Have you gotten your pumpkins yet? I know that it is a bit early to be shopping for your future jack o'lantern, but I wanted to discuss proper pumpkin purchasing procedure. In my opinion, you should NOT purchase your pumpkin from an make-shift "pumpkin patch" in a parking lot in the city. Pumpkins grow on farms -- and that is where you should go to find yours (because it is fun!).
Not sure where to start? Here are a few (relatively local) pick-your-own pumpkin farm options.
Stade's Farm and Market (McHenry). We love this place. We head there for strawberries in the early summer and go back for the annual Shades of Autumn festival in the fall. This family event features hayrides out to the pick-your-own pumpkin patch, live entertainment and hay-bale mountain. The market offers lots of yummy goodies (including doughnuts -- which are required eating when you are picking pumpkins).
Didier Farms. (Prairie View-Lincolnshire). This family-owned business offers all of the good stuff that comes along with pick-your-own pumpkin patches -- including pony rides, a corn maze, and a petting zoo. Their annual Pumpkin Festival kicks off on September 25th.
Bengtson's Pumpkin Farm (Homer
Glen). Highlights include a tractor-pulled hay ride, pig races, a corn
maze, petting zoo, and pony rides. Be sure to visit their website to
check out the coupons for discounts on the activities .
Meadowbrook's Pumpkin Farm
(West Bend, WI). Visitors can take a wagon ride out to the fields to
choose their own pumpkins and then head back to check out the haunted
cornfield and Farm Critter Park. On Friday and Saturday nights, folks
gather around a bonfire to hear haunted tales.
If you have other suggestions for great pick-your-own pumpkin farms in the Chicago area, please tell us about them in the comments!