Ahh, the smell of autumn is in the air in Chicagoland! While the heat of the summer may begin to subside, nature’s colors do their part to keep the warmth. This presents a perfect opportunity to get out and enjoy fall activities in Chicago’s west suburbs before the frost of winter arrives. Where can you go to get the most out of these last few months outdoors before the freezing temperatures? Look no further! Here’s a look at what local communities are offering to celebrate one of the most popular times of the year:

September 17th – October 31st (Fridays – Sundays)

Fall Festival 2022
: Sunny Acre Farms (29W310 North Ave.), West Chicago
Time: 11:00 AM – 6:00 PM

Venture out to family-owned and operated Sunny Acre Farms for the pumpkin patch. A host to events such as birthdays, weddings, reunions, and corporate outings year round, Sunny Acre knows how to put on a good time. Get into the fall spirit with a wide variety of activities for all ages. In addition to their kitchen and wholesale products, you can pick pumpkins, ride the Wacky Worm Roller Coaster or Sonny Express Train, test out the giant jumping pillow, or feed the animals. Before leaving, check out their fresh produce for sale and gourmet sweet shop featuring their selection of treats and candies. The Haunted Barn and Trail opens September 30th, as well.

September 23rd – November 5th

Basement of the Dead Haunted House
: 42 W. New York St., Aurora
Time: 7-11 PM (times vary by dates)

Get in the Halloween spirit with Chicagoland’s most awarded and arguably top-rated Haunted House (see Chicago Tribune, Cosmopolitan, BuzzFeed, and TimeOut Chicago, to name a few). Brave a decked out 15,000 sq. ft. basement in a 120-year-old building with demented doctors, nurses, creepy dolls and a cult. You will encounter classic haunted house animatronics and actors jumping out at you in every turn, with at setup that has patrons in awe. What sets this venue apart from the others is the admission includes a pass to “Shattered 3D”, a circus-themed section lit with blacklights, mesmerizing art, and – you guessed it – clowns. For younger visitors, or those who want a little more control over their experience, they offer two alternative ways to experience the haunt:

  • October Wednesdays (5th, 12th, and 19th) from 7-9 PM, they will give you a glowstick and the attraction is actor-free, so there’s no need to worry about who may be lurking around the corners.
  • November 5th, the last night of this year’s event, they will provide glowsticks, however, no lights will be on, and there will be full animatronics and actors.

Want to visit the Haunted House without all the intensity? Purchase tickets at their website.

September 29th (Thursday)

Westside Downton Walking TourNaper Settlement in Naperville, IL
: Naper Settlement (523 S. Weber St.), Naperville
Time: 5:30-6:30

This $15 walking tour (children 4 and under are free) strolls into the foundation of Naperville’s west side. Caroline Martin Mitchell will narrate and guide you through the sites of how Illinois’ third largest city came to be. The tour lasts an hour and covers approximately two miles, so bring comfortable walking shoes. Pre-registration is required.

October 1st

2022 Western Suburbs Walk and Roll
: Ty Warner Park (700 Blackhawk Drive), Westmont
Time: 10 AM (registration), 11:30 (opening ceremonies)

Looking to help out a good cause? Head on down to Westmont for the 2022 Western Suburbs Walk and Roll. This event has been setup with a goal of reaching $30,000 to help provide funds on research for Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA). Due to a lack of the survival motor neurons proteins being produced by the body, individuals with SMA must cope with nerve damage that often leaves them debilitated and even leading to fatal muscle weakness. Check out their website for more information on the event.

October 8th

Family Fall Fest
: The Depot at Wild Meadows Trace (511 S. York St.), Elmhurst
Time: 9 AM – 12 PM

Bring the kids decked out in their Halloween costumes for this FREE Trick-or-Treat experience. In addition to the candy, there is:

  • a Fall Scavenger Hunt
  • Fall Games
  • Photo Op Area
  • Airbrush Tattoos/Balloon Artist
  • and an Inflatable Corn Maze.

The following food trucks will also set up shop at the event: Serena’s Grill, Dope Sandwich, Smallcakes, and Sugar Mama’s Mini Donuts.

October 14th-16th

Jurassic QuestDinosaurs at Jurassic Quest
: Donald E. Stephens Convention Center (5555 N. River Road), Rosemont
Time: Friday & Saturday 9 AM – 8 PM, Sunday 9 AM – 5 PM.

Fun for all ages, Jurassic Quest offers a trip back in time to walk amongst the dinosaurs. Keep your future paleontologists entertained with live shows that have true to scale dinosaurs (some that you can even ride), interactive science experiences, fossils, a bounce house, photo opps, and much more. Families can embark on “The Quest”, new to 2022, an interactive scavenger hunt that allows you to meet prehistoric animals, capture a Dino Snap, locate fossils, watch a live training of a Raptor, and win a prize at the end of the journey. The admission price for kids and adults is $22, seniors is $19.

November 20th

Jingle Bell Run
: Cantingy Park (1 S 151 Winfield Road), Wheaton
Time: 7:30 AM (registration), 8:30 AM (kids run for fun), 9:00 AM (5k begins)

Helping raise funds for better treatments for arthritis, Jingle Bell Run participants are encouraged to run in their favorite holiday attire to get the holiday spirit moving along. A shirt and jingle bells come with the registration fee. Options include a 5K, one mile run, or a separate race for kids. Registration is open until Wednesday, November 15th at 11:59 PM.


Pumpkin patch image by liz west under CC BY 2.0

Naper Settlement Front Full” by Lectrician1 is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0.

August 17, 2019” by osseous is licensed under CC BY 2.0.