The end of summer doesn’t mean the end of outdoor activities! Get into the joy of Autumn with exciting local events & attractions waiting to be discovered. Grab the family and get ready for twisty mazes, delicious cider, spooky trails, colorful landscapes and much more…
Outdoor Adventures for the Entire Family
Get lost in the world’s largest corn maze at Richardson Adventure Farm!
The corn maze at Richardson Adventure Farm is BIG. We’re talking more than 21 football fields big. Even the savviest corn maze explorers will be challenged by its nearly 10-mile-long tangled trails. The design changes every year, so no two mazes are ever alike. Once you complete the maze, or you get tired of trekking through corn stalks, you can also go on a hayride, have a campfire, or even ride a 100-foot slide.
Participate in Chicago’s Annual Tradition: The Chicago Thanksgiving Day Parade!
Some of the best marching bands from across the country descend downtown with giant inflatable balloons, a variety of performers, and a designated VIP seating area of bleachers near the TV cameras (State Street from Congress to Randolph). Thursday, November 28th – Free or $60 for VIP area.
Find the best pumpkin, good eats, and more at the Great Pumpkin Patch!
You won’t have to wait all night to find an amazing pumpkin at the Great Pumpkin Patch. This 63-acre pumpkin patch features more than 400 varieties. Which makes your odds of finding your future jack-o’-lantern or centerpiece about 100%. Once your search is complete, check out the exhibits, go for a wagon ride, explore the haunted barn, and eat some fresh pumpkin- and non-pumpkin-flavored desserts at their renowned Homestead Bakery.
Watch the leaves change into beautiful colors. Go hiking at the Shawnee National Forest!
Despite its official nickname, Illinois isn’t all covered in prairie. In fact, Illinois has a diverse topography and some of the best trails to hike in the fall. Stretching across the southern portion of our state is the Shawnee National Forest, Illinois’ premier hiking destination. Its 403-mile-long trail system takes you through rolling hills, woodland, prairies, lakes, creeks, bluffs, sandstone cliffs, waterfalls, and some of the most scenic fall views in the area.
Paddleboard on the Fox River
The best way to experience the natural beauty of the Fox River is by hopping on your paddleboard and getting in it. Miles of pristine forest preserve and native prairie line its banks. These magnificent landscapes offer a gorgeous backdrop of changing fall colors throughout your journey as well as a thriving ecosystem of local wildlife. The many charming river towns in the area also offer plenty of amazing things to see and do.
Fun for the Adults
Take Over Soldier Field at the Bacon & Beer Classic!
A bacon-eating contest, bacon seesaw, bacon money machine, and such pair with 100+ craft beers, bacon-inspired dishes from top local restaurants, and live music at this erstwhile event, which includes the full run of the Soldier Field concourse. Saturday, October 12th, cost: $59-$99.
Have your mind blown at Illumination 2019
Join us on our journey from darkness into the light. It is the act of enlightenment, and the ability to spark awareness of the journeys that are often relegated to the shadows. Saturday, October 26th at Revel Fulton Market (1215 W. Fulton Market, Chicago, IL 60607).
Epiphany Center for the Arts Halloween Party!
It’s hard to describe the most unique Halloween party of the year, where you’ll party in an interactive playground of light with costumes, cocktails, DJs, and 96 artists. You can also RSVP for a fancy private dinner with private “light art experience.” Cost: $125 – $1,000 Saturday, October 26th.
Cranberry Wine at Galena Cellars
Cranberries aren’t just for making sauce on Thanksgiving. They can also be used for making delicious wine, which is what the folks at Galena Cellars have done. Their Cranberry Wine has just the right amount of tartness to complement the richness of your favorite fall foods. Go all out and have it hot and spiced for some additional autumn feels.
Oktoberfest Lager at Tangled Roots Brewing Co
The Oktoberfest lager from Tangled Roots Brewing Co. traces its origins to a certain German fall festival celebrated on the 10th month of the year. This traditional beer is rich yet, smooth with malty flavors, a creamy texture, and a subtle, hoppy spiciness. It’s a great drink for celebrating the harvest or the end of daylight savings or any other fall-related occasion.
Yummy Seasonal Snacks
Pumpkin Donuts at Didier Farms
As if you needed another excuse for something pumpkin-flavored, Grandma D’s Bake Shop at Didier Farms has the most scrumptious pumpkin donuts of the season. Baked in small batches every day, these handmade donuts are infused with fresh-picked pumpkin from their own patch. Get one with orange frosting and candy corn-colored sprinkles so your dessert matches the vibrant fall colors.
Devour Pizza on the Lake at the Chicago Pizza Summit
One of Chicago’s most beloved food fests moves to a new lakeside location this year, from which it will be slinging a variety of local pies, plus pizza-inspired cuisine, a pop-up exhibit at the U.S. Pizza Museum, live DJs, and a Chicago pizza art showcase. Cost: $45 Sunday, October 6th.
Homemade Bratwurst at Fast Eddie’s Bon Air
A favorite at tailgates up and down the state, no sausage spells fall like the bratwurst. At Fast Eddie’s Bon Air, the Homemade Bratwurst is perfectly grilled and no-frills. The sausage is made using an old local recipe that’s distinctly seasonal but tastes timeless. Maybe it’s because it still sells for the same price it did when the bar opened.
Pumpkin Pie at The Palms Grill Café
One taste of The Palms Grill Café’s made-from-scratch pumpkin pie and you’ll feel like you’ve traveled back in time. It’s flaky, buttery, sweet, with just the right amount of autumn spice – everything you picture the perfect pumpkin pie to be. If pumpkin isn’t your jam, try their other pies. They’ve won quite a few awards around the state.
How Checkexpress can help you prepare for a fun Autumn adventure…
Prepaid Debit Cards
No need to carry around dollar bills and loose change, which you may lose in the crowded festivals and corn mazes. A prepaid debit card will act as your cash, so you may spend as much or as little as you wish. Plus if your teen wants to go out with their friends, you can set an appropriate spending limit.
If the venue you’re visiting only accepts cash, then we have the perfect option for you! We have seven locations throughout Chicago and the suburbs. Use your phone to easily find one of our currency exchanges so you can cash your check quickly and be on your way to the fun!