It’s officially fall in Chicago and it’s finally time to enjoy outdoor fall and halloween activities. If you're looking for family fun in Chicago, Halloween 2013 won't disappoint. One of the most popular Chicago Halloween activities is visiting a pumpkin patch to enjoy apple cider, pig races, corn mazes, kiddie rides, haunted houses and to pick pumpkins.
There are many Chicagoland pumpkin farms to choose from, but there are a few pumpkin farms near Chicago that stand out amongst the crowd and one that can truly be named the best Chicago Pumpkin Farm.
The best pumpkin patches are blending traditional fall activities with wilder, more extreme experiences. For example, did you know you can feed giraffes or shoot zombies at the pumpkin farm this year?
Check out these wild and unique Chicago pumpkin farms for both classic and unique new experiences this Halloween, and see why they are the best around.
5. Johansen Farms, Bolingbrook. This farm seemingly plopped down right in the middle of suburban sprawl has been a Chicagoland staple for longer than I have been alive. This Bolingbrook pumpkin farm truly brings the farm to suburbia. While the setting is a bit jarring and slightly claustrophobic, it is a small farm surrounded on all sides by subdivisions full of houses, Johansen Farms offers all the staples of a pumpkin farm without having to drive out into the country. All of the attractions at Johansen’s are free with paid admission and attractions include pony rides, a corn maze, a hay tunnel, train rides, a two story airslide, hay rides, a jump castle and a petting zoo. I believe this is the only pumpkin farm in the area that includes the pony rides for free, so if you have a pony loving kid, this might be the place for you! Admission is $12 a person, $11 for seniors. 23 months and younger are free. For more information, check outwww.johansenfarms.com
4. Sonny Acres Farm, West Chicago. Sonny Acres is your classic Chicago pumpkin patch, with huge piles of pumpkins to choose from and classic farm activities like food stands, a haunted hayride, kiddie rides, a petting zoo and a haunted barn. Unlike other farms, there is no general admission charge so you could walk around and enjoy the farm atmosphere without coughing up any cash unless you wanted to experience the haunted attractions or rides. The rides and attractions like the haunted barn each cost coupons and kiddie rides range from 3-5 coupons each and cost $1 each to buy. For more information, check out www.sonnyacres.com
3. Bengtson’s Pumpkin Fest 2013, Homer Glen. Bengtsons pumpkin farm hosts one of the largest and most popular pumpkin patches in the area. This year, all the kiddie rides, except for the pony rides, are free with general admission. This includes a train, frog hoppers, honey pots, flying frogs and the mega slide. They also have a 3 acre corn maze, a Cinderella carriage, a large playground and a petting zoo. They also run their pig races every half hour all day long. If the crowds aren’t too bad, this is a great pumpkin patch to let the kids run around and blow off some energy at. You can buy your tickets for Bengston’s Farm online, and they are $11.99 a person. For more information check outwww.pumpkinfarm.com
2. Siegel's Cottonwood Farm, Lockport. Siegel’s boasts more than 20 attractions included with admission, which include slides, a petting zoo, a pumpkin princess, playgrounds and a corn maze. However, where this farm really shines and shows up unique flavor is in its hard ticketed activities that you pay a surcharge for. Most notably, they offer zombie paintball rides. You board an authentic Army Trooper Carrier Truck and ride through a field shooting “zombies” with a paintball gun. It’s the closest you can get to a real life episode of The Walking Dead. As a part of their zombie package, you can also opt to be chased through the Zombie Blackhawks corn maze, which you have 17 seconds to escape before becoming zombie chow. General farm admission coupons can be found at Menards, and tickets are $12 per person with coupon. The zombie package starts at $25 a person and is not included with your regular farm admission. For more details, check out www.ourpumpkinfarm.com
1. Goebbert’s Farm & Garden Center, South Barrington. While the other farms in this list are impressive, they just can’t top the offerings at Goebbert’s. Goebbert Farm is simply the best Chicago Pumpkin Farm out there. Goebbert’s Farm & Garden Center pulls out all the stops for their Fall Festival. First, they offer a huge farm stand store selling everything from fresh popcorn kernels to homemade apple cider. They also sell a wide variety of apples, sweet corn, and pumpkins of all sizes. The farm stand is not the main attraction though. The main attraction is the exotic petting zoo they offer. You and your kids can feed giraffes, get your picture taken with baby kangaroos, ride camels or sit back and enjoy a good, old fashioned pig race. The farm also has a haunted house, corn maze, playground and a pumpkin smasher. For more information, check out: www.goebbertsgardencenter.com
Want to know what the cool kids are doing this Halloween? Click HERE for a list of family Halloween events that even teens and tweens will want to do this year.
Want to visit Brookfield Zoo? Check out my post on how to cheaply visit Brookfield Zoo without coupons! The Best Way to Visit Brookfield Zoo