October 2021 Chicagoland Activities for Older Adults

Orange fall oak leaves on a branch

by Patricia LaCroix, Contributing Writer

For those who are fully vaccinated, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — better known as the CDC — has said that older adults can start doing many things that they had put on hold because of the COVID-19 pandemic. CLICK HERE to check out what the CDC considers to be “safer activities” that can experienced two weeks after a person is fully vaccinated and to read more recommendations from the CDC regarding COVID-19 for older adults.

With this in mind, we’ve gathered ideas regarding events, activities, programs, and venues that can be once again enjoyed by fully vaccinated seniors in the Chicagoland area during the month of October 2021. Check out what we’ve found below!

Please note: At this time, as the level of vaccination builds nationwide, the CDC recommends masking indoors in public places to reduce transmission of COVID-19 and the Delta variant. Everyone who is able, including fully vaccinated people, should wear masks in public indoor places in areas of substantial or high transmission.


The City of Chicago offers many support services for older adults, one of which is the Congregate Dining Program, also known as the Golden Diners Program. The program offers adults age 60 and older, as well as their spouse of any age, the chance to receive a healthy meal for free every day. Various dining sites (approximately 50 in all) are located at facilities all across the city. For more information on the program, serving times, and reservations, call 312-744-4016. You can also visit the web page regarding the program by clicking HERE. For information on other programs for seniors offered by the City of Chicago, click HERE.


Looking for exercises that are safe and yet efficient for older adults? The Elmhurst YMCA of Metro Chicago offers fitness classes specifically for older adults! If you or a loved one have been afraid to exercise because of age, these classes are for you. They’ll give you the opportunity to again be physically active and stay in shape. The Elmhurst Y offers aerobics, strength, conditioning, pilates, yoga, swimming, and aquacise, as well as the Silver Sneakers program (learn more about Silver Sneakers by clicking HERE). To learn more about the classes offered by the Elmhurst YMCA and to sign up, click HERE or call 630-834-9200.


On Friday, Oct. 1, from 5 p.m. until 10 p.m., and on Saturday, Oct. 2, from Noon until 10 p.m., Naperville holds a traditional Oktoberfest at its Naper Settlement location (523 S. Weber Street). In the comfort of a heated tent, you’ll enjoy various German cuisine along with traditional Oktoberfest beer. Activities include pumpkin caring and a stein-holding competition. The music throughout the event will be a combination of old-style German “oompah” polka music along with some harder hitting rock. Adults are $15 to enter the event; children from 4 to 12 are $10. If you are a member of the Naper Settlement, it’s free! Click HERE for more information.

River Forest

There’s nothing more beautiful in autumn than taking a walk amongst the brightly colored falling leaves. You can do that and enjoy an up-close and personal experience with wildlife at the Trailside Museum of Natural History, located at 738 Thatcher Ave. in River Forest. On Sunday, Oct. 3 at 10 a.m., the museum will be hosting an Oaktober Oak Tree Nature Walk. On the naturalist-guided walk, you’ll visit the local oak trees and learn more about the ecosystems, animals, and insects those trees support. Click HERE to learn more.

St. Charles

On Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, Oct. 8 through 10, the AAA club presents St. Charles 36th annual Scarecrow Festival. The event takes place in downtown St. Charles and extends over to the Autumn on the Fox Craft Show in Pottawatomie Park. Handmade scarecrows will be scattered all along the downtown area. Vote for your favorite! There will also be a “Family Zone” that will feature live entertainment and activities for the kids. Registration is required. To register, call 708-366-6530. To learn more, click HERE.