It's a crisp Monday and it sure feels like Fall... time to start thinking about Halloween!
There are lots of great pumpkin farms around the Chicago area that transform into full-on fun Halloween destinations. (Interestingly, many of them also turn into mini-zoos, which may not have much to do with Halloween but it sure is fun for the kids.) You can visit the ChicagoKids.com Halloween Zone for details on dozens of great Halloween activities and events. Here's just a sampling below. And make sure you check ahead regarding specific dates for activities, as some of the fun might happen only on weekends or certain dates.
Goebbert's Farms Pumpkins and More
2 locations - South Barrington and Hampshire
Halloween activities at Goebberts include wagon rides, pony rides, camel rides, pig racing, a corn stalk maze and a little straw town maze for your tiny ones. There's also Animal Land, where kids can get up close to animals you'd expect to see on a farm, like cows, pigs, goats and baby chicks, plus camels, kangaroos, llamas, zebras, lions and a giraffe. Admission is free, but some attractions require ticket purchase.
Dollinger Pumpkin Farm and Fun
7502 E. Hansel Rd., Channahon
At Dollinger Pumpkin Farm, pick a pumpking and then carve, decorate or make a pie. Then check out the Corn Maze, Petting Zoo, miniature steam train, horse drawn hayrides and more. Pumpkin farm entry is free, ut some activities like the train rides, corn maze and hayrides may require a fee.
Bengston Pumpkin Fest 2010
13341 W, 151st St., Homer Glen
At Bengston Pumpkin Farm, you can experience an animated Haunted Barn, a giggling animated Fun Barn, the "famous" action-packed Pig Races (running 10x a day on the 1/2 hour), an adorable Petting & Feeding Zoo, The Giant Crazy Corn Maizey & Pony Rides, plus a variety of entertaining animation throughout the barnyard and farm. Treats available for purchase include hot apple cider, funnel cakes, chili in a bread bowl, kettle corn and nore. Admission is adult $13, 3-11 $12, 2 and under Free.
Didier Farms Pumpkinfest
16678 W. Aptakisic Rd., Prairie View - Lincolnshire
Featuring mechanical rides, a corn maze, fresh donuts, an educational barn, farm animals, a petting zoo, hayrides, Indian teepees, a pony ride, crafts and more. Woody's Menagerie has over 200 creatures including lions, tigers, a bear, and a liger - a cross between a lion and a tiger (now THAT is scary!) Free admission but most activities require ticket purchase.
North Shore Pumpkin Patch
1024 Lake Ave, Wilmette
North Shore Pumpkin Patch is a non-profit pumpkin patch in Wilmette, with all proceeds going to support a local homeless shelter, Good News Partners, and a program to feed needy children in Senegal. Featuring a kiddie play area, scarecrow making, and weekend pumpkin painting, crafts and story time. Free.
Find more fall and Halloween fun in the ChicagoKids.com Halloween Zone.
Got a favorite fall or Halloween spot? Let's hear about it!