Champaign County, Ill. (WCIA)

Fall is officially here with chilly weather and changing colors. Visit Champaign County has five ideas on what you should do this month to take advantage of the season.

Picking Pumpkins—No fall is complete without picking pumpkins. Get ready to decorate your home or make a jack o’ lantern after you visit on of our patches. Here in Champaign, you can head to Curtis Orchard & Pumpkin Patch where you can not only pick pumpkins, you can get apples as well. Visit their shop, buy some donuts, and take part in the many fun activities on site. You can also head to The Great Pumpkin Patch in Arthur, with breathtaking displays of pumpkins and gourds from all over the world. You’ll spend a fun day here with various mazes and activities to enjoy, but don’t forget to stop by their Amish bakery to bring home something tasty. For a more laid-back picking experience, visit Negangard Pumpkin Patch in Sidney to get just what you need to decorate for fall.

Fall Foliage—You can already start to see the leaves changing around the community which means it’s the perfect time to head outdoors for catching the fall foliage. With six forest preserves in Champaign County, you have your choice on spots to visit. At Lake of the Woods, you can climb the Bell Carilion to get a birds eye view of the trees. Homer Lake offers stunning views off the lake, even better if you’re on a kayak. Another can’t miss spot is Allerton Park & Retreat Center, with 14 miles of hiking trails. The views are even better with the many sculptures in the area to enhance the natural beauty. Of course, area parks and just neighborhoods offer wonderful colors this time of year.

Illinois Homecoming—This weekend, Illinois Homecoming celebrations begin! This is always such a fun week to celebrate our pride in our University. On Sunday, you can run or walk in the 5K and catch the dying of the fountain at the Alumni Center. During the week you can catch events like the Global Talent Show at Spurlock Museum, a celebration at the Union Art Gallery, and of course the parade on Friday night. Saturday, get to Memorial Stadium to cheer on the Illini as they take on Minnesota. And new this year, head to downtown Champaign after the game for a special event with live music from 3:00–8:00 p .m. alongside numerous kids activities—a “Friday Night Live” but on Saturday.

CU Folk & Roots—This annual music festival takes over downtown Urbana and it’s happening October 20–22 this year. It’s 3 full days of folk, indie, jazz and everything in between. There’s a great mix of free performances at Krannert Center, outside at Rose Bowl, and at various venues throughout the day on Saturday. Also get a festival pass to enjoy dozens of live performances, storytelling, workshops and much more.

Haunted House—If you’re feeling brave, you can head out to a haunted house before Halloween to get your heart pumping. The popular, and top-ranked Baldwin Asylum in Rantoul is back with the theme, “The Curse” and aftermath of a witch’s curse. They have a truly immersive experience that they guarantee is 10,000 square feet of absolute terror.

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