Friday, October 19 2012 00:00

31 Days of Halloween: Didier Farms Pumpkinfest in Lincolnshire, IL

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Open since 1912, Didier Farms is a sizable greenhouse and farmstand located at 16678 W. Aptakisic Rd. on the border of Prarie View and Lincolnshire, Illinois - about 30 miles north of Chicago. When Fall rolls around, their annual "Pumpkinfest" goes into full-effect as the entire property is transformed into an Autumn Wonderland. While there's plenty of "pumpkin patches" in the Chicago area (and we love many of them), the large array of activities and sights is what puts Didier Farms among those in the top tier.

DSC 0197
IMG 9752On the outset, there's a ton of pumpkins available in every size you can think of, along with many of the oddball varieties. We spotted some "peanut pumpkins," "red warty," and a few "blue moons" in the mix on the Saturday afternoon that we visited the Farms. They have plenty of straw bales, hardy mums, corn stalks, and a robust selection of seasonal decor available for sale in two well-stocked stores (we bought a scarecrow). Food is available in several locations throughout the property (I had a brat and some sweet corn), along with fresh-baked pumpkin donuts, ice cream, and a host of other goodies.

There's a straw maze and corn maze; pig races; a "parakeet encounter"; pony rides; camel rides; an exotic petting zoo; hayrides; painting/craft activities; and kiddie carnival rides.

DSC 0357While Didier Farms' Pumpkinfest is fantastic, the one downside is the somewhat confusing pricing structure of the events and activities, which varies depending on when you visit. On weekends (when we went), admission is free, but you pay a la carte for certain things. While most of the prices were reasonable, one thing that really bugged me was the "exotic petting zoo." The $7 admission fee is literally per-person, which means if your 3-year-old wants to take a walk through it, the parents have to pay to accompany the child. That's not cool, and we've been to plenty of petting zoos where you pay for the child, and you escort them around. I waited outside with the baby while my wife walked our munchkin through the zoo. $14 for that + an additional $6 for a family photo with a baby kangaroo, and we're at $20 just on some fenced-in animals. Oh, and add in a couple of bucks for some little cups of munchies for the little one to feed to the critters along the way. Now, in all fairness - Didier Farms farms the petting zoo out to another company, but the prices still irk me.

Didier Farms' Pumpkinfest activities are open Monday-Friday  9-5, and weekends 10-5. Check out their official website for detailed pricing on the activities, which as noted above, varies depending on the day. Overall, this is recommended for a visit during The Rock Father's 31 Days of Halloween!

James Zahn

James Zahn is best-known as The Rock Father™, a media personality, commentator, adventurer and raconteur. He is the Owner, Publisher, and Editor-in-Chief of THE ROCK FATHER™ Magazine. In January, 2019, after nearly a decade of publishing The Rock Father™ Magazine, he joined Adventure Media and Events as Senior Editor of The Toy Book—the leading trade publication for the toy industry since 1984, as well as The Pop Insider — a destination for all things pop culture, and The Toy Insider — the leading consumer guide for toys and games. He is also editor of The Toy Report, a weekly newsletter published by The Toy Book each Thursday. Zahn has over 27 years of experience in the entertainment, retail and publishing industries.

He regularly serves as a Brand Ambassador and spokesperson for several Globally-recognized pop culture and lifestyle brands in addition to consulting for a number of toy manufacturers. 

Creatively, James has directed/edited music videos, lyric videos, and album trailers for bands such as FEAR FACTORY, has appeared as an actor in feature films and commercials, written comic books, and performed in bands. He currently serves as an artist manager and video director for PRODUCT OF HATE, whose debut album was released by Napalm Records in 2016, distributed by ADA/Warner Music in the U.S. with Universal Music handling global. A new album has been completed and is set for release this year.

Zahn and/or his work have been featured in/on CNN, NBC, ABC, WGN, CBS, GCTN, G4, The Chicago Tribune, Forbes, MarketWatch, Reuters, BusinessWire, Fangoria, Starlog and more. He's appeared as a music expert on CNN's AC360 alongside Anderson Cooper, and has been interviewed by Larry King. In the past he served as a writer for the Netflix Stream Team,  Fandango Family and PBS KIDS, penned articles for Sprout and PopSugar, and was a contributor to Chicago Parent.

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