Have you finally wrapped your mind around the fact that it’s October? Good, because we’re halfway through! Take a break from stocking the closets with cold-weather gear to enjoy all the fun happenings around the city. From staying cozy indoors at a new exhibit that will color your world to making your way to a harvest fest, read on to find the best of the best for weekend fun.

photo: Chicago Children’s Museum’s Very Eric Carle Exhibit 

IN THE CITY

Lincoln Park

Go Wild for a Zoo Fall Fest
Usher in the harvest season with your animal friends at Lincoln Park Zoo’s Fall Fest, a celebration complete with rides, activities and entertainment. An a-maize-ing corn maze, Ferris wheel, two corn pools, hay mountain, a giant burlap sack slide and hay wagon rides round out the extravaganza. Fri.-Sun. Event details.

Stock Up On the Essentials
Get excited because Red Balloon Co. is hosting one of their famous Warehouse sales! The sale features fabulous savings on pants, coats, dresses and accessories, from ages newborn to 14 years, from brands like Sophie Catalou, Egg Baby, Joah Love, Bit’z Kids, Munster, Angel Dear and more! Fri.-Sun. Event details.

Navy Pier

Eric Carle Brightens Chicago Children’s Museum
Chicago Children’s Museum newest exhibit, Very Eric Carle, introduces, reacquaints and inspires visitors to the work of renowned author and illustrator, Eric Carle. Fri.-Sun. Event details.

Near East Side

Schedule a Dinner & a Cruise to Remember
Lawry’s The Prime Rib is teaming up with the Chicago Architecture Foundation for an unforgettable cruise down Chicago’s famous river. Experience the architectural highlights on both branches of the river and then enjoy a three-course meal of Lawry’s classics. Fri.-Sun. Event details.

North Park

Grab a Slice of Peaceful and Harvest Fest in the Forest
Celebrate the harvest by focusing on the animals that begin to prepare for the long winter ahead after gathering their fall goodies. Do nature-centric crafts, stroll the farmers market, watch the scarecrow building contest, listen to storytellers and jam out to live music. Sat. & Sun. Event details.

Streeterville

Fall Fest on a Hotel Rooftop
Hit up Streeterville Social at Loews Chicago Hotel for their 3rd annual Harvest Fest. Festgoers will find a pumpkin patch, biergarten, complimentary carnival games and facepainting, as well as caricature artists and balloon artists providing hours of family entertainment. Sat. Event details.

IN THE ‘BURBS

Itasca

Attend the Moms Meet WOW Summit
Bloggers and parents are invited to this two-day healthy living and parenting conference for expert-led seminars, workshops and more! Like-minded women committed to leading a healthy lifestyle will enjoy this powerful event filled with inspiration, education and networking opportunities. Fri. & Sat. Event details.

Lisle

Bring the Kids into the Fold with Origami in the Garden
A stunning tower of white cranes ascending skyward. A glorious winged horse. A life boat suspended by bronze oars. Sounds like a dreamlike fantasy, but we can assure you it’s quite real. Origami in the Garden, is inspired by the Japanese art of paper folding and it’s reams of wholesome fun. Fri.-Sun. Event details.

McHenry

Keep Coming Back For this Fall-Long Festival
Take a wee drive for more than 25 attractions at the Shades of Autumn Festival. You have the traditional hayrides, pumpkin picking and petting zoo, but the littles will be wowed by the famous pumpkin cannon, hamster track, semi-truck slide, trikes for tikes, scrumptious apple cider donuts and so much more. Fri.-Sun. Event details.

Oak Park

Go Green for Halloween
Costumes are optional at this trek thru town that will lead kids to local business and organizations for all sorts of kid-friendly activities and for some healthy trick-or-treats — emphasis on the treats, of course. Not only that, but you’ll be treated to a free screening of Minions. Sat. Event details.

Union

Tackle Fall Like It’s Done in the Wild, Wild West
Don your best cowboy boots and get ready for an autumn Wild West adventure via Donley’s Wild West Town, a family themed park with loads of things to see and do. Pan for faux gold, take a vintage canoe ride and see a show. Sat. & Sun. Event details.

Wheaton

See Cantigny Dressed in Its Very Best Fall Colors
At the annual Fall Festival, you’ll enjoy music, games, hayrides and more. Stop by Bertie’s, the coffee shop adjacent to the onsite First Division military history museum, for a taste of autumn with a cup of hot cider or hot chocolate. Sat. Event details.

For more ideas on how to spend this weekend, check out our Family Events Calendar

Share your weekend plans in the Comments below!

— Maria Chambers