Fill a bag with juicy apples—check. Pick up squash and pumpkins for fall decorating or eating—check. Get up close and personal with animals—check. Get lost in a maze of 8ft. tall corn stalks—check.
Your checklist of farm activities can all be completed in the Champaign County area. With two large pumpkin patches, an apple orchard, a vineyard and a reindeer ranch, you’ll have plenty of Outside of Ordinary experiences with your family and friends.
4210 N. Duncan Rd., Champaign | 217-356-4784 | altovineyards.net
Taste some of the finest wines produced in the United States. Whether you need a bottle of wine, that special gift or just want to unwind with a glass of the finest, come enjoy Alto Vineyards. Along with award winning wines, you will find a selection of unique gift items, gourmet foods, a large selection of cheeses and local artwork. Enjoy their Music Among the Vines all summer long. The Renzaglia family takes great pride in growing high quality grapes and producing award-winning wines. Open year round.
3902 S. Duncan Rd., Champaign | 217-359-5565 | curtisorchard.com
Curtis Orchard is an 80-acre apple orchard, pumpkin patch and entertainment farm offers activities for the whole family. Open July 20–December 20, the orchard country store and bakery offer a wide variety of gift and food items, including pies, fritters, apple crisp donuts and award-winning cider. Outdoor activities include seasonal apple and pumpkin picking, kids play structures, a giant slide, several mazes including the corn maze, petting zoo, toddler area, birthday parties and corporate picnics. Weekend activities include outdoor meals, live entertainment, seasonal pony rides, and an orchard wagon. Open: July 20–December 20. See website for hours.
1749 County Road 1900 N., Arthur | 217-543-2394 | the200acres.com
The Great Pumpkin Patch is proud to invite guests to see over 300 varieties of pumpkins, squash and gourds from over 30 countries around the world; all grown here on our farm. We love what we do and take great interest in providing beautiful surroundings in which to educate our guests about the Cucurbit family. Numerous premier displays, over 5,000 hardy mums, various mazes and gardens grace the grounds. We exhibit our love for diversity, through not only plants, but animals — featuring several goats, pigs, exotic chickens, rabbits, a llama and an alpaca. There are several places to eat and drink on the farm and lots of entertainment on the weekends. Open September 10–October 31.
48 County Road 200 N., Arthur | 217-543-4192
Green Meadow Farms is a local family owned and operated Grade A goat dairy. The farm store is open Monday through Saturday, where you can purchase goat milk, cheese and yogurt. Green Meadow Farms also offers buggy or covered wagon rides Wednesday through Saturday. Farm tours and home cooked meal in an Amish home require a reservation. Group tours welcome. Please call ahead to schedule a meal or tour.
1356 County Road 2900 N., Rantoul | 217-893-3407 |reindeerranch.com
Hardy’s Reindeer Ranch offers a unique attraction for young and old alike. Pick a pumpkin in the pines, browse through the quaint gift shop, try your luck at figuring out the mysteries of the 10-acre Cornfusion maze and most importantly, kiss a real Alaskan reindeer! From November through December, the reindeer ranch is transformed into a Christmas wonderland. The store is reminiscent of days gone by with a bot-bellied stove, twinkling lights and wonderful smells. The western style banquet facility is available for a “Wild West” BBQ or outdoor weenie roast. Group entertainment packages are available. Open August–December; call for seasonal hours.
606 W. Windsor Rd., Urbana | email@example.com | | life.illinois.edu/pollinatarium
The University of Illinois Pollinatarium is the first free-standing service science center in the nation devoted to flowering plants and their pollinators. Its location in the midst of the Arboretum brings together flowers and pollinators physically and conceptually. Changing exhibits relate to world events and ongoing research on pollinators. Guests can explore beekeeping equipment, see live demonstrations and play interactive games. Because so much depends on pollination, the UI Pollinatarium is dedicated to increasing awareness and appreciation of pollination as a remarkable ecological partnership and an essential ecosystem service. Hours: Sat–Sun, 1:30–4:30 p.m., weekdays by appointment only, FREE
4410 N. Lincoln Ave., Champaign | 217-643-2314 | prairiefruits.com
Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery is Illinois' first farmstead cheese making facility, founded in 2005. Visit this nearby farm and learn about their "Animal Welfare Approved" Goat Dairy and their farmstead & artisan cheeses. Sample their delicious, award-winning varieties of goat cheese and their amazing goat milk gelato. The farm offers u-pick peaches and apples in season (late July through September).
The farm is open weekdays (W-F, 11-6; closed Mon. & Tues.) and weekends (10-4) for drop-in visitors to see the goats, walk the grounds and purchase farm products from their farm store, "The Real Stand." The farm store features products from near-by farms that practice sustainable agriculture. Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery also offers additional food events in season with its Dinners on the Farm series. This is a working farm, and events and activities change with the seasons, so check their website for hours and activities before venturing out to the farm.