Fall can be the most romantic season of the year. The air is clear, not too hot and not yet too cold and the trees become beautiful with the changing of the leaves. Here are a few ideas for fun fall-inspired dates around Chicago.
The Oak Park Farmers’ Market
123 Madison St.
Oak Park, IL 60302
Try a casual and fun morning date and hit up the Oak Park Farmers’ Market. In addition to typical farmers’ market goodies like meat, cheese, bread, ice cream, fruits and vegetables, enjoy live music and even grab one of the market’s oft raved about donuts for breakfast. The market is easily accessible via the CTA green line if you are limited to public transportation. It accepts cards or cash and you can find local organic and free-range products here. Be sure to check the website for special event days, which have special treats like soups or a corn roast. The special items are always open and free to everyone while supplies last.
North Park University Football
3225 W. Foster Ave.
Chicago, IL 60625
Fall is the season for football and North Park University has a beautiful stadium that seats 3,000 right on Foster Avenue at Albany. For another casual and fun date when the weather is perfect for donning a jacket and enjoying the outdoor air, take in a game at North Park University’s Holmgren Athletic Complex. Tickets are inexpensive at $5 for adults and only $3 with a student ID. Before or after the game, it’s near enough to Albany Park to grab a drink or a quick burger or pizza, or just stroll around the campus. Check the schedule here for home games and times and check here for a downloadable visitor’s guide.
Bengtson’s Pumpkin Farm
13341 W. 151st St.
Homer Glen, IL 60491
Open daily from September 29 to October 30, Bengtson’s Pumpkin Farm has everything seasonal you could wish for. Make a meal of chili and apple cider and perhaps a caramel apple for dessert. Stroll around with a pumpkin spice cappuccino as you take a look at pig races, a petting zoo or go through the corn maze. How often can you say you’ve shot a pumpkin launcher while on a date? You can of course pick out your own pumpkin to take home and carve later. The Farm has everything from hayrides to cow milking for a wonderfully fall and outdoorsy dating adventure. Check the website for other special events offered throughout the season.
Related: Best Pumpkin Patches Near Chicago
3258 W. Foster Ave.
Chicago, IL 60625
If you decide to expand your North Park football date into an entire evening, be sure to make Tre Kronor your restaurant of choice. The Swedish restaurant is best known for its wonderfully tasty breakfasts and brunch, but it has a dinner menu also that deserves exploration. Although it does get busy on the weekends, Tre Kronor is out of the way enough to make a charming and unique date experience. Check out its boutique Sweden shop next door before or after your meal to see an array of Swedish books, crafts and kitchen items.
St. Charles Scarecrow Fest
311 N. Second St.
St. Charles, IL 60174
About an hour west of Chicago by car or a short Metra ride will bring you into charming St. Charles, right on the Fox River, where you can experience its amazing annual Scarecrow Festival. The festival sprawls across the downtown area, but it offers specific maps and vendor information on the website that is updated as the festival nears. Many of the activities are free to check out, such as the dog costume contest, and there are small fees for things like the petting zoo. Over 100 handmade scarecrows are entered into the contest (entry is free) each year and are on display throughout the festival. Countless vendors will be set up featuring art, food, homemade crafts and assortments of not-for-profit vendors. Live entertainment is lined up at two different areas. There is no way to get bored on this autumn outing.
Related: Best Chicagoland Nature Trails
Meredith Lyons is an actor, competitive fighter and fitness instructor in Chicago who also owns an amazing cat named Jake. Meredith has been writing on Examiner as the Chicago Martial Arts Examiner since 2008. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.