Shift into fall with corn mazes, hayrides, more
By Annie Alleman For Sun-Times Media September 20, 2012 12:24PM
The pumpkin launchers at Bengtson’s Pumpkin Farm in Homer Glen can toss a pumpkin more than a hundred feet in the air. | Courtesy of Bengtson's
Updated: October 2, 2012 10:03AM
With the calendar set to flip a page into October, it’s time to start planning your visit to a pumpkin farm.
These area farms are not only a great place to get the perfect pumpkin, they offer families a fun weekend of corn mazes, haunted houses, hayrides and other kid-friendly attractions.
Make sure you check the web site for coupons, discount days and other rules on pets, strollers and more.
ABBEY FARMS OF MARMION ABBEY: Open Sept. 21 to Oct. 28. The hours are 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday and 12 to 6 p.m. Sunday, 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. New this fall is a second simple corn maze, new jumpy huts and a petting zoo for the first three weekends in October. Back again are the Tee-Pee Town Adventure Course, Wildwood picnic grove, the Tractor Experience, hayrides, the family game zone and the pedal race track. All farm activities are included in the price. New at the Tumbleweed Grill and Snack Stand are homemade apple cider donuts and funnel cakes and unlimited apple toppings bar. Admission: $9 adults; $3 seniors; under 2 free. Cash or check only. 850 Butterfield Road, Aurora. (630) 897-6936. Abbeyfarms.org.
ALL SEASONS APPLE ORCHARD: The 12-acre corn maze contains three miles of pathways and a look-out bridge. A wagon will take you to the pumpkin patch, where thousands of pumpkins await. Other activities include a farm market, jumping pillow, pony rides, petting zoo, cow train, pumpkin blaster, a hay mountain, children’s rides, giant tube slide, mini zip line and more. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday and Columbus Day. Admission: $7-$18. Credit cards accepted. No pets. 14510 Illinois Route 176, Woodstock. (815) 338-5637. Allseasonfarm.com.
BENGTSON’S PUMPKIN FARM: Twenty-six days of unlimited kiddie rides are part of lower prices. Other attractions include hayrides, a haunted barn and fun barn, pig races, petting zoo, pony rides, corn maze, pumpkin launcher, Halloween shop, kiddie rides, a playground and a 90-foot slide, animatronic chickens, skeleton band, pumpkin patch and food. The farm is open 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily Sept. 29 through Oct. 30. Admission: $12.99 for adults, $10.99 kids ages 3-10. $1-off online coupon. 13341 W. 151st St., Homer Glen. (708) 301-3276. Pumpkinfarm.com.
DIDIER FARMS: New this year is an exotic petting zoo and pig races. Other activities include the pumpkin patch, corn maze and straw bale maze, pony rides, pig bin, hay rides, Scarecrow Alley, Sunshine Crafts art studio, Indian teepees, educational barn, inflatable pumpkin, kiddie rides, Halloween shop, cafe and tractor rides. Check Web site for ticket prices and wristband specials. Open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekends Sept. 22-Oct. 31. 16678 W. Aptakisic Road, Prairie View-Lincolnshire. (847) 634-3291. Didierfarms.com.
DOLLINGER FAMILY FARM: Pumpkin patch, four-acre corn maze, petting zoo and farm animals, horse-drawn hay rides, steam train rides, farm playground, spooky family barn and Abyss Haunted Barn ($25 admission.) The farm is open from 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. daily Sept. 28-Oct. 30. Free admission, activities cost extra. Some activities are only available on weekends; check web site. 7502 E. Hansel Road, Channahon. (815) 467-6766. Dollingerfarms.com.
GARDEN PATCH FARMS & ORCHARD: Pumpkins, fall flowers and other decorations; as well as a Halloween bounce house, fall decorations, a roadside market. Open daily 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. through December. 14154 W. 159th St., Homer Glen. (708) 301-7720. Gardenpatchorchard.com
GOEBBERT’S PUMPKIN FARM: Goebbert’s is a family-owned and operated business celebrating its 64th year in 2012. Two locations offer pumpkins, sweet shop, fall harvest market and decorations, corn stalk maze, straw town maze, Animal Land, play yard, giraffe barn, pumpkin-eating dinosaur, wagon rides, pony rides, camel rides (South Barrington only), 3-D haunted mine (Hampshire only), haunted house, weekend pig race and Goebbert’s Pumpkin Express train (Hampshire only.) The farms are open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily Sept. 22-Oct. 30; 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Oct. 31. Admission to the Hampshire location: $8; $10 on weekends and Columbus Day; activities cost extra. Admission to the South Barrington location: free; attractions cost extra. 40 W. Higgins Road, South Barrington. (847) 428-6727. The original farm is at 42W813 Reinking Road, Hampshire. (847) 464-5952. Pumpkinfarms.com.
HARMS FARM GARDEN CENTER: The farm is open for its fall festival season 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekends Oct. 1-31. In addition to lots of pumpkins, you’ll find a pumpkin train, bounce house, fun house, spook house, corn maze, petting zoo, Nessie’s Nest and haunted walk. 4727 W. Crystal Lake Road, McHenry. (815) 385-5385. Harmsfarmandgarden.com
HEAP’S GIANT PUMPKIN FARM: In 2009, the Heap family grew a pumpkin that weighed more than 600 pounds. You’ll find pumpkins both great and small nestled in the 25 acre-pumpkin patch. In addition, this farm offers hay rides, a soy bean maze, moonlight hay rides, a kiddie corn box, giant corn maze, concessions, a haunted corn maze on weekends, animals and fall plants. Open 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily to Oct. 31. Free admission; activities cost extra. 4853 Route 52, Minooka. (815) 475-7373. Heapsgiantpumpkinfarm.com.
JOHANSEN FARMS: Seven acres of kids’ attractions in their Children’s Zoo. Kids can interact with chickens, pigs, ducks, goats and rabbits; plus take hayrides, train rides and pony rides. There’s an inflatable castle and air slides available on weekends, and pre-picked pumpkins in the gift barn. Open 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily to Oct. 31. Admission: $7.50 weekdays; $10.50 weekends and Columbus Day. Children 23 months and under free. Credit cards accepted. 710 W. Boughton Road, Bolingbrook. (630) 759-8711. Johansenfarms.com.
KELLER’S FARMSTAND: Pick-your-own pumpkins daily; and special fall-themed activities on the weekends. Activities include a 12-acre corn maze, rope maze, hay wagon rides, animal barn, pedal tractors, kids’ straw maze, grain boxes; and a large kid’s play area. Admission: $6; kids 3 and under free. Children 12 and under must be accompanied by an adult. Open 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekends Sept. 22 through Oct. 28. 2500 Johnson Road, Oswego. (630) 554-1325. kellersfarmstand.com.
KONOW’S CORN MAZE: New this year is an indoor play area with a corn pit, bouncers and rides next to the concessions barn, for those days when it’s just too hot or too cold outside. Other activities include a 3.5-mile corn maze, pedal tractor track, indoor playland, mechanical bull rides, a kiddie corn maze, pumpkins, hayrides, petting zoo, straw bale playground, corn pit, cornfield bouncer, tricycle track, jumping pillow, cow train and evening bonfires. Also new this year is an Oktoberfest celebration on several days with beer, wine and music in the Tilsy Barn. Children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult in the giant corn maze. Open 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily Sept. 22-Oct. 30. Admission: $9; kids 2 and under free. 16849 S. Cedar Road, Homer Glen. (708) 301-8845. Konowscornmaze.com.
KUIPERS FARM: New at the farm this year is a mountain slide. Other attractions include pony rides, farm animals, hayrides, jumping pillow, train rides, pumpkin patch, cornstalk tunnel, haunted forest, pedal tractors, playground, bean bag toss, giant chess and checkers and a refreshment stand. This year’s giant corn maze celebrates 100 years of Girl Scouting. Admission: $8.75 weekdays, $11.75 weekends and Columbus Day. $5 seniors 65 and older. Children 2 and under free. Rides cost extra on weekends and holidays. Open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday-Saturday; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sept. 23-Oct. 30. 1N318 Watson Road, Maple Park. (815) 827-5200. Kuipersfamilyfarm.com.
LARSON’S FAMILY FARM: Fall activities include hayrides to the pumpkin patch, bonfires, spooky hayrides, old-time playground, enchanted woods and spooky cemetery. Open for school tours and private parties. Open in October; call for hours. Free admission. 4404 Somonauk Road, Sandwich. (815) 786-2249. Larsonfamilyfarm.com.
NORTON’S HOLLOW: Sadly, there will be no corn maze this year due to the summer draught. The Norton Hollow playground is for children ages 2-10, and includes straw mazes, corn bundle tunnel, animals, a straw mountain and other activities. Admission: $3, seniors $2, kids 2 and under free. Open 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. 39W369 Illinois Highway 64, St. Charles. (630) 377-8118. Nortonsproduce.com.
RANDY’S VEGETABLES: The fall festival includes corn maze and pumpkins; and on the weekends pony rides, concessions, train rides and petting zoo. Free admission. Open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily to October. 15N440 Randall Road, Sleepy Hollow. (847) 428-5244. Randysvegetablesfarmstand.com.
SIEGEL’S COTTONWOOD FARMS: Tractor-pulled hayracks take visitors out to the pumpkin patch, where acres of pumpkins lay in wait. 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, corn crib, Halloween shop and Statesville Haunted Prison haunted house ($30 admission). Admission: $12; kids 2 and under free weekdays; $14 weekends and Columbus Day. Online tickets available; $2-off online coupon. Open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily Sept. 22-Oct. 31. 17250 S. Weber Road, Crest Hill. (800) 304-3276. Ourpumpkinfarm.com.
SONNY ACRES FARM: Activities include pumpkin patch, spook shed, Dizzy Zone, Kiddie Koral, hayrides, costume shop, hay maze, train and pony rides and giant slide. The haunted barn is open on weekends, and the haunted wagon rides run weekends in October. Costume shop, novelty loft and harvest barn. Admission free; pay per attraction. Open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily to Oct. 31. 29W310 North Ave., West Chicago. (630) 231-3859. Sonnyacres.com.
WINDY ACRES: Pick-your-own pumpkins, fall decorations, concession stands, face painting, corn maze, balloon typhoon, two-acre petting zoo, four moon walks including slide and obstacle course, hayrides, haystack, hay tunnels, play tent, kiddie haunted house and Halloween shop. Open 9 a.m. to 6:30 weekdays; 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekends Sept. 28-Oct. 31. 37W446 Fabyan Parkway, Geneva. (630) 232-6429. Windyacresfarmstand.com.