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Awesome Autumn Outings

Picking the Perfect Pumpkin Patch

Growing up in the south, I never had much of an autumn. Our seasons were hot, hotter, warm and cool.

I don’t think I went to a pumpkin patch once as a kid, and now I’ve been just about every year for the past eight years. I don’t mean to sound like a party pooper, but they are pretty much all the same – hayrides, petting zoo, corn maze, pumpkin picking, inflatables, gift shop – but they're a great way to spend some time outdoors together as a family.

Many of the farms open over the next couple of weekends, so here’s a quick little guide to some that are closest to Downers Grove.

I definitely recommend checking out the farm’s Web site before heading over there. Many have coupons that will save you a little money, and there will be more information about special activities and entertainment. 

 

Johansen Farms and Children’s Zoo
(10 mi. from downtown DG)
710 West Boughton Rd.
Bolingbrook, IL  60440
630-759-8711
http://www.johansenfarms.com

Take a hayride through the pumpkin patch! Johansen’s also offers a large children’s zoo with more than 500 animals, including chicks, goats and ponies. On the way out, be sure to stop in the gift shop where you can shop through a beautiful selection of mums, pumpkins, and corn stalks and also enjoy cider, taffy apples, fudge and other fall favorites.

 

Bengtson’s Pumpkin Farm
(17 mi. from downtown DG)
13341 W. 151st St.
Homer Glen,  IL  60491
708-301-3276
http://www.pumpkinfarm.com/

Bengtson’s is open from October 1 – October 31, 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.  Younger kids will love the Fun Barn, while older kids will enjoy the animated Haunted Barn.  Of course there’s a petting zoo, pony rides and the Giant Crazy Corn Maizey. Little kids will also love Bengtsonville Children's Playland with a fire station, a jailhouse and a school house. Don’t forget the pig races!  Admission is $12.99 (adults) or $11.99 (children) and includes some free kids rides on many days.

 

Bengtson’s Pumpkin Farm
(17 mi. from downtown DG)
13341 W. 151st St.
Homer Glen,  IL  60491
708-301-3276
http://www.pumpkinfarm.com/

Bengtson’s is open from October 1 – October 31, 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.   Younger kids will love the Fun Barn, while older kids will enjoy the animated Haunted Barn.  Don’t miss the Giant Crazy Corn Maizey. Little kids will love Bengtsonville Children's Playland with a fire station, a jailhouse and a school house.  Don’t forget the pig races!  Admission is $12.99 (adults) or $11.99 (children) and includes some free kids rides on many days.

 

Siegel’s Cottonwood Farms
(21 mi. from downtown DG)
17250 S. Weber Rd.
Crest Hill, Illinois
815-741-2693, 800-304-FARM
http://www.ourpumpkinfarm.com/

Siegel’s is a fifth-generation working farm. Kids of all ages will love picking out their own pumpkins, getting lost in the giant corn maze and hopping onboard the hayrack rides. Siegel’s also offers inflatables, a petting zoo and baby chick farm, a kiddie train and Ghost Town railroad. In 2011, the farm is open September 24 – October 31, including Columbus Day, from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.

 

Kinsch's Autumn Fun Fest
(26 mi. from downtown DG)
301 West Johnson Street
Palatine, IL  60067
(877) KINSCHS
http://www.kinschflorist.com/afest.htm 


Open 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, September 19 – October 30.  Kinsch’s features the world’s largest tractor, a children’s haunted house, a two-story monster slide, a feeding zoo and children’s entertainment areas. On October 14, Kinsch’s sponsors a “Trunk or Treat” featuring local businesses and classic car clubs. Admission is $7 for kids ages six months to 12 years old, and $2 for ages 13 and over.

 

Goebbert's Farm & Garden Center
(28 mi. from downtown DG)
40 W. Higgins Rd.
South Barrington, IL 60010
(847) 428-6727
http://www.pumpkinfarms.com

From September 24 through October 31, 9 a.m. – 6 p.m., you can jump on the giant pillow, visit the kid-friendly haunted house, visit Animal Land, watch the pumpkin eating dinosaur, or even ride a camel. There are two mazes to keep everyone busy. Admission and parking are free, but most rides and activities cost $5.00 each.

 

Dollinger Family Farm
(37 mi. from downtown DG)
7502 W. Hansel Rd
Channahon, IL  60410
815-467-6766
http://www.dollingerfarms.com/

The Dollinger Family farm has been operational since 1852. In addition to the traditional pumpkin farm offerings, the farm sponsors a Civil War enactment weekend October 15 and 16, and several main stage entertainers, such as magicians and puppeteers.  Parking, admission and petting zoo are free, hayrides are $5.00, corn maze and train rides are $3.00 each. Open from September 24 – October 11, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Kristin McCann September 13, 2011 at 07:29 PM
Thanks! I love more options!
Kristin McCann September 13, 2011 at 07:29 PM
Thanks, Elizabeth!
Robert Bykowski September 13, 2011 at 08:20 PM
Sonny Acres is good for pumpkins, provided you get there early enough in the season so you're not left with the leftovers. Coincidentally, the best pumpkin (for carving) I ever bought was from a Church just down the street from Sonny Acres after Sonny Acres appeared to be picked over.
Elaine Johnson September 13, 2011 at 11:09 PM
I remember Sonny Acres! My son the college sophomore went there with his first-grade class. Thanks for resurrecting a sweet memory, Sue!
Susan Carroll September 14, 2011 at 12:58 AM
I think Robert is hinting that he wants someone to take him to Sonny Acres soon. And then he'll want a candy apple from the Sweet Shack.

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