Get Ready to Watch the Chicago Marathon

Autumn in Chicago isn’t just about the crisp air, colorful leaves, and pumpkin-spiced everything. It’s also about the thrilling sound of thousands of feet pounding the pavement, as the city gears up for the iconic Bank of America Chicago Marathon. For our residents at Optima Signature and Optima Lakeview, this October isn’t just any other month; it’s a front-row seat to one of the world’s premier running events.

Circle Sunday, October 8, 2023, on your calendar. The marathon unfolds in Grant Park, with gradual starts ensuring smooth sailing. For those not racing, join the celebration at Abbott 27.2 Fest from 9:30 a.m. until 4 p.m. near the start line for a day full of music, food and fun. While Grant Park’s start and finish zones have some viewing restrictions, the race course offers numerous sweet spots for spectator cheering and encouragement.

The first mile of the marathon, Image via Flickr by Paladin27

The annual footrace is truly a global gathering, where more than 45,000 runners from every state in the U.S., and over 100 countries worldwide come together. Taking the runners on a grand tour, the 26.2-mile route dives deep into the city’s heart, stretching from Wrigleyville to the North, Pilsen and Little Italy to the West and the historic Douglass, near Guaranteed Rate Field, to the South. 

The prestigious event is more than just a marathon; it’s one of only six World Marathon Majors across the globe. For Optima Signature and Optima Lakeview residents, you have the privilege of stepping right outside to cheer on the incredible racers. And for the Optima Verdana community, consider making the short trip down from Wilmette. It’s a spectacle you won’t want to miss. You can find more details about the iconic event here!

Autumn in Chicago & Scottsdale

Chicago and Scottsdale both provide endless activities and events throughout the year, but autumn is when the allure of both cities emerges more than ever. From Oktoberfest in Lakeview to a hike in the Sonoran Mountains, here are a few of the many activities you can discover throughout Chicago and Scottsdale this autumn: 


Throughout the city, there are many locations to admire the vibrant autumn leaves as they change, and the Chicago Botanic Garden in Glencoe is one. Across their more than 385 acres of land, they provide their fall-color tree walk and host the Night of 1,000 Pumpkins event in October.  

Another way to enjoy the cool autumn weather in Chicago is by visiting the nostalgic ChiTown Movies Outdoor Theater. Nearly every night, they showcase blockbusters, classics and every genre in between in the Pilsen neighborhood. For anyone looking to stay indoors, you can catch Broadway shows like Wicked and Anastasia downtown or enjoy cutting-edge shows in the Belmont Theater District, in the neighborhood of Optima Lakeview.  

The Chicago Botanic Garden
The Chicago Botanic Garden

Autumn also brings an array of local festivals that reside throughout almost every neighborhood of the city. Two of the most popular events include Lakeview’s entertainment-filled Oktoberfest held on September 23-25, and Lincoln Square’s Apple Fest the first weekend of October. 


There’s no better way to enjoy the Sonoran desert and its autumn weather than seeing it up close! McDowell’s Sonoran Preserve, less than a 15-minute drive from Optima Kierland and 30-minute drive from Optima Sonoran Village, is the perfect desert habitat for both bikers and hikers, thanks to its more than 225 miles of scenic trails. Pinnacle Peak Park, a little farther North, provides even more panoramic views of the Sonoran Desert. 

McDonald’s Ranch Pumpkin Patch is a popular spot for anyone looking for classic, seasonal entertainment. Not only are they known for their bright pumpkin patch, but they also have a petting zoo, hay-bale maze, and various lawn games throughout October. 

The Spooktacular Hot Air Balloon Festival in Scottsdale
The Spooktacular Hot Air Balloon Festival in Scottsdale

The season also brings various themed festivals to Scottsdale. One of the most enjoyed is the Carefree Fine Art & Wine Festival, where visitors can discover both unique artworks and new blends of wine. In October, the Salt River Fields in Scottsdale fill their grounds with a display of graphic hot air balloons accompanied by live music, delicious food and costumed guests for its Spooktacular Hot Air Balloon Festival

The autumn months don’t last long. So before time runs out, take advantage of all the fascinating seasonal opportunities found throughout Chicago and Scottsdale!

Autumn in Chicago

Autumn brings brisk weather, parks filled with vibrantly colored leaves, and an endless array of pop-ups, markets and festive events. The residents of Optima Signature have easy access to all of the city’s most bewitching autumn pastimes. Here are a few of the many activities to do this autumn in Chicago. 

Chicago Classics

Chicago is home to many autumn events that are entirely unique to the city. Jack’s Pumpkin Pop-Up is one of them. The one-of-a-kind outdoor experience is home to an axe-throwing range, classic carnival games, a dense pumpkin patch and Chicago’s largest corn maze. Food trucks serving fall cuisine and bars serving seasonal cocktails can be found across the two-acre experience. General admission for Jack’s Pumpkin Pop-Up is $25 and it is open every day through October 31. You can find more information and get tickets here.

Just a few miles East of Jack’s Pumpkin Pop-Up, Navy Pier’s Pumpkin Lights transform the beloved spot into a must-do fall outing. Throughout the month, guests will find Pier-wide deals, festive activities and more than 1,000 decorated pumpkins. 

After finding carving inspiration at Navy Pier, an architectural boat or walking tour featuring Optima Signature is the perfect way to end a fall day. The crisp, breezy fall weather is perfect for a guided tour on foot through the heart of the city or down the Chicago River in one of its famous river cruises. The educational trips cover more than 50 of Chicago’s iconic buildings and are appreciated by tourists and city natives alike. You can learn more about Chicago’s renowned architecture tours here.  

Fall Day Trip

Just outside the city, you can find a handful of farms home to more traditional autumn favorites. Odyssey Fun Farm, located 40 minutes outside of the city in Tinley Park, is one of the many locations perfect for a fall day trip. The prized destination has zip lines, hayrides, a Pac-Man-themed corn maze and a full pumpkin patch. You can visit the farm every Thursday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m through Halloween.  

Apple picking makes for another fun fall activity. Located just outside of Libertyville, Heinz Orchard is Chicago’s closest. The small family-run orchard offers apple picking over other seasonal endeavors. Red and Golden Delicious, McIntosh, Empire and Jonathan apple trees all fill the spirited environment.  In addition to Heinz Orchard, you can find more apple orchards for the perfect day trip around Chicagoland here

Chicago’s autumn months don’t last long. So before time runs out, take advantage of the unique events located in the heart of Chicago, or plan a day trip to one of the many wonderful locations full of seasonal fun outside of the city.

person name goes here

Maintenance Supervisor

Glencoe, IL

    Acceptable file types: *.pdf | *.txt | *.doc, max-size: 2Mb