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Things to do in Chicago this fall

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Photo by Nate from Pexels

Fall has finally arrived, and there is no city to enjoy the changing colours and festivities of the season quite like Chicago. Here are just 10 things that you can do this fall in Chicago. 

  • Lincoln Park
  • Night of 1,000 Jack-o-Lanterns 
  • Sonny Acres Farm
  • All Seasons Orchard
  • Harvest Wine and Cheese Festa
  • Chicago International Film Festival
  • The Magnificent Mile Light Festival 
  • Thanksgiving Parade
  • The Chicago Marathon 
  • Immersive Van Gogh Exhibit

Lincoln Park 

You will find Lincoln park in the north of Chicago. Home to immaculate gardens, a hidden lily pond, and the Lincoln Park Zoo, there is an abundance of things to see and do in Lincoln Park. Despite the park being accessible at all times of the year, it is most beautiful during the fall. As you walk the expanse of the grounds there are plenty of trees showcasing the changing colours of the fall, and plenty of crunchy leaves to satisfyingly walk through. If you want a day in the fresh air whilst in Chicago, explore Lincoln Park to its extent. 

Image by Ronincmc

Night of 1,000 Jack-o-Lanterns

Fall means Halloween. There are several ways Halloween can be celebrated in Chicago, one of which is the Night of 1,000 Jack-o-Lanterns. Hosted at the Chicago Botanical Gardens, Night of 1,000 Jack-o-Lanterns is a celebration of the humble Halloween classic- the pumpkin. More than 1,000 hand-carved pumpkins light a paved path with a variety of faces from celebrities to iconic Chicago landmarks. Each pumpkin is true art. As you walk the Jack-o-Lantern path, the Halloween festivities continue with costumed entertainers, pumpkin-carving demonstrations, and a light fare. Night of 1,000 Jack-o-Lanterns is only running from the 13th-17th and 20th-24th of October so make sure that you get your tickets ASAP. 

Sonny Acres Farm

Keeping with the Halloween theme, Sonny Acres Farm is the perfect place to spend a spooky day out. If you are in Chicago with children, the farms Haunted Daytime Fun is ideal. You can experience fun hayrides around the farm, pumpkin picking, and, if brave enough, even take a visit to the Haunted Barn. For older children and adults who are looking for the fright of their lives, wait until the evening to experience the Haunted Barn. With live actors taking on a variety of horrifyingly creepy characters, expect to be scared from the moment you step into the barn to the moment you leave. You can experience all of the Halloween fun at Sonny Acres Farm until the 31st of October. 

Photo by Jill Wellington from Pexels

All Seasons Orchard 

If you are looking for a more wholesome Chicago fall experience then head to All Seasons Orchard. There is an abundance of fall fun to be had, including picking fruit from the 15,000 apple and pear trees, picking the perfect pumpkin from the 10 acre pumpkin patch, and getting lost in the All Seasons corn maze. There are two pathways you can take in the corn maze, a shorter one for those with young children, and a longer, more challenging, alternative. After tackling the corn maze, explore the All Seasons Orchard Barnyard, complete with petting zoo, mini zip line, and pumpkin bowling. All Seasons Orchard is the perfect fall day out for every age. 

Photo by Tim Cyphers from Pexels

Harvest Wine and Cheese Festa

For those cheese and wine lovers visiting Chicago this fall, book your tickets for the Harvest Wine and Cheese Festa. Over the course of an hour and 15 minutes you will be treated to a special selection of ten Tuscan wines, each paired with a chef-curated selection of artisanal cheeses. Once you have sampled each wine, you can further indulge yourself by purchasing the wines at the on-site marketplace. A ticket for the Harvest Wine and Cheese Festa is $59 and the event will only be running on Friday the 22nd of October and Saturday the 23rd of October. 

Photo by Jep Gambardella from Pexels

Chicago International Film Festival

The Chicago International Film Festival is the longest-running competitive film festival in North America. The festival is presented by its parent company Cinema/Chicago, which was founded in 1964 by filmmaker and graphic artist Michael Kutza. The festival has been running since 1965 and is a celebration of the best in international cinema. All proceeds from the festival go to Cinema/Chicago’s programmes that help foster better communication between diverse cultures through film and moving images. The Chicago International Film Festival is a great opportunity to see international films and is perfect for any lover of cinema in Chicago this fall. 

Photo by Pavel Danilyuk from Pexels

The Magnificent Mile Light Festival 

Halloween isn’t the only fall festival to look forward to, there is also Thanksgiving. The week before Thanksgiving, along the length of Michigan Avenue, 200 tress are illuminated by over a million lights. The festival began in 1949 and has only grown in scale since. After the initial lighting ceremony, a parade of floats begins, featuring festive favourites such as Santa Claus, cartoon characters, and musical performances. To end an evening of magical fun, a firework display lights the nights sky, brining the event to a perfect close. The Magnificent Mile Light Festival begins at 11am. 

Image by Natasha Jelezkina

Thanksgiving Parade

Just one week after The Magnificent Mile Light Festival is Chicago’s Thanksgiving Parade. On Thursday 25th of November 2021 thousands will gather on the streets of Chicago to celebrate Thanksgiving and watch the Parade. From balloons of your favourite cartoon characters to parade floats, dance acts, and extra special guests, Chicago’s Thanksgiving Parade is a spectacle for all. The parade begins at 8am and runs until 11am, however it’s best to head to State Street as early as possible to secure yourself a good viewing spot.

Image by Marit & Toomas Hinnosaar

Chicago Marathon

The Chicago Marathon is held every October and sees 45,000 runners cover 26.219 miles of the city. The track forms a loop both beginning and ending at Grant Park, and the runners will travel through 29 of Chicago’s neighbourhoods. If you would like to support the runners of the Chicago Marathon you can do so at one of the three ‘Cheer Zones’. The ‘Cheer Zones’ are located at the 8 kilometre mark, 15 mile mark, and 26th mile mark. The Chicago Marathon will be held on Sunday the 10th of October 2021 and races begin from 7:20am. 

Image by Marco Verch

Immersive Van Gogh Exhibit

For those who are visiting Chicago interested in exploring art and culture, the Immersive Van Gogh Exhibit is a must see. At the Lighthouse ArtSpace at Germaina Club you can experience the legendary work of Vincent Van Gogh like never before. Van Gogh’s work is highlighted through 500,000 cubic feet of flawless projections that allow every brushstroke to be observed up close. From Starry Night to Sunflowers you can view Van Gogh’s work at an astonishing scale that will give you a new appreciation for his artistry. The Immersive Van Gogh Exhibit will be running throughout October and November and tickets start from $40. 

Image by Immersivearteditor

Chicago is a beautiful city, especially during the fall season. Too beautiful to miss out on because you’re doing laundry. Head to the Laundryheap website, or download the free Laundryheap app, to get your laundry picked-up, laundered, and redelivered to you within 24 hours.

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