ORANGE CRUSH — Your guide to area pumpkin picking adventures
By Annie Alleman | For Sun-Times Media September 27, 2013 9:24AM
Goebbert's Farm & Garden Center in South Barrington has fall decorations and farm-fresh vegetables. | File photo
Updated: October 1, 2013 7:53PM
With the falling leaves comes the promise of pumpkin pie, hot apple cider and the joy of children experiencing all the pleasures that fall can bring.
It’s the best time of the year — pumpkin picking time. Most pumpkin farms are opening now for fall revelers.
Here’s a roundup of area farms that are offering fall pumpkin adventures. Make sure you check websites for coupons, discount days and rules on pets, strollers and more.
Abbey Farms of Marmion Abbey, 850 Butterfield Road, Aurora. (630) 897-6936; Abbeyfarms.org.
Abbey Farms Pumpkin Daze season is open to Oct. 27. The hours are 5 to 10 p.m. Fridays, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturdays and 12 to 6 p.m. Sundays, and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Columbus Day.
In addition to one of the largest corn mazes in Kane County, Abbey Farms has wood fires and a fun, non-haunted, evening flashlight corn maze on Saturday evenings.
Thanks to a great 2012 season, Abbey Farms has added new attractions and expanding existing ones. Patrons can expect a new wine and craft beer tent, larger corn maze and petting zoo, 8-acre you-pick pumpkin patch, new rope adventure maze, kids’ zip line, upgraded kids’ pedal tractor race track, pirate ship adventure, new hillside family slides, lasso challenge, upgraded scarecrow tractor ride with built in seats or hay, kids craft barn, bouncing rodeo race course and pony rides (for a fee).
Back are the Tee-Pee Town Adventure Course, picnic grove, hay rides, game zone and tractor tire climb.
$10 adults; $5 seniors; under 2 free. Credit cards accepted.
All Seasons Apple Orchard, 14510 Illinois Route 176, Woodstock. (815) 338-5637; Allseasonsorchard.com.
Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday and Columbus Day.
This is a pumpkin farm, apple orchard and corn maze. This year’s maze design pays homage to that master of spookiness, Scooby-Doo. What’s even cooler is the Mystery Machine van from the live action movie will be at the Orchard throughout the season. A wagon will take you to the pumpkin patch, where thousands of pumpkins await. Other activities include a farm market, petting zoo, goat bridge, cow train, jumping pillow, sand box, spider web, corn crib, pedal cart track, mini zip line park, giant swings, tube slide and tractor tires.
$8 to $18.50. Credit cards accepted. Online ticketing. No pets.
Andersons FUN-E Farm, 508 Illinois 126, Plainfield. (888) 352-5837; http://andersonsfunefarm.weebly.com.
Hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily Sept. 28 to Oct. 30. Haunted hay rides run from dusk to 10 p.m. or later Thursday to Sunday from Oct. 1 to Oct. 31.
Fall fest activities include a pumpkin patch, train rides, horse-drawn hay rides, tractor-pulled hay rides, wagon rides, inflatables, haunted house, Micro Zoo, petting zoo, craft area, kid-friendly haunted house, working bee hives and Baby Critter Corner. Stay after hours for a very haunted hay ride, and then warm up the bonfire.
$11; some activities cost extra. $2 coupon on Facebook.
Bengtson’s Pumpkin Farm, 13341 W. 151st St., Homer Glen. (708) 301-3276; pumpkinfarm.com.
Hours are 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily Sept. 28 to Oct. 30.
New this year is free unlimited kiddie rides and a lower admission price. Attractions include hay rides, a haunted barn and fun barn, two corn boxes, pig races, petting zoo, pony rides, camel rides, giant horse rides, corn maze, pumpkin launcher, Halloween shop, rides, a playground and a 90-foot slide, pumpkin patch and food.
$9.99 weekdays and $11.99 weekends; children 3 and under free. Pony rides, camel rides and giant horse rides cost extra.
The Children’s Farm at the Center, 12700 Southwest Highway, Palos Park. (708) 361-3650; Thecenterpalos.org.
Visit the farm’s Pumpkin Days festival during the week to find pumpkins, gourds, mini pumpkins, carving tools, straw bales, local honey and corn stalks. Visit the Pumpkin Playland on the weekends, where guests will find free hayrack rides and concessions, plus a giant corn box, petting zoo, Crazy Maze-y and haunted wood shed. New this year is haunted hay rides at 6:30, 7:15 and 8 p.m. on Oct. 25-26. Pumpkin Playland hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekends.
Free admission; $7 for Pumpkin Playland. Cash or check only.
Didier Farms, 16678 W. Aptakisic Road, Lincolnshire. (847) 634-3291; Didierfarms.com.
Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekends to Oct. 31.
In addition to the large selection of pumpkins and gourds in the pumpkin patch, visitors will find a corn maze and straw bale maze, petting zoo and exotic petting zoo, parakeet encounter and hay rides. Children’s activities include a burlap bag slide, strawberry spin, scrambler, kiddie Ferris wheel, dragon train, haunted forest and duck pond.
Free admission, but activities require tickets, which cost $1.
Dollinger Family Farm, 7502 E. Hansel Road, Channahon. (815) 467-6766; Dollingerfarms.com.
Hours are 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. daily Sept. 28 to Oct. 30.
At this farm, you will find a pumpkin patch, four-acre corn maze, petting zoo and farm animals, horse-drawn hay rides, steam train rides, farm playground, spooky family barn, gift shop, concessions and Abyss Haunted Barn ($25). There is face painting on the weekends and a Native American exhibit on Sundays. A Civil War Days event will be Oct. 19 and 20. Free admission, activities cost extra. Only the corn maze, petting zoo, farm animals and playground are available on weekdays excluding Columbus Day.
Forest View Farms; 5300 W. 167th St.) Tinley Park. (708) 560-0306; Fvfarms.com.
Hours are 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 1 to 30 Tuesday to Sunday and Columbus Day.
Visitors to this equestrian farm’s fall festival will find a pumpkin patch with pick-your-own and pre-picked pumpkins, horse-drawn hay rides, tractor-pulled hay rides, wagon rides, haunted rides, a haunted trail, restrooms, picnic area, face painting, pony rides, petting zoo and farm animals.
Goebbert’s Pumpkin Farm, 42W813 Reinking Road, Hampshire. (847) 464-5952; 40 W. Higgins Road, South Barrington. (847) 428-6727. Pumpkinfarms.com.
Hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily to Oct. 30; 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Oct. 31.
Goebbert’s celebrates its 65th anniversary this year at its original Hampshire pumpkin farm. Visitors can enjoy a fall harvest market, petting farm, pony rides, camel rides, pig racing, Pumpkin Express train, haunted house, corn stalk maze, Munchkin maze, paintball shooting gallery, tennis ball blaster, wagon rides and 3-D haunted mine (Hampshire only). Mr. D’s Magic and Illusion Show is available on the weekends and Columbus Day. New this year is a jumping pillow and double pumpkin slide.
At the South Barrington location, there are many of the same attractions including a giraffe barn and a Farmer Gem’s Mining Company, plus new corn box and Charlotte’s Web climbing activity.
$5 and $15; check website for exact prices.
Harms Farm Garden Center, 4727 W. Crystal Lake Road, McHenry. (815) 385-5385; Harmsfarmandgarden.com.
Hours are 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays and 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekends Oct. 1 to 31.
They offer pumpkins, squash, gourds, Indian corn, firewood, apples and cider. And for the kids: a pumpkin train, animal zoo, corn maze, petting zoo, spook house, Nessie’s Nest and haunted walk.
Heap’s Giant Pumpkin Farm, 4853 Route 52, Minooka. (815) 475-7373; Heapsgiantpumpkinfarm.com.
Hours are 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily to Oct. 31. This working farm has more than 30 acres of pumpkins both great and small. Fall fest activities include corn maze, soybean maze, tractor pulled hay rides, indoor playland, dirt hill, farm animals, with our very own “Burlan” the pig. Picnic area, mums, straw bales, corn stalks and general store. Our concession stand also has fresh bakery. Live entertainment. In October; 7-11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, Heap’s Haunted corn maze, flashlight maze and moonlight hayrides.
Free admission; activities are extra. Credit cards accepted.
Johansen Farms, 710 W. Boughton Road, Bolingbrook. (630) 759-8711; Johansenfarms.com.
Hours are 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily to Oct. 31.
At the Children’s Zoo on Johansen’s Farm, kids can see animals like chickens, pigs, ducks, goats and rabbits up close and personal. They can also go for a hay ride, a train ride and a pony ride. There’s a kid-friendly corn maze, hay tunnel, an inflatable castle (weekends only), inflatable obstacle course (weekends only) and two-story air slides available. You’ll also find pre-picked pumpkins, lots of fall decorations and yummy goodies.
$8.50 weekdays; $12 weekends and Columbus Day; $1 less for seniors. Children 23 months and under free. Credit cards accepted.
Keller’s Farmstand, 2500 Johnson Road, Oswego. (630) 554-1325; Kellersfarmstand.com.
The Oswego farm location has a massive pumpkin patch where visitors can pick the perfect pumpkin right off the vine. This patch is open daily through Halloween. On weekends, the 13th annual Keller’s Corn Maze is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. through Oct. 27 (and on Columbus Day). Visitors to the farm will find a 13-acre corn maze, rope maze, hay wagon rides, animal barn, pedal tractors, kids’ straw maze, grain boxes; and a large kid’s play area.
$8.99; kids 3 and under free. Children 12 and under must be accompanied by an adult.
Konow’s Corn Maze, 16849 S. Cedar Road, Homer Glen. (708) 301-8845. Konowscornmaze.com.
Hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily to Oct. 30.
In addition to pumpkins of varying sizes as far as the eye can see, Konow’s is home to a 3.5-mile corn maze and easier kid-friendly maze, pedal tractor track, indoor playland, mechanical bull rides, hay rides, animal barn, straw bale playground, corn pit, jumping pillow, cow train and evening bonfires. There will be an Oktoberfest celebration on several weekends with beer, wine and live music in the Tilsy Barn and under the big tent. Children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult in the giant corn maze.
$9; kids 2 and under free. Website coupon.
Kuipers Family Farm, 1N318 Watson Road, Maple Park. (815) 827-5200. Kuipersfamilyfarm.com.
Hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday to Saturday; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday to Oct. 30.
New for the 2013 Pumpkin Festival: pig races and the Cowboy Randy Roping Show. Returning activities include a mountain slide, duck races, corn crib, tractor tire mountain, woodland walk, pony rides, farm animals, hay wagon rides, jumping pillow, train rides, pumpkin patch, cornstalk tunnel, haunted forest, pedal tractors, playground, bean bag toss, Charlotte’s web and Charlotte’s rope maze, giant chess and checkers and a refreshment stand.
$8.75 weekdays (includes rides), $11.75 weekends and Columbus Day (rides extra); $5 seniors 65 and older; children 2 and under free.
Larson’s Family Farm, 4404 Somonauk Road, Sandwich. (815) 786-2249. Larsonfamilyfarm.com.
Open in October; call for hours.
The October harvest features a wide variety of gourds, pumpkins and squash; along with apples, caramel apples, seasonal decorations and snacks. Fall activities include hay rides to the pumpkin patch, bonfires, spooky hay rides, old-time playground, enchanted woods and spooky cemetery. Open for school tours and private parties.
Norton’s Hollow, 39W369 Illinois Highway 64, St. Charles. (630) 377-8118. Nortonsproduce.com.
Hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday to Halloween.
After not having a corn maze in 2012, Norton’s has made a roaring comeback by allowing guests to turn their smart phones into a GPS-enabled maze map. You can get a punch card, trivia questions and checkpoint hunt right on your smart phone and turn the maze into interactive fun. The Norton Hollow playground is for children ages 2-10, and includes straw mazes, corn bundle tunnel, animals, a straw mountain and other activities. There will be free hay rides to the pumpkin patch Oct. 19-20 and 27-27. On weekends they sell popcorn, apples, caramel apples, peanut brittle and peanut brittle popcorn, as well as beverages. Guests are welcome to bring a picnic lunch; no alcohol.
$3, seniors $2, kids 2 and under free.
Odyssey Fun Farm, 19112 S Oak Park Ave, Tinley Park. (708) 429-3800. Odysseyfunfarm.com.
Hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily Sept. 28 to Oct. 27.
Located across the street from Odyssey Fun World, this farm has pumpkins, cow train rides, a corn maze, flashlight maze, zip line, kiddie corn maze, hay bale maze, corn cannon, pig races, goat walk, tractor-pulled hay rides, bounce house, jumpy pillow, concessions, picnic area, face painting, pony rides, petting zoo and farm animals. If you dare, take the Zombie Safari Hay ride at night. It runs from 7 p.m. to midnight every Friday, Saturday and Sunday in October and costs $20.
$11; pony rides and zip line extra.
Siegel’s Cottonwood Farms, 17250 S. Weber Road, Crest Hill. (800) 304-3276. Ourpumpkinfarm.com.
Hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily through Oct. 31.
New in 2013 are the Statesville zombie paintball ride and Lexi’s Jumpin’ Blob Jamboree. Other activities include two corn mazes, three play lands, a kiddie tractor maze, dwarf slide, giant slide, climbing wall, pumpkin patch moonwalk, haunted fun barn, petting zoo, kiddie train, ghost town railroad, spooky spiral, gem mine, pony rides (weekends), café, obstacle course, tee ball challenge, climbing web, corn crib, Halloween shop and Statesville Haunted Prison haunted house.
Additionally, there are several snack shacks and concessions available on weekends, and Kyle’s Corn Crib Café on weekdays. There are also plenty of fall decorations and sweet treats at the country store and Fudge Shoppe. All attractions except the zombie paintball ride, Jumpin’ Blob Jamboree, pony rides, gem mining, climbing wall and spooky spiral are included in the cost of admission.
$12-$14; website coupon
Sonny Acres Farm, 29W310 North Ave., West Chicago. (630) 231-3859. Sonnyacres.com.
Hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily to Oct. 31.
It’s a harvest festival celebration, with pumpkins spread across the grounds and activities including the low-scare Spook Shed, Dizzy Zone, Kiddie Koral, hay rides, petting zoo, hay maze, wagon rides, train and pony rides and giant slide. The haunted barn and haunted wagon rides operate Friday nights and weekends in October. Shoppers will delight in a costume shop, novelty loft and harvest barn.
Free admission; pay per attraction. Buy a $10 wristband for unlimited rides on Wednesdays in October.
Windy Acres Farmstand, 37W446 Fabyan Parkway, Geneva. (630) 232-6429. Windyacresfarmstand.com.
Hours are 9 a.m. to 6:30 weekdays; 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekends Sept. 28 to Nov. 5.
This family-owned and operated farm is chock-full of harvest fest activities. In addition to a wide variety of pumpkins available for pick-your-own, there are fall decorations, concession stands, a new bakery and picnic area. For kids, there is a face painting, corn stalk maze, balloon artist, two-acre petting zoo with miniature ponies, new Buttermilk Barnyard, four inflatables including a 40-foot slide and an obstacle course, hay rides, hay stack, hay tunnels, a play area, kiddie haunted house and Halloween shop. $6-$12