Fall in Illinois: Pumpkin Patches, Apple Picking, Corn Mazes, Haunted Houses and More


Photo By Chloe Crewse

A variety of pumpkins can be found at the Sugar Grove Pumpkin Farm. This farm opens every fall and closes Oct. 30.

     Illinois has something to offer for every season, and fall is no exception. There are plenty of activities to do this autumn season, ranging from apple picking to testing your fears at a haunted house. 

     From tiny gourds to fat, warty pumpkins, the Great Pumpkin Patch in Arthur, IL, has it all. This farm offers over 300 varieties of squash, pumpkins and gourds from over 30 countries. The Great Pumpkin Patch also features made-from-scratch baked goods from The Homestead Bakery, a petting zoo, a museum and a gift shop. On weekends, the farm also provides live music, a corn maze and a variety of grilled food such as hot dogs, cheeseburgers and more. 

     Shana Condill, an owner and sister-in-law to Horticulturist-in-Residence Mac Condill, said, “We have one of the widest varieties of pumpkins growing in a single patch that you’ll find anywhere in the country.” 

     Now celebrating its 20th season since opening to the public in 1998, Kuipers Family Farm is also a popular place to visit during the fall. This 23o-acre farm offers a wide variety of festivities for all ages, featuring an apple orchard, pumpkin harvest or sunflowers that can be picked from seven acres of 20+ different sunflower varieties in the fields. Or treat yourself to fresh apple cider and doughnuts from The Orchard Shop and Bakery. The season begins each mid-August when the apple orchard opens for picking.

     “Kuipers Farm is an overall really great experience. I love how family-friendly everything is, and it just gets me into the fall spirit,” sophomore Paige Foster said.

     Statesville Haunted Prison, located at Siegel’s Cottonwood Farm in Lockport, IL, is also a popular event during the fall. It began as a hayride attraction in 1996 and has since been recognized, according to The Scare Factor, as one of the top 10 haunted houses in the nation. After 25 years, this will be their final year before closing down. For its final season, the organizers of the event, Zombie Army Productions, have put together 30 rooms of horrifying creatures and convicts guaranteed to make guests scream. 

     “We love our fans, and it’s their support over the years that helped us run this Monster,”  the organizers of the event said.

     Another attraction not to miss out on is The Richardson Adventure Farm, home of the world’s largest corn maze. This one-of-a-kind maze is an intricately designed masterpiece. A lot of hard work gets put into the maze’s design each year to ensure guests have no dead ends and plenty of exits along the way. All visitors receive a list of checkpoints to find throughout the maze. Finding all of these checkpoints can take a few hours, however, if you find a minimum number of checkpoints you earn a completion certificate. This farm is more than a maze; it offers a wide variety of activities for all ages, such as a petting zoo and 100+ foot tall slides, as well as hayrides and private picnic/campfire sites.