Fairs & festivals: Scarecrows, pumpkins, Oktoberfests, oh my!
Scarecrow Trail: 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. daily through Tuesday, Oct. 31, at the Morton Arboretum, 4100 Route 53, Lisle. Nature-themed scarecrows created by local Scout troops. $9-$14. mortonarb.org.
Didier Farms Pumpkinfest: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily through Tuesday, Oct. 31, at Didier Farms, 16678 W. Aptakisic Road, Lincolnshire. Hayrides, corn maze, pony and camel rides, Animal Land, kiddie rides, pig races, homemade apple cider, pumpkin doughnuts and more. Free admission; fees for some activities. didierfarms.com/pumpkinfest.
Randall Oaks Zoo's Fall Festival: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily through Sunday, Oct. 29, at Randall Oaks Zoo, 1180 N. Randall Road, West Dundee. Hay bale maze, corn bin play area, fall treats for purchase, face painting and pumpkins. Weekends only: pumpkin enrichment for the zoo's animals, bonfires and hayrides. Most activities are included with $3.25-$4 general zoo admission; some activities require extra fees. Free for kids younger than 2. (847) 428-7131 or dtpd.org.
Siegel's Cottonwood Farm Pumpkin Festival: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily through Tuesday, Oct. 31, at Siegel's Cottonwood Farm, 17250 Weber Road, Lockport. 15-acre corn maze -- designed in a pattern that celebrates the Chicago Cubs; u-pick pumpkin field, accessible by hayride; Mia & Miley's Mountain Slide; Bubba Duck's Waddle Races; zip lines; farm animals; food and more. $11.95-$14.95. (815) 741-2693 or ourpumpkinfarm.com.
32nd Annual St. Charles Scarecrow Festival: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Oct. 6-7, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 8, at Main and 4th streets and along the riverfront, St. Charles. More than 150 handcrafted scarecrows are on display, and visitors can make their own to take home. Music includes Rockstar Rodeo from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, American English from 6 to 8 p.m. Saturday and 7th Heaven from 3 to 4:30 p.m. Sunday. Carnival, petting zoo, food, and Autumn on the Fox arts and crafts show. Free. scarecrowfest.com.
Fifth Annual Hofbräuhaus Chicago Oktoberfest: 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday; 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday through Wednesday; and 11 a.m. to midnight Thursday through Sunday, Oct. 29, at Hofbräuhaus Chicago, 5500 Park Place, Rosemont. Authentic nightly Bavarian entertainment, beer inspired by the original Hofbräuhaus in Munich, daily food specials, celebrity keg-tapping, games, music and more. Free admission. (847) 671-2739 or hofbrauhauschicago.com.
The Great Highwood Pumpkin Festival: 4 to 10 p.m. Friday, Oct. 6; 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 7; and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 8, at City Park at Highwood City Hall, 17 Highwood Ave. Music from 7th Heaven at 5:30 p.m. and American English at 8:15 p.m. Friday; Simply Elton/Simply Billy at 5:15 p.m. and Deja Vu at 8 p.m. Saturday; and Unity the Band at 4 p.m. and Mr. Blotto at 6:30 p.m. Sunday. Pumpkin carving, nightly pumpkin lightings, hay rides, pony rides, a parade, a 5K run/walk at 9 a.m. Saturday, a carnival, vendors and more. Admission is $3 for adults; free for kids 6 and younger. Weekend pass is $5. Bring a carved pumpkin and get free admission for a day. highwoodpumpkinfest.com/ or celebratehighwood.org.
West Town Food Truck Social and Art Walk: Food Truck Social runs from 4 to 10 p.m. Friday, Oct. 6, and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 7, on Noble Street between Chicago Avenue and Chestnut Street, Chicago. The Art Walk runs from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 6, and noon to 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 7, on Chicago Avenue, between Leavitt Street and Ogden/Milwaukee, Chicago. The two events come together for a neighborhood-wide festival pairing food and art. Free admission; there is a charge for food sampler tickets at the Food Truck Social. cityofchicago.org.
Batavia Oktoberfest: 5 to 11 p.m. Friday, Oct. 6, and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 7, on North River Street in downtown Batavia. Traditional Oktoberfest event, featuring authentic German food, music, entertainment and beer. Free. downtownbatavia.com.
Fright Fest: 5 to 11 p.m. Friday, Oct. 6; 11 a.m. to midnight Saturday, Oct. 7; 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 8; and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 9, at Six Flags Great America, 1 Great America Parkway, Gurnee. Daytime hours are family-friendly, with shows and a trick-or-treat trail from noon to 3 p.m. Evening hours include haunted houses and costumed zombies and monsters. For admission fees, see sixflags.com/greatamerica.
Naper Settlement Oktoberfest: 5 to 10 p.m. Friday, Oct. 6; noon to 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 7; and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 8, at Naper Settlement, 523 S. Webster St., Naperville. Traditional German music, beer and food under a heated tent with family-friendly activities. $10-$15; free for kids younger than 4 and Naper Settlement members. napersettlement.org.
Moonlight Hayrides: 5:30, 6:30 and 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Oct. 6-21, at Primrose Farm Park, 5N726 Crane Road, St. Charles. Thirty-minute tractor-drawn hayrides with a bonfire, a marshmallow roast, hot chocolate and cider. $8-$12. Kids 15 and younger must be accompanied by a paying adult. Free for children younger than 1. primrosefarmpark.com.
Full Moon Bike Ride: 6 p.m. Friday, Oct. 6, at the Palatine Hills Golf Course, 512 W. Northwest Hwy., Palatine. Seven-mile ride. Must be 16 or older; helmets and lights required. Appetizers and beverages will be served after the ride. bikepalatine.com.
Itasca Charity Craft Tasting: 6 to 9 p.m. Friday, Oct. 6, at the Itasca Holiday Inn, 860 Irving Park Road, Itasca. Craft beers and ciders. For ages 21 and older. $25 online, $35 at the door. Benefits the Itasca Food Pantry, Walk-in Ministry and Springbrook Nature Center. itasca.com.
Pumpkin Palooza: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 7, and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 8, at The Growing Place, 2000 Montgomery Road, Aurora. Crafts, giant decorated pumpkins, games, scavenger hunt, hayrides and more. The Humane Society of Aurora will be on hand with animals available for adoption from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday. Free admission. Fees for some activities. thegrowingplace.com.
South Elgin Pumpkin Patch: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 7, at SEBA Park, 151 Water St., South Elgin. Pick your own pumpkins ($1-$5), petting zoo, pyramid of hay, Touch a Truck, trolley ride (with the purchase of a pumpkin) and pony rides for $2 (profits donated to the FUNdation). (847) 622-0003 or southelgin.com.
Blacksmithing 101 & 201: 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 7, at the Garfield Farm Museum, 3N016 Garfield Road, Campton Hills. Staff member Joseph Coleman's Blacksmithing 101 lecture and demonstration at 10 a.m. and Blacksmithing 201 at 1 p.m. will feature hands-on experiences. $8 for 101; $40 for 201. (630) 584-8485 or garfieldfarm.org.
Fall on the Farm: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 7-8, at Lambs Farm, 14245 W. Rockland Road, Libertyville. Fall-themed crafts and activities, including paint a pumpkin, sand art, face painting and cookie decorating. Plus, barrel train rides, music, food, tent sale and more. Activities and tent sale open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., farmyard open until 5 p.m. Admission to the crafts and activities is $15 per child and $8 per adult. Free admission to the tent sale, food and entertainment. (847) 990-3749 or lambsfarm.org.
Harvest Fest: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 7, at the Kingswood United Methodist Church, 401 W. Dundee Road, Buffalo Grove. Petting zoo, bouncy castle, children's games, pumpkin sales and decorating, bake sale, fair trade merchandise, food and a free family photo. Free; bring a canned food item for the food pantry. (847) 398-0770 or kingswoodumc.com.
Arlington Heights Autumn Harvest Fest: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 7, at North School Park, Eastman Street and Arlington Heights Road, Arlington Heights. Petting zoo, scarecrow-building contest, face painting, crafts, food vendors, hayrides and entertainment. Free. ahpd.org.
Color the Town Pink Fundraiser: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 7, at the Deer Park Town Center, 20530 N. Rand Road, Deer Park. Help support the fight against breast cancer. Balloon release, fashion show, yoga, fitness events, kids' activities and more. Register in advance with a $10 donation and receive a T-shirt, an event bag with coupons and two event raffle tickets. Proceeds benefit Northwest Community Hospital Foundation in support of the NCH Breast Center. shopdeerparktowncenter.com.
Danada Fall Festival: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 8, at Danada Equestrian Center, 3S507 Naperville Road, Wheaton. Parade of breeds, equestrian performances, hayrides, pony rides, face painting, grooming demonstrations, educational displays, food and more. Free; fees for some activities. (630) 668-6012 or dupageforest.org.
Pumpkin Weekends: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 7-8, and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday, Oct. 9, at Blackberry Farm, 100 S. Barnes Road, Aurora. Family-friendly fall festivities include the pumpkin princess, seasonal crafts, harvest decor, a giant corn crib, a professional pumpkin carver, the world's tallest scarecrow, trick-or-treating and a pony parade. Pumpkin Weekend events run on various dates through Sunday, Oct. 29. Admission is $7; pumpkin decorating is $3. Tickets needed for kids 2 and older. foxvalleyparkdistrict.org.
World Dumpling Fest: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 7, at Millennium Park's Chase South Promenade, 121 N. La Salle St., Chicago. Cultural performances from the Lion Dragons, Kreyòl Roots and the Segundo Ruiz Belvis Cultural Center Afro-Caribbean Jazz Collective. Dumplings from neighborhood-based ethnic restaurants cost $10 for three or $50 for 18. Buy tickets at inheritchicago.org.
Family Fall Fest: 1 to 6 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 7, at MB Financial Park, 5501 Park Place, Rosemont. Pumpkin decorating, bouncy houses, balloon sculpting, magic acts and face painting until 5 p.m. Music from The Beatles tribute band Kaleidoscope Eyes at 1 p.m.; children's entertainment group Istvan & His Imaginary Band at 3 p.m.; and Rosie and The Rivets from 4 to 6 p.m. Free horse-drawn hayrides around the park's inner drive will be offered until 4 p.m. Free. mbparkatrosemont.com.
Harvest of the Acorn Moon: 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 8, at Oakhurst Forest Preserve, 1680 Fifth Ave., Aurora. Family fest features nature crafts, pumpkin painting, outdoor games, folk music, guided hikes and more. Free; some fees for crafts and refreshments. (630) 444-3190 or kaneforest.com.
Honey Craft Market-McHenry's Flavors of Fall Show: 1 to 4:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 7, at Mixin Mingle, 1118 N. Green St., McHenry. Features handmade items made by local people. Free admission. honeycraftmarket.com.
Smoketoberfest: 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 7, in the beer garden, patio and parking lot at Rack House Kitchen & Tavern, 222 E. Algonquin Road, Arlington Heights. Events include a stein-hoisting competition; beer; bounce house and tattoos for kids; raffle and door prizes. Fare includes sausages, oak-smoked pulled pork, macaroni and cheese with smoked cheddar, German Potato Salad and giant pretzels. Free admission. (847) 640-7225 or rackhousetavern.com.
Woodstock Ale Fest: 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 7, at Clay and Bartlett streets, Woodstock. Fourth annual event featuring craft beer, bacon and bluegrass with more than 60 American craft beers. VIP tickets $70, VIP designated driver tickets $30; general admission $40, designated driver $15. woodstockalefest.com.
Island Lake Fall Festival: 2 to 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 7, at Veterans Park, Route 176, Island Lake. Hayrides, crafts, pick-a-pumpkin ($3), ice cream sundaes ($1), Halloween costume contest for kids and more. Free. (847) 526-8764 or villageofislandlake.com/.
Glass Pumpkin Patch: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 11, through Sunday, Oct. 15, at the Morton Arboretum, 4100 Route 53, Lisle. Glassblowing demonstrations, art exhibition and opportunities to meet the artists. Sales start at 1 p.m. Friday, Oct. 13. $9-$14; free for kids 2 and younger. mortonarb.org.
Halloween Hoopla: 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 12, at Maine Park Leisure Center, 523 S. Webster St., Park Ridge. Carve a pumpkin, stuff a scarecrow, jump on a hayride, and have s'mores, apple cider and cocoa around a campfire. $31-$51 per family. prparks.org.
12th Annual Chicago Latino Music Festival: Chicago's only Latino-focused classical music festival runs Thursday, Oct. 12, through Sunday, Nov. 19, at various venues in Chicago. Programs showcase a wide range of classical music written by Spanish and Latin American composers, from the colonial period to today. latinomusicfest.org.