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Sunflower City
Photograph: Courtesy Lannon Sunflower Farm

The 9 best sunflower fields near Chicago

Visit these sunny fields and mazes for a perfect summer day trip from the city.

Emma Krupp
Written by
Emma Krupp
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Craving a quick day trip from Chicago? The season for lavender fields has mostly passed, but that doesn't mean you can't still plan a flower-themed expedition this summer. Grab a pair of gardening clippers and hop in the car to reach these stunning sunflower fields, where you'll find acres upon acres of stunning yellow blooms (and plenty of Insta-worthy photo ops, too). Whether you're looking for u-pick options, pre-cut flowers or interactive activities—like twisting sunflower mazes and duck races, for instance—these farms in the suburbs and surrounding states are filled with enough cheery sunflowers to fill an afternoon's worth of exploring. 

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The best sunflower fields near Chicago

  • Things to do

Driving time from Chicago: About an hour

This huge Wisconsin sunflower patch is studded with four million sunflowers spread out over several fields, so come prepared with clippers and a jar (or buy scissors and grab a free plastic souvenir cup on site) to prepare for a long day of roaming and picking. Visitors can also explore sunflower mazes and children get a free shaved ice treat with their ticket. 

Daily 10am–7pm. $15 adult, $10 child

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Driving time from Chicago: About two hours

Pack cash, a clean jar and a pair of clippers before driving up to this Wisconsin sunflower farm, where you can pick up to 12 sunflowers from a three-acre field while supplies last (the season is expected to extend into September this year). While you're there, explore a wildflower butterfly garden and corn mazes manicured into the shape of flowers.

Daily 8am–7pm. $20 per car, cash only

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  • Suburbs

Driving time from Chicago: About an hour

Book your ticket online ahead of time to ensure access to this Minooka, Illinois farm, where sunflowers and zinnias abound. A ticket nets you access to both fields and all other farm activities (like corn and soybean mazes), plus one sunflower to take home. Want pick even more sunflowers? Spring for add-ons like the $24 flower bucket, which includes a pail that you can fill with as many sunflowers that will fit inside. 

Select dates August 26–September 18 from 10am–7pm. $12 per person, children 2 and under free. 

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Driving time from Chicago: About an hour and a half

A maze of sunflowers awaits you at Von Bergen's Country Market in Hebron, Illinois, where 30 acres of sunny flowers have been planted sequentially to ensure maximum blooming time throughout the season. Follow the farm's Facebook page for up-to-date announcements about field conditions and weather. 

Daily 10am–6pm. $10 general admission advance, $12 general admission on site, free for children 3 and under

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Driving time from Chicago: About 50 minutes

Wander through a u-pick sunflower field at one of this Hobart, Indiana-based farm’s Sunflower Fun Farm Weekend days (held September 10, 11, 17 and 18 this year). The farm also features train rides, duck races, an obstacle course and tons of other family-friendly activities to enjoy after you've plucked your fill of flowers.

8am–6pm. $10 per person, children under 2 free

Driving time from Chicago: About an hour and a half

Bountiful u-pick options await you at this McHenry farm, from strawberries and blueberries earlier in the season to towering sunflowers beginning in July (with a crop lasting through late September). Grab a pair of flower clippers—which are available on site if needed—and wander through more than two acres of fields stocked with 18 different varieties of sunflowers for individual clipping, or buy a $25 vase and fill it with as many flowers as you can fit. 

Daily 9am–5pm. $2 per flower, $5 for three flowers, $25 vase

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Driving time from Chicago: About an hour and 45 minutes

Though some of its previous summer sunflower fields have already been plowed, South Bend’s Thistleberry Farm will once again erupt in a three-acre sea of sunflowers and zinnias starting in September.

Monday through Friday 3pm–9:30pm, Saturday 10am–9:30pm, Sunday 10am–5pm. $8 per person, children 2 and under free

  • Things to do
  • Suburbs

Driving time from Chicago: About 45 minutes

This Homer Glen garden center and farm features four different varieties of sunflowers so you can fashion a unique-looking bouquet. Plus, you can pick up seasonal selections of produce—like melons and pumpkins—before heading out. 

Monday through Friday 9am–6pm, Saturday 9am–5pm , 9am–3pm Sunday (sunflower field closes 30 minutes before closing time). $7 adult entrance fee includes one sunflower, children under 3 free. $2 per additional u-pick stem

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  • Washington Park

No car to get out of the city? Don’t let that stop your pursuit of sunflowers—simply hop on the Green Line to visit Sunflower City, an acre of tall, cheery sunflowers nestled next to the El tracks in Washington Park. Originally conceived as a research experiment to test how the hardy flowers absorbed lead from soil in a Kenwood lot, the project eventually moved neighborhoods and morphed into an urban agriculture venture to help beautify the surrounding cityscape. Keep up with the org’s social pages to plan the best time for a (free) visit; currently, the flowers are expected to remain in bloom through mid- to late-August. 

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