THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO – Diving into the World of Autumn Fests!

It’s a great weekend to dive into the wonderful world of autumn and all its harvest fun at the following fests!

Lincoln Park Zoo’s (2001 N. Clark St.) fifth annual Fall Fest is a free, family-friendly celebration of all things fall through the end of this month.  This year’s festival features ticketed attractions throughout the zoo including a Ferris wheel, a corn maze, a corn pool, a fun slide, an inflatable obstacle course, and more.  You’ll also be able to enjoy animal chats, musical entertainment, a pumpkin patch, professional pumpkin carvers, fall-themed enrichment for the animals, photos with a giant pumpkin, delicious holiday snacks, and more!

The new and improved Lionel Train Adventure has arrived at Lincoln Park Zoo!  This trackless 28-passenger train comes equipped with a coal car, passenger cars, and a wheelchair-accessible caboose courtesy of Lionel.  Your adventure begins at a red brick train station (near the zoo’s West Gate) and embarks on an exciting trip through an evergreen forest, crossing over a quaint country bridge, and continuing through a craggy canyon.  The train then passes through a lofty birch forest before returning to the red brick station. This adventure is on track to become another cherished pastime!

Experience Chicago’s newest, free pumpkin pop-up experience, Pier Pumpkin Nights, at Navy Pier (600 E. Grand Ave.) in the Streeterville neighborhood.  This month-long seasonal celebration features jack o’lantern towers and pumpkin-themed light displays.  While the pumpkins will be on display daily during normal Pier hours, it is best experienced after dusk.  Also be sure to explore fall-inspired food and drink specials at participating on-site establishments.  Come and enjoy Chicago’s iconic lakefront destination as it’s all decked out for fall!

Enjoy one of Chicago’s longest-running family fall classics in the North Center neighborhood at St. Benedict’s Oktoberfest this Saturday and Sunday.  This fest features authentic oompah bands, Spaten bier, and specialty cuisine in a tented beer hall.  Plus this free family-friendly celebration also features carnival midway rides, activities, games, a $1500 Grand Prize “520 Pool”, a pumpkin patch, and much more!  It’s been a tradition since 1966!!

Dive into autumn at the 32nd annual Apple Fest this Saturday and Sunday on Lincoln Avenue between Lawrence and Eastwood Avenues in the Lincoln Square neighborhood.  Over 50 vendors are participating this year, selling all your fall essentials from candy apples to scarves to hats and more.  Pick up a fresh apple pie or two, some hot apple cider, or even a whole bushel of apples.  Enjoy the sounds of local musicians all weekend long at the Lawrence Avenue Music Stage.  Kids can play at the Leland Avenue Kids Zone featuring child-focused activities.  And don’t forget the pooch costume contest and parade sponsored by Urban Pooch on Saturday (10:00 a.m.).  There’s something for everyone at Apple Fest!

Parkway Bank Park (5501 Park Pl.) in Rosemont celebrates the fall season this Saturday (1:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m.) with the return of its annual Family Fall Fest.  This family-friendly fest features a variety of free activities for families to enjoy. There’s a petting zoo, bounce houses, pumpkin painting, balloon sculptors, face painting, and magic acts.  Families can also enjoy live music from interactive and energetic children’s band “ScribbleMonster” as well as other bands.  Plus parking is available at the Parkway Bank Park parking garage and is free with validation from any of the park’s venues!

Autumn is in the Air!