With Halloween just a few weeks away, it seems everybody is scrambling to get their pumpkins. Driving home from a weekend in Galena recently, we were shocked to see cars actually lined up on the side of the road to get into their local pumpkin patch! Then it dawned on us that getting a pumpkin is more than just finding that perfectly formed gourd the whole family can agree upon. For the parents of young children, it's also an opportunity to spend an afternoon outdoors while the kids explore corn mazes, haunted houses, petting zoos and more.
But beware parents that you don't get tricked out of your treat. Most pumpkin farms offer free parking and "admission" but the rides and events are anything but! Make sure the proprietors are clear on the cost for their activities. Check your local mailers or the websites for coupons as well.
The following is a list of some of the best "pumpkin' places" in northern Lake County and surrounding area. It is not intended to be exhaustive. At this time of year, pumpkin farms seem to sprout like, well, pumpkins!
Country Bumpkin http://thebumpkin.com Located in Mundelein this farm offers a train ride, petting zoo and the obligatory moonwalks.
Didier Farms http://didierfarms.com/ This institution in Lincolnshire has a petting zoo, rides, concessions, etc.
Goebbert Farms http://www.pumpkinfarms.com/home The family has two locations, in South Barrington and Hampshire. They offer a jumping pillow, pony and hay rides, a corn maze and more.
Bengtson's http://pumpkinfarm.com Haunted Barns, train rides, pig races and more.
Santa's Village AZOOsment Park http://santasvillagedundee.com Lots of rides, haunted barn, animal and magic shows.