by Angela Sykora
The leaves are falling. The air is getting crisp. The arrival of autumn is beckoning us to get out and enjoy the festivities of the season before the long, cold winter sets in.
From tricks to treats, here are some ideas to keep you busy until the gloves have to come on!
15900 Kelly Rd., Wadsworth (northwest corner of Route 41 and Kelly Road)
Patch 22 is open Saturdays and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. through the end of October, including Columbus Day. The farm has thousands of different pumpkins to choose from, horse and tractor-drawn hayrides, pony rides, a petting zoo where kids can feed the animals and seasonal refreshments.
16678 W. Aptakisic Rd., Lincolnshire
Didier Farms’ Pumpkinfest is open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily through Oct. 31. Activities include a Pumpkin Playland, hayrides, corn maze, pony and camel rides, zoo with pig races, gem mining, concessions, bake shop and more.
13236 W. Townline Rd., Waukegan
Kroll’s Fall Harvest Farm is open through Nov. 1. Hours are 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 12 p.m. to 10 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday. Pick your own pumpkin, get lost in the corn maze, and visit the petting zoo. The farm also has a gift shop for with holiday decorations and accessories. Cash only. Credit and debit cards are not accepted.
17 Highwood Ave., Highwood
This 6th annual event will be held Oct. 9 through Oct. 11. Hours are 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday. The fest features all-you-can-carve pumpkin stations and a pumpkin lightshow that will try to break the world record along with costume contests, a parade, rides and food vendors, trick-or-treating, HGTV Magazine demonstrations and a Costume Run/Walk to benefit autism.
27691 N. Gilmer Rd. (Gilmer and Hawley), Mundelein
Get into the spirit of fall. Pick out a pumpkin, attempt the straw maze and ride a barrel train. They also have a petting zoo, moonwalks, corn stalks and fall décor for purchase.
7150 18th St. (Hwy J), Kenosha, Wis.
Jerry’s features affordable family activities ranging from $3 to $5, including hayrides, corn maze, haunted forest, Giant Jumping Pumpkin Pillow, pony and camel rides and face painting. There’s also a country store with produce, honey, homemade fudge, kettle corn, cold and hot apple cider and more.
909 English Prairie Rd., Spring Grove
Richardson Adventure Farm boasts the world’s largest and most intricate corn maze, a pumpkin patch, ziplines, giant slides, goat walk, train and pony rides, picnic areas and campfires and more. Hours are 12 p.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday, closed Monday and Tuesday, 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, and 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
711 59th Place, Kenosha, Wis.
This festive event is happening from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Oct. 11. Activities include a costume contest, outdoor movie screening of “Divergent,” Build-A-Monster, “Ride of the Living Zombies” and more. Participating restaurants and businesses will have specials.
I94 and Route 132 (Grand Ave.), Gurnee
Experience all the thrills Six Flags has to offer with a Halloween-themed twist. The entire park is transformed for Fright Fest and features amazing lights and props, frightening costumed characters, six haunted houses, live shows and much more. There are also non-scary areas for the kids and plenty of games and food to enjoy between rides and attractions. Fright Fest runs through Nov. 1, and is also open Columbus Day. Hours are 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m. to midnight Saturday and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday. Check website for pricing.
600 29th St., Zion
Definitely not for kids, Dungeon of Doom is 42,000-square feet of pure terror. Can you survive 60 minutes in the dungeon? Open Oct. 2-3, 9-11, 16-18, 22-25, 28-31 and Nov. 6-7. See website for hours and pricing.
882 Anita Ave., Antioch
Visit the disease-infected, deranged patients at the asylum Oct. 2 through Oct. 31. Experience 15,000-square feet of heart-pounding scares. Tickets are $20 at the door or $17 online.
1401 N. Midlothian Rd., Mundelein (Barefoot Bay Family Aquatic Center)
A new carnival is in town, and the demented ring leader has arrived with twisted performers to scare, disgust, and amaze in ways you couldn’t possibly fathom. This activity is not recommended for children. As darkness falls, will you dare to enter? Ages 14 and up. This attraction is open 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Saturdays and Sunday Oct. 2 through Oct. 31. Admission is $10.
2825 SE Frontage Rd., Mount Prospect, Wis. (next to I94 near Racine/Kenosha)
The complex features two different haunted houses open through Oct. 31. See website for hours and pricing. The Ambush Haunted House is designed to be an intense, startle-scare haunted house with loud noises, actors popping out of unexpected places, bright lights and special effects. The Hysteria Haunted House focuses on visual and audible scares, confusion, misdirection and illusion with lighting effects and actor interactions.