Near, Far, or Wherever You Are: Find the Best Fall Festivals in Illinois

Whether you’re in northern, central, or southern Illinois, you can find fall festivals, festivities, and fun regardless of geography. To help you coordinate your autumn social calendar, here’s a roundup of our favorite seasonal hotspots for maximum fall fun. Get your hoodies! 

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Fall Illinois Events & Festivals

  • Heap’s Haunted Corn Maze
  • Scarecrow Fest
  • Northalsted Haunted Halsted Halloween Parade
  • Cider and Ale Festival
  • Ansar Shrine Circus
  • Phoenix Center Ye-Ha Hoedown
  • 2022 Trunk or Treat Festival
  • Centralia Halloween Parade & Fall Festival
  • Haunted Hollow

Northern Illinois

 

Heap’s Haunted Corn Maze

  • Location: Minooka, IL
  • Date(s): Each weekend in October
  • Description: Thrills and chills lurk behind every stalk at this (in)famous haunted Minooka fall hotspot. Hosted by Heaps Giant Pumpkin Farm, visitors are treated to thrilling attractions including a haunted corn maze and can indulge in tasty treats like hot chocolates and pumpkin cookies. Just make sure to end the night with a romantic moonlight hayride.
  • EXPERT TIP: Purchase the VIP ticket and save yourself the hour-long wait!  

Scarecrow Fest

  • Location: Big Rock, IL
  • Date(s): October 22, 2022
  • Description: Dozens of unique and handcrafted scarecrows are on full display at this beloved Girl Scout campsite in Big Rock. Situated in Camp Dean, a 160-acre wood and grassland, Scarecrow Fest welcomes visitors from all over the state and invites them to take part in scavenger hunts, Gaga ball, and so much more. Crows need not attend!
  • EXPERT TIP: Bring your own food as you’re allowed to picnic on the grounds.  

Northalsted Haunted Halsted Halloween Parade

  • Location: Chicago, IL
  • Date(s): October 31, 2022
  • Description: Over $4,000 in prizes await you in this year’s costume contest at the 25th annual Northalsted Haunted Halloween Parade. This LGBTQIA-hosted event is in Chicago’s Proudest Neighborhood at Halsted & Roscoe and promises a spooky evening for costumed participants and parade watchers alike.
  • EXPERT TIP: Don’t worry about registering online in time. You can register in person right before the event starts at Halsted & Belmont.

Cider and Ale Festival

  • Location: Lisle, IL
  • Date(s): October 22, 2022
  • Description: Over 30 local breweries and cideries will be on hand to give visitors a taste of the very best that this local Chicago suburb has to offer. Hosted by the Morton Arboretum, ale enthusiasts and cider lovers will get the chance to savor a variety of delicious fall spirits while breathing in the fresh autumn air and taking a stroll from tasting booth to tasting booth.
  • EXPERT TIP: Arrive early because a ticket to the Cider and Ale Festival also grants you access to the Morton Arboretum. Make a day of it!   

Central Illinois

 

Ansar Shrine Circus

  • Location: Springfield, IL
  • Date(s): November 12-13, 2022
  • Description: It’s a three-ring spectacle for the ages! The Royal Hanneford Circus will be performing its 75th annual show in the Bank of Springfield Center this year. In 1807, the Hanneford family first toured as a troupe and has now evolved into a dazzling, eye-catching circus extravaganza. With death-defying acrobatics, amazing animal performances, and more, Ansar Shrine Circus will bedazzle and bewitch ages young and old.
  • Expert Tip: Be sure to nab a reserved seat to guarantee a ticket to this wildly popular event.

Phoenix Center Ye-Ha Hoedown

  • Location: Springfield, IL
  • Date(s): October 22, 2022
  • Description: It’s a good old-fashioned drag hoedown! Celebrating its first show, this newly created, LGBTQIA-friendly event celebrates all things fall and country music with dancing, games, pumpkins, hale bales, and a fun variety show featuring a country music drag show. A silent auction and mouthwatering food trucks will be among the event’s main attractions. At this event, don’t be a drag. Just be a queen!
  • Expert Tip: If you dress up as your favorite country singer, you could win a cash prize!

2022 Trunk or Treat Festival

  • Location: Mattoon, IL
  • Date(s): October 28, 2022
  • Description: Adorn your trunk with the finest Halloween and autumn accouterment and enter for a chance to win at this year’s 2022 Trunk or Treat Festival. Celebrate the return of one of Mattoon’s favorite fall and family-friendly occasions with food, music, a Spooky Park Walk, games, and more. Admission is free and it’s free to enter your car, as well.

Southern Illinois

 

Centralia Halloween Parade & Fall Festival

  • Location: Centralia, IL
  • Date(s): October 29, 2022
  • Description: For nearly a century, Centralia has hosted its annual Halloween Parade and fall Festival in its historic downtown area and will make its return once again this year. The festival celebrates all things fall with a craft fair, flea market, and car show. For those with little ones, there will be free games, activities, and a costume contest where children of all ages can compete, walk in the parade, and be crowned as Mr. and Mrs. Pumpkin.

Haunted Hollow

  • Location: Makanda, IL
  • Date(s): October 23, 2022
  • Description: Though it may sound a bit spooky, The Haunted Hollow is an annual Halloween festival that promises a perfect balance of laughs and gasps for the whole family. Hosted by the Touch of Nature Outdoor Education Center, visitors are encouraged to arrive in their spookiest attire as they get the chance to partake in various Halloween activities including haunted hayrides and trick-or-treating themselves to frighteningly tasty foods.
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