The Peoria Area Convention and Visitors Bureau (Discover Peoria) is excited to promote a robust line-up of activities and events happening this fall in the Peoria area where you can discover a one-of-a-kind experience for the whole family to enjoy. 

As the leaves begin to fall and change colors, the area takes on a whole new dimension; if Central Illinois’ trees could talk, they would do a lot of bragging in autumn, when their leaves put on quite a show. The once green Grandview Drive fills with crunchy leaves and vibrant fall colors. The scenic valley of Spoon River becomes a painting of reds, oranges and browns abundant with unusual beauty, paving the way for the Spoon River Scenic Drive Fall Festival taking place the first two weekends of October.

“Central Illinois is rich with beauty and adventure during the fall months. As the heat of summer cools down, local festivals and events are a great way to take in the fiery fall scenery and get a taste for the season known for rustling leaves, spooky discoveries and autumn treats,” said MacKenzie Taylor, Strategic Communications Manager for Discover Peoria. “We at Discover Peoria encourage the community to get out and experience the memories and opportunities to explore that the fall season brings to the greater Peoria area.”

Summer may be coming to an end, but the lineup for annual fall festivals and events in the heart of Illinois is just beginning. The Pekin Marigold Festival kicks off the fall events season with a parade, carnival and more. Shortly after, the Village of Morton, the Pumpkin Capital of the World, hosts the Morton Pumpkin Festival, draws pumpkin lovers from around the region, and is packed with pumpkin-related events, including a pageant and parade. The nationally recognized Peoria Fine Art Fair is another local favorite full of original works of art and artists from all around. Head to www.discoverpeoria.com  for more up-to-date information on all of the upcoming annual events.

 

Annual Events:

  • Mackinaw Grape Stomp & Harvest Festival at Mackinaw Valley Vineyard (September 5, 2021) - Get ready to get your feet wet in the wine! Enjoy a fun day of winemaking as well as food by The Mackinaw Lions Club and live music by the Mystery Machine.

  • Pekin Marigold Festival at Mineral Springs Park (September 9 - 12, 2021) - Held in the Marigold Capital of the World, don't miss this annual festival to honor Pekin’s favorite son, Senator Everett Dirksen. Enjoy the yearly parade, crowning of Miss Marigold, carnival and more! This year's festival theme is ‘Marigolds Shine On’.

  • Havana Oktoberfest at The Historic Downtown Havana (September 10 - 12, 2021) - The 48th annual Havana Oktoberfest is an amazing weekend filled with culture and fun. Get ready for food & drinks, vendors, live music, a carnival and parade, contests, polka pace race and fun for all!

  • Morton Pumpkin Festival (September 15 - 18, 2021) - The Morton Pumpkin Festival is the perfect fall festival for any pumpkin lover in the Pumpkin Capital of the World! This four-day festival is packed with events like the Pumpkin Weigh-Off, the Pumpkin Princess pageant and Pumpkin Classic 10K.

  • Peoria Oktoberfest at the Peoria RiverFront (September 17 - 19, 2021) - Come and experience the magic world of the big tent where one leaves Peoria and enters Germany! This three-day event showcases German heritage through song, dance, food, drink, cultural exhibits and much more. Do not miss the talented German bands and musicians on multiple stages, vendors and much more!

  • Chillicothe Crafts on the River Fall Craft Show at Shore Acres Park (September 18, 2021) - Come out to Chillicothe for a variety of crafters and vendors at this year’s Crafts on The River Fall Craft Show.

  • Washington Autumn Fest in Downtown Washington (September 25, 2021) - Shop the stores on the historic Washington Square while enjoying food, live music, free carriage rides and kids’ activities! 

  • Peoria Art Guild Fine Art Fair at the Peoria RiverFront (September 25 - 26, 2021) - The Peoria Fine Art Fair has been bringing original art to central Illinois for almost 60 years.  As one of the oldest art organizations in the country, the Peoria Art Guild Fine Art Fair is nationally recognized and showcases national, regional and local artists. The Art Fair features original works of art, including jewelry, painting, ceramics, photography, digital art, and more. 

  • Spoon River Scenic Drive Fall Festival in Canton (October 2 - 3 and 9 - 10, 2021) - Come out and see what Fulton County businesses and vendors have to offer! The Spoon River, which starts at Medina, has carved a wide scenic valley through Fulton County with unusual beauty and colors. The festival will have amazing food, unique arts & crafts and the history of the beautiful area.

  • Dunlap Schlachtfest at Hickory Grove Park (October 3, 2021) - This years’ Schlachtfest will be a combined celebration of German-American Day and a kick-off to German-American Heritage month. The event will feature German music, beer, food, activities, games along with an art and craft fair.

  • Spooktacular Craft and Vendor Market in East Peoria (October 16 - 17, 2021)- Head out to East Peoria for the 5th annual spooktacular market featuring many crafters and vendors. 

An Assortment of Fall Adventures in Central Illinois

With the upcoming spooky season, there’s no shortage of fall-themed events and festivities to get you in the Halloween spirit. But before Halloween events take over greater Peoria, check out one of the area's farms and orchards where you can enjoy the beautiful fall weather and shop for your favorite seasonal items featuring flavors of cinnamon, pumpkin, caramel and apple cider. Orchard Hill Farm is the perfect stop for tasty treats and seasonal events like cookouts and carriage rides. Don’t miss the Tanners Orchard festival days full of festive events, games and a petting zoo. Pick your pumpkin and try not to get lost in the corn maze at Roth Pumpkin Patch! Whether you want to soak up the fall colors or pick a bushel of apples, there’s a place in central Illinois for you. If you’re looking for other farms and orchards or more ways to celebrate the fall season, check out these other locations and spooky events. 

 

Orchard Season and Spooky Events: 

  • Arends Orchard in Laura (July 1 - December 15)- Arends Orchard serves the Central Illinois area with delicious apples, cider, raw honey and a series of other fruits and vegetables that are grown right on the farm.

  • Orchard Hill Farm in Lewistown (August 1 - October 31)- Orchard Hill Farm is the perfect place for fall shopping and family fun. They sell a variety of treats such as tasty caramel apples. Don’t miss out on their cookouts, wine tastings, carriage rides, barrel train rides, corn maze, and cannons.

  • Christ Orchard in Elmwood (August 2 - November 30)- Head out to Christ Orchard for some apple picking! They also have pure honey, apple cider, pumpkins, fruit butters and preserves and much more.  

  • Tanners Orchard in Speer (August 2  -November 30) - Tanners Orchard offers a series of fall festivities throughout the season including a farm market and bakery, apple picking, a corn maze and petting zoo, events and festival days with games and activities.

  • Ackerman Family Farms in Morton (August 30 - October 31)- Ackerman Family Farms has many fall festivities including pumpkin patches, a corn maze, a petting zoo, and a gift shop filled with tasty fall treats!

  • Roth Pumpkin Patch in Morton (September 13 - October 31)- Roth Pumpkin Patch has fun fall things to do for the whole family including a corn maze, tube slides, pedal race tracks, and hayrack rides. You can also pick your pumpkin, get some delicious treats, and shop in their gift shop!

  • Spider Hill Haunted Attractions at Three Sisters Park (Every Friday and Saturday in October)- Spider Hill Haunted Attractions features a massacre mansion, trail of terror, and zombie invasion paintball adventure that are frightening, twisted, and filled with horror!

  • 16th Annual Springdale Cemetery Tours at Springdale Cemetery (October 5 - 7 & 12 - 14)- Join us for a walking tour that encounters voices from the past and many of the players and makers in Peoria’s early history. The dead come to life and tell their tales at the 16th Annual Historic Springdale Cemetery Tours.

  • Howl-Zoo-Ween at the Peoria Zoo (October 15 - 16)- Calling all ghosts and ghouls! Howl-Zoo-Ween is a night of trick or treating, magic shows, and so much more! There will also be a costume contest each night.

  • World Famous Spook Hollow Haunted House in Marquette Heights, Groveland (Oct 15 - 16, 22 - 23, 30 - 31)- Spook Hollow is an award-winning haunted house with high intensity scares!

  • Wildlife Scary Park in Hanna City (October 22 - 24 & 28 - 30)- Wildlife Scary Park is a Peoria area tradition during the season of fright. Wildlife Scary Park offers a kid-friendly Halloween experience with trick-or-treating, hayrack rides, haunted train rides, animal encounters and much more!

  • Spirit of Peoria Zombie Cruise at the Peoria RiverFront (October 30 - 31)-Dress up as your favorite zombie or Halloween character for a hauntingly good time on the Illinois River. Enjoy a spooky cruise on the Spirit of Peoria with live music by Phar Kitti and an appetizer buffet.

  • Chillicothe Ghost Chase at Three Sisters Park (October 30)- The Ghost Chase 5k is an event benefiting the Illinois Valley Central School district Band Programs and consists of a 5K run and 1 Mile fun walk. 

Learn more about these events and other events happening in central Illinois this fall at DiscoverPeoria.com/Events.