No tradition stands out in my mind as more quintessential of the autumn season in the United States than going to the pumpkin patch. Each year, thousands of families flock to farms and patches all across the United States in search of that perfect pumpkin (or family of pumpkins).
Our family tradition of going to the pumpkin patch began when Ladybug was just an infant and we’ve been going ever since. I’ll admit, that first year my only motivation for going was to capture the must-have “pumpkin baby” photograph for my keepsake. There is not much that can beat the cuteness of a baby in a pumpkin patch, surrounded by enormous orange pumpkins.
Didier Farms has been our pumpkin patch for all but one of those years. We started going to Didier Farms for our pumpkins in 2014. Since that first year, the reason for our annual trip has been more than just to capture the obligatory photo. There is so much more to Didier Farms than just pumpkins.
What activities are available at Didier Farms?
Pumpkinfest at Didier Farms opens toward the end of September and runs through Halloween on October 31st. Not only are there hundreds of pumpkins to choose from, there are also carnival rides, a hayride, corn maze and petting zoo.
As we left the parking lot and headed towards the entrance, rows of pumpkins greeted us on our left- orange, white and green in color. Some smooth and some were covered in warts. We saw small and large pumpkins and tiny pumpkins in large troughs.
Once we passed under the welcome arch, we found ourselves facing the large farm store and ticket booth. We decided to save the task of selecting our pumpkins to the end of our trip. After buying our tickets for the hayride and other activities, we headed over towards the corn rows to board the tractor-pulled wagon. On our way, we stopped in at the Educational Barn and watched some chicks in varying stages of development, which captivated Ladybug’s interest for quite some time.
As we made our way to the hayride, we passed a small enclosed field with multiple camels relaxing on the grass waiting for someone to ride them. Since Ladybug is wary around animals up close, we decided to skip the camels and continue to the hayride.
A large wagon full of hay bales and pulled by a large tractor greeted us as we entered the waiting area. We rode through a corn field past skeletons dressed up for Halloween. We saw skeletons dressed up like Michael Jackson, multiple Disney princesses, and the USA Olympic gymnastics team. Skeletons dressed up like saloon musicians, Captain Jack Sparrow and Where’s Waldo greeted us as well. The ride lasted about 20 minutes.
After the hayride, we ventured into the corn maze. We let Ladybug decide which way to go. She was a great leader and led us to the end with only two mistakes. To make the game interesting, strategically placed signs kept visiters laughing at their cheesy jokes.
We had a few tickets left after the corn maze so we decided to try out a few of the carnival rides. Ladybug chose the spinning strawberries, carousel and the large pumpkin bounce house. Other activities included the typical carnival rides- flying swings, child roller coasters, and a petting zoo, among other activities.
After a few activities, our bellies began to rumble so we decided to check out the options for lunch. The food was only mediocre, but we already knew that. Don’t expect gourmet burgers and filet mignon. The food at Didier Farms is your typical carnival food. But we don’t go to the pumpkin patch every year for the food.
After lunch, it was time for the best activity of the day- traipsing around in the pumpkin patch. After a rather grumpy morning, Ladybug perked right up at the prospect of picking out her pumpkin. I snapped a few pictures of the kids with some giant pumpkins and then we let them loose to play. Ladybug took her time selecting her pumpkin, inspecting each of the little ones, before selecting a green squash. Buddy was thrilled we let him get dirty by crawling on the ground. All the orange pumpkins to feel and play with just added to his excitement. It is worth mentioning that this was his first trip to the pumpkin patch as he was born after last year’s trip. He also selected a pumpkin on his own by patting the one he wanted. Although I suspect he would’ve been happy with any pumpkin.
Once we had our pumpkins, we added some apple cider doughnuts (of course!) and some apple cider to our cart and paid for our wares. We said goodbye to Didier Farms and headed to our car. Another trip to the pumpkin patch was complete.
Things to Know about Didier Farms
Didier Farms is located in Lincolnshire, Illinois, a northwest suburb of Chicago. Parking and entrance to Didier Farms is free, however, tickets are required to participate in the attractions. Tickets are $1 a piece.
October is an unpredictable month in Illinois. It might be cold and windy or it could be warm and sunny. Sometimes, it’s cold in the morning and warm in the afternoon. I recommend bringing layers that can be shed in the afternoon if the weather warms up. Sunscreen and hats are also a good idea to have in case of sun as most activities are outside with little shade.
I always look forward to our trip to Didier Farms. We have a lot of traditions as a family and this one is my favorite. I highly recommend Didier Farms to anyone coming to the Chicago area during the fall.
Have you been to a pumpkin patch? Share your experience in the comments.
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For more about our farm trips, see these posts:
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