The leaves are changing colors, the weather is getting cooler, pumpkin spice is coming back and classes have started up. Yep, it’s that time of the year again: fall season. Whether or not it’s your first quarter on campus, it’s hard to overlook its beauty at Northwestern. Classes may be getting stressful, so here are some ways you can make the most out of fall quarter in Evanston and Chicago.


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Locations (Chicago):

West Loop - 832 W Randolph

Old Town - 1529 N Wells St.

How to get there from NU: For both locations, take the purple line into Chicago, you can it straight to the Old Town location or transfer to the red line for the West Loop location.

One of my personal favorites, Bombobar is a classic Chicago go-to spot where you can get some awesome hot chocolate, apple cider and donuts. If you’re into sugar abundance, this is definitely the place for you. Make sure to try their infamous bombolinis, and if you’re local, bring your pup by for a doggie doughnut!

Night of 1,000 jack-o’-lanterns

Location: Chicago Botanic Garden (Glencoe)

Dates: Oct 16-20

How to get there from NU: This location is a little bit farther from campus, so recommended travel is either by car (be aware of parking costs) or taking the purple line to the Metra train.

This event is super cool if you’re into all things Halloween. The Chicago Botanic Garden uses 1,000 real pumpkins that are transformed into beautiful – and sometimes a tad terrifying – jack-o’-lanterns.

Ladd Arboretum

Location: 2024 McCormick Blvd., Evanston

How to get there from NU: Take the Sheridan bus # 201

The Ladd Arboretum is a great place to visit in the fall if you want to take in all the colors of autumn. The arboretum is a small, hidden gem of Evanston for nature lovers and those looking to just enjoy a short walk. Make sure to check this one out. It’s right by Northwestern’s backyard!

Fall Fest

Location: Lincoln Park Zoo (Chicago)

Dates: Fridays-Sundays 09/27 - 10/27

How to get there from NU: Once again, take the purple line into the city, then hop on the CTA 73 bus

Fall Fest is a fun way to experience the city of Chicago and all the festivities of fall in the same place. Fall Fest is a great place to take those Instagram-worthy fall photos with a giant pumpkin, a pumpkin patch, a ferris wheel and so much more. Entry is free (woohoo!), though certain activities may require tickets – which you can purchase at the Zoo itself.

Fall is a great time to get outside and enjoy the transition to winter. Whether you spend the season doing the suggestions above (which I hope you do!) or you want to find even more fall-themed festivities, Chicago and Evanston offer a plethora of activities to keep you busy! Happy fall!