One thing we know about families in Central Illinois: They are willing to drive for a family friendly fall festival!
Fall festivals we think are noteworthy 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 more 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. 8-10 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! 52 years and still sweeping!
From Centralia to Peoria, these fall festivals are all special. Pumpkins to planes and parades to polka, these festivals have something for everyone. As a note, we consider “fall” to be between Labor Day and Thanksgiving. (Click over here for fall festivals closer to Champaign-Urbana.)
What: Morton Pumpkin Festival
When: Wednesday, Sept. 13 through Saturday, Sept. 16
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. 16 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. 15 through Sunday, Sept. 17
How much: Last year, admission was $5-8 for a single day or $15 for a weekend pass. Still waiting to hear what the cost will be for 2023.
Highlights: We haven’t seen the official 2023 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.
What: BalloonFest at Lake Shelbyville
When: Friday, Oct. 6 through Sunday, Oct. 8
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. 28
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:
- Halloween Events at Zoos Near Champaign-Urbana
- Fall Leaf and Yard Waste Collection in Champaign-Urbana and Beyond
- Haunted Houses and Where to Get Scared in Champaign-Urbana
- Champaign-Urbana Area Halloween Events and Activities
- Our Favorite Fall Parades in Champaign-Urbana
- 21 Things to Do During Fall (on a Budget) in Champaign-Urbana
- Fantastic Fall Festivals a Short Drive from Champaign-Urbana
- Champaign-Urbana Area Fall Fairs and Festivals
- Apples, Pumpkins and Corn Mazes in Champaign-Urbana
- Fall Fun for Families in Champaign-Urbana
- Where to Pick Apples Near Champaign-Urbana