Psst. Don’t pay it too much attention because we might spook it into hiding, but the sun seems to be sticking around town longer the usual. And, let’s just say we don’t mind it overstaying its welcome. Close up the laptops, shut off the smartphones and check out these outdoor adventures before the sunny days head south for the winter.

photo: Chicago Park District

(1) Your front stoop is just begging for a pumpkin, so give it what it wants already! From your traditional orange roundies to speckled greens and spooky whites, you’ll find what your heart desires digging around in our favorite patches: Our Ultimate Guide to Pumpkin Patches

photo: flickr creative commons

(2) You know you’re going to have to spin yourself in dizzy in a corn maze at least once this season, right? Might as well do it before Jack Frost starts nipping at your toes. With the same sentiment of Field of Dreams, these farms built them in the hopes you would come: Field Day! 8 Local Corn Mazes to Get Lost In

(3) Choo-choo, chug-chug! Let’s be honest, Chicago Botanic Garden is always an inspiring place to spend a day, but especially when they’re featuring 18 garden-scale trains on 1,600 feet of track packed with vignettes of storybook-like tiny people and animals in their: Model Railroad Garden.

photo: Morton Arboretum’s Origami in the Garden

(4) Yes, we know. We sound like a broken record pushing you toward Morton Arboretum’s Origami in the Garden exhibit. But, it’s cool . . . and temporary, and you just might miss it. It being 25 displays featuring 38 large-scale metal origami sculptures created by Santa Fe based artists Kevin and Jennifer Box. So, make an Arboretum visit before Oct. 22: Bring Your Kiddos Into the Fold: Origami in the Garden

(5) Turn our good weather fortune into an interactive learning opportunity where you’ll get touchy feeling with a 13,000-year-old woolly mammoth or hunt down beaver tracks. Sound like this is something that would tickle your family’s fancy, read all ’bout it: Nature Centers with Wild Perks for Kids

photo: Starved Rock via Maria Chambers

(6) These days that are not too hot and not too cold, just right for your baby bears, are absolutely made for walking. Get your outdoorsy parenting badge and call it a hike by stepping onto one of these trails: Take a Hike! Trails That Even Toddlers Will Love

(7) Is there anything more satisfying than the crunch of fresh-fallen leaves under feet? Err, well, the correct answer is “yes”. But, let’s jut pretend for a moment, shall we? Whether or not the thermometers indicate it, fall is coming in a blaze of red, orange and gold and you can have a front seat view: Walk This Way! 9 Colorful Spots for Fall Family Strolls

photo: courtesy of Maria Chambers

(8) They’re pretty much the super hero of fruit, keeping doctors away and winning over even the surliest of teachers, so fill your satchels with the sweet goodness of apples at one of Chicago’s favorite orchards: How ‘Bout These Apples? U-Pick Apple Orchards Worth the Trek

(9) Some of these opportunities have already passed, but there are still quite a few Harvest Festivals to sink your apple-cider-donut-loving teeth in: Harvest Festivals You Don’t Want to Miss

(10) How could we almost forget? Stretch out under the stars and kick it old school by going on a late night playdate at one of the nation’s largest outdoor movie screens:  Cascade Drive-In

How do you plan on lassoing the sun for a few more days? Share with us in the Comments below!

— Maria Chambers