Apples, Pumpkins, Corn Mazes and Fall Fun in Central Illinois

By Andrea Morris September 26, 2018

NOTE FROM THE EDITOR: Please be sure to check out each location's website or social media pages for information on COVID-19 safety protocols and procedures. Some attractions may be closed and tickets may need to be purchased in advance depending on the location.

I love the golden glow of fall! So many great places pop up and then are gone again as the calendar turns to November. Make sure you get out there and really embrace the season and make some memories that will last a lifetime!

Rader Family Farms: Rader Family Farms is always adding new attractions! I know we can’t wait to get back to the Duck Races, Rat Rollers, giant corn bins and jumping pillow! Pick your own pumpkins, get lost in the corn maze (or try the Kiddie Corn Maze), climb the haystacks, slide down the Cattle Shoot, practice roping a steer, jump on the jumping pillow, visit the petting zoo and so much more....tons more! It’s an easy way to spend a whole day of autumnal bliss! Rader’s is open Thursday through Sunday from 10am-6pm beginning September 12. The farm is located at 1238 Ropp Rd. in Normal — look for the pumpkin topped silo! 

Curtis Orchard: While they are known for their "U-Pick Apples," Curtis Orchard offers a variety of activities for a perfect picture in the giant rocking chair! You can grab a bite at the Flying Monkey Cafe and don't forget to pick up some fresh doughnuts for the road from the Country Store Bakery. Curtis Orchard is open Monday through Saturday 9am-6pm and Sunday 11am-6pm from July 20 through October 31, and Monday-Saturday 9am-5:30pm and Sunday 11am-5pm November 1 through December 23. It is located at 3902 S. Duncan Rd in Champaign. 

Tanner's Orchard: Tanners has such a wide range of activities, from a playground filled with unique equipment to an overhead walkway for goats, it’s hard to compare it to anything else. Take a covered wagon ride and pick your own apples and pumpkins at Tanner's Orchard. Their shop is filled with all kinds of homemade treats, as well as gifts and decorations. You can also enjoy live music entertainment, gem mining, pony rides, visiting with farm animals, scarecrow characters and more. Round out your day with a snack or lunch at the Apple Bin Bakery. (Covered wagon rides available on weekends only.) Tanner's Orchard is open 8am-8pm every day (U-Pick from 10am-5pm) and is located at 740 State Route 40, in Speer, IL. 

Hardy's Reindeer Ranch: Hardy’s is both a Christmas tree farm and home to a heard of Alaskan reindeer who love to have visitors any time of year. But fall brings an amazing corn maze that’s sure to be a fun time for the whole family! The pumpkin cannon, the paintball shooting gallery, and concessions like pulled pork parfaits on the weekends make it a reindeer ranch like no other! Hardy's Reindeer Ranch charges no gate admission, but does charge $8 for trips through the maze. Click HERE for hours, as they vary by month. Visit the reindeer at 1356 County Rd. 2900 N in Rantoul, Il. 

Black Bart's Pumpkin Patch: Take a drive to Warrensburg for tons of fall fun. Black Bart's features a corn maze, wood maze, goat feeding, u-pick 'em pumpkins and a haunted house for kids. Did we mention that admission and parking are free?!  A fee applies to various activities but there's plenty of free things to do on site. Black Bart's is open 9am-6pm Monday-Saturday and 11am-6pm Sundays starting on September 19, and is located at 9381 West Wise Road in Warrensburg, Il. 

Bomke's Patch:  Bomke’s is another family farm that does double duty as a Christmas tree farm. In the fall, it’s an orange and gold wonderland filled with pumpkins, a corn maze, a petting zoo, and much, much more! Wagon rides, a children’s play area, and a cute country store make it a great place to spend some time this fall. Bomke’s is located at 605 Country Lake Road in Springfield. Check their site regularly for updates regarding the 2020 fall season, as it relates to COVID-19 and its impacts on operations. Bomke's Patch plans to be be open to the public Saturdays and Sundays 10-5pm, and will offer you-pick only hours Friday 4:00-6:00pm beginning Sept. 25 through Oct. 31.

Wagon Wheel Pumpkin Farm, Clinton: The Wagon Wheel Pumpkin Farm offers a wonderland of homegrown pumpkins and gourds — one of the largest selections in the state! All kinds of fall fun are available at this charming farm in the Clinton area. There’s also a corn maze, a café, apple cider, and fresh donuts available on weekends. The farm will be open Thursday through Sunday 10 am-5pm beginning September 12! Free admission. 16578 Airport Rd, Clinton, IL.

Gail's Pumpin Patch:  Gail's Pumpkin Patch offers a vast array of FUN like farm animals, Popcorn Wagon ride, Barrel Train ride, tunnel maze, corn boxes, GIANT sized games, gourd bowling, Toddler Corner, Rope the Bull, Barn Slide, Spinner Gourds, Potato Sack Jump, Play Barn, Pick Your Own Popcorn, Feed the goats, U-pick pumpkins, Antique tractors, and more. New this Year is Tractor Dig, Chinese Checkers, and the return of Adult Tricycles! Gail's Pumpkin Patch is open Sunday to Friday noon-5pm, Saturday 10am-5pm, and closed on Tuesdays through October 31. It is located at 1709 2000th Avenue, Beason, IL.

Breezy Hill Farm: Fall brings pumpkins, hay rides, a corn maze, duck races, tricycle track, a petting zoo, gemstone mining and more to Breezy Hill Farm.  Admission to the play areas is $8 per child and $1 for adults and children over age 14. Hayrides are $2 per person. Open Monday–Saturday 9am-6pm and Sundays 11am-6pm beginning September 19-October 31. The farm is located at 14395 4 Mile Lane, Benton, IL 

Mariah's Mums & More: Each season is strung together by a collection of informative, fun, and reflective experiences that are promised to make memories for all ages. From the seasonal farmstand, educational tours, hands-on workshops, farm dinners, and our annual Mum Fest, you are invited to enjoy each fun and unique moment at the farm. The farm gate is opened starting in early summer for experiencing their farm's fresh flavors of locally grown vegetables and herbs. Their vertical, hydroponic strawberries are uniquely designed to provide a u-pick experience like never before. From early July to early September, you will find some of the best-tasting sweet corn in the area! If you're wanting to see the most variety of vibrant and unique colors of mums grown in one place in Illinois, be sure to plan your visit in September. And if you don't make a purchase during your visit, that's okay. Mariah's Mums & More still welcomes your visit for experiencing what makes their small farm a special place to visit among Illinois corn and soybean fields. They are located at 16727 Airport Road, Clinton, IL 61727 (8 Miles East of Clinton off of Route 10). Visit them online HERE hours which vary by the season.

We try to list all the best, close to home places to go for pumpkins, apples, corn mazes, and fall fun, but we may have missed one. Where are your favorite places to sip cider and pick out a pumpkin?