Pumpkins and Apples and Other Fall Fun

| September 23, 2009 | 1 Comment


The air is getting more crisp by the day.  I actually busted out the hoodies and my favorite oversized sweatshirt a few mornings this week.  We will probably still have some warm days ahead but overall, I think fall has arrived.  And you know what that means (besides football, that is)… PUMPKINS!!!  And besides outlet malls, pumpkin picking may be the only activity that brings you city-people out our way to the suburbs and beyond.  To help us all get going and get into the spirit of fall, here is a list of most of the different farms in the Chicagoland area where you can go for some fall fun.

Bengtson’s Pumpkin Fest– W. 151st St. Homer Glen www.pumpkinfarm.com

Voted best pumpkin farm in Chicagoland last year so it must be good, eh?  Pumpkins, rides, pig races, funnel cakes, a haunted barn.. you know, the standard fall fun stuff.  Kids 3-11 are $12, Adults are $13 (there is a $1 off coupon online). Pumpkins extra.

Butterprint Farm– 80th Ave. Monee-  www.butterprintfarm.com

15 varieties of pumpkins to pick as well as other fall fruits and veges for sale.  A corn maze and other standard pumpkin patch fun.  You can even try your hand at shelling corn and making rope.  $8 adults, $5 kids 3+

Didier Farms– Aptakisic Rd. Prairie View-Lincolnshire   www.didierfarms.com

Weekday mornings, they have a $10.50/person entrance fee that covers all activities.  But evenings and weekends are all seperate pricing for all.  They seem to have some sort of show with tigers and lions and a bear and a hyena.  I can’t find anymore information about this but I’ll admit, I am intrigued.  Sidenote:  This farm also has a greenhouse you can take tours of from April through July.

Dollinger Family Farm– Hansel Rd. Channahon  www.dollingerfarms.com

Separate pricing for activities (hay ride, corn maze, pony rides, etc…) They even have a civil war re-enactment on Oct. 17-18.  I’m not totally sure what that has to do with pumpkins but could be cool, I guess (For you northerners, that is- I am a southern girl myself. Hehe!).

Garden Patch Farms and Orchard– 159th St.  Homer Glen  www.gardenpatchfarms.com

Finally.. a place with APPLES!!  $5/person field charge then pay for your apples by weight.  They have different U-pick fruits and veges throughout the seasons so check back in spring for strawberries and other summer fruits/veges too.

Goebbert’s Pumpkin Farms– Higgins Rd. South Barrington and Reinking Rd. Hampshire  www.pumpkinfarms.com

Different prices for different activities.  Looks like your standard pumpkin patch stuff with some camel rides and a haunted house thrown in.  They also have an Animal Land that has a separate admission fee.

Johansen Farm and Children’s Zoo– Boughton Rd.  Bolingbrook www.johansenfarms.com

Pumpkins, a petting zoo, toddler-centered activities such as slides and bouncy castles, hay rides, pony rides.  $10.50/person (2 and older), $7.50/person on weekdays.  They also have a dollar off coupon on their website. The good thing about Johansen’s is that once you are in, all the other activities are included even the pony rides and hay rides.  You still have to pay for food and pumpkins, though, just like everywhere else.

Jonamac Orchard– Shabbana Rd.  Malta  www.jonamacorchard.com

We have friends who go here every year and love it!  They have u-pick apples too in addition to the pumpkins and other fall rides/activities.  This weekend they are having Apple Fest which includes live music and other entertainment to celebrate the heart of apple-picking season.  Prices for u-pick apples are $9 for 1/2 peck (5lbs), $15 for a peck (10lbs) and $27 for 1/2 bushel (20lbs).  Visit their website to see what apples are currently available to be picked.  They also have an “apple launcher” which sounds intriguing…  hmmm….

Kuipers Family Farm– Watson Rd. Maple Park-  www.kuipersfamilyfarm.com

This is where my family has gone for the past two years.  It has apple picking and pumpkins and fun things for the kids.  We love the sandboxes filled with corn!  $10.75/person on weekends with some of the rides extra.

Siegel’s Cottonwood Farm– Weber Rd.  Crest Hill- www.ourpumpkinfarm.com

Also voted best in Chicagoland last year (somebody voted twice I think…).  Admission is $12/ person (3 and up) but they have a $2 off coupon in ChicagoParent magazine and online.  Three cornfield mazes, a giant inflatable slide and a baby chick nursery.  Fun times!

Sonny Acres Farm– North Ave. West Chicago- www.sonnyacres.com

My kids and I visited Sonny Acres last year and had a blast.  They have lots of rides for the little kids and some pumpkins.  It is not a u-pick kind of place.  It is more like a fall-ish playground or carnival but we has a lot of fun.  You buy tickets and use them for pony rides and train rides, etc…  I recommend it in addition to doing a pumpkin patch, especially if you have toddlers.

Other Fall Fun:

The Morton Arboretum has a display of fall-themed decorated scarecrows around the lake near the Children’s Garden.   Well-worth a trip!  Check out all the other activities the Arboretum has to offer during their Fall-Color Festival.

St. Charles is again hosting their annual Scarecrow Fest on October 9-10.  Live entertainment, food, crafts, and of course dozens of decorated scarecrows right on the banks of the Fox River.  It is a family tradition for many. Check it out and let us know what you think.   And starting Oct. 16th, you can drive the “Gallery of Ghoulish Homes” Tour in St. Charles.  People deck out their homes and front-yards in halloween and fall decorations trying to win the grand prize.  The website warns “only the brave get out of their car.”

That should get us all started.  Let’s take advantage of the cooler temps and outdoor fun that fall brings!  This is why we brave the winters here- because the fall is so beautiful!  Enjoy it to it’s fullest!

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Category: Featured, See & Plays

About the Author ()

Farrah Brown is a part-time nurse and full-time babywearing mom who is always on the lookout for those "hidden gems" in the western suburbs. She can also be found blogging at BabyLove Slings and ChicagoMomsBlog and her newest project, DupageMamas. Oh, and check out her beautiful handmade slings at BabyLoveSlings.com

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