Fall Entertainment Guide 2022: Family Fun

As the weather cools down, take advantage of family-friendly fall activities, like pumpkin picking, theater shows and special events in the Chicago area.

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Bengston’s Pumpkin Farm will open up the patches for picking this fall.


Looking for kid-friendly activities as summer comes to a close? Even when temperatures drop, there are plenty of activities and special events in and around Chicago to keep you and the kids busy. This fall, catch a movie or theater show, enjoy the crisp fall air at a pumpkin patch or attend a spooky event with the whole family in tow.

Fun Ideas for Fall

Bengtson’s Pumpkin Farm: ‘Tis the season to enjoy fall attractions like tractor hayrides, a pumpkin patch, a petting zoo, carnival rides, a haunted barn and much more. Fall comfort food like donuts, kettle corn and barbecue is available for purchase. Sept. 16-Oct. 31. Bengtson’s Pumpkin Farm, 13341 W. 151st St., Homer Glen. Tickets $17.99-$33.99; pumpkinfarm.com

Neighborhood Artisan Market: This pop-up market features local artists from different communities across Chicago, including North Park, Woodlawn and Greater Grand Crossing. Peruse crafts, goods and souvenirs every Friday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Through Sept. 25. Navy Pier, 600 E. Grand Ave. Free; navypier.org

Special Events

Lincoln Park Gyro Fest: Enjoy lamb, beef or chicken gyros and Greek food while you listen to music from Sixteen Candles and Ormi Orchestra. Games, activities and arts and crafts will be available to entertain young guests. Sept. 9-11. St. George Greek Orthodox Church, 2701 N. Sheffield Ave. $10 suggested donation; lincolnparkgyrofest.com

Movie Fest Presented by Alamo Drafthouse Cinema: Catch a screening of “Cats” or “The Lion King,” complete with movie props, trivia, access to the zoo, free rides and more. VIP “King of the Jungle” tickets include a “Lion King”-themed party and screening alongside a pride of lions. Sept. 16. Lincoln Park Zoo, 2001 N. Clark St. Tickets $15-$30; lpzoo.org

Norwood Park Fall Fest: Fun for all ages, this street festival will feature food trucks, live music, shopping and kid’s games and entertainment. Headliners include The Breakfast Club, Second Hand Soul Band and 7th Heaven. Sept. 16-17. Norwood Park Train Station, 6088 W. Northwest Hwy. $5 suggested donation; npfallfest.org

Lakeview Taco Fest: A dozen taco vendors will be serving up warm tortillas at this Lakeview favorite. Kids activities, two live music stages and delicious food will keep the whole family happy. Headliners include Too Much Molly Band, Dancing Queen: An ABBA Salute and Supernatural Soul. Sept. 17-18. On Southport Avenue between Addison and Roscoe. $10 suggested donation; lakeviewtacofest.com


Marvel at over 1,000 carved pumpkins at the Night of 1,000 Jack-O’-Lanterns at the Chicago Botanic Garden. Oct. 12-16 & 19-23.

Courtesy Chicago Botanic Garden

Family Fall Fest: Free activities galore will be available at this family-friendly Rosemont festival. Kids can enjoy face painting, bounce houses, balloon animals, a petting zoo and more from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Renowned children’s band ScribbleMonster will perform an engaging set. Sept. 18. Parkway Bank Park, 5501 Park Pl., Rosemont. Free; parkwaybankpark.com

The Children’s Book Fair of Hyde Park: Readings, music and dance performances, storytelling and more will take place between 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. to celebrate the love of literature. This year, for its 35th year, the theme is “Banned Books.” Sept. 18. 57th Street between Woodlawn and Dorchester. Free; thechildrensbookfairofhydepark.org

Taste of Fulton Market: Returning for a second year, this foodie festival offers bites from Fulton Market favorites, like Rose Mary, Publican, BLVD and many more. Grab a nosh to benefit the Illinois Restaurant Association Educational Foundation Restaurant Employee Relief Fund and Recipe for Change. Sept. 29. Morgan’s on Fulton, 952 W Fulton Market. Tickets $75+; tasteoffultonmarket.com

Fall Fest: The Lincoln Park Zoo hosts fall festivities, like a pumpkin patch, a fall-themed restaurant pop-up, a ferris wheel, a harvest maze, train rides and more. As you enjoy the autumnal ambiance, see which animals come out to say hi in the brisk fall air! Sept. 30-Oct. 30. Lincoln Park Zoo, 2001 N. Clark St. Free admission, select attractions $4-$69; lpzoo.org

Night of 1,000 Jack-O’-Lanterns: Over 1,000 professionally carved pumpkins will line the pathways of the Chicago Botanic Garden at this fall spectacular. Snacks and drinks will be available for purchase. Nonmember parking must be purchased in advance. Oct. 12-16 and 19-23. Chicago Botanic Garden, 1000 Lake Cook Rd., Glencoe. Tickets $13-$20; chicagobotanic.org

Live Performances

Disney Junior Live On Tour: Costume Palooza: Classic Disney characters Mickey, Minnie Mouse and Goofy, along with Marvel’s Spidey, invite you to join them for a costume party, singing, dancing and more. Sept. 25. The Chicago Theatre, 175 N. State St. Tickets $19.50+; chicagotheatre.com


Dinosaurs seem to come to life in “Jurassic World Live.”

Feld Entertainment

Jurassic World Live: Powered by people and animatronics, more than 20 life-sized dinosaurs from the hit movie roar through the Allstate Arena. Nov. 3-6.  6920 N. Mannheim Rd., Rosemont. Tickets $20+; ticketmaster.com.

Halloween Spooktakular: The New Philharmonic Orchestra performs spooky tunes from thrillers like “Witches of Eastwick” and “Young Frankenstein.” Dress up in your Halloween best for a chance to win the costume contest! Oct. 22-23. McAninch Arts Center, 425 Fawell Blvd., Glen Ellyn. Tickets $53; atthemac.org

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