Find an Illinois fall festival to attend in 2023. Our events calendar for September, October and November 2023 has things to do across Illinois including activities in Chicago, Bloomington, Springfield, Peoria and Champaign. Our list includes festivals celebrating the local harvest, food, music, beer, Oktoberfest and more.
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All events showing current dates need to be verified to confirm that changes to the schedule were not made by the organizers after publication here. We do not run these events, and would hate for anyone to go out of their way only to find the event had been canceled after releasing a date. Please click through to the event website to confirm! Enjoy and have a great fall!
Aurora Fall FestivalsChampaign Fall FestivalsChicago Fall FestivalsElgin Fall FestivalsJoliet Fall FestivalsPeoria Fall FestivalsRockford Fall FestivalsSouthern Illinois Fall FestivalsSpringfield Fall Festivals
ChangeFest Film Festival - Chicago, IL - Jul 25, 2023
For 2023, a mid summer film watch party/discussion. Normally: Enjoy films that promote ideas with action.
Quad Cities Balloon Fest - Moline, IL - Aug 11 to Aug 12, 2023
Hot air balloon festival at Rock Island County Fairgrounds. In lieu of admission they ask for a donation of non-perishable food items to support the River Bend Foodbank.
Rock the Hops - Alton, IL - Aug 12, 2023
This event features local original musicians along with a variety of artists in a number of Downtown Alton venues, and a craft brewery paired with each location. Your ticket gains you access to live concerts at each location, a commemorative glass, samples of craft beer at each location, and shuttle transportation between venues. Participating establishments will also be offering food and beverage promotions and other activities especially for those on the “Hop.” Mixed in will be artwork and other items from local vendors. Rock the Hops is a fundraiser for Alton Main Street.
BMW Championship - Medinah, IL - Aug 15 to Aug 20, 2023
Golf tournament that serves as the penultimate event of the PGA Tour’s FedExCup Playoffs. Dates back to 1899, the third-oldest tournement on the PGA schedule.
Anime Magic - Schaumberg, IL - Aug 18 to Aug 20, 2023
Anime Magic is bringing the “magic” back to anime conventions! A convention by fans, for fans with a focus on FUN. This isn’t your typical cookie-cutter convention
Evanston Art & Big Fork Festival - Evanston, IL - Aug 18 to Aug 20, 2023
A weekend-long celebration of local art and flavorful fare including painting, sculpture, and photography along with handmade jewelry, one-of-a-kind furniture, and home accessories.
St Paul’s Kirchenfest - Highland, IL - Aug 25 to Aug 27, 2023
Kirchenfest, which is German for Church Festival, is one of the largest church festivals in Southern Illinois with the event spreading over six acres on the grounds of St. Paul Parish. Beginning in 1970, the festival has a German theme, as the Highland community is primarily Swiss and German heritage. This two-day festival offers something for everyone – food (including a Bavarian skillet dish prepared by a 500 pound skillet and a sit-down chicken dinner), live music, games, live auction, flea market, a competitive run, bike ride and much more!
Alton Food Truck Festival - Alton, IL - Aug 26, 2023
Live musical entertainment accompanies food trucks from around the region with global street food options. Free with optional VIP ticket for closer parking and complimentary drink tickets
Olden Days Festival - Dow, IL - Aug 26 to Aug 27, 2023
The Tri-County Antique Club was formed to promote the appreciation of agricultural history, through the restoration and preservation of antique, vintage and classic automobiles, gasoline and oil engines, gas and steam tractors, farm machinery and other equipment of historical value, and making these available for public viewing.
National Sweetcorn Festival - Hoopeston, IL - Aug 31 to Sep 4, 2023
A carnival, parade and demolition derby in the Sweetcorn Capitol. 50 tons of sweetcorn are cooked with an antique steam engine and handed out free.
Peoria Blues & Heritage Music Festival - Peoria, IL - Sep 1 to Sep 2, 2023
Formerly the Illinois Blues Festival, this festival brings a world class lineup of blues, roots, funk, and soul artists to the Peoria waterfront.
Taste of Polonia - Chicago, IL - Sep 1 to Sep 4, 2023
This annual Labor Day weekend festival at the Copernicus Center in Chicago’s Jefferson Park offers live music, Polish food, and fun for four days.
North Coast Music Festival - Chicago, IL - Sep 1 to Sep 3, 2023
Irish Days - Long Grove, IL - Sep 2 to Sep 4, 2023
The historic shopping district of Long Grove presents Irish Days, a Labor Day weekend celebration of Irish culture, music, food, and drink. Learn about Irish language and genealogy in the Gaelic Tent. Admission and parking in municipal lots is free
Frankfort Fall Festival - Frankfort, IL - Sep 2 to Sep 4, 2023
Each year during Labor Day weekend, over 250,000 visitors gather to the charming Village of Frankfort to enjoy the Frankfort Fall Festival. The festival welcomes over 300 artisans from all over the United States to exhibit their elite products and services. In addition, many of Frankfort’s local organizations collaborate by sponsoring special events that highlight Frankfort Fall Festivities. There is something for everyone from carnival rides to main stage entertainment, to walking tacos and funnel cakes, and more
Arthur Amish Country Cheese Festival - Arthur, IL - Sep 2 to Sep 4, 2023
Three day celebration of cheese! Eat fair food, sample the free cheese, watch a tractor pull and a parade, enjoy live entertainment, stop by the Amish farm shop, and more!
Sandwich Fair - Sandwich, IL - Sep 6 to Sep 10, 2023
The Dekalb County fair is the oldest continuing fair in the State of Illinois. It is also the largest display of agricultural and home arts exhibits in the Midwest. Since 1888.
Elmwood Fall Festival - Elmwood, IL - Sep 7 to Sep 9, 2023
Food vendors, rides, 5K, parade, craft vendors, and more
Calhoun County Fair - Hardin, IL - Sep 7 to Sep 10, 2023
The Calhoun County Fair is complete with carnival rides, live animal shows, musical entertainment, truck pulls, demolition derby, and lots of food. This county fair has its own specialties, so check out the scheduled events before you go.
Alton Expo - Alton, IL - Sep 7 to Sep 10, 2023
Enjoy five days of fair food, games, rides, live entertainment and more at the Liberty Bank Alton Amphitheater!
German American Oktoberfest - Chicago, IL - Sep 8 to Sep 10, 2023
A parade, German hospitality, food and fun hosted by the United German-American Societies of Greater Chicago at Lincoln Square
Cedarhurst Art & Craft Fair - Mount Vernon, IL - Sep 8 to Sep 10, 2023
Look for over 120 artists to be showcased with glass, ceramics, jewelry, fiber, wood, basketry and leather, two-dimensional art and more. Free parking at Times Square Mall with $3 shuttle ride; $5 admission for adults, children 10 and under are free!
Itasca Oktoberfest - Itasca, IL - Sep 8 to Sep 10, 2023
A free Oktoberfest on Orchard Street. It runs until 11:00 pm both nights.
Platzkonzert Germanfest - Hoffman Estates, IL - Sep 8 to Sep 10, 2023
The free Kinderplatz children’s area will be open on Saturday afternoon. Located in the Village Green once more, event entry remains free. All music will be performed inside the big Oompah tent.
Havana Oktoberfest - Havana, IL - Sep 8 to Sep 10, 2023
The Havana Chamber of Commerce presents its annuall Oktoberfest. 3 days of Beer, Brats, Music and fun!
German American Fest - Chicago, IL - Sep 8 to Sep 10, 2023
Three days and nights of German heritage fun with free admission. Not called an Oktoberfest but it does have all the festival foods, German music, singing and dancing, beverages, plus events you might expect from a big city event.
Homestead Harvest Days - Highland, IL - Sep 8 to Sep 10, 2023
See demonstrations of threshing, old time crafts, gas and steam engines, antique tractors, kids activities, live entertainment and more
Broomcorn Festival - Arcola, IL - Sep 8 to Sep 10, 2023
Celebrate in the Broomcorn Capital of the World with free entertainment, parade, road race, food and a parade featuring the famous Lawn Rangers. Visitors can see broom making, broom activities, arts and crafts vendors. Additionally, visitors can participate in the Arcola Broomcorn 5K and 10K races. The event, held the weekend after Labor Day, honors Arcola’s position in the late nineteenth century as a center of broomcorn production.
Homestead Festival - Princeton, IL - Sep 8 to Sep 10, 2023
50/50 raffle, car show, BBQ rib cook off, arts and craft show, flea market, class reunions, parade, 5K, food and more!
Festival of the Vine - Geneva, IL - Sep 8 to Sep 10, 2023
Sample wine and food as you enjoy live music and family fun.
Mundelein Arts Festival - Mundelein, IL - Sep 9 to Sep 10, 2023
A two-day juried art event with tasty food, local musicians and 45 top artists, plus artwork from local high school students, all at Kracklauer Park.
German American Heritage Center Oktoberfest - Frankfort, IL - Sep 9, 2023
The German American Heritage Center invites you & your family to their Haus to celebrate Oktoberfest! Entertainment, including German music, split-the-pot raffles, vendors, German food & beer for purchase and a Kinder Area. $10 adult admission/FREE children under 18. Gates open at 2pm.
Bike MS Gateway Getaway - Godfrey, IL - Sep 9 to Sep 10, 2023
Bike MS is more than a ride. It’s an experience grounded in camaraderie and marked by passion, inspiration, determination and pure enjoyment. It will be an experience you’ll never forget, shared with new friends and old.
Northern Illinois Air Show - Waukegan, IL - Sep 9, 2023
Over 15,000 visitors from Northern Illinois and Southern Wisconsin are expected to attend this regional air show. Formerly called the Wings Over Waukegan or Waugekan Air Show.
Cruise 11 to Remember 9-11 - Decatur, IL - Sep 10, 2023
Annual car/bike show in downtown Decatur. 100% of the proceeds are donated to the NFP Help 4 Heroes Fund in Macon County, which provides veterans with bus passes, dentures, meal cards, books, clothes, home goods and more.
DeKalb Kite Fest - DeKalb, IL - Sep 10, 2023
Free admission to enjoy the colorful kites that take to the sky, including giant inflatable kites, dancing kites, and stunt kites attract kite enthusiasts and families – bring your own kite or make on there!
Murphysboro Apple Festival - Murphysboro, IL - Sep 13 to Sep 17, 2023
The oldest and largest alcohol free festival in southern Illinois – it draws over 45,000 a year to the various events, including car show, parade and carnival.
Morton Pumpkin Festival - Morton, IL - Sep 13 to Sep 16, 2023
Celebrating over 50 years of the pumpkin harvest and canning at the Pumpkin Capital of the World. An estimated 70,000 attend the carnival, parades and other activities.
Glendale Heights Oktoberfest - Glendale Heights, IL - Sep 14 to Sep 24, 2023
Annual Glendale Heights Oktoberfest which will be held at Camera Park in Glendale Heights, Illinois. Experience live entertainment daily including strolling German “Oompah” entertainers in one of the most authentic festival tents. There will be a selection of German Beers and German Food. To round out the Glendale Heights Oktoberfest experience, there will be vendors with German products, souvenirs, hats, steins, and much much more.
Tinley Oktoberfest - Tinley Park, IL - Sep 15 to Sep 17, 2023
Bring out the Lederhosen, grab a stein, and welcome autumn with traditional authentic food, oompah and polka, carnival, keg tapping and beer!
Marshall Autumn Fest - Marshall, IL - Sep 15 to Sep 17, 2023
Vendors and craft booths, a parade, tot-rod pedal pulls, a car, bike and truck show,, live entertainment and more.
Palatine Oktoberfest - Palatine, IL - Sep 15 to Sep 17, 2023
Attendance is free at this Oktoberfest event under the big heated tent in downtown Palatine. Expect good food, good beer, good music, and lots of family friendly festival type things to do. Saturday is family day with special activities for the kids. Event is put on by the Rotary Club of Palatine as their principal fund raising event. Their support raises thousands of dollars for local charities. Opening ceremonies are at 5:00 pm on Friday. Saturday features their music and dance performances by youth groups and area choirs. Kids love the face painting, crafts and arts tables. Don’t miss Scarecrows on Parade.
Belleville Oktoberfest - Belleville, IL - Sep 15 to Sep 16, 2023
Three stages of live entertainment, German food, children’s area, weiner dog race, costume contest, cornhole tournament, car show and more!
Peoria Oktoberfest - Peoria, IL - Sep 15 to Sep 17, 2023
The German American Central Society and the Peoria Park District are sponsoring once again the Peoria Oktoberfest to promote German culture and heritage of Central Illinois! Additional Activities: A German Heritage Tent display with a genealogy search will be available. Also, a Puppet Theatre, the Peoria Volkstaenzers, Log Sawing, and various contests such as the Masskrugstemmen (arm strength contest with filled steins) will be featured. Vendors with authentic German clothing and merchandise as well as other items will be available for purchase. Children’s activities are also scheduled. Several carnival rides will be available, including a merry- go-round. Both German and American foods will be available. Complete German dinners will be available in the main tent. German beers will be featured including Spaten Oktoberfest, along with German Wines from our Weinstube and German spirits in the Knappe. Domestic beers also.
Italian Fest - Collinsville, IL - Sep 15 to Sep 16, 2023
Celebrate the Italian culture and heritage at a family friendly event in Uptown Collinsville. This annual street festival, which began in 1984, celebrates everything Italian. Signature events like the Grape Stomp and Bocce Tournament are just part of two days designed to feature Italian food and fun for the family with events and activities like the Wine Garden, Fest Olympics, Italian Cooking Contest, Craft Fair, Wine Making Contest, and a Children’s area. Saturday morning features a 5-K Run-Walk and the Parade is always a big draw Saturday afternoon. A major feature is the continuous live musical entertainment on three stages located at different locations. But the real calling card of the Italian Fest continues to be the authentic Italian fare including Fest favorites like spedini, Italian beef, spumoni, bagna cauda, canolli, and Italian Ices.
Riot Fest - Chicago, IL - Sep 15 to Sep 17, 2023
A three-day music festival featuring various forms of punk at Douglas Park.
Des Plaines Family Festival - Des Plaines, IL - Sep 15 to Sep 17, 2023
Free admission, musical entertainment and parking at this Lake Park fair with carnival, KidZone, car show, festival food, pie eating contest and open air market.
Shrimp Festival - Golconda, IL - Sep 16, 2023
Eat shrimp from the Southern Illinois Prawn Growers and enjoy local wines. This even started in 2001 to promote the Southern Illinois Prawn Growers, who serve them up in a variety of ways or you can purchase them by the pound to enjoy later! Other past fun includes buggy and helicopter rides, live entertainment, farmer’s market, corn hole oturnament, and more!
Street Art Festival - Highland, IL - Sep 16, 2023
Visitors can stroll the streets watching artists create masterpieces right on the pavement using chalks. There is also a Creative Kids Corner with lots of activities for young, aspiring artists! An Arts Expo features several local artists and there will be live music and great food.
Mississippi Earthtones Festival - Alton, IL - Sep 16, 2023
Come celebrate life on the Mississippi River through art, music, and conservation! This free & family-friendly event located on Broadway between Easton and Langdon Streets will feature 50+ educational booths and art displays, plus two stages of live music and other performances, great local food & beverages. Their goal is to bring locals and tourists alike to Downtown Alton to celebrate the Mississippi River through art, music and conservation.The following Saturday, bring your own gloves and clean up the river! 45 tons of trash have been pulled from the river during MEF events to date.
Macoupin County Historical Society Fall Festival - Carlinville, IL - Sep 16 to Sep 17, 2023
A weekend of family fun, with a magician, pony rides, delicious foods, craft show, toy show, antique tractors and cars, country shore, fiber arts demonistration, and more! Free parking & admission.
Pere Marquette Lodge Apple Festival - Grafton, IL - Sep 17, 2023
Warm apple pie, hand-dipped caramel apples, handmade crafts, live music and fresh produce are just a few of the offerings at the Apple Festival at Pere Marquette. The festivities also includes apple wine tasting, kid’s activities and restaurant favorites. An apple pie walk (similar to a cake walk) will be held where visitors will purchase tickets and take a walk for a chance to take home a fresh baked apple pie. Proceeds for the apple pie walk will be donated to the Friends of Pere Marquette Foundation. The Lodge also hosts the annual Pumpkin Roll. Participants can bring their own pumpkin or purchase one at the festival to decorate for a competitive roll down the hill in front of the Lodge. Second and third place participants will win gift certificates for the Restaurant and the fastest pumpkin will win the grand prize of a free nights stay at the historic Lodge. Best of all, there’s free admission!
The Chicago LGBT International Film Festival (Reeling) - Chicago, IL - Sep 21 to Oct 8, 2023
The first Chicago LGBTQ+ International Film Festival took place in April 1981 in a 90-seat folding-chair screening room, with nearly every screening sold out. The demand and enthusiasm for the festival made it an annual event that has been going strong ever since. The mission of Reeling is to recognize the important artistic contributions that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender filmmakers have made, educate the general population, and investigate the history of LGBTQ+ film, and to counteract this sterotyping with valid, meaningful and diverse portrayals of those in the LGBTQ+ community.
Pygmalion Festival - Urbana, IL - Sep 21 to Sep 23, 2023
Taking place at a variety of venues around Champaign and Urbana, this festival features music, authors, a Think component with innovated ideas, and more. They believe in equal access to great performances by everyone, so there are no VIP tickets available, in small, intimate spaces.
Dwight Harvest Days - Dwight, IL - Sep 21 to Sep 24, 2023
Festivities for all including carnival rides, outdoor movies, a magic show, petting zoo, face painting, 5k, food booths, live music, crafts show, beer garden, trivia, bingo, car and tractor shows and more! Since 1979.. Since 1979
Manteno Oktoberfest - Manteno, IL - Sep 21 to Sep 24, 2023
A four day festival attended by approximately 10,000, this annual Oktoberfest is hosted by the Manteno Chamber of Commerce. Beer garden with stage offering live music. Carnival including ferris wheel and amusement rides on Main Street. Bike Night, Lighted Parade (Saturday), pet parade, grass volleyball tournament, bean bag tournament and scarecrow contest for residents of Manteno. Also a lawnmower poker run, car show and performances by Dance Alive! Dance Studio. There are also garage sales in conjunction with the event, map available two weeks prior.
Chicago Gourmet - Chicago, IL - Sep 21 to Sep 24, 2023
Celebrate food and wine in downtown Chicago with this Bon Appetit event featuring more than 100 wineries, breweries and spirit makers as well as more than 150 top restaurants and chefs.
Chicago South Asian Film Festival - Chicago, IL - Sep 21 to Sep 24, 2023
The film festival aims to advance diversity in Chicagoland through cinema, conversation, and culture, and gives South Asian talent, stories, and themes a world platform. Held in several venues in downtown Chicago, the festival includes screenings of films, panel discussions, and other opportunities for attendees to connect with filmakers, and attend musical performances, industry workshops, tributes to major artists and awards galas
Prairie Land Heritage Museum Fall Festival & Steam Show Days - Jacksonville, IL - Sep 22 to Sep 24, 2023
Annual event at Prairie Land Heritage Museum
Oaktoberfest Oak Park - Oak Park, IL - Sep 22 to Sep 23, 2023
Celebrate the changing seasons at Oaktoberfest! Enjoy a premier music line up, delicious fall foods, specialty craft beers, and a kids’ root beer garden! Free admission!
Oktoberfest Chicago - Chicago, IL - Sep 22 to Sep 24, 2023
Featuring handmade bratwurst, cold beer and authentic German music, this popular Chicago Oktoberfest hosted by St. Alphonsus Church. Received a 10Best Reader’s Choice Award from USA Today in 2015. Adult admission is $5-10.
Mount Prospect Oktoberfest - Mount Prospect, IL - Sep 22 to Sep 24, 2023
Long Grove Apple Festival - Long Grove, IL - Sep 22 to Sep 24, 2023
Welcome Autumn with this annual apple festival! From apple popcorn to apple lattes, enjoy hundreds of apple-inspired treats, a pop-up apple orchard with local merchangs, three stages of live entertainment, Kid Zone, and more
Autumn Fest - Oak Brook, IL - Sep 23, 2023
This free, family-friendly event will start with kid entertainment from 2-3:30pm with a DJ, juggler, face painter, carnival games, arts & crafts, hayrides, and more! Live music will be on stage from 3:30-5pm. All the while there will be food, beer, and wine available for purchase.
Vahlings Twilight Nights Music and Wine Fall Festival - Stewardson, IL - Sep 23 to Sep 24, 2023
Live music, games and activities, food vendors, free camping, plus live demonstrations, vendors and more at Vahling Vineyards and Winery
American Aid Society of German Descendants Oktoberfest - Lake Villa, IL - Sep 23 to Oct 7, 2023
Three separate Saturdays of Oktoberfest and live music starting at 6:30 pm.
Hyde Park Jazz Festival - Chicago, IL - Sep 23 to Sep 24, 2023
The Hyde Park Jazz Festival is a collaborative platform dedicated to supporting the presentation and ongoing development of jazz, particularly on the South Side of Chicago. We do this by creating opportunities for a diverse community of listeners to engage with the music and its creators, and by working with artists, organizational partners and networks to celebrate the rich tradition of jazz and to support the development of new work and ideas.
Shorewood OktoBREWfest - Shorewood, IL - Sep 23, 2023
Throughout the day there is traditional German fare, German music, Masskrugstemmen contests, and more! Families welcome from 4:00-8:00 pm then it’s 21+ from 8:00 pm on! Cash only.
Cystic Fibrosis Cycle for Life – Chicago - Maple Park, IL - Sep 23, 2023
Greater Illinois’ CF Cycle for Life is a fully-supported ride with route options of 10, 30 and 65 miles. Expect amazing energy, themed rest stops, and an incredible finish-line celebration at these daylong rides. From breakfast to the cycle post party, you can enjoy fully stocked rest stops every 10-12 miles, bike mechanics for bicycle maintenance and repair, and support vehicles to help you complete the ride
Apple ‘N Pork Festival - Clinton, IL - Sep 23 to Sep 24, 2023
A harvest festival with flea market, 19th century craft demonstrations, antique tractor show; live musical entertainment and more at the C.H. Moore Homestead DeWitt County Museum grounds.
Elim Dutch Festival - Palos Heights, IL - Sep 23, 2023
Free admission and free parking for a day of fun for the whole family!
Chicago Half Marathon and 5k - Chicago, IL - Sep 24, 2023
Take in breathtaking cityscape views, lakefront breezes, vibrant neighborhoods and the beauty of the Windy City in the fall. Earn a HUGE finisher medal and relish in your post race glory at the Chi town infused finish line festival.
Grundy County Corn Festival - Morris, IL - Sep 27 to Oct 1, 2023
Parade; Corn, grain, and flower show; hobby and handicraft contest, pie eating contest, and more
Barry Apple Festival - Barry, IL - Sep 28 to Oct 1, 2023
A weekend of fun for the whole family, with food, live entertainment, pageants, contests, car show, parade, craft and market vendors, and of course, apples!
Lansing Autumnfest - Lansing, IL - Sep 29 to Sep 30, 2023
Over 20,000 people come out each year to enjoy a weekend of great food, children’s activities, military tribute, a Marketplace, beer garden, and 2 stages of live entertainment.
Huntley Fall Fest - Huntley, IL - Sep 29 to Oct 1, 2023
A three day community celebration with entertainment, a beer garden, food vendors, a full carnival midway, plenty of fall activities, and a spectacular fireworks display on Saturday night! Free admission!
German Society of Rockford Oktoberfest - Loves Park, IL - Sep 30, 2023
Annual festival with German food and beer. Chicken dance, Miss Oktoberfest contest, bier barrel race, running of the wieners, yodeling contest and barmaid stein race. Menu options include potato pancakes, bratwurst, schnitzel, sauerkraut and more. Advance two-day entry tickets are $14. Gate tickets are $10 per day. VIP party tickets available. It will be located at Loves Park City Hall in Loves Park, IL.
Galena Oktoberfest - Galena, IL - Sep 30, 2023
Annual Oktoberfest from noon to 10 PM with ceremonial keg tapping, live music, polka lessons and dancing, bean bag tournament, beer stein endurance contest, wiener dog races. Kids entertainment includes bounce house and pumpkin decorating. Admission is $5 for 13+. Kids 12 and under accompanied by an adult are free. Location: Depot Park (Highway 20 and Park Avenue), Galena, Illinois
C-U Oktoberfest - Champaign, IL - Sep 30, 2023
The C-U Oktoberfest is a fall celebration of music, beer, and food held in downtown Champaign. Patterned after the annual festival in Bavaria, the C-U Oktoberfest features live music from bands playing festive polkas, waltzes, and traditional German music…mixed in with plenty of your favorite songs. Beer from local brewers and a selection of German beers will be served. Party-goers are encouraged to get in the spirit by wearing their best dirndl or lederhosen (or come as they are) and dance the night away!
Lincoln Square AppleFest - Chicago, IL - Sep 30 to Oct 1, 2023
A Lincoln Square tradition to celebrate fall with local musicians, children’s activities and everything apple!
Autumn Harvest Festival - Schaumberg, IL - Oct 1, 2023
Step back into a simpler time at the Heritage Farm and Merkle Cabin. Watch hands-on demonstrations of frontier-era and 1880s life, plus children’s crafts, games, and live music on two stages, grilled food and other tasty treats, and more.
Walk4Hearing Chicago - Chicago, IL - Oct 1, 2023
Empowers and inspires those affected by hearing loss while raising money for national and local programs that provide information, education, support, and advocacy. Vendors will be on site to provide resources for individuals and families affected by hearing loss.
Highwood Pumpkin Festival - Highwood, IL - Oct 6 to Oct 8, 2023
This fan favorite event is held to not only break the Guinness World Record of 30,581 for most pumpkins carved in one place, but to take it a step further by lighting a pumpkin for everyone affected by autism in Illinois- a staggering 52,000 individuals! Imagine pumpkins lining the streets on scaffolding towering over 30 feet lit and synced to music. It’s a site to behold and the ultimate family event!
Naperville Oktoberfest - Naperville, IL - Oct 6 to Oct 7, 2023
Live music (from German Oompa to classic rock), German beer and food. Family friendly activities on Saturday from noon to 4 PM. Saturday admission also includes tour of Naper Settlement. Free for Naper Settlement Members. Enter through the Pre-Emption House Visitor Center. Proceeds benefit the Naperville Heritage Society. Location: 523 S. Webster St., Naperville, IL 60540
St. Mary’s Oktoberfest - Alton, IL - Oct 6 to Oct 8, 2023
Live music, games and silent auction. Keg tapping ceremony at 1 PM on Saturday. Beer from Warsteiner, Spaten, Paulaner and more. German and American food, too!
Touchstone Energy Balloon Fest - Lake Shelbyville, IL - Oct 6 to Oct 8, 2023
Balloon launches, music, crafts, community breakfast fundraiser, helicopter rides, balloon glow, cookouts and festival foods, kids area, and more. Launches are weather dependent for safety.
Friendship Center Oktoberfest - Chicago, IL - Oct 6 to Oct 7, 2023
Food trucks, live music, and of course, lots of beer, as a fundraiser for the Friendship Center to feed the hungry of Chicagoland
Scarecrow Festival - St. Charles, IL - Oct 6 to Oct 8, 2023
Award winning event with more than 100+ hand-crafted scarecrows, live entertainment, carnival and craft show.
Jersey County Apple Festival - Jerseyville, IL - Oct 7, 2023
A family oriented event that celebrates the apple orchards in the region.
Autumn on Parade - Oregon, IL - Oct 7 to Oct 8, 2023
Enjoy a farmer’s market, craft fair with 175+ booths, antique tractor and classic car show, tours of the Chana School, donut eating contest, kids’s zone, live entertainment and more!
Spoon River Valley Scenic Drive - Canton, IL - Oct 7 to Oct 15, 2023
Enjoy a drive along the Spoon River as it winds from Medina through Fulton County from London Mills to the Illinois River. The fall colors along the river are particularly stunning, prompting the first fall festival and the scenic drivem in 1968. The 140 miles of the drive brings you through the sights, museums, shops, and historical sites of Fulton County, and don’t forget to submit your photos to the annual Photography Contest! Since 1968.
Villa Park Brewfest - Villa Park, IL - Oct 7, 2023
Sample from more than 80 different styles of beers from America’s best craft brewers.
La Salle County Burgoo Festival - Utica, IL - Oct 7 to Oct 8, 2023
Annual street party with flea marketers, Canal Market, classic car show, craftsmen, musicians and other live entertainment, craft & antique vendors, blacksmith demos, children’s activities and more, serving up heaps of burgoo, a traditional pioneer dish. Since 1969.
Maeystown Oktoberfest - Maeystown, IL - Oct 8, 2023
Second Sunday in October. Featuring arts, crafts, antiques and food from 9:00-4:00 p.m. at the area around the stone mill and bridge. More than 60 artisans, crafters, dealers, and numerous food stands will be featured. Arts and crafts will include rug weaving, felting, blacksmithing, photography, woodworking, and a country store. Food will include turtle soup, potato pancakes and popcorn cooked in old-fashioned kettles. Bratwurst, funnel cakes, apple butter, and pies will be some of the other choices available. The village specialty shops, bed & breakfast, restaurants and museum will be open throughout the day.
Chicago Marathon - Chicago, IL - Oct 8, 2023
The Bank of America Chicago Marathon is known for its flat and fast course. The race starts and finishes in Grant Park and travels through one of the world’s most magnificent cities. The course has produced four world records, several national records and countless personal bests. Runners enjoy the support of 1.7 million spectators as they run through 29 neighborhoods.
Chicago International Film Festival - Chicago, IL - Oct 11 to Oct 22, 2023
Exhibiting films from around the world for five decades.
Art in the Park - Highland, IL - Oct 13 to Oct 15, 2023
Enjoy art in park, plus a kids art area and more
Alton Chili Cook-off - Alton, IL - Oct 14, 2023
The Chili Cook-Off is a great civic event that encourages local chili experts to match their favorite recipe with others in similar categories.
Harvest Fest - Oglesby, IL - Oct 21, 2023
Head to Harvest Fest to enjoy a harvest marketplace, team competitions, petting zoo, wagon rides, kids’ activities, parade and more.
Pumpkin Festival - Jacksonville, IL - Oct 21, 2023
Enjoy a family fun like pumpkin decorating, contests, pumpkin drop, food, vendors and more!
Sycamore Pumpkin Festival - Sycamore, IL - Oct 25 to Oct 29, 2023
Annual decorated pumpkin display with parade, carnivals and indoor craft show. The festival started in 1956 to offer a creative outlet for the students of Sycamore has grown into a city wide event
ZooLights at Lincoln Park Zoo - Chicago, IL - Nov 17 to Jan 7, 2024
Mesmerizing light display at the zoo. Chicago’s favorite holiday tradition is back and better than ever in 2021 with the new Pepper Family Wildlife Center at the heart of the zoo, a new holiday lights experience on the Main Mall, and an exciting new light show on the South Lawn. Also new this year: sensory-friendly visit times and an impressive 18-foot holiday tree sure to inspire festive oohs and aahs. Members only nights, free and $5 admission nights, sensory friendly nights, and other special events.
Annual Way of Lights Christmas Display - Belleville, IL - Nov 17 to Dec 31, 2023
Wintertime sparkles at the Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows as the Annual Way of Lights Christmas display illuminates the grounds. Since 1970, the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate have invited one and all to make the Way of Lights a part of their family tradition. This breathtaking display focuses on the birth of Christ, the one true light of the world.
The Magnificent Mile Festival of Lights - Chicago, IL - Nov 18, 2023
Musical performances and tree-lighting parade with Santa Clause, all along the Magnificent Mile. If you can’t make it, it is televised across the US and Canada!
Chicago Thanksgiving Parade - Chicago, IL - Nov 23, 2023
Turkey Day 5K/8K Trot - Chicago, IL - Nov 23, 2023
Supporting the Greater Chicago Food Depository, you will join fellow runners, joggers and walkers in some light hearted fun while ensuring no Chicagoan will go hungry this holiday season.
Dan Gibbons Turkey Trot - Elmhurst, IL - Nov 23, 2023
5k fundraiser run on Thanksgiving. To date, The Dan Gibbons Foundation has donated nearly $3.9 million dollars and keeps all funds raised within the County of DuPage
North Shore Turkey Trot - Highland Park, IL - Nov 23, 2023
5k and 10k on Thanksgiving
Turkey Trot 5 Mile Run - Glen Ellyn, IL - Nov 23, 2023
Get active for a good cause by starting your Thanksgiving at the Turkey Trot 5-Mile Predicto Race! The top two runners who most accurately predict their finish time will win a Thanksgiving treat. Prizes will also be awarded for Best Costume. The Turkey Trot is free and open to the public
Chicago Tardis - Lombard, IL - Nov 24 to Nov 26, 2023
Held since 2000, this festival is held by fans, for fans of both the new and classic Doctor Who series, and features panels, parties, and more. The event includes guests who were stars from the show, including 2019 guest Tosin Cole, who played the thirteenth Doctor’s companion, Ryan Sinclair. Tickets are available for single-day admission for both adults and children,plus weekend access, VIP, and more, so you can choose your experience!
Grant Park Turkey Trot 5K - Chicago, IL - Nov 25, 2023
5K and 10K at Grant Park with Do-Rite Donuts waiting for you at the finish line.
Pere Marquette Wine Festival - Grafton, IL - Nov 10, 2024
Sample wines from around the world, with dozens of options, plus live music, free appetizers, vendors and more, with a portion of proceeds going to Friends of Pere Marquette State Park Foundation.
We know that you want current events. But we often don’t have dates for every event for the current year. We leave those events with their link here so that you can look for the new dates yourself. We hope you don’t mind!
Trinity Lutheran Oktoberfest - Huntley, IL - Aug 23 to Aug 25, 2019
Music, food, beer and wine, raffles, silent auction, kids activities, Sunday church service under the big tent, and more
Berghoff Oktoberfest - Chicago, IL - Sep 4 to Oct 4, 2019
The annual festival from this longtime favorite German restaurant in Chicago. Keg tapping ceremony. Special menu and beer tasting. Free admission.
McHenry Sunrise Rotary Oktoberfest - McHenry, IL - Sep 21, 2019
If you like beer, the place to be is Oktoberfest on Saturday at Peterson Park. Live music throughout the day, food vendors, beer, wine coolers and other beverages for sale
Midwest Wizard of Oz Festival - Tinley Park, IL - Sep 21 to Sep 22, 2019
The event, which started in 1982, has been moved to Tinley Park (Chicago) to celebrate the classic American movie, The Wizard of Oz. Vendors, costume characters, speakers, zip line, theater guild, contests, and attractions from Odyssey Fun Farm.
Vernon Hills Oktoberfest - Vernon Hills, IL - Sep 28 to Sep 29, 2019
Annual Oktoberfest at the Metra Station. Kids crafts and pumpkin painting. Food and domestic beer with live music. Beers include Blue Moon, Tighthead, Old Style, and Miller. Pick up a free tree from the park district.
Howl-O-Ween Pooch Parade - Schaumburg, IL - Oct 5, 2019
Dress up your pooch and compete for most unique costume! Your dog can also run an agility course, compete doing fun tricks, strut in a parade, and have some free play. Current vaccination sheet required with registration.
Coal City Octoberfest - Coal City, IL - Oct 5, 2019
Annual event from 9 to 4 pm on South Broadway Street
Chicago Ideas Week - Chicago, IL - Oct 12 to Oct 17, 2019
The world’s largest affordable ideas festival comes to Chicago, with events taking place at Harris Theater, Venue SIX10, and MCA, covering topics that affect Chicago and beyond. Guests can hear from politicians, actors, writers, and many more.
Oktoberfest in August - Buffalo Grove, IL - Aug 14 to Aug 16, 2020
Hosted by Schwaben Verein of Chicago, this event has been going on for more than 100 years. Entry fee is a $10 donation with children 12 years of age and younger free. Parking and entertainment is free. Food drink and amusement game tickets may be purchased. German buffet is $14 on Saturday and Sunday. Party tent provides rain or shine fun. There will be domestic and German beer, bratwurst, singers and dancers. Arcade games and rides for kids. Location: Schwaben Center, 301 N. Weiland Road, Buffalo Grove, Illinois
Muckfest Chicago - Grayslake, IL - Aug 22, 2020
Canceled indefinitely. MuckFest MS is full of muddy shenanigans, epic spills, and thrills! MuckFestival is the after party, with free beer and soda! There’s also a free Lil’ Muckers play area for the little This 5K may be built for laughs, but it raises funds and awareness of a serious mission to end Multiple Sclerosis!
Batavia Oktoberfest - Batavia, IL - Sep 25 to Sep 27, 2020
Canceled for 2021, look for their return in 2022 – but local merchants and restaurants are gearing up with Oktoberfest themed offerings, music, art, food specials, and more. Normally: Authentic German food, music, entertainment and of course, beer!
Cajun Beer Garden - Grafton, IL - Sep 27, 2020
The Pere Marquette Lodge is hosting a Cajun beer garden, complete with a live Cajun music, a Creole crawfish boil, and Abita beer. Entry is free, but seating is limited so bring lawn chairs and pincic blankets to get comfy!
Firefighters Comic-Con - Springfield, IL - Nov 7, 2020
Held at the Firefighters Lake Club in Springfield, this event features one day of vendors from comic book and game shops, cosplay contests and more! Tickets are $2 for adults ($1 off for adults in cosplay costumes!) and children 12 and under are free.
Cowden Pioneer Days - Cowden, IL - Aug 27 to Aug 29, 2021
Pioneer Village, crafts, food, carnival, parade, rodeo, derby, and lots more.
Ottawa Oktoberfest - Ottawa, IL - Sep 17, 2021
Oktoberfest will be held in downtown Ottawa for participants 21 and over. There will be live German music, German food, German beer and wine.
Marmion Oktoberfest - Aurora, IL - Sep 25, 2021
Marmion’s annual Oktoberfest Celebration will take place on Marmion’s campus, just outside the Battaglia Center at 1000 Butterfield Road in Aurora. They anticipate 400 guests, some dressed in lederhosen, to enjoy Bavarian food, authentic beer and an illuminated silent auction, where competition is friendly but plentiful for dozens of prices that include trips, unique experiences and food and beverage packages! Those in attendance will also enjoy a live and energetic performance of the Howl at the Moon Dueling Pianos team who thrive on engaging with the crowd
Fluorspar Festival - Rosiclare, IL - Oct 1 to Oct 3, 2021
Celebrate the influences brought to the area by the Fluorspar Mining Industry. Rosiclare was once considered the Fluorspar Capital of the world and fluorspar is still the state mineral. Enjoy a pageant, pet parade, carnival, contests, car/motorcycle show, food and craft vendors, open house at the American Flourite Museum, live entertainment, fireworks and more!
Scarecrow Daze - Lake Shelbyville, IL - Oct 8 to Oct 9, 2021
Vendors, car show, pageant, parade, tot-rod pedal pull, dancing demos, cider press, kids’ activities, and more!
Oathtoberfest - Naperville, IL - Oct 9, 2021
Solemn Oath Brewing hosts an Oktoberfest Celebration with Wurst Kitchen. Food, music, and of course, beer!
Wizard World Comic Con Chicago - Rosemont, IL - Oct 15 to Oct 17, 2021
Autumn Festival: An Arts and Crafts Affair – Villa Park - Villa Park, IL - Oct 21 to Oct 24, 2021
Canceled for 2022 due to sale of venue. Normally: Hundreds of artists and crafters, plus music, gift certificates, food and drink and more, with free parking.
Sullivan Oktoberfest - Sullivan, IL - Oct 22 to Oct 31, 2021
Includes beer tent, chili cook-off, 5K, Artoberfest & Wine Tasting, and free entertainment.
Thanksgiving Eve at Howl at the Moon Chicago - Chicago, IL - Nov 24, 2021
Turkey is good, but booze is better! Celebrate the long holiday weekend with some live music, dancing and drinks, with featured drinks, games, dancing and a great night out!
Cafe 20 Oktoberfest - Marengo, IL - Sep 7 to Sep 11, 2022
15th annual. Authentic celebration with live music and German food and bier. Location: 756 Grant Highway, Marengo, Illinois.
Belvidere Kite Festival - Belvidere, IL - Sep 10, 2022
Prairie Fields Sports Park plays host to a family kite fly! Bring out the whole family for a day of kite fun – and you can bring, make, or buy a kite at the event, and FREE paper kite kits to the first 100 kids in attendance
OktoberWest - Itasca, IL - Sep 10, 2022
Celebrate the unofficial beginning of autumn with the annual international OktoberWest train crawl, coming to the Milwaukee West line. Go around the world, no passport required! With five bars ending at a German Oktoberfest street festival, it’s one of their most popular crawls.
Downers Grove Oktoberfest - Downers Grove, IL - Sep 16 to Sep 17, 2022
Annual fundraiser for the Downers Grove Education Foundation, with live music, food, beer, children’s activities and more!
Jacksonville Rotary Oktoberfest - Jacksonville, IL - Sep 17, 2022
The Annual Jacksonville Rotary Club Oktoberfest, held at the Morgan County Fairgrounds, features German music all day long, plus German food, wiener dog race, German pet parade, beer and wine tasting, bags and washers tournaments, games all day and of course Beer.
Two Brothers Oktoberfest - Aurora, IL - Sep 18 to Sep 24, 2022
The official Oktoberfest celebration will be held at the Two Brothers Roundhouse in Aurora, with the Tap House the following weekend. Enjoy a beer stein while eating authentic German food and playing classic Oktoberfest games! Free admission
Revolution Oktoberfest - Chicago, IL - Sep 23 to Sep 24, 2022
Head to Revolution Brewing’s Taproom for a fun day of games, contests, music, food, and of course — German beer!
Rotary Club of Quincy Oktoberfest - Quincy, IL - Sep 24, 2022
Free admission and celebration of Quincy own German breweries. Visit Dick Brother brewery, enjoy live entertainment, dance in the streets, and lots of brats and food to eat.
Harvest Celebration at Heritage Farm - Schaumburg, IL - Oct 2, 2022
Historic Craft Fair at Lewis and Clark State Historic Site - Hartford, IL - Oct 15, 2022
Open from 10 am to 4 pm, the event will host a number of local craftspeople and artisans demonstrating and selling their goods. Baskets, sewing, quilts and other crafts
Batfest - Batavia, IL - Oct 29, 2022
Batavia’s annual Halloween themed family event attracts over 2,500 for downtown trick-or-treating, parade, pumpkin bowl, contests, art, games, and more
Find other fun things to do in Illinois in fall: