Champaign-Urbana, Ill. (WCIA)

As the leaves change color and the air turns crisper, it’s time to embrace the beauty of fall in Champaign-Urbana. Sponsored by Experience Champaign Urbana and presented by Terri Reifsteck, we bring you the top five activities to make the most of this vibrant season.

1. Fall Fusion Festival

Kickstart your autumn adventure with the inaugural Fall Fusion Festival in downtown Urbana. Discover artist-decorated pumpkins, witness a pro pumpkin carver in action, and engage in traditional fall activities for the kids. Enjoy live music and explore local businesses offering enticing deals. It’s a weekend of pumpkin-filled fun!

2. Picking Pumpkins

No fall is complete without a visit to the pumpkin patch. Curtis Orchard & Pumpkin Patch in Champaign is a must-visit, offering pumpkins and apples, along with delicious treats. Head to The Great Pumpkin Patch in Arthur for breathtaking pumpkin displays, mazes, and an Amish bakery. For a laid-back experience, visit Negangard Pumpkin Patch in Sidney for all your fall decorating needs.

3. Fall Foliage

Witness nature’s canvas as the leaves change colors. Champaign County boasts six forest preserves, including Lake of the Woods, where you can climb the Bell Carillon for a stunning view. Explore Homer Lake for picturesque lake views, especially from a kayak. Don’t miss Allerton Park & Retreat Center with 14 miles of hiking trails adorned with sculptures. And, of course, local parks and neighborhoods offer their own vibrant autumn hues.

4. Illinois Homecoming

Celebrate your pride in the University of Illinois during Homecoming week starting on October 15. Participate in the 5K run and witness the iconic fountain ceremony at the Alumni Center. Enjoy events like the Global Talent Show at Spurlock Museum, a celebration at the Union Art Gallery, and the spirited parade. On Saturday, head to Memorial Stadium to cheer on the Illini against Wisconsin, followed by a special event in downtown Champaign with live music, kids’ activities, and light projections.

5. CU Folk & Roots Festival

From October 12 to 14, downtown Urbana hosts the CU Folk & Roots Festival, featuring three days of folk, indie, jazz, and more. Enjoy free performances at Krannert Center, the Rose Bowl, and various venues on Saturday. Grab a festival pass for access to live performances, storytelling, workshops, and much more.

For a full list of events and activities, visit