Autumn is the perfect time of year to go exploring at local family farms. Not only do they typically have a ripe harvest of fruits and vegetables for purchase, but many also have pumpkin patches, hay rides and fun activities for the little ones to enjoy.
We've gathered a small handful of local family farms near our housing cooperative in Park Forest, Illinois to get you started, but don't let this list limit you! There are so many more farms to explore just a further drive away in Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana, Iowa and more!
Dollinger Family Farm
With a rich history, dating back to 1836, this family farm is a must see in Channahon, Illinois (southwest of Joliet). From mid September to the end of October (dates vary), this farm offers a massive pumpkin patch, War reenactments, parades, kids spy hunts, horse demos, tug-of-war competitions and so much more! The best part if that admission and parking are all FREE! Plan to spend the day with the family as you leisurely stroll the entire farm, learning about its incredible history. Let the kids play while the grown-ups admire the farm's finely preserved antique buildings and equipment.
Rader Family Farms
The Rader Family Farm prides themselves on "Connecting the community to the farm through the influence of faith, family and fun." (from their website) They offer tons of activities for kids including an apple blaster, corn maze, a jumping pillow, duck races, a double barrel shoot, rat rollers, straw castles, wild horses, tire tower, u-pick pumpkin patch and so much more. Unique attractions, right outside Normal, Illinois, make this family fun farm a must visit.
Honey Hill Orchard
While Honey Hill is more of a u-pick-your-own-fruit farm, it also has a few activities for families to enjoy, especially families with small children. West of Aurora, Honey Hill has tons of yummy treats to purchase at their gift shop including apple cider donuts, honey, pies, caramel apples and of course, over 25 varieties of apples from their orchard. The also have a free children's play area with farm petting zoo and straw maze, plus weekend wagon rides.
Settlers Pond Shelter
For just a small admission, this no-kill animal shelter is a great place to take the family for a quick trip to the farm. Just south of Park Forest, Settlers Pond offers tons of attractions for all ages including barrel train rides, hayrides, livestocks exhibits, a fiberglass milking cow, egg display and more! Be amazed by the diverse group of wildlife rescued by the owners of Settlers Pond Shelter including monkeys, camels, porcupines, coatimundi, kinkajous, tortoises and more!
Have you visited any of these farms? Send us a picture via email so we can showcase your family fun trip! At Cedarwood Cooperative, we love showing off our member's having fun at the farm!