Millennium Park’s Autumn Blaze Maples and Homestead Elms are beginning to lose their warm green hues. A collection of spectacular-colored crimson, orange, and sunglow yellow paint the sidewalk with expressions of fall. The harvest is upon us, now we can cherish the last leg of produce available at farmer’s markets and of course devour everything artificially pumpkin flavored. Ah, it’s finally Autumn. The weather may be cooling off, but there are still many events and commemorations to enjoy. Without further ado we present, Fall Festivals in Chicago:


Bank of America Chicago Marathon

On Sunday October 9, 45,000 participants will embark on a 26.2 mile journey across Chicago’s best known neighborhoods. This year marks the 39th anniversary of the race that raises millions for charities like Advocate Health Care, American Red Cross, and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Though it is too late to sign up for this wonderful event, you can cheer on racers at Grant Park at 8AM, Sunday morning.

chi-20140415-001Chicago Museum Week

It’s the best time of the year to go to museums! For eleven days this month, Illinois residents can get up to 25% off admissions at Chicago’s best cultural institutions. This year’s museum week runs from October 13 through October 23. Other than the BIG 5 (Field Museum of Natural History, Adler Planetarium, Shedd Aquarium, Museum of Science and Industry, and the Art Institute,) there are many other institutions that provide a spectacular experience for you and your family.

Night of 1,000 Jack-o’-Lanterns at the Chicago Botanic Garden

The Chicago Botanic Garden is a 385-acre living plant museum located just north of Chicago. This Halloween event will showcase 1000 hand-carved pumpkins, some with Chicago icons, classic Halloween characters, garden “monsters,” and artwork representing Día de los Muertos. Check it out, October 20 through 23. (Note: you might also encounter zombies and other dangerous creatures along the pathway)

The Halloween Gathering


Join us for the Chicago Cultural Mile Association’s 2nd annual Halloween Gathering on Saturday, October 22. Family-friendly festivities begin at 2PM in Millennium Park, Grant Park, and George Solti Garden. Enjoy an afternoon full of mask-making workshops, acrobatic performances, a children’s costume parade, and Chicago’s Longest All Souls Train on the Van Buren Bridge between Michigan Avenue and Columbus. End the celebration with The Halloween Gathering Spectacle from 6–8PM. Be amazed by an electric procession jam-packed with ghosts, ghouls, artists, and 13 new Creative Spirit Fellows. Perhaps you might even encounter a couple of FLIRTies working, and if you do, come say boo!  

Chicago International Film Festival

The Chicago International Film Festival is an annual event organized by Cinema/Chicago. This year, the Chicago International Film Festival will be held at AMC River East 21 from October 13 to October 27. This event showcases films from around the world that were previously unavailable in Chicago. Viewers will also have the chance to meet directors, producers, writers, and cast members.

Northhalsted Halloween Paradenorthalsted-halloween-parade

Monday, October 31 marks the 20th birthday of Boystown’s Halloween Parade. Participation is free, but registration is required to partake in the procession and costume contest. Brace yourself for an extravaganza of weird, wild, and spooky costumes, kids, and pets, oh my! The event begins at 6PM and spans across Halsted, from Belmont to Addison. Remember to get a little creative with your costume because you’ll be competing against the best of the best!

If all else fails, you can always visit a pumpkin patch to find the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (oops, er…we mean loyal readers). Take a day trip outside of the city to Goebbert’s, Sonny Acres, or Bengtson’s Pumpkin Farm, just to name a few! Who could say no to a day filled with apple cider donuts and hayrides? Certainly not the FLIRTies!

Happy Autumn!charlie-brown-1024