Temperatures are falling, but outdoor fun is just starting to heat up.
Even if you’re missing sun and sand, you’ll love a Saturday afternoon spent picking apples and searching for that perfectly round pumpkin. It’s definitely worth the drive!
Your family can also stay closer to home with many of the fall activities offered throughout Chicago and the North Shore. So grab your calendar and start planning for these fall festivities.
Apple Orchards and Pumpkin Patches
This orchard offers two maze options: a short path for kiddos and a longer path for the experts. 14510 Route 176, Woodstock
Don’t forget to say hello to Peter the Pumpkin Eating Dinosaur. 200 S. County Line Road, Hobart, Indiana
Didier’s Pumpkinfest runs from the end of September through October and features hayrides, camel rides, crafts, and more. 16678 W. Aptakisic Road, Lincolnshire
Admission at Goebbert’s includes 15 attractions, including a haunted house, pumpkin express train, corn box, giant pumpkin slide, pumpkin cannon, and pumpkin eating dinosaur. 42W813 Reinking Road, Hampshire
Not only can you visit the pumpkin patch and enjoy a hay ride, but you can also meet animals like baby goats, pigs, and cows. 33603 High Drive, East Troy, Wisconsin
Visit this orchard for “pure apple picking fun.” Check the website for updates on hours and availability. 1050 Crest Road, Green Oaks
Once you make your way through the haunted forest, enjoy a haywagon ride, woodland walk, bale maze, and more fall activities. 1N318 Watson Road, Maple Park
Odyssey offers a corn maze, cow train, corn cannon, zip lines, and more. 19111 S. Oak Park Ave., Tinley Park
Not only can you pick the perfect pumpkin, but you can also take a ride down a 100-foot slide before getting lost in the world’s largest corn maze. 909 English Prairie Road, Spring Grove
Make it a date night! Pick your own apples (weekends only) and then sample fruit wines. W6384 Sugar Creek Road, Elkhorn, Wisconsin
Attractions include a petting zoo, corn stalk maze, giant jumping pillow, mini golf, and electric train ride (new this year). 37W446 Fabyan Parkway, Geneva
Visit The Morton Arboretum throughout the month for a Scarecrow Trail, Fall Color 5K Run & Walk, Walking Plays, a Glass Pumpkin Patch, Cider and Ale Festival, and more! 4100 Illinois Route 53, Lisle
You’ll be surrounded by pumpkins at this favorite local fest. Go trick-or-treating, rock out to live music, cheer on your furry friend during the pet costume contest, and more, all while supporting Make-A-Wish Illinois. Downtown Highwood
It doesn’t get much cuter than this! Start planning your pup’s costume now because he or she can win Best Costume Overall, Best Dog/Owner Costume, Best Horticultural Interpretation, and other categories. Chicago Botanic Garden, 1000 Lake Cook Road, Glencoe
Oct. 16-20, 23-27
Walk amongst more than 1,000 hand-carved pumpkins (some up to 150 pounds!) and enjoy other Halloween activities and treats. Chicago Botanic Garden, 1000 Lake Cook Road, Glencoe
This article was originally published Sept. 1, 2014.