Thanks to McHenry County, Illinois for hosting my family for a few days of fall fun!
My family was invited to visit McHenry County and we discovered so much fall fun just a short drive away from the city of Chicago. Between back to school and the busy fall sports season we hadn’t done many of our typical fall activities so it was great to cross almost everything off my fall bucket list when we were there a little over a week ago! From apple orchards to pumpkin patches to fall festivals, McHenry County has it all so you’ll want to make visiting during the Autumn season a must-do. I wanted to share about all the farms we went to and a few other things you’ll want to do while you are there!
All Seasons Orchard (Woodstock, IL)
If you are looking to pick apples, All Seasons Orchard is the place to go! A hayride takes you out to pick your own apples throughout September and October. They have over 15,000 apple trees and two orchards, along with being one of the largest Honeycrisp apple orchards in the area. Honeycrisp apples are delicious, juicy, and crisp so they are great for snacking on and I used them to make some amazing cinnamon applesauce a few days ago as well!
All Seasons Orchard has more fun things to do as well including pumpkin picking, a petting zoo, corn maze, and more. My boys like their apple cannon that shoots apples at targets and riding on their mini ziplines. Before you leave make sure to visit their market store to get all the apple goodies you need! Their apple cider is a favorite of mine and I love their apple salsa as well.
Stade’s Farm & Market (McHenry, IL)
I had to pick up a baby pumpkin for the baby growing in my belly while we were pumpkin picking at Stade’s Farm & Market! Isn’t it so cute!? Their pumpkin patch was huge so we also picked up two large orange pumpkins and a pretty pink pumpkin. I had never seen pink pumpkins before so this was a really exciting find for me and Lucas picked out the perfect one for his mommy. During the summer and earlier fall months there are even more vegetables and fruits available for picking so I can’t wait to go back and pick some strawberries and raspberries!
I wish we would have had longer to spend at the farm after our hayride and time spent pumpkin picking because there was much more to do there than I had originally thought. WIth over 30 attractions in their “Farmtractions Theme Park” kids will enjoy hours of fun. I liked that each activity was thoughtfully created to bring agricultural awareness so the kids were learning while they played. Stade’s also has a pumpkin cannon which I think is a really unique feature (I’d only seen apple cannons before) and the boys favorite thing to do was to go through the cattle truck maze.
Richardson Adventure Farm (Spring Grove, IL)
If “go through a corn maze” is on your fall bucket list you will find the ultimate one at Richardson Adventure Farm because they have the world’s largest corn maze! Each year they have a theme so this year it was celebrating the Bicentennial and I thought the design was pretty cool and it’s really all so intricate! Whether you go during the day or opt for a flashlight trip through the maze, you will enjoy finding your way out of this maze. The maze has nine to ten miles of trail winding through 28 acres of live corn with four smaller paths so you can choose how long you stay in the maze.
Richardson Adventure Farm might be known for it’s corn maze but they have so much more to offer. The boys spent hours on the jumpy pillows (they have two) which seems to be their favorite activity to do anywhere they can find one. Jacob dropped a pumpkin from the observation tower that allowed “pumpkin chucking” into a safe space below which he thought was so cool. There are over 30 activities to keep the whole family busy from a kiddie play area and train ride for the littlest ones to paintball that tweens and teens would love. Weekend pig races are also a hit I’ve heard!
A unique feature they also offered was their private campsite and picnic area. I thought this was great for groups who want to have a home base for everyone (and who can say no to s’mores over the campfire?!) And one other sweet treat to try while you are at Richardson Adventure Farm is their doughnuts. Sinisa, Mr. Sweet Tooth himself, taste tested a number of doughnuts on our trip and said these were his favorite!
Von Bergen’s Country Market (Hebron, IL)
I loved seeing all the colorful produce that is grown at this farm- like purple peppers! It was interesting learning all about what they grow (sweet corn is their specialty) while we were on a hayride.
And of course we ended our trip at VonBergen’s Country Market in their kid activity area. Though it was smaller than the rest activity-wise, the boys still had fun. They loved playing in the hay maze the most! There was also a giant sandbox, basketball hoops, farm animals, and more!
Royal Oak Farm Orchard (Harvard, IL)
Royal Oak Farm Orchard has 17,000 apple trees with over 30 varieties of apples to pick. They are also home to the world’s first apple tree maze, Amaze ‘N Apples, where you can wander through 1.5 miles of trails with nine varieties of apples. The boys loved going through the apple tree maze with their dad while I enjoyed sitting in front of this cozy fireplace located in their barn.
The entertainment area has a fun play area for children including a petting zoo, train, playground, and carousel. Make sure you come hungry to Royal Oak Farm Orchard, too, because their restaurant serves delicious food. I had their pot pie with a side of homemade applesauce for lunch and ended the meal with their award-winning apple caramel pie.
Tom’s Farm & Market (Huntley, IL)
Tom’s Farm Market features a wide selection of farm-grown produce and they also have a cafe with a number of bakery items available. Seasonally they have a fall festival with lots of cheap fun for kids. Other than the jumpy pillow, my boys enjoyed going through their small corn maze, bouncing in the pumpkin bouncy house, going through the train inflatable, and riding the pedal tractors. They also have a larger corn maze to go through and it’s the perfect place to grab a pumpkin to carve if you are in a hurry and don’t have time to pick your own at a patch.
Other fun things to do in McHenry County during the fall season
Eat pizza (and salad) at Lou Malnati’s!
Enjoy chocolate at Morkes Chocolates (you can even make your own at a party or camp!)
Go on a walking tour and see all the sights from the Groundhog Day movie.
Check out all the stops on the Autumn Drive for all your fall produce, crafts, antiques, and more!
There is so much fall fun that can be found in McHenry County, Illinois! Where would you go first?