With fall right around the corner I did some research to figure out the best pumpkin patches in Chicago! It’s an annual tradition in my family to head to a pumpkin patch for fun (and photo opportunities, of course!) so I thought I could share some of the results of my research to save you a bit of time!
Best for little kids
For little kids, my picks are The Children’s Farm at the Center in Palos Park, IL in the southwest suburbs of Chicago, and Goebbert’s Farm in South Barrington in the northwest suburbs. Find more information about these farms in the sections below!
Best Pumpkin Patches For Teens
For teens, I recommend Jack’s Pumpkin Pop-Up in downtown Chicago, as well as Siegel’s Cottonwood Farm in the southwest suburbs. Find more information about these farms in the sections below!
Dog-Friendly Pumpkin Patches
In general, the pumpkin patches do not welcome dogs unless they are ADA-certified service animals. The one exception is Jonamac Orchard and Pumpkin Patch which allows dogs on October 31 only for their Howl-O-Ween event.
North west Chicago Suburbs
Geared toward families with younger children, Goebbert’s Pumpkin Farm is a popular choice in South Barrington is 35 miles, 34 minutes from downtown Chicago. Open September 9-October 30 9 AM- 6 PM, and October 31 from 9 AM-3PM. Goebbert’s offers fall festival fun, but it’s more traditional with no mechanical rides. Instead, they offer a corn maze, corn box full of corn kernels to swim in, LARGE petting zoo, hay rides, pony rides, and a jumping pillow. Food options include apple cider donuts, caramel apples, and pies, as well as a taco truck and more standard fare like burgers and hot dogs. This is a popular spot, but the crowds are more tame in the mornings.
West Chicago Suburbs
Sonny Acres Farm: this farm is located in West Chicago, IL (a town in the Illinois countryside, *NOT* a district in Chicago). It 45 minutes, 35 miles from downtown Chicago. This farm is more on the festival side of things with rides, including a tiny rollercoaster! The farm offers apple cider donuts, rides, pumpkins, cider, and a petting zoo. This is a higher-energy, festival environment rather that lower-key farm, and I think it’s a great option for elementary-aged kids!
Abbey Farms in Aurora is open September 16-October 29 and is 40 miles, 40 minutes away from downtown Chicago. This patch raised my eyebrows and piqued my curiosity with the addition of “corn cannon” on their list of attractions. While there aren’t mechanical amusement park rides, there are plenty of attractions that look super fun: zip lines, pirate ship, tractor tire maze, hamster ball races…this looks like a great option for big kids with caregivers looking to avoid a higher-energy festival. On the weekends it has a craft beer and wine tent that opens at noon! Cheers!
Keller’s Farmstand is 50 minutes (41 miles) away from downtown Chicago in Oswego, IL, south of Aurora and Naperville. This farm is less on the amusement park side of things and offers a kids play area, hay rides, petting zoo, and corn maze. Also Keller’s offers a u-pick apple orchard with apples ripe from late August through late October, so if you’re interested in both apples and pumpkins with less of a carnival vibe, this is a great option!
Jonamac Orchard in Malta, IL, (90 minutes, 70 miles from downtown Chicago) is family-owned and known for their large apple orchard! In late September they open up their pumpkin patch which is either u-pick in the field, or pre-picked and available at their farm stand. Of special note, Jonamac offers a Cider House with hard cider, apple wine, and ale tasting! For amusements, there’s a corn maze and hay ride, and throughout late October they offer u-pick apples as well! Jonamac is truly more of a farm experience than a carnival experience!
South west Chicago Suburbs
The Children’s Farm at the Center (Palos Park, IL), is a lower key farm with an impressive petting zoo. It is 26 miles, 30 minutes from the Loop in downtown Chicago. This is a lower-key pumpkin patch (with pumpkins in a field to pick off the vine!), a petting zoo, and a hayride. Pumpkin Days at the Farm starts the weekend of September 23 and food options available include popcorn and water. This is a fantastic farm, perfect for smaller children and people who don’t want a high energy carnival experience.
Siegel’s Cottonwood Farm is more on the carnival side and less on the lowkey side. It’s 43 minutes, 48 miles from downtown Chicago. Siegel’s prides themselves as an affordable fall festival; they require tickets for entry that come with rides for between $10-$37 depending on the time of week you go and what attractions you choose to pre-purchase. Siegel’s offers lots of lower-key attractions – corn maze, jumping pillow, wagon rides, petting zoo, corn box and plenty more. While there are mechanical rides, they appear to be available only on the weekends. There are lots of food options here, including vegetarian choices – mac n cheese, cheese pizza, and mashed potatoes. I appreciate that on their website they allow you to filter attractions by interesting-to-which-age group! Teens may appreciate the paintball attraction, corn maze, and “wizzer” mechanical ride which will spin you silly.
In Downtown Chicago
Jack’s Pumpkin Pop-Up: Located just north of Goose Island in Chicago, this pumpkin patch pop-up in downtown Chicago is 7 minutes (4 miles) away from the Loop if you drive. Although, if you prefer to go by public transit, from the Loop you could take either the Blue Line (getting off at Division) or Red Line (getting off at North/Clybourn) and then walking for 20 minutes. Jack’s is open from September 21-November 3 and requires admission tickets, although children under 4 years old are free. Tickets can be purchased through their website or upon entry, but prices may be discounted online. What does it offer? Lots of activities, but more geared toward adults than other pumpkin patches in the area. It has axe-throwing (for ages 18+), cocktails, corn maze (with a hidden bar inside!), carnival games, fortune-telling stands, and seasonal food.
Speaking of other fall traditions…have you booked your fall family or senior portraits yet? 😉
Kristen Hazelton is an award-winning Oak Park, IL (West Chicagoland) and Livermore, CA (San Francisco East Bay Area) graduating senior, and family photographer. She occasionally photographs in San Diego, CA, Tucson, AZ, and Seattle, WA. You can inquire about your own photoshoot here!