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The best places for berry picking near Chicago

Take a short drive for a day spent berry picking on farms near Chicago and you'll find strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and more

Photograph: Pixabay

Berry picking is an essential summer pastime, especially for families. But even if you live smack dab in the action in Chicago, you can still take a day trip to find a farm where you can pick your own strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and more. Many spots also have other fun, kid-friendly attractions like petting zoos or wagon rides. Bring those berries home to make your own dessert when you just can't get out to nab one of the city's best pies, or blend a handful up for your own take on one of Chicago's best frozen cocktails, long after the kids have fallen asleep.

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The best places for berry picking

1

Stade's Farm and Market

This farm mecca has plenty to do beyond your average farm. In addition to berry picking, Stade's has a full market, farm tours, sunset hayrides and a petting zoo at certain times of the year. Check out the stash of strawberries in June, or head there in July for perfect raspberries, green beans and sugar snap peas.

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Suburbs
2

Thompson Strawberry Farm

Fill a bucket with strawberries in June and head back for some red raspberries in late August at this Wisconsin farm approximately 90 minutes from Chicago. You'll find pumpkins here in fall, too.

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3

The Pie Patch

This Back of the Yards organic pick-your-own farm offers raspberries, strawberries, rhubarb, pie pumpkins, mulberries and elderberries. Check the website before you visit for more detailed information on what's in season and what pick dates are available each month. 

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New City
4

Valley Orchard

When fall rolls around, it's all about apples, but come summer you'll find raspberries, strawberries, tart cherries, blueberries and currants. Located outside of Rockford, this spot is close to other fun summer attractions like the Magic Waters Waterpark. Enjoy a day out with nature and make sure to stop in the bakery on your way out for apple cider doughnuts, home-made apple pie and cinnamon bread.

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5

Olive Berry Acres

Located about 90 minutes from Chicago, Olive Berry Acres is known for its ruby-red raspberries. The farm also boasts strawberries and asparagus. 

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6

The Blueberry Patch

Travel to quaint Sawyer, Michigan, and you can typically find blueberries through mid-August. The farm has been open for nearly 40 years and also hosts special events like corn roasts in late July and August.

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7

Billy Boy's Blueberry Barn

Situated just 60 miles south of Chicago, this sweet blueberry farm offers 10 acres of fruit-packed bushes, pies, honey, preserves, and more. More impressive yet, there are seven varieties of blueberries growing here, offering pickers a new taste on the classic fruit. Head out to the farm to pick your own or grab a container to go.

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8

Garwood Orchards

Hop on a horse-drawn wagon for this berry picking adventure. Depending on the month, you might find cherries, strawberries, raspberries or blueberries, among other fine produce, at this Indiana spot. Just call ahead to be sure what's available. In fall, check the calendar for live music on the weekends. 

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9

Knutson's Country Harvest

Pick blueberries, buy honey, take home some jam or just hang out on the farm at this family-owned getaway situated approximately 90 minutes from Chicago. Pickers will delight in the sheer number of options; strawberries, blackberries, pears, peaches, blueberries and apples are all available here.

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