We’re heading straight into fall with plenty of activities to enjoy the season and some of our favorite festivals making a return. Here are the top picks for October:
Illinois Homecoming is happening this week, with a variety of events leading up to Saturday’s game against Wisconsin. Tonight brings a new event to downtown Champaign, bringing Homecoming off campus and into the community. 40 North, who brings you Friday Night Live, is bring a special “Thursday Night Live” from 5–7pm today. 90’s Daughter will play a 2-hour set at Pour Brothers, and New Souls will play next to Hamilton Walker’s. There will also be several kids activities, a chalk artist doing a live drawing, photo ops, and specials at several downtown restaurants and shops. We’re hoping to see a lot of orange and blue as we get ready for the weekend festivities.
The CU Folk & Roots Festival will make a return to in-person this October 21–23 in spots all across Urbana. This festival is very community driven, bringing out local and national artists out to perform everything from bluegrass to folk and provide demonstrations, lessons, and jamborees for interaction with attendees. Shows are for all ages and the event provides a great sense of belonging for all who go out to enjoy.
In the first major event for the Champaign Park District since COVID, Flannel Fest will return on Saturday, October 23 to Hessel Park. Start off the day with their Lumberjack Dash with some obstacles along the way, then stick around for a show from the Timberwork’s Lumberjacks with log rolling, axe throwing and speed carving. There will be food trucks on hand and lots of other music and games to enjoy.
With Halloween at the end of the month, it’s time to check out one of the top-rated haunted house in the state of Illinois. Baldwin Asylum, located inside Taylor Studios in Rantoul, delivers the screams with their extremely realistic sets. This year’s story is a journey through the aftermath of a witch’s curse. It’s an immersive 10,000 square feet of thrills, so get ready to get scared.
If haunted houses aren’t your speed, let’s try some pumpkin picking. Now is the time to head to some of our favorite farms in the greater Champaign County area. Curtis Orchard & Pumpkin Patch is a perfect spot to find your pumpkins and gourds, while also enjoy a variety of activities including walking in their rope maze, carriage rides, and of course enjoying apple donuts. The Great Pumpkin Patch is back with over 200 varieties of pumpkins and squash to pick and take home. Enjoy the scenery of the patch with their beautiful displays, take part in their mini-corn maze, and pick up some Amish baked goods, like their delicious pumpkin cookies. Finally, for a simpler setting, check out Negangard Pumpkin Patch in Sidney where this family-owned farm can get you connected to everything you need to make your home feel like fall.