One thing we know about families in Central Illinois: They are willing to drive for a quality family friendly fall festival!
We feature some fall festivals we think are noteworthy outside the Champaign-Urbana area to consider this year
Pumpkins and apples and BBQ, oh my! Fall in Champaign-Urbana is full of some of our favorite things and if you’re willing to drive further than an hour for some truly unique fun, one of these might be a great weekend trip for you (although not everything is so far away!).
From the closest (Decatur) to the furthest (Peoria), these fall festivals are all special. From pumpkins to planes to parades to polka, there’s something for everyone. As a note, we consider “fall” to be between Labor Day and Thanksgiving.
What: Morton Pumpkin Festival
When: Wednesday, Sept. 15 through Saturday, Sept. 18
How much: Entertainment and some activities free. Cost for carnival rides and other activities, food available for purchase.
Highlights: Did you know — 85 percent of the world’s pumpkin is processed in Morton! Don’t miss the Pumpkin Festival parade on Saturday at 10:30 a.m, pumpkin pancake breakfast and pumpkin EVERYTHING to kick off fall.
Our pick for day to visit: Saturday
What: Peoria Oktoberfest
When: Friday, Sept. 17 through Sunday, Sept. 19
How much: Adults and teens, $8 per day; $15 for a weekend pass. In years past, kids 12 and under have been FREE with guardian.
Highlights: We haven’t seen the official 2021 schedule but typically this family-friendly Oktoberfest celebration includes non-stop live music, log sawing contests, a parade, carnival rides, a kids zone and LOTS of food and beer. We will update here once we know exactly what is planned.
What: BalloonFest at Lake Shelbyville
When: Friday, Oct. 8 through Sunday, Oct. 10
How much: Free entry; some activities free, others require a fee.
Highlights: This is a fest for those who love to be up in the air! There will be young eagles flights first thing Saturday morning, food vendors, live music, a kids zone, and helicopter rides. Don’t miss the evening balloon glow on Friday and Saturday, weather permitting.
What: Centralia Halloween Parade and Fall Festival
When: Saturday, Oct. 30
How much: Free children’s games and activities.
Highlights: Traditionally, there’s a lot to enjoy at this Halloween-themed festival. We haven’t seen the official 2021 schedule yet but typically in the morning, your child can dress up and walk in the 11 a.m. parade. Enjoy free games and activities during the day or peruse the flea market. Then the Annual Halloween Parade kicks off at 7 p.m. We will update here once we know exactly what is planned.
Find everything related to fall in Champaign-Urbana:
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- Champaign-Urbana Area Trick-or-Treat Hours
- Fall Leaf and Yard Waste Collection in Champaign-Urbana and Beyond
- 10+ Places to See Fall Foliage in Champaign-Urbana — Plus a Map
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- Haunted Houses and Where to Get Scared in Champaign-Urbana
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- Our Favorite Fall Parades in Champaign-Urbana and Beyond
- 21 Things to Do in the Fall on a Budget in Champaign-Urbana
- Fall Fun in Chicago: Free Days at the Best Museums
- Fantastic Fall Festivals a Short Drive from Champaign-Urbana
- Fall Festivals in the Champaign-Urbana Area and Beyond
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- Where to Pick Apples Near Champaign-Urbana