SpotHero Fall Picks: Our Top 7 Things to do in Chicago this Fall

Fall in Chicago is often all too brief, that just means you should take advantage as much as you can! Here are a few of SpotHero’s favorite fall activities to help make this time of year special.

Open House Chicago

Dates: October 14-15

Location: Various

Price: Free!

Details: Every year, the Chicago Architecture Center partners with significant architectural sites for this festival celebrating architectural advancement and ingenuity. Explore landmarks in more than 20 neighborhoods with self-guided tours, in-person talks, and virtual events to learn about the cultural and architectural significance of the city we live in. Click here to learn more.

Chicago International Film Festival 

Dates: October 11-22

Location: Various

Price: Varies depending on the event, in-person tickets start at $18 for members, $22 for nonmembers. Full details here.

Details: The 59th annual Chicago International Film Festival is back with screenings of short and feature films from around the world, tributes to significant filmmakers, special presentations, and appearances from filmmakers and film executives. If you’re not up for attending in-person, you don’t need to miss out: many films are also available to stream during the festival! You can click here for tickets and event details.

Night of 1000 Jack-O-Lanterns

Dates: October 11-15 & 18-22, 6:30-10:30 p.m.

Location: Chicago Botanic Garden, 1000 Lake Cook Rd., Glencoe

Price: Tickets start at $13 for members, full details here

Details: Explore the Chicago Botanic Gardens after dark as more than 1000 professionally carved pumpkins light up the night. Some pumpkins are as large as 150 pounds! Visitors can also enjoy live demonstrations and entertainment, with festive food and drink available for purchase. Click here to learn more.

Explore Chicago Museums

Dates: Varies depending on location

Location: Various museums across Chicago

Price: Varies, click here to learn more about free museum days!

Details: If cooler weather is driving you indoors, then spend some time exploring Chicago’s many museums. Whether you’re learning something new or revisiting an old favorite, you won’t regret time spent in a cultural touchstone. Looking to watch your spending? Many Chicago museums offer free admission on select days! You can find a full list of dates from participating locations here

Root for your team or dance like nobody’s watching at the United Center

Dates: the United Center offers events year-round!

Location: United Center, 1901 W Madison St.

Price: Varies depending on event

Details: Fall sports and events are here! Head out to the United Center for one of their many events. With basketball, hockey, numerous performers and other events on offer, there is truly something for everyone. You can see a full list of upcoming events here, and don’t forget to reserve parking in advance!

Fall Fest at Lincoln Park Zoo

Dates: September 29-October 29, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

Location: Lincoln Park Zoo

Price: Free, special event tickets are available for a fee. Full details here.

Details: Celebrate fall with the ninth annual Fall Fest! This month-long family-friendly fall celebration has free live entertainment, a pumpkin patch, live pumpkin carving demonstrations, and festive food! Tickets are also available for special events, such as a harvest maze, ferris wheel, and more! You can find full details and sign up for updates here.

Visit a new place

Have your sights set on a destination outside Chicago? Don’t worry, we won’t hold it against you. If you’re flying out of town, just remember to reserve your airport parking spot in advance:

Book Parking Near O’Hare

Book Parking Near Midway

Happy fall!