Please give these spots a call before you head out, just to doublecheck the hours and to make sure the attractions you're most interested in are available that day. Know of some we missed? Please let us know in the comments section!
Keller’s Farmstand: 2500 Johnson Road, Oswego. 630-554-1325.
- Hours: The pumpkin patch is open every day through Halloween from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Some of the other features are only offered on weekends.
- Features: A large pumpkin patch where you can pick your pumpkin right off the vine. A 12-acre corn maze, tractor-drawn wagon rides, rope maze, pedal tractors, kids straw maze, sandboxes of grain, farm animals and a large kids play area.
- Prices: Admission on the weekends is $8 per person (children 3 and under are free.) The admission price includes the special activities.
Kuipers Family Farm: 1N318 Watson Road, Maple Park. 815-827-5200.
- Hours: Open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 10 am. to 6 p.m. on Sunday through October. Also open in November and December from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- Features: The pumpkin farm includes pony rides, haywagon rides, cornstalk tunnel, haunted forest, scarecrow fest, baby animals to feed, corn maze and more You can pick a pumpkin right from the patch. Kuipers also offers freshly picked apples for sale in the Orchard Shop. Pick your own apples are only available on Saturdays and Sundays.
- Prices: Admission to the pumpkin farm is $11.75 per person on weekends and holidays, $8.75 on weekdays. Children 2 and under are free. Several rides cost extra. (The train is $2 extra on weekends and holidays, for instance.) A combo ticket is available if you want to visit the orchard, too.
Norton’s Produce: 36W369 Illinois Route 64, St. Charles. 630-377-8118.
- Hours: Open Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- Features: A pumpkin patch, plus Norton's Hollow, which is a fall season play area for children ages 2 through 10. It has straw mazes, a corn bundle tunnel, animals to feed, a straw mountain and other activities. Free hayrides to the pumpkin patch will be offered, weather permitting, on Oct. 20-21 and Oct. 27-28.
- Prices: Admission to Norton's Hollow is $3 per adult and $3 per child, with children under 2 free.
Windy Acres: 37W446 Fabyan Parkway, Geneva. 630-232-6429.
- Hours: Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Weekends 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. The stand closes Nov. 1.
- Features: A corn stalk maze, balloon typhoon, hay rides, children’s play tent, moon walks, petting zoo, spook house, gift shop and snack shop, a 4-acre pumpkin patch, although it's unclear if the pumpkins are still on the vine or in piles.
- Prices: Admission is unclear from the website, but based on a visit in fall 2010, GWYM believes each attraction costs a certain amount of tickets.
Sonny Acres: 29W310 North Avenue, West Chicago, 630-231-3859.
- Hours: Open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
- Features: Farm market, amusement rides, kiddie koral, pony ride, petting zoo, spook shed, spook house, costume shoppe, Halloween displays, wagon rides, food stands.
- Prices: There is no admission price to Sonny Acres, but attractions and rides cost tickets. Tickets are $1 each. The “kiddie koral,” for instance, costs two tickets; the tractor-pulled wagon rides are 4 tickets.
Goebbert’s Farm & Garden Center: 40 W. Higgins Road, South Barrington. 847-428-6727
- Hours: Market hours are 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekends. Check the website for specific hours for activities you might be interested in.
- Features: Pony rides, camel rides, wagon rides, a haunted house, jumping pillow, corn roast, corn stalk maze, animal land, pig racing and the Red Barn Cafe & Bakery. You can buy pumpkins at this location, but I don’t think there is an actual pumpkin patch to visit.
- Prices: There is no admission fee for the farm, but individual attractions and rides cost tickets. Admission to "Animal Land," for instance, costs $10 on Fridays through Mondays, and $8 on Tuesdays through Thursdays. (It includes 50 different animals, a giraffe barn, wooden fire truck, straw town maze, play yard and more.) See the website for details.
Goebbert’s Pumpkin Patch: On Route 47 and Reinking Road, Hampshire. 847-464-5952.
- Hours: Farm hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. through Oct. 30, then 9 a.m. to 3 p.m on Halloween. Check the website for specific hours for activities you might be interested in.
- Features: Wagon ride to the pumpkin patch, cornstalk maze, pumpkin express, camel rides, petting farm, haunted mine, pig racing, munchkin maze and more. There is also the Farmer’s Wife Cafe and Market and Craft Barn.
- Prices: General admission costs are $10 per person on weekends and holidays, $8 per person on weekdays. Children 2 and under are free. Admission includes a number of activities, but some -- such as the pony ride and train rides -- cost extra.
Honey Hill Orchards: 11747 Waterman Road, Waterman. 815-264-3337.
- Hours: Open daily from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. through Oct. 31.
- Features: A snack shop (pies and donuts, plus lunch on the weekends), farm petting zoo, straw pyramid and horse-drawn wagon rides on the weekend, weather permitting. The U-Pick pumpkin patch has pumpkins priced at 35 cents per pound. There are also butternut and acorn squash available for sale in the barn and for U-Pick. (The U-Pick apples are done for the year.)
- Prices: There is no admission free and there is no fee for activities, except for the Belgian horse-drawn wagon rides.
Jonamac Orchard: 19412 Shabbona Rd, Malta. 815-825-2158.
- Hours: Store open 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. seven days a week through Oct. 28. Check for more limited hours through Nov. 21.
- Features: The Orchard Store and Bakery, a corn maze and barnyard activity area, an “apple train,” and a U-Pick orchard, when in season. Starting in late September, you can catch a wagon ride to the pumpkin patch to pick your own pumpkin. Pick-your-own apples are now closed for the 2012 season.
- Some features are only open on weekends; check the website for details.
- Prices: There are admission fees charged for features such as the corn maze, train, jump pillow and barn yard.
Siegel's Cottonwood Farm: 17250 S. Weber Road, Crest Hill. 1-800-304-FARM.
- Hours: Open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. through Oct. 31.
- Features: A hayride to the U-pick pumpkin patch; a cornfield maze open weekends and on Columbus Day from 10 a.m to 6 p.m. (last entry 4:30 p.m.); a petting zoo; straw maze; giant slide, haunted barn, moonwalk, baby chick nursery, tee-ball challenge, obstacle course, country store and fudge shoppe, and more. The farm is located on 40 acres.
- Prices: The admission is $12 on weekdays, $14 on weekends. (There are coupons available on the website.) General admission includes all attractions except pony rides, gem mining, climbing wall and spooky spiral, which are available for a small extra fee.
Abbey Farms Pumpkin Daze Weekends: 850 Butterfield Road IL Route 56), Aurora. 630-936-0054 or 630-897-7215 ex. 375.
- Hours: Held on weekends from Sept. 22 through Oct. 28. Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Sundays from noon to 6 p.m. Columbus Day from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
- Features: A large corn maze, simple corn maze for kids, jumpy huts, an adventure course, hayrides, pedal race tracks, bigwheel racetracks, wood fires on Saturday nights, grill and snack stand, and a petting zoo. (Petting zoo offered only during the first three weekends of October.) Pumpkins available for purchase; they are scattered around the property, but no longer on the vine.
- Prices: General admission is $9 per person. Children 2 and under are free with parent admission. All farm activities are included in that general admission price. Pumpkins are priced per size ... $6 for a small, $8 for medium, $10 for a large.
Larson's Family Farm: 4404 Somonuak Road, Sandwich. 815-786-2249.
- Hours: Call for hours of operation.
- Features: The farm's October harvest includes a wide variety of gourds, pumpkins and squash. The pumpkin patch is "pick your own" with pumpkins still on the vine. You can enjoy the vintage playground, visit with horses and goats, and enjoy a scenic one-mile hayride. You'll find fresh popcorn and caramel apples in the barn. Families, churches and community groups can schedule private parties with bonfires and spooky evening hayrides.
- Price: There is no admission price for visiting the farm. Always call first for hours and produce availability.