Have you rocked September so far? This is your last chance before welcoming October with a bang at events full of fall fun! From fall fests to star gazing, and a music fest to LEGO displays, read on to find our Editor’s fail-proof picks for loving the family life this weekend.

photo: Adler Planetarium



Run Away and Join Midnight Circus in the Parks
Chicago’s offbeat and totally entertaining circus takes its act on the road! The troupe does high-wire acts, juggling, clowning and acrobatics. It’s all for a good cause: The tour raises money to improve public parks. Fri.-Sun. Event details.


Have a Milk & Cookies Happy Hour
Join A Little Photo Studio for an exciting Milk & Cookies (and Pizza!) Happy Hour show with Little Miss Ann for this upbeat, down-to-earth, interactive kids music concert. Fri. Event details

Lincoln Park

Opening Weekend: Fall Fest at LPZ
Usher in the harvest season with your animal friends at Lincoln Park Zoo’s Fall Fest, a family celebration complete with rides, sing-a-longs, activities and entertainment. Fri.-Sun. Event details.

Museum Campus

See Celestial Objects at Doane at Dusk
Spend an evening gazing at the Moon, Jupiter, Saturn and more at Adler’s Doane Observatory. Guests also have the opportunity to enjoy nighttime telescope viewings and discussions with Astronomers. Fri. Event details.

Navy Pier

New! Say Hi to Familiar Faces at a Mo Willems Exhibit
The Chicago Children’s Museum debuted a sure to be kid-favorite, The Pigeon Comes to Chicago! A Mo Willems Exhibit, inspired by the art and characters of the beloved children’s book author and illustrator. Fri.-Sun. Event details

View the Ship of Tolerance
A conceptual free public art installation is docked in Navy Pier’s Polk Bros Park as a visual representation and vessel of tolerance and peace. Fri.-Sun. Event details.

Various Locations

World Music Festival
Introduce your future globe trotter to music by performers from Latin America, Africa and beyond as they play in venues all throughout the city. Fri.-Sun. Event details

West Loop

New! Watch a Bookshelf Favorite Come Alive
Eric Carle’s beloved tale of an insatiable herbivore that munches its way to become a full-fledged butterfly takes wing in this charming Chicago Children’s Theatre’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar. Sat. & Sun. Event details.

West Town

Get Cozy at Storytime with Drag Queens
Make storytime lots of fun with Muffy Fishbasket and her Good Time Gals, reading some of their favorite children’s stories. Proceeds from the event support promoting education in schools for LGBTQIA+ youth. Sun. Event details



Last Chance! Traverse a Brick Safari at Brookfield Zoo
Brookfield Zoo’s temporary exhibit, Brick Safari, features more than 40 life-size animal sculptures created from millions of LEGO bricks located along a winding, wooded path. Fri.-SunEvent details.


Choo Choo! Get Your Train Fix at Model Railroad Garden
Experience the delightful sights and sounds of miniature trains traversing high and low tunnels, across bridges and around buildings at Chicago Botanic Garden. Fri.-SunEvent details.

Fall in Love with Autumn

(1) Take your sweets apple picking and bake the first pie of the season.

(2) Check every single one of these Harvest Festivals off your list.

(3) Take a colorful stroll or hike before the temperatures take a dip.

(4) Get lost and found in a corn maze for hours.

(5) Swing by one of these pumpkin farms and get a jump start on fall decorating.

— Maria Chambers


Keep It Free or Cheap in Chicago This Fall

Ideas Big and Small to Honor Hispanic Heritage Month in Chicago

Chicago’s Themed Restaurants You HAVE to Try at Least Once

. . . and check out our Events calendar for even more suggestions.