Try 1 month for 99¢

Welcome to the season of crisp temperatures and cozy sweaters, when leaves change from green to gold and the fireplace is suddenly the favorite home accessory. 

Fall has arrived. 

It's America's favorite season, according to a poll from some years back. And it comes with its own special hallmarks. There's apple cider and hot chocolate, corn mazes and hayrides, and of course, pumpkins of all colors, shapes and sizes. 

Enjoy it while you can; the white stuff will be here before you know it. To help you do just that, we've made a list of eight great places to experience all the fun autumn has to offer.  

Black Bart’s Pumpkin Patch

9381 West Wise Road, Warrensburg


Season: Through Oct. 31

Hours: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday-Saturday and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. Beginning Oct. 22, farm closes at 5 p.m. 

Admission: Free 

Things to see and do: Black Bart's has a variety of activities for the season. Weekday activities include a craft store, haunted house, face painting, scarecrow stuffing, a pirate ship play area, grain bin play area, goats and other games. A corn maze is $1. Weekend activities include a haunted house, pirate ship play area and face painting. A corn maze is $1 and a larger play area that includes access to the corn maze is $4. Hay rides are also available for $2 per person, with kids 3 years and younger free. 

Gail’s Pumpkin Patch

1709 2000th Ave., Beason


Season: Through Oct. 31

Hours: 12 to 5:30 p.m. Monday-Friday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Saturday.

Admission: Free 

Things to see and do: More than 60 varieties of pumpkins and gourds for U-pick and we-pick, ride the popcorn wagon and pick ears of corn you can pop in the microwave, enjoy the farm animals and feed the goats for just 25 cents. There's also a tunnel maze; gourd boxes; giant-sized games; potato sack jump; barrel train ride and a play barn. 

The Great Pumpkin Patch

1749A East County Road 1900 North, Arthur


Season: Through Oct. 31

Hours: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily 

Admission: $4-$9, children 5 and under free.

Things to see and do: More than 300 varieties of pumpkins, squash and gourds from over 30 countries; more than 5,000 hardy mums; as well as various mazes, including the Great Maize Maze and a mini maze for toddlers. Enjoy the goats, pigs, exotic chickens, rabbits, llama and an alpaca that call the farm home. Marvel at perhaps the world's tallest corn shock, with more than 1,500 corn stalks. Enjoy a tour of the farm on the Express Wagon Ride. There are several places to eat and drink on the farm and a variety of entertainment on the weekends.

Hardy’s Reindeer Ranch

356 County Road 2900 North, Rantoul


Season: Through Dec. 28

October hours: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and noon to 8 p.m. Sunday.

Admission: Free 

Things to see and do: Ranch features a herd of Alaskan reindeer, with reindeer tours available for $4. Ten-acre fall corn maze has a Illinois bicentennial theme; can also be walked at night with flashlights ($8 day; $9 evening). Hay rides, pedal race cars and paintball gallery available for $3 each. Live music available in the banquet hall, which has a western saloon feel to it. 

Wagon Wheel Pumpkin Farm

16578 Airport Road, Clinton


Hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily 

Admission: Free

Things to see and do: Hay mountain, corn maze, hayrides, pumpkin checkers and pumpkin tic-tac-toe, old-fashioned swings, playground area, picnic area and  farm animals. Farmstead Cafe features homemade doughnuts and apple cider daily. Barrel train rides, Oct. 14 and 21; pumpkin painting, Oct. 27; Halloween parade and costume contest, Oct. 28.

Apple Barn

2290 E. Walnut, Chatham


Season: Open year-round

Hours: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily 

Things to see and do: Pumpkins, ceramic luminaries and autumn decor offered. Bakery known for sweet treats including pies, bars, cookies, cider doughnuts, cupcakes, cinnamon rolls, breads, fudge and more. Shop also includes flowers and perennials, garden supplies, seasonal fruits and vegetables, and local honey, jams and jellies.

Rader Family Farms

1312 Ropp Road, Normal


Season: Through Oct. 29

Hours: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday-Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

General admission: $4-$10, children 2 and younger are free. Corn maze: $8 adults ($4 on Thursdays), $10 for flashlight night maze, Oct. 20. Combo prices and weekly specials available. 

Things to see and do: Duck races, rat rollers, corn mazes and weekend tram rides. Also oversized sandbox, barnyard ball throw, straw castle, critter cart barrel train, pumpkin checkers, corn ball volleyball and more.  Take family photos around the 1951 Chevy pick-up truck. Weekend face painting by The Zoo Lady (additional charge). 

Bomke’s Patch

605 Country Lake Road, Springfield 


Season: Through December

Hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.

Admission: No entry fee required to pick out pumpkins, see live music (when available) or visit barn. Wristband for activities: $6 for kids/adults 13 and older; $7 kids 3-12; children 2 and younger free. 

Things to see and do: 13 acres of pumpkins and gourds, corn maze, wagon rides, petting zoo and more. Horse-drawn wagon rides (when available): $5 each. Navigate the corn maze under the stars with awesome ’90s tunes during the Rockin' Nite Maze, Oct 12 and 13, $8-$10. 

Subscribe to Breaking News

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

Load comments