Fragrant and bursting with color, Fall stirs all the senses with flavors and fun across Chicago’s North Shore. Commune with nature as she struts her autumn finery. The hayrides and Halloween happenings will get you in the mood while seasonal stars—like pumpkin and apple—hit the stage in meals, beverages and entertainment alike. Try new things to do in Fall on the North Shore.
Wagner Farm, Glenview
Hitch a Ride for Fall Fun
Hey, who wants a hayride?! Bundle up and come aboard for happy harvest rides at The Grove (Oct. 21; 1421 Milwaukee Ave., Glenview). Sitting in a wagon piled with hay, you’ll sing songs while you enjoy the splendor of nature on this enchanted trip through the woods and along the prairie. All ages welcome for this ticketed event. Time travel in another wonderful wagon ride to experience farm life from decades past at Historic Wagner Farm (Nov. 5–20; 1510 Wagner Rd., Glenview).
Northwestern Wildcats, Evanston
Big Ten Football Action
Known as “Chicago’s Big Ten Team,” the Wildcats of Northwestern University (Ryan Field, 1501 Central St., Evanston) hit the gridiron for rip-roaring college football. The Division 1 college sports action amps up when the Wildcats battle the Ohio State Buckeyes (Nov. 5). The action continues with what is sure to be a rousing bout against the University of Illinois Fighting Illini (Nov. 26).
Fall for Foodies: Warming Soups, Stews and Chilis
North Shore restaurants know how razzle-dazzle when it comes to seasonal flair. Time to take on a tasty array of soups to keep a tummy warm when you venture out on cooler days. From French Onion to butternut squash or chicken (noodle, matzoh ball or tortilla) and chili for the ages, the Fall specials will entice. Be sure to circulate to find out what specials are on offer. Personally, we recommend creating your own soup crawl and trying them all!
Westfield Old Orchard, Skokie
Fashion Forward for Fall
Be the cutest pumpkin in the patch and decorate yourself for fall with an outing to Westfield Old Orchard (Old Orchard Rd. & Skokie Blvd., Skokie). You’ll find on-trend duds and accessories at favorite stores and spot new ones. Check out latest addition, Psycho Bunny, where they reinvent classic menswear for those who don't want to sacrifice irreverence for style. Bloomingdale’s will transform this season. Clearance sales run through October while the anchor store preps their new, fresh Bloomie’s! A highly curated, ever-evolving store concept, the reimagined retailer will be filled with incredible labels, interactive experience and refreshing cocktails.
Chicago Botanic Garden, Glencoe
Commune with the Changing Leaves at the Garden
Hosting some of the most beautiful seasonal celebrations, Chicago Botanic Garden (1000 Lake Cook Rd., Glencoe) is always a feast for the senses. You can celebrate Fall with the ever-shifting colors will treat you to a different viewpoint on any visit. Stroll through the grounds to take in the vibrant and rich tones of nature. Starting mid-November, enjoy that cusp of fall meets holidays feel with the start of Lightscape (Nov. 11 - Jan. 8), an illuminated art instillation that fills the garden with eye catching, light filled whismy.
Northfield Park District's Boo Bash, Northfield
Halloween Happenings and Other Fantastic Fall Festivals
All around the towns, the star veg of the season will be transformed into monsters, witches and spooky characters while ghouls and goblins roam the streets. Carve up your own pumpkin to compete, trick-or-treat through village displays and tremble with fright at the haunted houses. Everyone in the family can dress up and enjoy festivities at every level, from creepy crafts and balloon artists to train rides and gourmet food.
Heritage Oaks Golf Club, Northbrook
Sneak in a Round of Golf
Might be your last chance to spoil that perfectly good walk this year with the Best Golf Courses North of Chicago. If you’ve been working on your swing all summer, get a tee time and nail that hole in one—or just enjoy the crisp air on the open course. Local golf courses will be open for a bit longer with nine- or 18-hole options that offer an array of memorable experiences. Most have Clubhouses for a quick lunch or fine dining option or fuel up at nearby eateries.
Hangar Two, Glenview
Seasonal Suds Rule at Local Breweries and More
The witches aren’t the only ones brewing up some merry mischief. North Shore craft breweries, wineries and distilleries spin a wicked web of Fall flavors in many of their seasonal offerings. The ales, ciders, spirts and so much more are geared to power your Oktoberfests or compliment the brats at your tailgate parties and firepit gatherings. Stein or no stein, these tasty pilsners, lagers and IPAs will wet your whistle. Grab some pals and check out the local scene where our taprooms are hopping.
Three Tarts Bakery, Northfield
Take Your Tastebuds on a North Shore Bakery Tour
Pumpkin spice and everything nice, plus apples galore and all the pie flavors herald that autumn is here. Warm bread, fluffy muffins and every type of baked beauty you can imagine are filling counters daily. Add a beverage like an autumn-driven latte—nutmeg, cinnamon and ginger anyone? Or be chai centric with cardamom, cloves, black peppercorns and other spices. With so many cute bakeries to pick from, map out a pop into several or mix up your stop-by days to see what specials will tempt. Chicago’s North Shore bakeries will have what you crave from cakes and sweet treats to gluten-free or vegan items.
Green Bay Trail, Various Locations
Hit the Green Bay Trail
Right through the heart of the North Shore, the nearly nine miles of the Green Bay Trail is a surprising strip of outdoors where you can stretch your legs or peddle your cruiser though beautiful October scenery. A popular route for birding, hiking and road biking, you can still enjoy quieter times of day with the changing leaves and light. The pedestrian and biking path runs parallel to the Metra Union Pacific North commuter railway to experience communities from Wilmette to Glencoe with easy access to restaurants, shops and parks all along the way. Dogs welcome (if leashed).