As the colors change, the air crisps and our world becomes pumpkin-spiced, fall into fun with a calendar of activities perfectly suited to complement busy back-to-school schedules.

From rounding up invasive crayfish, to teaming with superheroes, to browsing crafts, here are 10 activities to consider this Fall season. (Pssst! And be sure to check out the full lineup of fun in our Activity Calendar!)

Creative & Nature Play Preschool

Spots remain for our Creative Play (Vaughan, Prisco and Eola) and Nature Play (Red Oak) 2023-24 school year! Our programs apply the integrated teaching of STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics) for children to develop skills and procedures for inquiry, prediction, collaboration, communication, and creative and critical thinking. In addition to children’s in-school curriculum, we offer family-focused events throughout the year to celebrate successes.

Parent-Child Preschool In the Park: Join us from 1-2 p.m. on Thursdays, August 3 and/or August 10, at Spring Lake Park for STEAM and literacy activities. Each session will end with story time and no registration is required!
More info

Amazing Race — Register by August 6!

Stamina, smarts, and savvy come into play throughout this four-hour adventure patterned after the popular TV show … with an FVPD twist! Teams of 4 are given a map and sets of clues before they embark on part scavenger hunt/part obstacle course with mental and physical challenges to complete along the way. Registration includes an awards ceremony and post-race celebration with food and drinks.

When: 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., Saturday, August 19
Where:  Blackberry Farm (check-in begins at 8 a.m.)
Ages: 21+
Register online

Pooch Pentathlon

Does your French bulldog fetch or lab leap? Poodle paddle or dachshund dive? Here’s the chance for all aspiring super-doggos to show off in multiple events (or even just one) at Splash Country Water Park! There are five total events, and awards will be presented to the Top Dog in each event for each division.

When: Friday, August 11, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Where: Splash Country Water Park
Ages: All
More info

Rusty Rodeo

Get those sleeves rolled up and a pair of old kicks on for a morning of rounding up and removing a notorious aquatic invader of Illinois waterways – the Rusty crayfish! Our 6th Annual Rusty Rodeo, run in conjunction with a Great Lakes Awareness Day, is FREE and brought to you by Red Oak Nature Center, Forest Preserve District of Kane County and Hickory Knolls Discovery Center, and Friends of the Fox River. Limited “round-up” tools will be available to borrow from staff and families are encouraged to bring their own nets and buckets.  Awards will be given out for most, biggest, and more!

When: Saturday, August 12, from 10 a.m. to Noon
Where: Glenwood Park Forest Preserve (about a half mile north of Red Oak Nature Center on Rte. 25)
Ages: All
More info

Pumpkin Weekends – Tix On Sale Sept. 1!

Fall festivities return to colorful Blackberry Farm, which will be spruced in autumn’s finest wardrobe! Enjoy all rides and attractions with your admission fee, and pumpkins will be available to purchase for $3 inside the park. Special activity dates, such as a Bounce House, Face Painter and World’s Tallest Scarecrow, will be sprinkled throughout the month.

When: Saturdays and Sundays in October, and Monday, October 9, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Where: Blackberry Farm, 100 S. Barnes Rd., Aurora
Ages: All
More info

Touch A Truck

Climb, pose, and play in a variety of vehicles in the back parking lot of Blackberry Farm. Vehicles may include police cars, fire trucks, ambulances, bulldozers, tractors, and more! The park will not be open during the free event, which is geared toward preschoolers filled with wonder when they see different machinery than mom or dad drives. Stop by to get an up-close look and touch!  

When: Thursday, September 7, from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Where: Blackberry Farm, 100 S. Barnes Rd., Aurora
Ages: Preschool
More info

Bigfoot Trail Run 5K

Race around the Red Oak Nature Center and trail paths, along with areas of off-trail terrain and elevation, to experience a true jaunt through the woods in our inaugural fall 5K! Features include a T-shirt and race medal (if registered by Sept. 14!), chip-timed results, and prizes for overall male and female winners. The race begins and ends at The Wilds at Red Oak … be sure to stay and enjoy the post-race gathering with food and activities at our newest facility!

When: Saturday, September 30, at 9 a.m.
Where: The Wilds at Red Oak, 1400 N. River Rd. (Rte. 25), North Aurora
Ages: 5+
More info

Superhero Smash

Suit up your little Batmans, Spideys and Supergirls for a crime-stopping afternoon of games, crafts, real-life superheroes, and fighting off evildoers! Register by Oct. 13 for discounted pricing!

When: Saturday, October 14, from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Where:  Eola Community Center, 555 S. Eola Rd., Aurora
Ages: 2+
Register online

Flannel Fest

Channel your flannel and enjoy a late taste of fall, when our Red Oak woods will be booming with color, at a family-friendly picnic/party at The Wilds! All ticketholders will enjoy a catered lunch, live music, activities such as a self-guided nature tour, and lawn games. This is a BYOB event (all IDs will be checked), and indoor seating will be limited, so blankets and lawn chairs are encouraged.

When: Saturday, October 21, from Noon to 2 p.m.
Where: The Wilds at Red Oak, 1400 N. River Rd. (Rte. 25), North Aurora
Ages: All (must be 21+ to enjoy alcohol)
More info

Fall Craft Fair

Calling all crafters! We’re excited to host our 1st Annual Craft Fair at Prisco Community Center, where the talent and creativity of local crafters will be on full display. Admission is free. Interested in becoming a vendor? Cost per table is just $40 for residents. Contact Jen at 630-966-4554 for more info. All Craft Fair proceeds will benefit the District’s Active Adult programming.

When: Saturday, October 28, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Where: Prisco Community Center, 150 W. Illinois Ave., Aurora
Ages: All
More info