleeting season with our list of the best things to do in Chicago this fall. 

RECOMMENDED: Discover more of the best things to do in Chicago

Things to do this fall

Take a tour of regional fall foliage
Travel

Take a tour of regional fall foliage

Soak in all the red, orange and gold sights before it's too late.

Go apple picking near Chicago
Things to do

Go apple picking near Chicago

Apple picking near Chicago is plentiful at these easy-to-reach farms.

See when fall foliage will peak in Chicago with this handy map
News

See when fall foliage will peak in Chicago with this handy map

Here’s the best way to plan your leaf peeping expeditions. 

Get lost at these corn mazes near Chicago
Kids

Get lost at these corn mazes near Chicago

Find fun for the whole family at the best corn mazes within driving distance of Chicago.

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Raise a beer stein at Oktoberfest in Chicago
Things to do

Raise a beer stein at Oktoberfest in Chicago

The annual celebrations in Munich have been canceled but Oktoberfest in Chicago will still be observed. 

Check out pumpkin patches near Chicago
Kids

Check out pumpkin patches near Chicago

Snag the most important jack-o'-lantern supply at patches near the city.

Get spooked at these Halloween events in Chicago
Things to do

Get spooked at these Halloween events in Chicago

Say “boo!” 

Feast on the best pies in Chicago
Restaurants

Feast on the best pies in Chicago

Whether it's for Thanksgiving dinner or just an average day, here's where to go for a slice.

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Visit the most haunted places in Chicago
Things to do

Visit the most haunted places in Chicago

Try not to get too scared while exploring these chilling destinations.  

Take a hike near Chicago
Things to do

Take a hike near Chicago

Hiking is even better in fall weather.

Go thrill-seeking at these haunted houses near Chicago
Things to do

Go thrill-seeking at these haunted houses near Chicago

Ready to encounter zombies, killer clowns and blood-soaked nuns? 

Have a pint in Chicago’s best beer gardens
Bars

Have a pint in Chicago’s best beer gardens

Take a seat outdoord and throw a D.I.Y. Oktoberfest with your friends while the weather holds out.

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Slurp the best ramen in Chicago
Restaurants

Slurp the best ramen in Chicago

When there's a chill in the air, there's nothing better than slurping a bowl of broth and noodles.

Explore the most hauntingly beautiful cemeteries in Chicago
Things to do

Explore the most hauntingly beautiful cemeteries in Chicago

Immerse yourself in a bit of spooky history. 

Prep for trick-or-treaters at Chicago’s top candy stores
Restaurants

Prep for trick-or-treaters at Chicago’s top candy stores

And don't hesitate to snag some for yourself, either. 

Warm up at the best coffee shops in Chicago
Restaurants

Warm up at the best coffee shops in Chicago

Get your caffeine fix with pumpkin spice lattes, boozy Irish coffee and dessert-worthy affogatos.