Living in a big city like Chicago doesn’t really afford you the experiences of rural living. However, there are some great orchards and farms that aren’t too far from Chicago, which allows for a great outing for apple picking. Whether you’re looking for something unique to do right outside of the Chicago area or a family-friendly event that even the kids can enjoy, going to an apple orchard can be a great way to expand your activities from the regular old dinner-and-a-movie outing. While you will enjoy the experience, you will also enjoy the farm-fresh taste of your very own hand-picked apples.
Edward’s Orchard West
8218 Cemetery Road
Winnebago, IL 61088
The Winnebago location for Edward’s Orchard West is a little under two hours by car from the Chicago area, but it is definitely worth the extra effort. This is an apple orchard and farm market with tons of activities for families with small children. There is apple picking, a play area, a petting farm and a dairy barn. Make sure to check out the fresh, warm apple cider donuts and homemade apple cider. Edward’s Orchard West will be open from August 23 to October 28 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and October 29 to November 25 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Honey Hill Orchard
11747 Waterman Road
Waterman, IL 60556
Located about an hour and a half from Chicago, this is an orchard that has a great farmhouse feel due to being family owned and operated. There is a 10-pound minimum, costing $15 for group sizes and hay rides that can be a great feature for group outings. Make sure to check out the Feeding Trough Kitchen for its homemade cider donuts, apple pie or apple cider. There are also sweet treats for the kids like Honey Hill candy or caramel apples.
19412 Shabbona Road
Malta, IL 60150
Jonamac Orchard is about an hour and 45 minutes away from Chicago. There are over 8,000 trees to pick from for apple picking, a 10-acre corn maze, petting zoo and pony rides. The weekends have a special apple train for kids, apple launcher and apple cannon for family fun. The country store and bakery has everything you might want from an apple from simple apple pies to apple pizzas.
All Seasons Orchard
14510 Route 176
Woodstock, IL 60098
All Seasons Orchard is about an hour and a half from Chicago and features more than 7,000 apple trees. The orchard has different seasonal offerings, including a pumpkin patch for the Halloween season. There is a corn maze, cow train, goat bridge, corn crib, giant swings, spider web, jumping pillow and petting zoo. The weekends even have pig races and a magic show for the kids. Take your whole family down for some apple picking and make sure to stick around for the many other activities.
Heinz Orchard, LLC
1050 Crest Road
Green Oaks, IL 60048
Heinz Orchard is only 37 miles from downtown Chicago and offers free parking and no admission fees. There are a number of different apples to pick from: Golden Delicious, Empire, McIntosh, Jonathan and Red Delicious. Visitors can choose from either half a bag containing six pounds of apples or a full bag of 12 pounds. Unlike other apple orchards that cater towards families with small children and group outings, this is a pure apple orchard experience perfect for adults and couples. If you’re looking for something different to do, without traveling too far from home, this is a great orchard to check out.
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