With a huge picnic basket full of food, giant lawn games to play, and tractors to climb on, the Summer Ramble at Abbey Farms in Aurora was a huge hit with our family. I had somehow never heard of Abbey Farms, even though I grew up in this area, so I’m extra excited to share this local gem with you all.
Abbey Farms in Aurora
Abbey Farms calls itself a “small non-profit family fun farm” that helps support the monks of Marmion Abbey.
When you pull up, you’ll see the big red Farmstand Emporium building with tractors and picnic tables on the lawn in front. If you’ve reserved a picnic basket, want to pick one up, or plan on ordering from the cafe, you can head inside to do that. (Outside food is not allowed.)
Picnic on the Lawn
If you’re planning a visit, I definitely recommend doing a picnic on the lawn. Reservations are $39.99 for your family during the Summer Ramble event. In addition to being able to hang out at the farm and climb on the tractors, the reservation includes an enormous picnic basket stuffed full of goodies, a reserved table for two hours, and giant lawn games to play.
I was really surprised how nice the picnic basket was — it was way more than our family of four could eat, and everything was delicious! It includes:
- 6 10oz waters
- Carrot and celery sticks in ranch
- Zesty Pasta Salad
- Cut cantaloupe
- Chex Mix
- Cheese popcorn
- 2 bags of Grandma’s Mini Cookies
- Watermelon Pops
- Wet wipes, napkins, and plates
The lawn games helped turn the picnic into more of an “event” than just eating. My kids especially loved playing Connect 4 and were absolutely enthralled watching my husband play giant Jenga. The farm also lent us a giant checkerboard with big foam pieces.
Patio and Farm Emporium
You can also make a free reservation to eat on the patio and order from the cafe and bakery. (There’s live music on the patio every weekend!)
The Farm Emporium is a big indoor space with a cafe, bakery, and market. They stock local, seasonal produce and farm-made products such as jams, seasonings, and other gifts and trinkets. It’s definitely a classic farm store!
The bakery and cafe are very well stocked. You’ll find homemade bakery treats, Marmion Abbey Ale, and more. You can also order ahead to pick up pre-made dinners and desserts from the farm’s Pine Tree Cafe.
Just inside the door, you’ll also find free coloring sheets and a basket of crayons for the kiddos.
Exploring the Farm Grounds
The grounds of the farm were lush with wildflowers, butterflies, and prairie grasses. The farm staff gave us a handout that marked several trails to explore, including through the Christmas Tree grounds!
However, the trails are on long grass, so we didn’t trek them this time. We plan to wear long pants and shoes for walking next time so we can explore them properly.
Seasonal Family Fun on the Farm
The farm’s Summer Ramble event is going on through September 18. (If the weather is nice, they expect to keep offering picnics into October, so check about availability later in the season.)
The Summer Ramble will be followed by the farm’s family-friendly Pumpkin Daze, which runs September 19 through November 1. This is the farm’s big event, with a huge pumpkin farm, weekend petting zoo, tons of kids’ activities, special treats, cider donuts and more. This year, you’ll buy tickets for specific times in order to ensure a safe number of people.
The farm has adapted to help keep everyone healthy during COVID-19. We found it to be a really fun, safe outdoor destination. On the lawn, all of the picnic tables and tractors have plenty of space to keep apart from other groups without feeling cramped. (On weekdays, it also doesn’t tend to be busy at all — we were the only ones picnicking when we went!)
The staff has increased their cleaning procedures, supplied hand sanitizer stations, and transitioned to credit- and debit-only for purchases. Masks are required inside, too. You’ll find more information on the Abbey Farms website.
2855 Hart Road
Aurora, IL 60502
Closed Mondays; hours vary seasonally, check website for current hours.