Say goodbye to the 90-degree days of summer and welcome the crisp air of fall.
What could be more fun than spending a leisurely day picking apples and selecting pumpkins in preparation for Halloween?
The Northern Illinois area is rich in its offerings of apple orchards and pumpkin patches.
Following is a variety of places we selected to consider visiting with (or even without!) the kids.
Each place offers a variety of activities for the family’s enjoyment including: amusement rides, corn stalks, mazes, petting zoos, hayrides, pony rides, tractor-pulls, train rides, face painting, pig races, haunted houses and MORE!
And, the treats include hot apple cider, jams, jellies, honey, pies, and bakery treats in market, restaurant and snack shop settings.
It is best to call ahead and visit the website of your destination a few days before heading out as hours often vary. Be sure to understand fees charged, activities offered and accepted payment methods.
Most of all have FUN!
photo credit: http://www.countylineorchard.com
Compiled by Annie Alleman Post-Tribune September 7, 2015 (edited for space)
All Seasons Orchard: 14510 Illinois Route 176, Woodstock. 815-338-5637 Allseasonsorchard.com. Hours 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday through Friday; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, and Columbus Day, Aug. 29 through Nov. 1. Eleven varieties. Offering corn maze, pig races, a petting zoo, apple cannon, pumpkin picking and a jumping pillow. Admission ranges based on activities.Pick a peck
Apples on Oak: 16146 W. Oak Ave., Joliet. 815-726-0386 applesonoak.com/. Hours 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday and Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday from Aug. 1 through the second week of October — or until the last apple is picked. Free.
County Line Orchard: 200 S. County Line Road, Hobart, Ind. 219-947-4477 Countylineorchard.com. Popular Northwest Indiana orchard. Hours 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily Sept. 3 to Nov. 1 featuring a Blackhawks-themed corn maze; 30 varieties; KidsFarm. Admission based on activities. Also a stop for pumpkins. Feed Peter the Pumpkin-Eating Dino every hour on the weekends.
Garden Patch Farms and Orchard: 14158 W. 159th St., Homer Glen. 708-301-7720 pickthefarm.com/. Hours 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily Sept. 1 to Oct. 31. 64 varieties.
Homestead Orchard: 11802 Charles Road, Woodstock. 815-338-7443 homesteadorchard.net/. Hours 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday through the last week of October. 23 varieties.
Honey Hill Orchard: 11747 Waterman Road, Waterman. 815-264-3337 honeyhillorchard.com/. Hours 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. daily.
Jonamac Orchard: 19412 Shabbona Road, Malta; 815-825-2158; jonamacorchard.com. Hours 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. daily through October and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday during November. Thirty varieties. Corn maze, barnyard, petting zoo, pedal trikes, apple train, jumping pillow and apple launcher offered. Free admission; charge for activities.
Knutson’s Country Harvest: 13550 Townhouse Road, Newark. 815-695-5905 knutsonsharvest.com/. Hours 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday through Friday; 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday; and 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday.
Kuipers Family Farm: 1N318 Watson Road, Maple Park. 815-827-5200 kuipersfamilyfarm.com. Hours 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.
Lang’s Orchard: 17411 Secor Road, Woodstock. 815-568-7547 Langsorchard.com Hours 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday through Wednesday.
Meadowmoor Orchard: 1517 N. Illinois Route 47, Woodstock. 815-687-8208; Meadowmoororchard.com This (non-certified) organic orchard’s hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. Free.
Prairie Sky Orchard: 4914 N. Union Road, Union. 815-923-4834; Prairieskyorchard.com. Hours 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.
Pine Apple Acres: 41W651 Powers Road, Huntley. 847-669-3251; pickitfarmfresh.com. Hours 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday.
Royal Oak Farm Orchard: 15908 Hebron Road, Harvard. 815-648-4141 royaloakfarmorchard.com. Hours 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 9:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday Sept. 1-Oct. 31; and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday Nov. 1-21. Apple maze with two miles of winding trails, 9 varieties, a carousel, petting zoo and farm animals. Free admission; charge for activities.
Woodstock Country Orchard: 17015 Garden Valley Road, Woodstock. 815-923-4359 woodstockcountryorchard.com. Hours 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekends.
photo: Didier Farms / Tisia Joseph
Compiled by Maria Chambers, Red Tricycle (edited for space)
Bengtson’s Pumpkin Farm: 13341 W. 151st St, Homer Glen,708-301-3276 pumpkinfarm.com. Kiddie rides including the Hootenanny train through Pumpkin Junction, 14-person Happy Swing, 90-foot-tall mega fun slide and spinning t-cup honey pots; pig races that occur 10 times daily; tractor-pulled hayrack ride; petting zoo; Kid Village with tot-sized fire station, school house and jail.
Sonny Acres Farm: 29W310 North Ave., West Chicago, 630-231-3859 sonnyacres.com
Includes Scarecrows and ghostly wooden cutouts, Dizzy Zone spinning tunnel, petting zoo, pony rides, tractor-pulled wagon ride and spook shed.
Didier Farms: 16678 Aptakisic Rd., Lincolnshire, 847-634-3291 didierfarms.com Pumpkin Playland, kiddie carousel and ferris wheel, mini tractors, corn hole, straw bale mountain, corn stalk, kiddie straw mazes, Animal Land Zoo offered.
Goebbert’s Pumpkin Patch: 42W813 Reinking Rd, Hampshire, 847-464-5952 goebbertspumpkinpatch.com Offering Pumpkin Express, weekend pig races, giant mechanical pumpkin-eating dinosaur and corn stalk maze and petting zoo.
Stade’s Farm and Market: 3709 Mill Rd., McHenry, 815-675-6396 stadesfarmandmarket.com
Offering tractor rides, corn-launching cannon, race pedal cars, jumping pillow, tractor tire pyramid.
Siegel’s Cottonwood Farm:17250 S. Weber Rd., Crest Hill, 800-304-3276, ourpumpkinfarm.com Offers more than 20 attractions, including a tractor ride, three play areas, ride the Ghost Town Railroad, giant 100-year-old rocking chair, and corn angels.
Kroll’s Fall Harvest Farm: 13236 W. Town Line Rd.,Waukegan, 847-662-7333 krollsfarm.com Hayrides educating visitors on farming and crops (gourds, corn, pumpkins.) Animals.