The best places for berry picking
This McHenry County mecca offers more than your average farm. In addition to summer 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.
Fill a bucket with strawberries in June and head back for some red raspberries in late August at this Wisconsin farm located 60 miles north of downtown Chicago. And when summer fades, plan a trip back to pick up pumpkins.
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.
When falls rolls around, it's all about the apples at Valley Orchard. But come summer, this Cherry Valley farm is crawling with raspberries, strawberries, tart cherries, blueberries and currants. Before loading your haul into the car, be sure to stop by the on-site bakery for apple cider doughnuts, house-made apple pie and cinnamon bread. Make it a day trip when you visit nearby Magic Waters Waterpark, which is located about three miles away from the farm.
Located 80 miles southwest of downtown Chicago, Olive Berry Acres is known for its ruby-red raspberries and juicy strawberries. When the berry-picking season wraps, the farm continues to offer eggs, whole chickens and tomatoes. Be sure to check their Facebook page for updates on closures and availability.
Travel to quaint Sawyer, Michigan, and you can typically find blueberries through mid-August. The farm has been open for 40 years and also hosts special events like corn roasts in late July and August.
Situated just 60 miles south of downtown Chicago, this sweet blueberry farm offers 10 acres of fruit-packed bushes plus 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.
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. Just be sure to call ahead to find out what's available at this Indiana spot. Come September, check the calendar for live music on the weekends.