25 of the Best Fall Pumpkin Festivals in Illinois 2023

As the vibrant colors of autumn paint the landscape and a slight chill fills the air, it’s time to embark on a delightful journey into the world of pumpkin festivals. Each year, communities across Illinois come together to celebrate the bountiful harvest and the cherished symbol of fall—the pumpkin. If you’re seeking an unforgettable experience that encapsulates the essence of the season, look no further. In this blog post, I’ve curated a list of the best pumpkin festivals in Illinois to visit this year. You can immerse yourself in a world of whimsical displays, culinary delights, and heartwarming traditions. I’ve also added a few Oktoberfests around. This list will be refreshed as more places update their dates.

I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.  ― L. M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

A Few tips for going to Pumpkin Festivals in Illinois

Here are some tips to make the most of your experience at a fall festival:

Plan ahead:

Check the festival’s schedule, activities, and any special events or performances happening throughout the day. Note the opening and closing times, as well as any admission fees or parking arrangements.

Dress appropriately:

Fall weather can be unpredictable, so wear layers and bring a light jacket or sweater. Consider wearing comfortable shoes suitable for walking on various surfaces, as some festivals may have grassy areas or uneven terrain.

Arrive early:

To avoid crowds and long lines, try to arrive early when the festival opens. This will give you ample time to explore, participate in activities, and enjoy attractions without feeling rushed.

Bring cash:

While many festivals accept cards or have ATMs on-site, it’s always a good idea to bring some cash for convenience. Some vendors, food stalls, or activities may only accept cash.

Stay hydrated and pack snacks:

Fall festivals can be busy and involve a lot of walking, so it’s important to stay hydrated. Carry a water bottle with you and consider packing some snacks or energy bars to keep you fueled throughout the day. Sometimes lines can be long or sometimes you have a little one who is a picky eater and favorite personal snacks reign.

Follow the festival rules:

Pay attention to any rules or guidelines provided by the festival organizers. This includes restrictions on bringing pets, outside food, or certain items. Respecting these rules will ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience for everyone.

Participate in activities:

Fall festivals often offer a variety of activities, such as pumpkin carving, corn mazes, hayrides, or live entertainment. Take part in these activities to make the most of your visit and create lasting memories.

Support local vendors:

Many fall festivals feature local artisans, craftsmen, and food vendors. Support these small businesses by purchasing their products or trying their delicious offerings.

Take plenty of photos:

Capture the festive atmosphere and beautiful autumn scenery by taking photos throughout the festival. It’s a great way to preserve memories and share your experience with others.

Be mindful of the weather and be flexible:

Fall weather can change quickly, so be prepared for potential rain or temperature shifts. Bring umbrellas, hats, or sunscreen as needed. Also, keep in mind that some activities or performances may be affected by weather conditions, so be flexible and adapt your plans accordingly.

Remember to have fun, embrace the spirit of the season, and enjoy all the festivities that the pumpkin festivals in Illinois have to offer!

List of 25 Fall Pumpkin Festivals in Illinois

1.) Sycamore Pumpkin Festival

Date: October 25-29, 2023

Location: The city of Sycamore, 60178

Admission: Free admission, but can purchase food, merch and tickets for carnivals

Here is the mission of their pumpkin festival, “The Sycamore Pumpkin Festival Committee is responsible for coordinating the annual Sycamore Pumpkin Festival, a family oriented festival, to be held in the fall of each year. The festival promotes awareness of the City of Sycamore, and provides an opportunity for DeKalb County not-for-profit organizations to participate in fund raising activities, community education and enrichment”

This originally began when Sycamore’s “Mr. Pumpkin” displayed a few pumpkins on his front lawn to turn Halloween into a time of fun and creativity. Crazy to think it has blossomed into this giant festival!

The 2023 theme this year is “Pumpkins of History.” They have food trailers, a pumpkin display and many events all throughout town. The Sycamore Public Library is hosting a pumpkin celebration where you wear your costume for story time and treats (k-5th grade). They have a teen carnival as well as a kiddie carnival. They have a craft show, face painting and in the past they’ve had the world’s tallest stilt walker.

2.) Boo! At the Zoo Brookfield Zoo

Date: Saturdays and Sundays, October 7 to 22, 2023

Location: Brookfield Zoo 8400 31st Street (1st Avenue and 31st Street), Brookfield, IL 60513

Admission: Adults: $29.95 Seniors 65 and over: $24.95 Children 3 to 11: $20.95
Zoo admission and all available attractions are FREE for children 2 and under. 

During Boo at the Zoo at Brookfield Zoo, the zoo is decorated with Halloween-themed displays, lights, and festive decorations. Visitors are encouraged to wear costumes and participate in various activities. These may include trick-or-treating, where kids can collect candy or treats from designated stations throughout the zoo. Additionally, there may be live entertainment, such as magic shows, costumed characters, or live animal encounters, providing educational and interactive experiences for attendees. Some areas of the zoo may offer pumpkin carving demonstrations or contests, face painting booths, or Halloween-themed crafts.

Boo at the Zoo at Brookfield Zoo usually takes place in the evenings during specific weekends leading up to Halloween. It offers a unique opportunity to experience the zoo in a different light, combining the excitement of Halloween with the chance to see and learn about the zoo’s animal inhabitants.

3.) Lincoln Park Zoo “Spooky Zoo”

Date: TBD

Location: 2001 N. Clark St. Chicago, IL 60614

Admission: TBD

Lincoln Park Zoo hosts Spooky Zoo. It is hosted by the Auxiliary Board of Lincoln Park Zoo, returns October 22 for trick-or-treating and activities for families. More information coming.

4.) Morton Pumpkin Festival

Date: September 13-16th, 2023

Location: 415 West Jefferson Street Morton, IL 61550

Admission: Free admission (food for purchase and tickets for rides is available, etc)

This year’s theme is Farmin’ Pumpkins! Morton Pumpkin Festival includes a kiddie parade, pie eating contest, pumpkin idol jr. They also have a pumpkin pancake breakfast, pumpkin princess pageant and a recipe challenge. They host classics like a family fun patch, a pumpkin weigh off and a pumpkin decorating contest. Needless to say, they take this festival very seriously. They are having a family pumpkin bike ride on Saturday September 9th at 10:30am. 

Their online pumpkin store opens August 1st, 2023. They offer a unique drive thru menu which includes all the pumpkin treats you can imagine. Think pumpkin pie, pumpkin cupcake, pumpkin ice cream and pumpkin bar. They have a carnival and a big wheels race for kids. Easily something for everyone.

5.) Pumpkin Fest at Cosley Zoo

Date: October 1 through October 31, 2023

Location: 1356 N. Gary Ave., Wheaton, IL 60187

Admission: Free admission, $5 parking

This is the 40th Annual Pumpkin Fest. This zoo is a great place to celebrate fall with the animals, pick out the best pumpkin and enjoy the nature all around. Visitors can purchase some refreshments which include caramel apples, doughnuts and apple cider.

Adding to the festive atmosphere will be carnival rides suitable for small children. Rides will be available weather permitting.

Regular zoo admission: Adults (18-54) $10, Seniors(55+) $9 for zoo admission

Find Pumpkins Aplenty at Cosley Zoo’s Pumpkin Fest This October – Cosley Zoo

6.) Great Highwood Pumpkin Fest

Date: Friday, October 6th – Sunday, October 8th. 2023

Location: Highwood, IL

Admission: Free; Food for purchase and carnival ride tickets available for purchase

The Great Highwood Pumpkin Festival and Skeletons on Display is the biggest outdoor celebration on Chicago’s North Shore featuring all-you-can-carve pumpkins, nightly lightings of pumpkin-filled walls, carnival rides, costume contests, trick or treating, two stages with live music and entertainment, hundreds of skeleton displays depicting the history of rock and roll, hayrides, food and beverage vendors and so much more!

They have trick-or-treating, carnival rides and live music. There will be a pet costume contest, kids costume contest as well as a pumpkin pie eating contest. They have all-you-can carve pumpkin stations, skeleton displays, hay rides and more!

7.) Lockwood’s Pumpkin Fest

Date: TBD

Location: 5201 Safford Rd, Lockwood Park RockfordIL 61101

Admission: Admission to the park is free and during your visit, you can add-on a variety of outdoor Fall on the Farm experiences including: picking your own pumpkin, taking a wagon ride around the scenic farm, riding a pony, or interacting with our animal friends in the petting zoo.

Fall on the farm experience package (Purchased tickets from last year included)

  • Wagon Ride
  • Pick Your Own Pumpkin
  • Petting Zoo & Feed
  • Pumpkin Painting
  • Wagon Rides: $4/person
  • Pick Your Own Pumpkin: $8/pumpkin
  • Pumpkin Painting: $3/person
  • Pie Pumpkin: $4/each
  • Petting Zoo & Feed: $3/person
  • Pony Ride – $5/person (weight & height restrictions apply)
  • Must be under 100 pounds to participate in riding activities and can be no younger than 2 years old. 2 and 3 year olds need to be accompanied by a parent/guardian.
  • Smores $5

Fall on the Farm — Lockwood Park

8.) Night of 1,000 Jack O’lanterns Chicago Botanic Garden

Date: October 11 – 15 & 18 – 22, 6:30 – 10:30 p.m

Location: Glencoe, IL

Admission: Tickets will go on sale to Members only on August 17, and open to the public on August 24.

Advance Tickets

Adult: $18/$20

Child (age 3-12): $13/$15

Child (2 and under): Free

Parking: Free for members/ $10 for non-members

Day-of Tickets

Adult: $20/$22

Child (3-12): $15/$17

Child (2 and under): Free

Parking: Free for members/ $20 for non-members

It’s easy to realize why this is one of the pumpkin fall festivals of Illinois that sells out every year. More than 1,000 hand-carved pumpkins—some as large as 150 pounds—will light up the night at our Halloween event. In the crisp air of fall, Night of 1,000 Jack-o’-Lanterns features only real pumpkins. They’re all lit up throughout the gardens and are spectacular to see.

Featured pumpkins—carved by professionals—include images of favorite Halloween characters, celebrities, and nods to Chicago. On a paved path, the evening takes on a festive air, with costumed entertainers and live carving demos, along with seasonal light fare and drinks for purchase.

Parking A $10 parking fee applies in advance, $20 night of event for all nonmember ticket holders each night of the eventYou must buy parking online in advance, or you can become a Garden member and always park for free. Gates open each night at 6 p.m. to event ticket holders.

Night of 1,000 Jack-o’-Lanterns | Chicago Botanic Garden

9.) Galena Oktoberfest

Date: September 30th, 2023 12:00-10:00pm

Location: Depot Park in Galena, Illinois(Highway 20 & Park Avenue)

Admission: Adults/teens $12, Children 12 and under are free

It’s the 16th annual Galena Oktoberfest and it will feature:

  • The Ceremonial Tapping of the Keg – NOON
  • Non-stop Live Music
  • Famous Wiener Dog Races
  • Polka Lessons and Dancing
  • The Beer Stein Endurance Contest
  • Pumpkin Decorating and Fun Games for Kids
  • Great food and beer

Event Schedule (

10.) Huntley Fall Fest

Date: September 29-October 1, 2023

Location: Huntley, IL

Admission: Free admission (See ride specials below)

This festival features entertainment, a beer garden, food vendors and a carnival to name a few. There is spectacular fireworks display on Saturday night. They have car and tractor shows, craft show and a fall fest race. For kids they have inflatables, magic show, petting zoo, pony rides and an ice cream eating contest.

Carnival Hours

Friday: 5pm-10:30pm
Saturday: 12pm-10:30pm
Sunday: 12pm-7pm

Unlimited Ride Specials; prices per person, per session

Friday: 5:30pm-9:30pm for $35
Saturday: 1pm-5pm for $30
Saturday: 6pm-10pm for $35
Sunday: 1pm-6pm for $35

Huntley Fall Fest (Huntley, IL) – September 23-25, 2022 – FNBO Main Stage Entertainment

11.) Oktoberfest Chicago- St Alphonsus

Date: September 22, 23 and 24, 2023

Location: 1429 W. Wellington Ave. Chicago, IL 60657

Admission: $10 (usually free on Sunday)

This year is St. Al’s 19th year of seasonal revelry. This is a 3 day festival of beer, brats, bands and all things Bavarian. This year, two stages host some of Chicago’s favorite festival bands including 16 Candles, Polkaholics, and School of Rock. This is one of the fall pumpkin festivals of Illinois that is more so geared towards adults vs. families and kids (just an FYI).

About Oktoberfest — St. Al’s Oktoberfest (

12.) Scarecrow Festival St. Charles

Dates: October 6-8th, 2023

Location: 8 North Ave., St. Charles, IL 60174

Admission: Free

This is their 38th annual Scarecrow Weekend.

85+ handmade scarecrows will be showcased around town for visitors to view and vote on their favorites. There will be a Family Zone with live entertainment and family fun as well as an Activity Zone with festive photo ops, Scarecrow-to-Go, and family activities.

They will have live entertainment, a giant bubble artist, and a magic show. There will also be a professional pumpkin carver, art and craft show as well as a chance to make a scarecrow-to-go for $10.

Events in St. Charles, Illinois | St Charles Scarecrow Weekend | St. Charles Business Alliance (

13.) Homewood Fall Fest & Chili Cook Off

Date: September 23rd, 2023 12:00pm-9:00pm

Location: Martin Ave & Kroner Rd Homewood, IL

Admission: Free

This fest includes live entertainment, craft vendors, a pumpkin patch, kid’s crafts and local cuisine. This year will also host a Chili Cook Off and all are welcome!

Fall Fest | Homewood, IL

14.) Warren Pumpkin Festival

Date: September 24th, 2023

Location: Downtown Warren, IL

Admission: $10/person

Enjoy this old fashioned pumpkin festival. It features antique tractor pulls, a parade, carnival rides, pumpkin-themed games, lots of food and beverage, a petting zoo and lots of live music provided by 3D Sound to dance to! In addition, there will be car/truck/motorcycle show for all vehicle enthusiasts to enjoy!

15.) Morton Arboretum Fall Festivities

Dates: October 2023

Location: The Morton Arboretum 4100 Illinois Route 53 Lisle, IL 60532

Previous events included a fall color festival, celebrating the beautiful colors the leaves change into. It also featured a fall color 5K and walk (Saturday October 7th, 2023), wine tasting cider and ale festival (Thursday September 28th), scarecrow trail, acorn express (a one-hour guided tour that winds you through the Arboretum’s woodlands, wetlands, prairie, and changing colors) and a dog admission day. This is one of those pumpkin festivals in Illinois that occurs over several days.

16.) Apple Fest Long Grove

Dates: September 22, 2023: (12pm-11pm), September 23, 2023: (10am-11pm), September 24, 2023: (10am-6pm)

Location: Downtown Long Grove 308 Old McHenry Rd, Long Grove, IL 60047

Admission: Buy Tickets online

Single Day Pass $5

3 Day Pass $10

Kids 12 and Under Free

Long Grove’s Apple Fest is known for the apple pies, donuts, caramel dipped to candied apples, apple wine, sangria, and more! In addition to all of the delightful apple specialties, you can even try some options right off the menu at our local hometown restaurants. What’s a Long Grove fest without a stage full of great rhythm and sounds showcasing all your favorite styles of music?

There will be pumpkin painting, pie eating contest, little parade as well as impersonators.

17.) Tinley Park Oktoberfest

Date: September 15-17th, 2023

Location: 18001 S. 80th Avenue, Tinley Park, IL, United States, 60477

There will be authentic German food, a carnival, vendor food, ceremonial keg tapping and live entertainment.

18.) Autumn in the Park Festival 2023

Date: September 15-16th, 2023

Location: Palos Park

Admission: Free

This festival includes a parade, a petting farm, face painting and bouncy houses. There is an adult bags tournament and a BBQ rib contest. Live music and food and drink vendors.

19.) Lincoln Square Ravenswood Apple Fest

Date: September 30, October 1, 2023

Admission: $5 suggested donation

Location: Lincoln Avenue between Lawrence and Sunnyside

They offer apple treats, drinks (both alcoholic and non-alcoholic), as well as other food options. For kids, they offer musicians, jugglers and sing-a-longs. More info TBA.

Apple Fest – Lincoln Square Ravenswood Chamber of Commerce, IL

20.) Naperville Oktoberfest

Date: October 6-7, 2023

Location:  Naper Settlement; 523 S Webster St, Naperville, IL 60540

Admission: Adult: $20 | Youth (4-12): $15

There will be local and traditional Oktoberfest beer varieties, cuisine and a blend of polka and rock music all throughout the weekend. There will be a stein-holding contest on Saturday and a variety of lawn games for the entire family.

Oktoberfest | Naper Settlement – Official Website

21.) Elmhurst Fall Family Fest

Date: Saturday, October 7, 2023 9 am-Noon
Location: Near The Depot at Wild Meadows Trace, 511 S York St.

Admission: Free Admission

Dress the kids up in costumes and bring them trick-or-treating as well as other fall activities.

Family Fall Fest | Elmhurst Park District (

22.) Fox Lake Pumpkin Jubilee

Date: Saturday October 7, 2023 3:00-7:00pm

Location: Community Garden Green located at 17 E. School Ct. Fox Lake, IL

Admission: Free

This event will have a variety of artisan craft, food vendors and pumpkin carving. Those participating in pumpkin carving, the pumpkins will be added to the pumpkin wall that will be displayed all night. They can be picked up the next day.

Pumpkin Jubilee | Fox Lake, IL – Official Website

23.) Cantigny Fall Festival

Date: October 14th, 2023 10am-4:00pm

Location: Parade Field 1 S 151 Winfield Road Wheaton, IL 60189

Admission: Adult (16-64): $15 Senior (65+): $12 Child (0-15):$0

Enjoy food vendors, a craft show, hay rides and more. Not to mention the beautiful landscape you will be surrounded by.

24.) Jack’s Pop-Up Chicago

TBA, this one is one of the recurring pumpkin festivals in Illinois so details will be coming soon.

25.) Berwyn’s Oktoberfest

Date: Friday, September 15, 6:00pm-11:00pm & Saturday, September 16 from 12:00pm-11:00pm

Location: Berwyn’s Depot District, intersection of Windsor Ave & Grove Ave just off the Metra BNSF lines Berwyn station

3229 Grove Ave Berwyn IL 60402

Admission:  Free

Listen to polka music, enjoy international cuisine and a beer garden.

These pumpkin festivals of Illinois are not just about pumpkins; they are a celebration of the changing seasons, the beauty of nature, and the joy of coming together as a community. They remind us to slow down, savor the simple pleasures, and embrace the wonder that surrounds us. If you find yourself on the way home from a pumpkin festival looking for a sweet treat, check out the 65 best places for ice cream in Chicago and suburbs. OR when you get home, cuddle up with a nice cup of joe made with this sweet cream foam.

Happy festival-going, and may your autumn be filled with pumpkin-spiced delights and joyous family moments!