Patch It Together: Orchards in Illinois

in Activities
August 15, 2018

| words

During harvest season, take your family out in the country to one of Illinois' many orchards, all filled with fun and games, fresh goodies, and U-pick apples and pumpkins.

Apple Flavors

Edgewood Orchards, Quincy

Mixing a secret blend of tart, sweet and neutral apples, the Zellerman family produces about 17,000 gallons of its signature cider annually. 

Rendleman Orchards, Alto Pass

At the farm market, choose from just-picked fruits, apple cider doughnuts and more. If you don’t have time to go to the orchard, have a box of apples shipped to your home.

Amazing Mazes

Richardson Farm, Spring Grove

Spend an afternoon exploring a maze covering about 9 miles of trail cut into 28 acres of corn. Multiple checkpoints direct you, and three wooden bridges let you climb up to get your bearings. The farm also features ziplines, giant jumping pillows and an inflatable ball, plus pig races and a petting zoo. 

Royal Oak Farm Orchard, Harvard

Enjoy two complimentary apples (with admission) while navigating 1.5 miles of trails through trees shaped into hedgerows. When you’re done with the maze, sample cider doughnuts, pick your own apples and pumpkins, and let the kids ride the train or carousel.

Hardy’s Reindeer Ranch, Rantoul

Set up like a treasure hunt, the 10-acre maze takes one to three hours to complete. Eight checkpoints help you find your way. Check out the food and kids’ activities, and visit the native-Alaskan reindeer.

Kroll’s Fall Harvest Farm, Waukegan

The farm’s elaborate maze is cut with a hoe, and wood chips cover the path for easy walking. Don’t worry about getting lost—staff can help you exit. While you’re at the farm, browse the pumpkin patch and take a hayride.

For more on corn mazes throughout Illinois — with a historical twist — visit our page on Bicentennial Corn Mazes.

U-Pick Farms

Eckert’s Belleville, Millstadt and Grafton

This seventh-generation operation holds the title for the country’s largest family-owned-and- operated U-pick orchard.

Curtis Orchard and Pumpkin Patch, Champaign

Never miss out on your favorite variety with Apple Alerts. Sign up to receive notifications when your apples are available.

Thyme and Again Farm, Rockford

Along with grown-on-the-farm apples, pumpkins and squash, this orchard also provides educational information and informal classes for customers interested in the pumpkin and apple-growing process. Take home pie, bread or a brownie from the on-site market (weekends only).

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