WINNETKA-GLENCOE, IL — Not even pumpkin patches are escaping the coronavirus in 2020. The COVID-19 pandemic means some of the Chicago area's pumpkin patches have had to adjust hours, regulations and activities as they head into fall. But pumpkin picking — and other fall fun like apple orchards — can still happen with safety measures and social distancing in place.
In nearby Highwood, the pandemic has led to the cancellation of what was to be the 11th annual Great Highwood Pumpkin Festival. In a social media post, organizers said the event is due to return in 2021 "bigger and better than ever," and encouraged the public to share images of their favorite carved pumpkins and donate to the events charity beneficiary, Make-A-Wish Illinois.
Fortunately, the coronavirus has only changed — not completely closed — your favorite pumpkin patches and their offerings this fall. Below are some of our favorite pumpkin patches in the Winnetka and Glencoe area.
Address: 16678 W. Aptakisic Road in Lincolnshire
Season opening/closing date: Sept. 19 to 4 p.m. on Oct. 31
Pumpkinfest Activities, Farm stand: Didier Farms' Pumpkinfest is open to kids of all ages and includes pig race and a parakeet exhibit where you can feed the birds. There are a corn maze, camel rides and more. Hayrides canceled due to the coronavirus. Didier Farms also has a farm stand where fresh vegetables and more can be purchased. Face masks are required for ages 2 and up.
Hours of operation: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily
Cost: There is no admission fee. Tickets are available for purchase at $1 per ticket. Most attractions can be enjoyed for under five tickets.
More via Didier Farms website or by calling 847-634-3291.
Address: 13236 W. Town Line Road in Waukegan
Season: Sept. 19 to Nov. 1
Pumpkins and more: There are pre-picked pumpkins plus a corn maze (this year's theme is the history of sheep in agriculture), farm animals to visit (mask required to feed animals) and hayrides (mask required). Plus treats like pumpkin doughnuts, popcorn, kettle corn, cider and more.
Hours of operation: Kroll's is open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday, noon to 8 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday.
Cost: Timed ticket entry now required on Saturday and Sunday as well as Columbus Day (admission is $10, which includes hayride, corn maze and animal area). On weekdays, the maze is $7 for adults and $5 for kids ages 12 and under (free for kids age 2 and younger). Pumpkins are priced between $1 and $50. Bring cash, since no credit cards are accepted. There is also an ATM at the farm.
More information via Kroll's website or by calling 847-662-5733
Address: 40 W. Higgins Road, South Barrington
Season: Sept. 19 to Oct 31.
Animal Land and Little Farmers Play Land and More: Activities include a giraffe barn, pumpkin-eating dino, pig racing, pony rides, camel rides, wagon ride, little farmer's play yard, corn stalk maze, pumpkin eating dinosaur, the pumpkin tunnel, climbing trucks and cutouts, corn hole game, ring toss game and more. Goebbert's also has its Red Barn Cafe & Bakery for some tasty treats, including apple cider doughnuts and pumpkin cookies.
Pumpkins and produce: Goebbert's has a large display of pumpkins to choose from in the free area of its farm. Goebbert’s grows over 200 acres of fresh vegetables.
Hours of operation: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily (last entry for the day is 5 p.m.)
Cost: Entrance fee now charged for Saturdays, Sundays and Columbus Day. Prices vary for admission to the Animal Land and Little Farmer's Playland. Tickets include wagon rides and cost $16.99 on the weekends and Columbus Day and $12.99 Monday through Friday. There is an additional charge for some activities at Goebbert's.
More fall fun:
If we missed your favorite pumpkin patch, be sure to share it with readers in the comments section.