Wheaton, West Chicago area farms offer fall fun
As the weather turns chilly and the leaves change colors, many local farms will offer special fall events to celebrate the season.
Kline Creek Farm, which is operated by the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County, will host a Corn Harvest Festival between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Oct. 5 through 7. Visitors can pick the corn that will help feed the animals on the 1890s-era farm, as well as make corn husk dolls and learn about corn.
Kline Creek also offers blacksmithing demonstrations from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. every Saturday and presentations from the farm's beekeepers every Sunday at the same time.
"We try to involve the public in as much as possible," said Carmen Guerrero, a heritage interpreter at the farm.
Guerrero said that visitors can help collect eggs every morning at 10:30 a.m. or mix feed.
Cosley Zoo in Wheaton will host a Pumpkin Fest throughout October during regular zoo hours, featuring pumpkins, gourds, apples and cornstalks for purchase as a fundraiser for the zoo, according to Cosley Education Supervisor Tami Romejko.
"Personally, I think it's just the idea of it all," Romejko said of the appeal of fall festivals. "Picking pumpkins is such a family event. Families like to be together in the fall, and for us having it at the zoo is twice as good because it's already a family-oriented place."
St. James Farm, another Forest Preserve operation, hosts a Dairy Day on Oct. 19, where residents can learn about early dairy farming, help make butter and milk Maggie, the farm's cow, according to the forest preserve's website.
"I believe that DuPage County residents are tied to history," said Audra Bonnet, public affairs specialist with the forest preserve district. "Our forest preserves draw them out to learn about the cultural elements that still remain in our area, including all these fall traditions."
Sonny Acres Farm, 29W310 N. Ave., West Chicago
Available during 2013 Harvest Festival, Sept. 21 through Halloween:
• Amusement rides – 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
• Kiddie Koral – 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
• Pony rides – 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekends in Oct.
• Petting zoo – 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekends in Oct.
• Spook Shed – 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays in Oct. and 1 a.m. to 9:40 p.m. weekends
• Dizzy Zone – 6 to 9:40 p.m. Fridays in Oct., 11 a.m. to 9:40 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays
• Haunted Barn – 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays in Sept., 7 to 9:40 p.m. Fridays in Oct., 11 a.m. to 9:40 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays
• Wagon rides – 7 to 9:40 p.m. Friday through Sunday in Oct.
• Harvest barn – 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
• Novelty loft – 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
• Costume shop - 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Kline Creek Farm, 1N600 County Farm Road, West Chicago
• Corn Harvest – 10 to 5 p.m. Oct. 5 through 7
• Blacksmithing demonstration – 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. every Saturday
• Meet the beekeepers – 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. every Sunday
• Regular programming – 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday through Monday
Cosley Zoo, 1356 N. Gary Ave., Wheaton
• Pumpkin Fest – 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily through October
St. James Farm, 2S541 Winfield Road, Warrenville
• Covered wagon tours – 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays through October
• 1906 Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Caboose – 2 to 3 p.m. Sept. 21
• Dairy Day – 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Oct. 19
Danada Equestrian Center, 3S501 Naperville Road, Wheaton
• Danada Fall Festival – 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 13
• Horse-drawn hayrides – noon to 3 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays through Nov. 3, except Oct. 12 to 13