This autumn, don’t stay cooped up inside your home just because you don’t know what else to do! Every city offers endless opportunities for fun, even when summer comes to an end. To prove it, the Buy Owner Blog will be featuring a Local Fall Events entry for each major city that we cover. This first post in the series starts with Chicago, the third largest city in the States!

As the hot summer season in the Midwest changes into a cool autumn, take this opportunity to enjoy the changing leaves and the fall festivals! Upcoming holidays will come and go, so don’t let the next couple of festive months slip by without enjoying them to your fullest ability.

  • FESTS are abundant in all areas during fall weekends filled with perfect climate. Most of Chicago’s independent neighborhoods and suburbs have their own fests, usually with proceeds going to local charities. Check out your town’s website for dates.

Particular fest favorites in the area include:

Navy Fear: The famous Navy Pier envelops its dock in Halloween decorations and activities. Enjoy fireworks every Friday night, attractions for young kids and for older kids, a frightening walk down Dock Street and more! Navy Fear is opened Oct. 5 to 8, 12 to 14, 19 to 21 and 24 to 31.

Country Line Orchard is located right across the Indiana border and is just one of many orchards in the Chicagoland area. A favorite Midwest fall activity includes spending a day at an apple orchard or pumpkin farm. Not only do you get to ride a tractor out to the orchards or pumpkin patches, but most farms also include a country shop that sells fresh cinnamon apple donuts, homemade jams, candles, squash, fudge, apple cider and much more! Petting zoos, corn mazes and pony rides are common bonuses. Most orchards are open through October and some into November.

Fright Fest at Six Flags Great America will spook your senses as you walk through the decorated theme park. Not only are all the rides and roller coasters opened on weekends through October, but the park features haunted houses, costumed workers and spooky decorations.

Oktoberfest celebrations are abundant in the area, but highlighted places to celebrate include The Berghoff Restaurant right downtown and the Chicago Brauhaus in Lincoln Square. Both of these facilities create a real German celebration with authentic food, beer and live music.

  • PARADES offer a unique, special atmosphere one day a year! Each parade celebrates something unique and therefore has something special to offer.

Famous upcoming parades:

Halloween Happening Parade on Oct. 25 presents a fun, unique atmosphere with the most outlandish costumes you may ever see! Costume contests and trick-or-treating for kids are a couple examples of the fun this parade brings with it.

The Magnificent Mile Lights Festival & Parade on Nov. 22 celebrates the moment when Chicago switches on its impressive holiday lights throughout the city. Come together with other fellow Chicagoans and celebrate this festive moment!

The Thanksgiving Parade on Nov. 27 is one of the most famous Chicago parades of them all! Thanksgiving morning provides hours of Chicago’s main streets blocked off for the enjoyment of bands, blowup figures and important guest appearances. Santa ends the parade, leaving you with a jolly feeling to go home with.

  • CHICAGO SPORTS have possibly never seen as much excitement as in this year’s month of October! Not only are the Chicago Bears storming back to Soldier Field for their 2008 season, but both Chicago baseball teams are in a race for post-season playoffs! More options include seeing the brutal ice-capades during a Blackhawks hockey game or a fast-paced basketball excursion from the Chicago Bulls. Both teams play at the United Center. Visit individual team websites for the chance to buy tickets.
  • BROADWAY SHOWS are in full swing at Chicago’s glamorous theatres, which include the historic Oriental Theatre, the Cadillac Place Theatre and more. Visit to purchase tickets.

Upcoming fall shows include:

The ever-so-popular Wicked that offers an unknown explanation of the Wizard of Oz witches in pre-Wizard of Oz days. Showings of Wicked run through Jan. 25, 2009.

The powerful Jersey Boys that gives an insider’s look at Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons rise to fame. Showings of Jersey Boys begin on Oct. 5, 2008.

The new, sexy Dirty Dancing smash is having its pre-Broadway U.S. premier right here in Chicago! Showings for Dirty Dancing began on Sept. 28, 2008.

  • CONCERTS are permanently plentiful in the city of Chicago. To experience the various types of venues, plan to attend a concert at each one. The Metro presents an area for young viewers to enjoy emerging underground bands, the House of Blues offers a contemporary, lively atmosphere and the Aragon Ballroom provides entertainment in a historic site. Tons of unique venues exist to make each of your concerts a unique experience. No musical genre is forgotten in the great city of Chicago. Search for upcoming shows that interest your tastes.

Upcoming shows include but are surely not limited to:

Madonna, Oct. 26-27 at the United Center

Celine Dion, Nov. 4 at the United Center

Jack’s Mannequin, Nov. 9 at the Bottom Lounge

Jason Mraz, Nov. 22 at the Aragon Ballroom

  • ETHNIC COMMUNITIES in Chicago allow you to travel the world without leaving the city borders! Spend a day in Lincoln Square to enjoy authentic German meals. Visit Chinatown to see what real Chinese food tastes like or Pilsen/Little Village for a taste of real Mexican cuisine. Wear a genuine Sari around Little India. Admire Greek architecture in Greektown and taste exclusive wines in Little Italy. Numerous ethnic villages allow you to widen your horizons without emptying your bank account.
  • CITY TOURS provide supreme views of the city, attention-grabbing historic information and a fun, friendly tour guides. If you are knew to Chicago, city tours offer a great way to become familiar with this great city. Even if you’ve lived near Chicago your whole life, new ways to tour the city always pop up!

  • Enjoy the perfect fall breeze while taking a free ride in a windowless trolley, or rent a trolley for a specific outing.

    Join a bar crawl to meet new people and to try new cocktails, or plan your own bar crawl with old friends. Pubs fill the area of Bucktown, sports bars fill the lively streets of Wrigleyville and upscale bars and clubs fill the famous Rush Street.

    Don’t want to participate in an organized tour? Rent a Segway and cruise around the lakefront as an independent or with family and friends. These electronically stable machines with two wheels definitely offer a unique one-of-a-kind experience.