Fall is just around the corner and if you live in the Midwest (or plan on visiting), there are plenty of festivals and fun activities to entertain your family over the next few months. The changing leaves provide the backdrop for spectacular drives and hikes, so make time to get outside and explore. There’s a lot to see in these states, so we’re sharing the best places to celebrate fall in the Midwest.

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Photo credit: Kirsten Maxwell-Teaching Traveling Mom

Best Places to Celebrate Fall in the Midwest

Fall is a beautiful time to explore the Midwestern United States, with its apple orchards, pumpkin patches, and spectacular drives to see the leaves changing color. If you’re looking for places to enjoy this fall, here are some places Traveling Moms would recommend.

Illinois

Great Highwood Pumpkin Festival

From October 3rd through 6th volunteers and community members are hard at work trying to collect and carve pumpkins to break the Guinness World Record for most lit Jack O’ Lanterns on display. From October 7-9 the pumpkins are on display and the festival has games, food, and demonstrations. You can read more about it in this post by Jamie Bartosch, Suburban Traveling Mom.

Richardson corn maze

Located in Spring Grove, Richardson Adventure Farm boasts the world’s largest corn maze. Every year the maze has a different image carved through the corn and this year happens to be Star Trek! Families can take the short or long option when navigating the course and when they are finished they can enjoy many of the other activities offered at the farm. Some favorites include the zip line, rolling in an ORB ball, and watching the pig races! A fun day out for everyone.

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Kids love getting lost in the corn maze!
Photo credit: Kirsten Maxwell – Teaching Traveling Mom

Starved Rock State Park

Starved Rock State Park is beautiful any time of year, but it sparkles in the fall. The changing leaves of autumn line the hiking paths and tourists and day trippers come out in full force to enjoy Mother Nature’s display. There are 13 miles of trails to explore for all skill levels, so pack a picnic and make a day of it!

Michigan

Blake’s

Blake’s Orchard in Harlant, Michigan has a fall festival with apple picking, a Barnyard Funland, petting farm, and train ride through the orchard. As Halloween approaches they have haunted activities such as: Zombie Paintball, a 3-D spooky maze, a haunted barn, and a haunted hayride. From good old fashioned fun to scary Halloween experiences, Blake’s has lots to see and do!

Ohio

Circleville Pumpkin Show

The Circleville Pumpkin Show attracts visitors from all over to the town of Circleville, Ohio. It’s one of the largest autumn festivals celebrating gourds with many competing for the coveted Giant Pumpkin Trophy. There are parades, contests, vendors, and games and it all revolves around pumpkins.

Nebraska

Vala’s Pumpkin Patch

This is the ultimate fall destination in eastern Nebraska. It’s a combination of pumpkin patch and theme park, and families can easily spend an entire day there. There’s a pumpkin-eating dragon, pig races, stage performances, haunted houses and so much more to enjoy.

Omaha

Several attractions get into the Halloween spirit with not-so-scary events for families. Favorites include the Spooktacular at Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium, Cobweb Castle at the Omaha Children’s Museum and the Ghoulish Garden Adventure at Lauritzen Gardens.  Another kid-friendly fall tradition is the Symphony Spooktacular that the Omaha Symphony presents each October. The musicians dress in costume and the concert is a lot of fun. Kids can trick or treat following the performance.

Wisconsin

Door County

Door County is located on a peninsula north of Green Bay on Lake Michigan. It attracts visitors from near and far year round with its charming small towns, historic lighthouses, and state parks, but in fall it is especially popular. There are many places to drive and see the leaves change, enjoy fall festivals, apple orchards, and outdoor adventures.

Apple Holler

If you’re looking for apples this is the place to go. With over 74 acres and 30,000 trees, Apple Holler allows visitors to roam through their orchards and fill up their bags starting in mid-August. They also offer activities such as pony rides, gem mining, a playground, and pedal carts. There is a full-service restaurant and shop on site for take-home apple products, like donuts, apple butter and cider.

Wisconsin's Apple Holler, one of the Best places to celebrate Fall in the Midwest. TravelingMom.com

Wisconsin’s Apple Holler, one of the Best places to celebrate Fall in the Midwest. Photo credit: Kirsten Maxwell – Teaching Traveling Mom

The Elegant Farmer

Located just southwest of Milwaukee, The Elegant Farmer is known for its famous apple pie you bake in a paper bag. In the fall, they host an Autumn Harvest Festival with apple picking, hayrides, pony rides, and a corn maze. Don’t forget to stop in the market and grab a pie to take home.

Indiana

County Line Orchard

Located in Hobart, Indiana, this is “THE” place for all things fall in northwest Indiana and even some in the Chicago suburbs. Here visitors will find a corn maze, pumpkins, apple orchards, cider, and donuts. Enough for an entire day’s outing with the family.

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Photo credit: Joyce Walker (via Jackie Gibson TravelingMom with Babies)

Brown County

Brown County is one of those places Midwesterners often visit when looking for a weekend escape and a place to see colorful fall foliage. In addition to beautiful drives, there are orchards, pumpkin patches, quaint towns, and outdoor adventures in abundance. With 170,000 acres of forested land there is a lot to explore off the beaten path!

As you can see, there are some amazing fall experiences in the Midwest. Where do you think are the best places to celebrate fall in the Midwest?

Looking for more fall fun? How about these posts from other Traveling Moms? Top 6 Fall Festivals for Families or Fall in Midwest: Arkansas, Missouri, and Illinois.