One thing we know about families in Central Illinois: They are willing to drive for a family friendly fall festival!
We feature some fall festivals we think are noteworthy to consider outside the Champaign-Urbana area
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.
Chambanamoms thanks the Arcola Broomcorn Festival for presenting this article.
This year’s Arcola Broomcorn Festival will be held on Sept. 9-11 in Arcola
Arcola celebrates its heritage as the “Broomcorn Capital of the World” with the renowned annual Broomcorn Festival. Visitors can see broom making in their Broom Tent, enter into the National Broomcorn Sweeping contest, shop with arts and crafts vendors, take in the free entertainment, run or walk the 5K/10K race, explore all the great food, bring the kids for the carnival and a gigantic parade featuring their own famous Lawn Rangers! 51 years and still sweeping!
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. 14 through Saturday, Sept. 17
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, Sept. 17 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. 16 through Sunday, Sept. 18
How much: Adults and teens, $8 on Friday or Saturday, $5 on Sunday; $15 for a weekend pass.
Highlights: We haven’t seen the official 2022 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. 7 through Sunday, Oct. 9
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 more. Don’t miss the evening balloon glow on Saturday, weather permitting.
Our pick for day to visit: Saturday
What: Centralia Halloween Parade and Fall Festival
When: Saturday, Oct. 29
How much: Free children’s games and activities.
Highlights: Traditionally, there’s a lot to enjoy at this Halloween-themed festival. Enjoy free games and activities during the day or peruse the flea market. Then the Annual Halloween Parade kicks off in the evening.
Find everything related to fall in Champaign-Urbana:
- Fall Leaf and Yard Waste Collection in Champaign-Urbana and Beyond
- Halloween Events at Zoos Near Champaign-Urbana
- Haunted Houses and Where to Get Scared in Champaign-Urbana
- 21 Things to Do in the Fall on a Budget in Champaign-Urbana
- Fall Fairs and Festivals in the Champaign-Urbana Area
- Champaign-Urbana Area Halloween Events and Activities
- Apples, Pumpkins and Corn Mazes in Champaign-Urbana and Beyond
- Have the Ultimate Outdoor Fall with Kids in the Champaign-Urbana Area
- Our Favorite Fall Parades in Champaign-Urbana and Beyond
- Fall Fun for Families in Champaign-Urbana
- Fall Fun in Chicago: Free Days at the Best Museums
- Fantastic Fall Festivals a Short Drive from Champaign-Urbana
- Peaches Aplenty at Okaw Valley Orchard
- Where to Pick Apples Near Champaign-Urbana