JUN 2024

Welcome autumn in Chicago with festivals, leaf-peeping, and more!

Looking for the best fall activities this year in Chicago?

You’re in for a treat!

As the summer heat fades and cool breezes blow, the Windy City comes alive with vibrant colors and festive events.

From leaf peeping to Halloween and city tours, there's an autumn adventure for everyone.

So put on your seasonal best, grab a pumpkin spice latte, and start planning fall 2024 in Chicago!

Leaf peeping


Stock image.

One of the best things about autumn in Chicago is the leaves turning a medley of red and orange.

Whether enjoying yourself at a park or strolling through a leaf-strewn neighborhood, you really start to feel the timeless love song Autumn Leaves.

Here are the best places for leaf peeping in Chicago - 

  • Lincoln Park: Stroll along the waterfront and enjoy the vibrant fall colors in Chicago, especially around the North Pond and South Pond.

  • Jackson Park: Head to the Wooded Island and Osaka Garden for a peaceful escape filled with vibrant autumn fall hues.

  • Garfield Park Conservatory: The outdoor gardens here explode with color in the fall, making it a must-see.

  • Lakefront Trail: Whether biking or walking, this 18-mile trail gives you a front-row seat to the changing leaves along the lake.

  • Morton Arboretum (Lisle): One of the best places for leaf peeping in the Chicago suburbs, with thousands of trees. A short train ride from Chicago.

  • Busse Woods (Schaumburg): Perfect for a fall day out. Enjoy the trails, maybe even spot some elk while you're there.


Halloween in the Windy City is nothing short of legendary. The top October attraction in Chicago.

The city transforms into a spooky playground filled with haunted houses, costume parades, and eerie tours. 

Whether you're into family-friendly fun or spine-chilling scares, there's something for you, including…

  • Northalsted Halloween Parade: Known for its vibrant costumes and lively atmosphere, this parade is a must-see. It’s free to watch, making it one of the best free fall events in Chicago.

  • Nightmare on Clark Street: Fancy yourself as a daredevil? See if you can make your way through this seasonal haunted house!

  • Howl-o-ween at Lincoln Park Zoo: Searching for a Halloween for grown-ups? Check out Howl-o-ween at Lincoln Park Zoo with music, free rides, bars, and a haunted trail.

    • For the kids, there’s Spooky Zoo with trick-or-treating and family-friendly entertainment.

  • Halloween Season At Navy Pier: Navy Pier gets a festive makeover with thousands of pumpkins, light displays, and Halloween-themed activities.

  • Chicago Ghost Tours: Discover the haunted history of Chicago with guided tours that take you through the city’s most haunted locations. Perfect for history buffs and thrill-seekers alike.

Día de los Muertos (a.k.a. Day of the Dead)