Jack’s Pumpkin Pop-Up brings fall vibes downtown


Jack’s Pumpkin Pop-up, which is located on Elston Avenue, offers fall food, drinks, games and photo opportunities in a pumpkin patch themed experience.

Walking through the entrance at Jack’s Pumpkin Pop-Up encapsulates everything that is associated with fall: mounds of hay, plenty of people wearing their favorite flannels and, of course, pumpkins.   

Instead of spending a night exploring the city amongst the skyscrapers, people can maneuver through the stalks of corn in Chicago’s largest corn maze. From posing in front of the multitude of backdrops and photo-ops to throwing axes or having your fortune read, there is something for everyone to enjoy during the month-long event. 

For Kathia Garza, who went to Jack’s on Oct. 19, the corn maze and photo-ops were the attractions that stuck out to her. 

“I really like that they have a corn maze because I wouldn’t have imagined the city being too open to that since it is such a compact area,” Garza said. “But I really liked the corn maze, and I really liked all the places you can take pictures at.”

Jack’s spans over two acres of land, and they have plenty to offer.

Along with the more classic fall activities the patch offers, they also have arcade and carnival games. Some of Jack’s arcade games include Galaga, Super Mario Bros. and Skee-Ball. There are also carnival games like Zombie Brain Smash, where the main goal is to toss a brain in the zombie. There is also Break A Plate, where participants are given the option of a softball or baseball and have three chances to break a plate. 

In addition to the games, they also serve food. 

There are two food trucks located at Jack’s. One is Flash Taco, which provides Mexican food such as elotes, tacos and nachos. The second is Smoke Daddy, a barbecue establishment, where customers can purchase items such as the Caroline pork sandwich with a side of mac and cheese. 

Plus, there are four full-service bars at Jack’s. Each bar offers an assortment of beers, mixed drinks and shots. Some of the options include Jack’s famous whiskey shot, the Smashing Pumpkin, a vodka infused cocktail called the Hocus Pocus and beers such as Angry Orchard. 

The pop-up experience has drawn plenty of publicity since opening on Oct 3. Although it was extremely crowded  Saturday night, this did not affect Garza’s friend and DePaul senior Mercedes Alvarez’s experience.

“I still really liked the environment,” Alvarez said. “There were a lot of people there, but it didn’t feel overwhelming.”

Environments such as Jack’s wouldn’t be possible without people like Mikky J. Wright. As the marketing and special events director, Wright helps manage, lead and create all the messaging that goes to the general public and the media and makes sure the employees are prepared to do their jobs and plans special events that happen during the pop-up.  

All this has culminated in Jack’s becoming even more popular than when it was introduced for the first time last year. Still, there are some people who haven’t attended the pop-up experience. For those individuals, Wright has one particular reason why that should change. 

“The unique immersion experience that we offer at Jack’s appeals to all ages,” he said.  “What I enjoy about Jack’s every day is that an adult, a parent, a grandparent can go there and the experience resonates to when they were children and creates memories for children that come.”

Location: Jack’s Pumpkin Pop-Up is located at 1465 N. Elston Ave in Goose Island. 

Hours: Monday-Friday from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. 

Cost: For adults, and depending on the specific ticket and time, $20-$25 for general admission and up to $115 for the Ultimate Jack’s Experience. Kids general admission (Age 5-12) costs $12, and children under four years old are free.