The countdown to Halloween is on (at least in our home). This weekend I noticed our local supermarket put up its “Fall Harvest” section and stocked it with pumpkins, squash, and Indian corn. However, if your family is like mine you are able to bypass these sections in the grocery store by visiting a local pumpkin patch and harvesting your own fall finds.
In a previous blog I listed some of the most popular pumpkin farm/family activity areas near where we live in the Midwest. If you reside in Wisconsin, Illinois, or Indiana (or happen to be visiting these states in the next few weeks) consider checking out the following award-winning farms where you are guaranteed to walk away with memories to last a lifetime… or at the very least a good looking pumpkin.
Butterprint Farm Pumpkin Patch–Moline, Illinois
Butterprint Farm is highly regarded in these parts. In 2004 it won the Conservation and Native Landscaping Award. And, during the month of October the entire farm turns into a hands-on learning center for children and their parents. In addition to the farming demonstrations, there are hourly puppet shows, hayrides, a corn maze, and a petting zoo. There’s even an early farm museum and a new Nature Center. The farm also boats a pumpkin patch where you can choose from 15 varieties of pumpkins and a large array of gourds and squash.
Didier Farms Prairie View–Lincolnshire, Illinois
During October this farm turns into an amusement park of sorts. In addition to the traditional hayrides to the pumpkin patch and a 5-acre corn maze, Didier Farms boasts a petting zoo, a Halloween costume shop, a Scarecrow Alley and an Indian Teepee Town. Your kids can also ride a pony or visit the Educational Farming Display where they can feed piglets and baby chicks. Then on weekends, the owners turn part of the farm into an amusement park complete with thrill rides.
Bengtson’s Pumpkin Fest–Homer-Glen, Illinois
Bengtson’s has consistently been voted as one of the best Pumpkin Festivals in the region. It runs through the month of October and offers hayrides, pig races, train rides, and a petting zoo. In addition, once you pick your pumpkin from the patch you can head over to the animated Haunted Barn, take a ride on the Frog Hopper Kiddie Rides, or navigate the giant corn maze. There’s even a pumpkin launcher, Halloween Shoppe, and an on-site restaurant, which features funnel cakes, kettle corn and Texas BBQ.