I realize that technically it’s still summer, but once Labor Day has come and gone, all I can think about my favorite season, autumn. I enjoy the cool weather and activities that the fall season brings. Plus I just love decorating my home with leaves and pumpkins and tend to hit all the craft stores to find new decorations. Not to mention my favorite holiday, Halloween, is just around the corner. Needless to say, I get very excited this time of year!

Below I’ve shared some fun things to do around the Chicagoland area this season.

Apple picking tends to rank up there for fun fall activities, so a visit to Jonamac Orchard is a must. It’s a bit further west than some other apple-picking farms in the area but it’s the least expensive as well. They also have a pumpkin patch with very reasonable prices, and you can take a hayride out to the patch and back so you don’t break your back carrying your pumpkin. Here’s a list of other orchards in Illinois as well.


If it’s not fall until you’ve picked up a pumpkin, and you don’t want to walk through a field to get one, then Sonny Acres Farm in West Chicago is for you. Come mid-September, this place has everything – two walk-through haunted barns, amusement rides, a petting zoo, and my favorite, a haunted hayride. And of course there’s food. This is where I experienced my first walking taco, and their freshly made apple cider donuts cannot be missed! And finally, you can pick up fall and Halloween decor in their barn shop.

Morton Arboretum is a great place to visit in the fall because they decorate the grounds with scarecrows and offer a different kind of pumpkin patch – pumpkins made of glass which are available for purchase.


Speaking of scarecrows, one of the best fall festivals in the western burbs is St. Charles’ Scarecrow Festival. There’s plenty of things to see and do at this festival. Here’s some photos I took at last years’ festival.

Scarecrow Fest

As Halloween nears, The St. Charles Park District hosts their Gallery of Ghoulish Homes Tour. We love to prepare some hot chocolate and apple cider, hop in the car, and take in the decorated homes. Some even offer their own haunted yard/garage/house you can walk through for free. Note: as of this writing the 2015 tour information is not available. Please keep checking the park district’s site for addresses of participating homes.

If you’re looking for something a bit scarier, you’ll probably want to check out a haunted house or two. While Halloween is my favorite holiday, I don’t like extreme scares, so I can’t recommend any particular haunted houses. Therefore I leave you with an extensive list of Illinois haunted events.

What fun things do you like to do in the fall?



Ok, hear me out! The reason I say that is because ever since I subscribed* to Netflix, I find myself working out on my elliptical machine much more regularly – every day after work on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, and first thing in the morning on Mondays and Fridays. That’s five days a week, which is incredible in my eyes. Granted, I only work out for an average of 20 minutes at a time, but it’s still way better than nothing. And the reason I have Netflix to thank is that I can easily prop my iPad up on my elliptical machine to watch stuff while I exercise. It’s the motivation I need to engage in an otherwise boring activity.

In addition, I have found having Netflix makes cleaning the house and cooking more enjoyable because I bring my iPad along with me to binge-watch shows. My most recent favorite is Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, which I highly recommend. I finished the 13-episode season within days, so I’ve moved on to re-watching Parks & Recreation. I find it extremely difficult to just sit and watch tv while doing nothing else, so I love this!

Do you have any favorite shows you watch while getting your chores done? Yes, I consider exercise a chore!

* It’s funny how not too long ago I wrote about signing up for unnecessary subscriptions and since then have subscribed to both Amazon Prime and Netflix. While neither is a necessary expense, we can afford it, plus we’re looking at dropping cable very soon, so they will serve as our primary means of entertainment.