It’s hard to believe it’s that time of year again, with kids back in school, Labor Day over and the prospect of cooler weather and changing leaves on the horizon, but here we are halfway through September.

And whether you’re a long-time Chicago resident, a suburban home owner or someone looking to make a move before December, you’ll want to check out this list of events, activities and ideas for making the most of the autumn in Chicago!

As the one of the largest city in the nation, Chicago offers all kinds of festivals, not just in summer but year-round! In addition to what you’ll find downtown, local suburbs and neighborhoods provide their own events, too, so it’s worth checking into your town’s schedule to see what’s available there! Here are a few city highlights:

  • Oktoberfest, September 25, 26 & 27: Bratwurst, beer and bands with live music create a slice of Bavaria at Lincoln and Southport in Lakeview.
  • Country Music Festival, October 3 & 4: Two days of live country music at Jackson and Columbus, Grant Park.
  • The Free Daley Plaza 12th annual Halloween celebration, formerly called “Pumpkin Plaza:” Afternoons in late October, come out to enjoy the haunted village, pumpkin decorating (weekends only), storytelling, live performances and more.

Being active has never been easier than during the autumn months when the weather is at its most comfortable. And in Chicago, you’ll find plenty of athletic options, whether to compete in races or watch your favorite sports teams!

  • Chicago Marathon, October 11: Attention, runners! This Bank of America Chicago Marathon will be held on Sunday, October 11, 2009.
  • Chicago Bears: Catch a game this fall at Soldier Field!
  • Chicago Bulls: This year, the Bulls host their season opener October 29, against the San Antonio Spurs.

Seasonal Activities:
Savor the season by taking time to enjoy it with hayrides, pumpkin patches, fresh apple cider and more! Here are a few ideas for making the most of fall:

  • Pumpkin Patches: Pick your own pumpkins, snap some scenic shots and bring them home to carve!
  • Apple Orchards: Nothing says fall like picking fresh apples and sipping hot cider while you much on homemade doughnuts!
  • Green City Market, 1750 North Clark Street: This organic fresh market runs all the way through October 29th, so you can grab some produce to celebrate the season.