Hopping on a wagon ride is a quintessential fall family activity. But not all wagon rides are created equal. Whether you prefer a simple ride through the forest or something else a little spooky, here are suggestions for fall wagon rides for different types of families.
Best for: Good old-fashioned fun under the moonlight
Where: Primrose Farm, 5N726 Crane Rd., St. Charles
When: Oct. 4-5, 11-12 and 18-19 starting at 5:30 p.m.
Cost: $12, $8 residents and free kids under 1
See Primrose Farm like you’ve never seen it before–under the moonlight aboard a tractor-drawn wagon ride! After the 30 minute ride, gather around a bonfire for a marshmallow roast, hot chocolate and hot cider. Registration required beforehand.
Best for: Families that enjoy fun around a campfire
Where: Lake Katherine Nature Center and Botanic Gardens, 7402 Lake Katherine Drive, Palos Heights
When: Friday, Oct. 25 from 7 to 9:30 p.m.
Cost: $10 per person
October is “pumpkin time.” This hayride/campfire will feature pumpkin painting, pumpkin treats and songs around the campfire. Register in advance at the Nature Center.
Best for: Families that don’t mind a little spook
Where: Sonny Acres, 29W310 North Ave, West Chicago
When: Every Friday, Saturday and Sunday in October until Halloween from 7-9:40 p.m.
Cost: $10 per person
Ghouls and goblins have taken over Sonny Acres and are ready to give you a fright as you travel through the woods. Looking for more scares and screams? Then their Haunted Barn is right up your alley.
Best for: Families that want to combine a hayride with a trip to the zoo.
Where: Randall Oaks Zoo, 1180 N. Randall Rd., West Dundee
When: Weekends Sept. 21 through Oct. 27, hayrides from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Cost: $2 per person, children under age 2 are free
Spend the perfect fall day seeing your favorite farm animals during Randall Oaks Zoo’s Fall Festival. No visit is complete without hopping aboard a hayride around the park.
Best for: Families on a budget looking for a no-frills farm
Where: Dave’s Pumpkins, 9112 Algonquin Rd., Huntley
When: Weekends and Columbus Day from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Cost: $3 per person; free children ages 2 and under
Don’t let the word “haunted” fool you. At Dave’s Pumpkins, the hayrides aren’t too scary for littles and are actually more on the mild side with Halloween decorations. The 15-minute hayride will take you through acres of wetlands, woods and nature trails. Spend time enjoying the rest of the farm with activities such as a mini corn maze, antique pedal tractors, and pumpkin bowling.
Best for: Families that want a hayride to pick pumpkins
Where: Stade’s Farm & Market, 3709 Miller Rd., McHenry
When: Weekends and Columbus Day from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Cost: Hayride is free with pumpkin purchase. Any pumpkin from the field is $7.
Hop on a free hayride to the pumpkin patch to pick a pumpkin straight from the vine. With more than 30 acres and 25 different varieties, you’re bound to find the perfect pumpkin for your pumpkin.
Follow Cheryl’s family adventures at O the Places We Go.
This article originally appeared Oct. 4, 2018 and has been updated with the most recent information.