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« Fall Guide 2012: Allergen-Free Goodies for the Trick or Treaters | Main | Weekend Spotlight: Scarecrows, Pumpkins, Stars & More »

Fall Guide 2012: Harvest and Pumpkin Festivals in Chicago's Western Suburbs

October is a busy month, packed with all sorts of fun harvest festivals, pumpkin festivals and of course Halloween. Here's a list of special activities, in chronological order. We'll have more info on costume parades and trick-or-treating events soon. 

Photo by Stigs on Flickr.OCT. 1 THROUGH OCT. 31: During the entire month of October, Cosley Zoo in Wheaton is holding its “Pumpkin Fest,” with pumpkins for sale; a cornstalk tunnel and straw pyramid; and apples, caramel apples, cider and fall merchandise available for purchase. All children and Wheaton residents are free. Non-resident adults are $3, seniors are $2. For more info, please call 630-665-5534 or visitwww.cosleyzoo.org

OCTOBER WEEKENDS: Aurora’s Blackberry Farm is holding “Pumpkin Weekends” every weekend in October plus Columbus Day. Visit the pumpkin patch and for a fee, pick out a pumpkin and decorate it at the decoration station. Carousel, train and hay rides will also be available. Park admission is $4. For more info, please call 630-892-1550 or visitwww.foxvalleyparkdistrict.org

FRIDAY, OCT. 5 through SUNDAY, OCT. 8: The 26th annual Scarecrow Festival will feature more than 150 hand-crafted scarecrows on display, an opportunity to make your own scarecrows, live entertainment all weekend, a petting zoo and carnival, arts and craft show, and more. The scarecrows are located in Lincoln Park, on the west side of St. Charles. Admission to the festival is free. For more info, please visit visit www.scarecrowfest.com.

SATURDAY, OCT. 6 through MONDAY, OCT. 8: Kline Creek Farm's Corn Harvest will give visitors a chance to help pick, shock, shuck, shell and store the corn that will feed the farm's cows and sheep over the winter. The ongoing activities will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Free admission. For more info, please visit www.dupageforest.com or call 630-876-5900.

SATURDAY, OCT. 13: Cantigny's Fall Festival in Wheaton will run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. It is free with $5 car parking. The event will feature an arts and crafts show; hayrides; pumpkin decorating; scarecrow making; inflatables; bookfair; live music by the Salt Creek Boys; a Candy Dive; Face Painting; a Barnyard Petting Zoo and a special performance for children at 2 p.m. by Istvan & His Imaginary Band. There are nominal fees for some of the attractions such as face painting and hay rides.

SUNDAY, OCT. 14: The Danada Equestrian Center's free Fall Festival in Wheaton includes a variety of riding demonstrations and the chance to see many breeds of horses. Visitors can take a hayride through the woods; watch an equestrian musical drill team; see exhibits on shoeing, grooming and feeding and more. Children can paint pumpkins or stop by the face-painting booth. Admission and parking are free. Food and drinks will be available for purchase, and some activities have a fee attached. For more information, call 630-668-6012 or visit www.danada.info.

Photo by John-Morgan on Flickr.SATURDAY, OCT. 20: Red Oak Nature Center in North Aurora will be hosting its “Fall Festival” on Saturday, Oct. 20. You can take a walk in the woods and enjoy fall color fun, visiting activity and craft stations along the way. Admission is free. For more info, including the hours for this event, please visit  www.foxvalleyparkdistrict.org.

SATURDAY, OCT. 20: The “Batfest” in downtown Batavia is a family event from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. that will feature morning trick-or-treating, storytelling, pumpkin roll, hayrides, parade, farmers' market, games and contests in downtown and at the Riverwalk. The 2nd annual “Zombie Walk” will be held from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. and will include performance of the “Legend of Sleepy Hollow” at the Albright Theatre and a "Haunted Quarry" at Harold Hall Quarry Beach. For a complete listing of activities go to the Batavia MainStreet web site at www.downtownbatavia.com.

THURSDAY, OCT. 25 through SUNDAY, OCT. 28: The annual Sycamore Pumpkin Festival features a pumpkin display, a teen carnival, a kiddie carnival, scary storytimes,a pie-eating contest, great pumpkin weigh-in, house walk and a parade, plus much more, including plenty of food vendors. For more info, including a detailed schedule of events, please go to www.sycamorepumpkinfestival.com

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