Did you know it’s possible to enjoy a slice of Americana without the calories? This weekend, we discovered the Shades of Autumn Fall Festival at Stade’s Farm & Market, who were kind enough to offer us tickets so we could experience this fabulous place.
Every fall, Stade’s Farm (located in McHenry, Ill.) turns their farmstead into a delightful autumn family destination. And really, you couldn’t ask for a more perfect slice of Americana. They have decided to leave behind the Halloween decorations and themes and have created a completely family-friendly destination for kids of all ages (and yes, that includes my husband).
Being located on the Northshore of Chicago, we had a bit of a drive, but from our perspective it was absolutely worth it. Don’t believe me? We got to the farm an hour after it opened and left 6 hours later towards closing time. Trust me, there is a ton to do. Check out a 360 view of the farm!
I was lucky enough to meet Vern, the owner of Stade’s Farm, who has been farming since his early 20s. He started with just one attraction more than 20 years ago at Stade’s and has added a new attraction every year. Now they have more than 25!
After being in the car, the boys instantly jumped at the chance to take the pedal-powered Go Karts. These things are awesome! Because we arrived early, there wasn’t a line so the boys were able to ride and ride and ride for about 20 minutes total.
My kids also loved loved loved the Corn Play Area, which is a massive pit of dried corn kernels the kids can play in. This is the ultimate sensory bin if I ever saw one. My boys were in there for almost half an hour burying each other in corn, swimming in corn and smiling from ear to ear (pun completely intended).
They also adored the jumping pillows. Even my husband and I got in on the action.
I enjoyed trying out the adult zip line (along with some other moms that were in line) and the corn maze. My husband and I also got a huge kick out of the pumpkin cannon which launches pumpkins at least half a mile if not more!
We also took a hay ride out to their pumpkin patch and got to pick our pumpkins right off of the vine! That was really cool. And my boys started flipping out with excitement when they realized they could walk through the massive pumpkin patch themselves. Oh, and be sure to visit the marketplace.There were loads of fresh veggies and fruits to buy, and the apple cider donuts were pure heaven!
If you’re within driving distance of Stade’s Farm, I can’t say enough about visiting. It’s a whole package of family fun.
Heads up, friends! You can enjoy a 10% discount off of your total admission every Friday in October, including Halloween. For their closing weekend (Nov 1 & 2), they’re offering 1/2 price off all admissions. And on Sunday mornings, they even offer a nondenominational church service.
There are too many wonderful amusements to highlight, but other attractions you should definitely check out include: petting zoo, jumpies, slide mountain, giant sandbox and tractor tire pyramid.
We saw these at Stade’s Farm and now we all want one! Here are the affiliated links: