Fall is a special time of year for family activities and enjoying the outdoors. After a busy week of school and work, stay close to home and create unforgettable family memories at one of the area’s pumpkin farms or fall attractions.
605 County Lake Road, Springfield
Bomke’s is open for the fall season between September 23 and October 29 and holds regular activities on Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Highlights include 10 acres of pumpkin patch, a seven-acre corn maze, a one-acre bean maze, wagon rides through the Christmas tree farm, a petting zoo with food dispensers to feed animals, a children’s play area with swings and slides and a rock mine and pumpkin cannon.
On Friday nights from 5-9:30 p.m., Bomke’s hosts a Friday Night Farm event. Activities include exploring a corn maze under the stars (flashlight required), lawn movie, play areas, fun bubbles, foam party, food trucks and music. Bring your own lawn chairs to enjoy the movie. Children 2 and under are free.
Kristin’s Pumpkin Patch
6300 Wind Tree Road, Springfield
Beginning September 23, families can visit Kristin’s Pumpkin Patch between 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. Saturday, and 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. Sunday.
Customers must park on the streets of the neighborhood, near the silo which has a top painted like a pumpkin. From there, it’s a short walk to the patch, where you’ll find yourself surrounded by acres of corn, pumpkins, and flowers. Kristin’s Pumpkin Patch is truly a little fall paradise.
Kristin’s main attraction is the u-pick pumpkin patch, which has over 35 varieties of squash and pumpkins to explore and pick. Kristin’s Patch also has an Iowa-shaped corn maze, complete with fun facts about towns on the state’s border.
Indian Creek Farm
19468 Curtis Blacktop Road, Petersburg
Indian Creek’s fall opening is September 17, and the patch will be open Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. until October 30.
The Indian Creek Farmstead Pumpkin Patch contains 70 varieties of pumpkins and squash, although it is much more than a pumpkin patch. Other farm activities include a remote control car/truck course, sandboxes, a kid-friendly maze, lots of farm animals, slides, games, playhouses, a Lego train car and an interactive and educational two-mile wagon ride.
On Sundays, Indian Creek opens up its Jeep Crawler Course and Timber Trail for Jeep-loving off-road groups.
Pumpkin Creek Farms
7392 Barclay Road, Sherman
Pumpkin Creek Farms opens for the season on September 10 and is open daily through Halloween. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, and 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.
There’s a ton of family fun at Pumpkin Creek, including a hay bale mountain for kids (and adults) to climb, a big corn maze, u-pick pumpkins, tractor rides, pony and tractor swings, a petting zoo where visitors can feed the animals, sensory tables made of grain and corn, a giant crazy corn bin for children to immerse themselves in, duck races, gambling houses and food trucks.
Weekday hours at Pumpkin Creek make it a great place for parents of toddlers and preschoolers out of school, and the Pumpkin Creek Season Pass is good for many. visits.
Lincoln’s New State in Salem Historical site
15588 History Lane, Petersburg
Lincoln’s New Salem is open year-round and is a wonderful place to enjoy the fall colors as the leaves change. New Salem also offers exciting fall programming.
The New Salem Traditional Music and Bluegrass Festival in Lincoln will take place September 9-10. This annual festival features musicians performing traditional instruments such as mountain and hammer dulcimers, concertinas, bones, autoharps, fiddles, banjos and guitars throughout the historic village. Traditional, folk and bluegrass musicians are invited to participate in the weekend’s impromptu jam session.
The Lincoln’s New Salem Candlelight Walks will take place October 7th and 8th. These walks are the only opportunity to see the village at night, and period-dressed interpreters will be inside many of the village’s log homes and shops to talk about life in 19th-century Illinois.
Finally, Lincoln’s New Salem will host its fall festival on October 22. Period-dressed performers will demonstrate daily tasks throughout the historic village, such as candle dipping, soap making, blacksmithing, wool spinning, gardening and natural dyeing. Visitors can descend into the cellar of the tavern to see how fruits and vegetables were preserved during the winter.
Lincoln Memorial Garden
2301 E. Lake Shore Drive, Springfield
Lincoln Memorial Garden is one of our family’s favorite places to hang out in the fall. Starting in September, be on the lookout for guided leaf identification hikes, fall bird walks, and forest therapy events.
Additionally, the Lincoln Memorial Garden Fall Harvest Festival is set to return Oct. 8-9 and will include crafts, face painting, puppet shows, and pumpkin decorating. Families can also build a fairy house using natural materials such as acorns, twigs, bark, leaves, and grasses, as well as visit LMG’s Troll Trail. Adults can purchase handmade items such as pottery and handmade wooden items. The festival runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on both days.
Carve for the Carillon and The Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular
Washington Park, Springfield
In my opinion, it just wouldn’t be October in Springfield without the Carve for the Carillon and Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular events in Washington Park. The sculpture will take place on Saturday October 8th and Sunday October 9th. Hollowed out pumpkins will be ready for your creative carving. Bring your carving tools, family and friends.
All carved pumpkins will be displayed at the Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular the following weekend, October 14-15.
Pamela Savage is a freelance writer in Springfield. She looks forward to enjoying the many activities and events Springfield has to offer this fall.