Some lament the end of summer, but after a week of this lovely nip in the air, we here at Chicago Food Planet can safely say we’re welcoming autumn with open, cardigan-clad arms. Fall’s fantastic for so many reasons: the kids are back in school, for real this time; the cool air smells like leaves; the whole city starts to look different. (Television is interesting again!)
There are plenty of events in Chicago to help ease you into the season, and some are happening as soon as this weekend. Take a look at our picks!
Taste fall flavors
(Photo: Green City Market)
Don’t miss the Green City Market before it moves indoors for the winter. Situated in one of the most beautiful parts of Lincoln Park, the market lets you get your hands on squash, root vegetables, apples, hearty baked goods and more — all from the best local farmers and bakers out there. There are even demonstrations from some of Chicago’s finest chefs through the end of October to inspire you.
You can also stock up on mums, ornamental kale and other plants to transition your garden from summer to autumn. Green City Market
South end of Lincoln Park between Clark and Stockton Drive | Wednesdays and Saturdays
Hit the arboretum
Pack a sweater and head to Lisle for a day among the trees. The Morton Arboretum’s Fall Color 5K is this Sunday, Sept. 30, and through Oct. 28, you can rent bicycles to ride the nine miles of paved pathways through the collections of trees. (You can also bring your own bike!)
Their fall color festival begins this weekend, too. Get there by car, or take a cab from the Metra station in Lisle — it’s just a quick two-mile ride. Morton Arboretum
4100 Illinois Route 53, Lisle | 630-968-0074
Channel your inner child
(Photo: Goebberts Pumpkin Patch)
Take a hayride, marvel at the pumpkin-eating dinosaur, visit the petting zoo, take your picture in one of many stick-your-head-through-it photo ops… Then snag your pumpkins, Indian corn and more before you head out.
Thanks to an especially brutal spring and summer, the apple crops leave a lot to be desired, but you can still get a cup of hot apple cider with a cinnamon stick and take a wander through the corn maze with the kids…or without them.
There are plenty of places out in “the country” to find pumpkin patches…and it’s well worth the journey. Bengtson’s Pumpkin Farm
13341 W. 151st St., Homer Glen | 708-301-3276 Goebberts Pumpkin Patch
42W813 Reinking Road, Hampshire | 847-464-5952
Knock a few back
Say “Prost!” to autumn with a big stein full of German beer at any one of Chicago’s fine drinking establishments. We love Beer Bistro, an unassuming spot in the West Loop that’s away from the hoity-toity hustle and bustle of Randolph Street.
This Saturday, Sept. 29, celebrate Oktoberfest with a big, soft pretzel, a flavorful bratwurst and all the beer you can handle. On any given day, Beer Bistro features a cask, 20 beers on tap, 123 different bottled beers, and 39 canned beers. Beer Bistro
1061 W. Madison St. | 312-433-0013