From museums to comedy shows to spas, here are the best things to do this fall in Chicago.
Making the drive to Starved Rock State Park in Oglesby is certainly worth it—especially in autumn. The fall foliage is gorgeous this time of year, and complemented by the park’s landscape, makes for a perfect photo-op.
WNDR is no ordinary museum; high-sensory contemporary art installations allow for completely immersive experiences. Snap some pics in the iconic Infinity Mirror Room by Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama or stop by the interactive light floor made from hundreds of motion-sensor LED panels. 1130 W. Monroe St.
The Lincoln Park Zoo is home to many species of big cats.
A free Chicago institution for over a century, the Lincoln Park Zoo is dedicated to animal conservation efforts and home to nearly 200 unique species from around the world. The walkable park includes an aviary, a small mammal house, big cats, a realistic depiction of Africa’s flora and fauna, Farm-in-the-Zoo, a nature path and the peaceful Alfred Caldwell Lily Pool. It is attached to the conservatory, whose main garden blooms with more than 40,000 annuals. The greenhouse showcases palms, ferns and tropical plants. 2001 N. Clark St.
This mega-comedy institution in the Piper’s Alley entertainment complex grew out of the Compass Players in 1959 and launched the careers of countless comics, such as Alan Arkin, John Belushi, Bill Murray and Tina Fey. Its topical sketch comedy is showcased in a mainstage revue and a revue by its second company, e.t.c. Theater. 1616 N. Wells St.
A stunning landscape at the Chicago Botanic Garden
This lovely landscape includes more than 30 outdoor displays to explore, displaying millions of plants and flowers in a variety of settings. Stroll through several different environments, including aquatic gardens, a fruit and vegetable garden, bulb gardens and more. The tram tour includes a breathtaking panoramic overview of the main gardens. 1000 Lake Cook Road
A proper Midwest fall is not complete without apple and pumpkin picking, and at County Line Orchard in Hobart, Indiana, you can do both. Whether you're on the hunt for the most crisp apple on the tree or for the largest pumpkin you can find, a memorable time is guaranteed here.
Occupying a cavernous space in River West, AIRE Ancient Baths Chicago is an experience unlike any other in the city. The serene candlelit space features a series of hot and cold pools to traverse at your leisure, including the Spanish-born spa’s only indoor-outdoor bath. From the 102-degree hot pool to the 50-degree ice pool, the thermal experience promotes tranquility while awakening the senses. A pair of steam rooms, heated marble stones and ultraluxe add-ons—including a red wine bath—complete the picture. 800 W. Superior St.
Richardson Farm in Spring Grove houses one of the world's largest corn mazes. The whole family will enjoy maneuvering through the intricate maze.
This lion-guarded landmark museum on Michigan Avenue makes art accessible and fun for all visitors with themed mini-tours that take a scavenger-hunt approach, making the larger galleries seem less overwhelming by honing in on specific areas of interest. Some of the must-sees at the Art Institute are "A Sunday On La Grande Jatte" by George Seurat, the 68 tiny mini diorama rooms based on European and American interiors hidden in the basement of the institute by Mrs. James Ward Thorne, and Grant Wood’s "American Gothic." Admission is always free for guests 14 and under. 111 S. Michigan Ave.
Windy City Ghosts Tours is the top ghost tour in Chicago. The experience offers not only spooky stories, but some of the city’s unique history as well. Along with being very scary, participants will learn about Chicago as well as see some of its famous sights. Guests also have the option of taking a standard or extended tour. Oz Park, 2021 N. Burling St.
The brilliant fall foliage and the crisp autumn weather make taking a tour of Graceland Cemetery a perfect to-do in the fall. Explore its architectural masterpieces, history and beauty while learning fascinating stories during the tour. 4001 N. Clark St.
Photography by: From top: photo by Mike Reyfman; By Marisa Barrett/Unsplash; By Solstice Hannan/Unsplash