Lake Forest, IL Fall Fun

The leaves are changing colors, the air outside is getting cooler, and apples and pumpkins are everywhere. That’s right, it’s fall. This is the best season for getting out to enjoy some fall fun, and those lucky enough to live in Lake Forest, Illinois, will find an abundance of things to do. From corn mazes and pumpkin patches to hiking and sports, you won’t want to miss anything happening in the area. Here’s a list of some of the top fun fall activities to take part in this year.

Go for a Hike

close up of orange brownish leaf in the fall
Image by Matt is licensed with Unsplash License

Winter temperatures can make it hard to get outdoors, so take advantage of the fall weather and enjoy one of the area’s many places to hike. Consider these locations:

South Park

You’ll find walking trails, a playground, and picnic areas at the 12-acre South Park. On September 30, you can join the South Park Nature Walk, where you’ll learn about Lake Forest’s native plants, trees, and wildlife. The park’s knowledgeable staff will meet you in the park pavilion and then guide you through an outdoor educational experience you’re sure to remember.

Middlefork Savanna

To reconnect with nature and get outside for some fresh air this fall, check out Middlefork Savanna. This nature preserve is home to the highest-quality tallgrass savanna of its kind in the nation and endangered plant and wildlife species. You’ll have access to 5.5 miles of trails that take you through a mix of oak savanna and woodlands, wet and mesic prairies, sedge meadows, and marshes.

Fort Sheridan

At Fort Sheridan, you’ll enjoy the incredible views of Lake Michigan against a backdrop of beautiful fall colors. It’s one of the best remaining examples of oak woodlands you’ll encounter, so the changing leaves are sure to impress. Take the 1.75-mile birding trail to watch for different species before they head south for the winter. Or read the interpretive signs as you walk the 1-mile trail leading to Lake Michigan.

Explore a Pumpkin Patch

For family fun in Lake Forest, explore one of the area’s many pumpkin patches. Each is unique, so you may want to add a few to your must-visit list. These are just some of the pumpkin patches you might enjoy in and around Lake Forest:

Kroll’s Fall Harvest Farm

Opening in mid-September, Kroll’s Fall Harvest Farm is the place to go for everything from pumpkin picking to hayrides. You’ll be able to select the perfect pumpkin to carve into a spooky jack-o’-lantern and visit the petting zoo, where you’ll discover turkeys, alpacas, donkeys, and more. Don’t forget to stop by the gift shop to pick out a souvenir; if you get hungry, there are concessions for sale on-site.

Didier Farms

During the last week of September and throughout October, you can visit the Didier Farms Pumpkinfest. This family-friendly event lets you experience everything fun and exciting about fall, all in one fantastic place. Kids will be thrilled about the kiddie rides, while adults can enjoy the bakery and concessions. Grab a delicious hot dog or brat while the kids get lost in the corn maze. With the vast array of pumpkins in all shapes and sizes, the whole family can find one that suits their liking. Don’t forget to stop by the Animal Land Zoo as well.

Sonny Acres Farm

From the end of September through October, you won’t want to miss visiting Sonny Acres Farm. This place will definitely become part of your fall family traditions if it isn’t already. They offer fun and spooky hayrides and the all-new haunted barn experience. Let the kids expend their energy on the jumping pillow and then take a train ride or give them the experience of their first pony ride. You’ll have the chance to pick out the perfect pumpkin too. But make sure you leave time to go on a few amusement rides before heading home.

Get Fall Foods and Drinks

Whether it’s pumpkin pie, apple donuts, warm apple cider, or craft beer, fall foods and drinks make the season much better. Everyone looks forward to the tasty treats and abundant comfort foods once fall rolls around. Check out these events that let you enjoy fall foods and drinks without having to prepare them yourself:

Donut Fest

Who doesn’t love a warm, sugary doughnut? If you want to sample doughnuts from some of the best places in the area, don’t wait to get your ticket to this year’s Donut Fest. You’ll have the opportunity to sample doughnuts from various vendors and taste some beer. And the best part is, you’ll get to help decide which place has the best-tasting doughnuts as everyone gets to cast their vote. The event takes place on October 2 this year.

Legions of Craft Beer Fest

The traditional Oktoberfest likely makes craft beer and fall go so well together. Still, regardless of the reason, you don’t want to miss Legions of Craft Beer Fest if you enjoy local tastes and community support. This event takes place on September 24, so get your tickets before it’s too late. You’ll have the opportunity to try many craft beers, and guests even get a complimentary beer stein to try all the beer varieties available.

Chili Cookoff

Warm foods are part of what makes fall so great, and chili is the perfect thing to enjoy as the temperatures wane. Both restaurants and community members come out to show off their chili-making skills at this fun chili-tasting event happening on November 6 at Gorton Community Center. Attendees can enjoy all the tasty chili, a cash bar with wine, beer, and nonalcoholic drinks, and a family-friendly environment. And don’t forget to enter the raffle for your chance to win great prizes.

No matter which fall activity you participate in, you’re sure to have a great time and be grateful that this season has arrived. If you have any fall fun that you really enjoy in the Lake Forest area, let us know. We love exploring and participating in fun events and everything our community offers.