Nothing feels more like fall than walking outside on a cool, crisp morning to find hints of orange and yellow leaves scattered throughout the green trees. No matter how cold it will be soon, I still love every bit of fall and everything that comes with it. Bring on all the apple-cinnamon donuts, pumpkin beer, apple picking, and haunted houses, because it is spooky season!
Here are some places and events to visit to make it your best fall yet.
One of the most well-known names in the region when it comes to apples is County Line Orchard! County Line is open from August 28th until October 30th this season. This beautifully rustic orchard has everything from fresh-made donuts, 30 varieties of apples for picking, sunflowers, corn mazes, live music, a kids farm with animals to feed, and of course pumpkins! Look out for special events they are holding this year too.
Fair Oaks Farms now features a 40-acre apple orchard and is open until October 19! Their orchard has eight varieties of apples to pick and many of the trees are low to the ground so even the littlest apple-picker can reach. There is also a 4-acre corn maze, wagon rides, donuts, apple cider slushies, and all the attractions that come with a visit to Fair Oaks Farms.
In the fall, the Jasper-Pulaski Fish and Wildlife Area is riddled with Sandhill cranes during their migration season. Last year, there were almost 30,000 of these three to four-foot-tall birds at the wildlife area at once! You can view these flocks on a raised viewing deck, but make sure to bring your binoculars to get a closer look.
You can explore more than 7,000 acres of beautiful fall scenery, when you visit the bison at Kankakee Sands Nature Conservancy. During the fall season, the bison are moved into a smaller pasture that makes it easier to view them. Even more of a reason to visit the bison in the fall – the calves are born during this time!
Edge Adventures at Deep River County Park is a treetop adventure with obstacles and zip lines for the whole family. There are courses for ages 4+ and range from kids’ courses to more difficult ones for older kids and adults. Check them out around Halloween for a haunted ropes course in the dark and with zombies!
If you want to stroll through nature trails to see all the different trees changing colors, Friendship Botanic Gardens and Gabis Arboretum at Purdue Northwest are both great options! Both of these beautiful places have areas great for children and are dog friendly. The entire month of October, Gabis also features the Trail of Scarecrows exhibit that features students’ scarecrows to match the theme of the year. Keep your eyes peeled for other fun fall and Halloween events at both of these locations.
Beer Fests, Oktoberfests, and Pumpkin Beer
Crown Brewing’s family-friendly Pumpkin Fest will be back on September 14th and will feature a special Pumpkin Beer release as well as live entertainment, a bounce house, food vendors and children’s activities. Kids get in free to this event, so bring the whole family and enjoy fall with an ice cold pumpkin beer.
The Inaugural South Shore Beer Fest is happening on September 21st at Whihala Beach in Whiting Lakefront Park. There will be 45+ local breweries, specialty cask sales, food vendors, and lots of special guests at this event.
Enjoy German beer and live music from The German Band at Off Square Brewing’s Oktoberfest on October 13th! There will be traditional German food such as a bratwurst platter or German pork schnitzel sandwich and plenty of German beer.
Wherever you plan on visiting, contact the South Shore Brew Bus to get where you want to go. Plan a brewery trail or visit the wineries in the area with a group of friends or family! What pairs better with fall than an ice cold brew and a safe way of getting to and from?
We hope this helps with planning your best fall adventure yet! Make sure to share your experiences with us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram using #AlongTheSouthShore so we can see all the fun you’re having.