Elgin Area will continue to monitor and provide updates related to COVID-19 across our social channels and our website. Learn More

Visit Elgin, Illinois

Discover things to do on an Elgin, Illinois, getaway

Fall Bucket List

Fall Bucket List

The official start of fall may be September 22nd, but many of our favorite fall activities, attractions and certain coffee beverages become available much earlier than that! If you love fall here’s our guide to make the best of the season! Be sure to click on locations you’re interested in to learn more!

Share your bucket list experiences with us on social by tagging us @ExploreElgin and using out hashtag #ExploreElgin!

Find Us on Social


1. Sip on a Pumpkin Spice or Apple Cider Beverage

Pictured: Maple Bourbon Coffee from Eastside Café

The only way to beat the autumn chill that’s better than snuggling up in your favorite sweater… is snuggling up in your favorite sweater while sipping on a pumpkin spice coffee or apple cider. These classics will be available at Original County Donuts→ and Blue Box Café→. Give them a call to check when these fall favorites are coming back! Oh and we have to mention trying a maple bourbon iced or hot coffee from Eastside Café in East Dundee→. It’s such a unique flavor but understandably a fall classic once you taste it!

There will also be fun fall flavors features at:

Elder +Oat in West Dundee→
Meraki Market Hub→
Mozzafiato Gelato and Coffee→
Arabica Cafe


2. Visit a Pumpkin Patch

Getting to pick your pumpkin is a must for the ultimate fall experience. Each patch offers a different experience. The Pumpkin Wagon→ is all about the pumpkins. Decorating, painting or eating available pumpkins is an option with all the variety that’s offered. For a agritourism experience head over to Enjoy Pioneer Farm→ to visit the animals, pick veggies and walk the patch to pick your pumpkins. Or you can also head to Goebbert’s Farm→ where there are also veggies picking opportunities as well as the apple orchard and attractions for kids.


3. Go to a Candy Store

Whether you’re preparing for Halloween or looking for a quick fix for your sweet tooth, candy stores bring out the fall décor and candy that will really get you into the spirit of the season. Around the Corner Candy in West Dundee→ is a fan favorite for their candy, chocolates, seasonal decorations and they also have caramel apples! There’s also Cook’s Sweet Boutique in Elgin→ that offers a variety of candies, truffles and customized gifts like candy bouquets!


4. Attend a Fall Event / Festival

There are quite a few events happening in the Elgin Area this fall and many are free to attend! Here are some of the events happening this year.

Heritage Fest in West Dundee
September 17-19
Outdoors | Free Admission | More →

Oktoberfest in East Dundee
September 24-25
Outdoors | Free Admission | More →

Fall Fest in Carpentersville
September 25
Outdoors | Free Admission | More →

Bluff City Cemetery Walk in Elgin
September 25-26
Outdoors | $15 Admission | More →

Big Timber Pumpkin Fest
Dates throughout October
Outdoors | Multiple Events | More→

Evil Intentions Haunted House in Elgin
September 24-October 31 (Fridays-Sundays)
$35-$50 Admission | More →


5. Visit a Farmers Market or Farm Stand

Reap the goods from the harvest at a local farmers market or farm stand for guaranteed fresh products! Here are some markets and stands available during the fall season.

Hampshire Fall Market
September 18th & October 16th
Learn More→

Elgin Farmers Market
3-7pm every Friday through mid-October
Learn More→

Goebbert’s Farm Stand
Open daily from 10am-6pm
Learn More→

Klein’s Farm and Garden Market
Location #1 | 1175 Lillian St.
Mon-Sat 9am-6:30pm
Sunday 10am-5pm

Location #2 | 39W130 Plank Rd
Mon-Sat 9am-7pm
Sunday 10am-5pm

Learn More→


6. Make S’mores

Whether you’re out camping around the fire or inside using the gas stove on a rainy day, S’mores are an amazing fall treat. You can also complete this category if you’re able grab some S’mores ice cream from Milk House→. Be warned this is a fall favorite that is frequently scooped up fast!


7. Watch a Football Game

Football is integral to the fall season. Cheer as you watch your team on the big screen at an Elgin Area sports bar or in-person with Judson University’s new football team! See below for a list of options.


8. See the Leaves

Seeing the leaves change colors is fall’s most beautiful features. It’s a great time for a romantic walk or an afternoon picnic with the family. One of the best spots to go to take in the sights is the Fox River Bike Trail→. Running through multiple preserves and Elgin Area communities you can see all of fall’s beauty, both natural and through the decorations set out. Some other options are:

Festival Park→

Burnidge Forest Preserve→

Randall Oaks Park→

Jon J Duerr Forest Preserve→

Muirhead Springs Forest Preserve→


9. Savor a Fall Foodie Favorite

The fall season offers some of the most delicious and savory dishes like chili and other soups and stews. And don’t get us started on the treats and desserts! Between the pies, cobblers and apple cider donuts picking a favorite isn’t possible. Here’s a list of fan favorite seasonal offerings from Elgin Area businesses:

Chili at Elgin Public House→

Huge pot pies at Red Poppy Bistro→

Apple cider donuts at Country Donuts→

Caramel apples at Goebbert’s Farm→

Assorted baked good at Herb’s Bakery→

Various fall flavors of ice cream at Milk House→

Themed martinis at the Martini Room→

Local Oktoberfest brew at Black and Gray Brewing→

Caramel apple popcorn at Mama Lee’s→


10. Watch a Spooky or Fall-Inspired Flick

Every year we can expect scary movies to hit the theatres. If you love going to the movies stop by Marcus Cinemas in Elgin→, Cinema 12 Classic Cinemas in Carpentersville→ or the Cinemark Spring Hill Mall and XD in West Dundee→. But getting cozy in your pjs and hunkering down for a movie is also perfect fall activity. Here are some recommendations if you choose to stay in:

Scary Movies

  • The Exorcist (1973)
  • IT (2017)
  • The Shining (1980)
  • The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)
  • The Halloween Series

Spooky Movies

  • Labyrinth (1986)
  • The Village (2004)
  • Edward Scissorhands (1990)
  • The Haunted Mansion (2003)
  • Beetlejuice (1988)

Kid Friendly

  • It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (1966)
  • Halloweentown (1998)
  • Hocus Pocus (1993)
  • Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit (2005)
  • Casper (1995)