Foliage, Festivities, and Fun: Fall at Illinois Beach 

While the rays of summer may have begun to fade, Illinois Beach Hotel is here to meet guest needs well into the colder months. Here are a few of the many fun things you can do near Illinois Beach in the fall (aside from enjoying the lakeview with a pumpkin spice latte in hand): 

First things first- if you want a specialty beverage to start your day off right, here are two places we cannot recommend enough: 

It’s All Good Coffee

What can we say- it’s all good! From bagel sandwiches to iced chai, smoothies and more, this family-owned coffeehouse located in the heart of Zion is a great bet for your fall beverage fix.

CJ’s Coffee House

Conveniently located 8 minutes away from the hotel, CJ’s Coffee House is a local Zion favorite. Not only do they serve amazing coffee, but they also have the best donuts and muffins in town! 


Kick things off with the annual Northern Illinois Airshow in Waukegan.

What better way to salute the end of summer than with an airshow? This annual tradition, held on Sep 9th, is a favorite among locals and a fun treat for the whole family. 

Fall at Six Flags Great America

Running from Sep 16th  to October 29th , Six Flags Great America is holding several spectacular events during the day and night, namelyOktoberfest, Boo Fest, and Fright Fest. 


As the name would imply, this ongoing event is a German craft beverage and food festival right in the middle of the park! Guests may enjoy a variety of experiences, from live music to Dunkel brew, Weiner Schnitzel to Apple Strudel. 

Kid’s Boo Fest 

Held during the day, Kid’s Boo Fest is a series of activities and events that focus on the “thrill” of Halloween rather than the “fright”. 

Fright Fest

Dubbed “Chicago’s Scariest Halloween Event” Six Flag’s Fright Fest is no laughing matter. From haunted houses to rides in the dark, goosebumps are guaranteed.

Family Fun at Kroll’s Fall Harvest Farm

Just a quick drive from the hotel, Kroll’s Fall Harvest Farm is a family-run pumpkin patch, petting zoo, and corn maze extravaganza.

Dungeon of Doom Haunted House

Pitched a few miles north of the hotel, the Dungeon of Doom Haunted House is a spooky experience unlike any other. 

Ghost Wauk Tours at Genesse Theatre

First opened in 1927, the Genesse Theatre has been the host of many strange and at times, frightening events. This immersive tour has been known to leave visitors with their hair standing up.  

A Potential Itinerary 

Mid-September (sunset approx. 7:00pm)  


  • 5:30 (p.m.): Arrive at Illinois Beach, check-in and get familiar with your accommodations 
  • 6:30: Go for a quick walk on the beach (remember to bring a light jacket!)  
  • 7:15: Dinner and Cocktails at Nolan’s 
  • 8:30: Settle in, watch a movie, and get ready for the fun that awaits!  


  • 6:30 (a.m.) Grab some coffee from the hotel lobby and watch the beautiful sunrise over Lake Michigan 
  • 8:00 (a.m.) Head out to one of our favorite coffee shops for a sweet treat and get a taste of local faire!  
  • 8:40 Embark on a walk on one of Illinois Beach’s famous trails!  
  • 10:00 Load up the car and head to Six Flags for Oktoberfest and Boo Fest!  
  • 6:00 (p.m) Depart Six Flags before things get too spooky 
  • 6:30 Enjoy a light dinner in town- we highly recommend Jen G’s Pizza!  
  • 8:00 Ask one of the front desk staff for a board game before retiring for the evening 


  • 6:30 (a.m.) Grab some coffee from the hotel lobby and watch the beautiful sunrise over Lake Michigan 
  • 8:00 (a.m.) Enjoy a buffet-style breakfast at Nolans 
  • 9:00 Choose another trail at the beach and soak in the views!  
  • 11:00 Make your way back to the hotel to refresh and collect your things. 
  • 1:00 Check-Out, and wave goodbye to the lake, don’t forget to fuel up before you leave!