Farm Stays and Other Unique Family-Friendly Airbnbs in Illinois

This summer, my little family spent a few days at a farmhouse for a much-needed break from the monotony of months at home. As we packed up the van, I told my husband, “I don’t even care if this trip is fun, I just want it to be different.” (Thankfully, it was both!)

Our family isn’t alone in opting for whole-house vacation rentals as a safer way to get out of town. Another way to play it safe: staying in Illinois. We’ve rounded up some of the coolest Airbnb options for families in Chicagoland’s suburbs, including whole-house vacation rentals, farm stays, urban camping, and more. Check it out!

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Amazing Airbnbs for Families in Illinois

Prices vary by season and occupancy. Be sure to search for your dates and number of guests when viewing each listing. Photos are taken from the Airbnb listings.

Farm Stays for Families with Kids in Illinois

You can’t get much more socially distanced than farm life! Illinois has beautiful farm country, and these hosts are welcoming visitors to experience a slice of rural life. At many of these top picks, kids can see a variety of animals on the farm, and sometimes even help out with farm chores and feedings.

Heritage Hollow Experiential Farm

Heritage Hollow Experiential Farm
Starts at $186/night. 6 guests · 3 bedrooms · 3 beds · 2 baths

In addition to a gorgeously updated 1860s farmhouse, guests at Heritage Hollow have access to 30 acres of woods, prairies, and pastures. Kids can meet all the animals, which include horses, sheep, chickens, and more; the owner is happy to help kids get involved with the animals, too.

Kimble’s Farmhouse: Lake Shelbyville Farmhouse

Kimble’s Farmhouse: Lake Shelbyville Farmhouse
Starts at $250/night. 12 guests · 4 bedrooms · 7 beds · 2 baths

Guests at Kimble’s Farmhouse, just outside Lake Shelbyville, can watch the cows come running up the hill for dinner at the silo each evening. That’s the beauty of staying on a working farm, where you might get to bottle-feed a calf, watch the spring planting, hitch a combine ride during the fall harvest, schedule a hayride, or fish in one of two stocked ponds.

This one comes highly recommended by a friend with three small kids.

Country Farmhouse with Multiple Rooms in Hampshire

Country Farmhouse with Multiple Rooms in Hampshire
Starting at $92/night. 6 guests · 4 bedrooms · 5 beds · 2.5 baths

My family stayed here this summer and had a wonderful time! The 1890s farmhouse usually serves as a retreat center, but has switched to hosting private families and groups. We enjoyed having the run of this beautiful home, including a cabinet full of family board games. The warm, welcoming hosts are on hand in the attached living quarters. Nearby outings include Goebbert’s Pumpkin Patch and Apple Orchard, as well as the downtowns in St. Charles and Geneva.

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Historic Limestone Farmhouse and Nature Preserve in Shirland

Historic Limestone Farmhouse and Nature Preserve in Shirland
Starts at $215/night. 13 guests · 5 bedrooms · 12 beds · 4 baths

This 1840’s limestone home makes for a cozy family retreat after a day spent exploring the property’s 19 acres, hiking through the nearby wetland conservation area, fishing in streams and ponds, playing in the sand, and more. A wet sauna is great for warming up after enjoying the winter skiing trails, too. The hosts helpfully provide toys, games, puzzles, and books, with a special reading chair, too.

Horsemeister HorseBarn Foaling Apartment

Horsemeister HorseBarn Foaling Apartment
Starts at $99/night. 6 guests · 2 bedrooms · 3 beds · 1 bath

Literally inside the foaling barn, this apartment lets you walk out to visit the horses on this working horse farm anytime! Horse-crazy kids would adore a trip here to stay on a farm with stallions, mares, and foals. About 10 foals are born in the foaling barn each year, so some guests may even get to see a mare foaling. This one is definitely the full farm experience.

Aviation Lovers Farm Stay in Genesco

Aviation Lovers Farm Stay in Genesco
Starts at $90/night. 4 guests · 1 bedroom · 2 beds · 1.5 baths

This 7-acre property has a private pond, 60 chickens, 8 turkeys, 4 baby peacocks, and 3 Labradors for kids to admire! Go paddleboating in the pond, enjoy evenings around the firepit, and watch planes soar up high.

Unique Family Airbnb Stays in Illinois

Camp Manitowa Red Yurt #1 in Benton

Camp Manitowa Red Yurt #1 in Benton
Starting at $125/night. 9 guests · 1 bedroom · 8 beds · 4 baths

Bring the whole family to camp . . . in a yurt! This is one of three you can rent in the “yurt village.” Guests have their run of 40+ acres of outdoor recreation, including canoeing, fishing, swimming, hiking, basketball, a campfire circle, and more. There may be other guests at the camp when you go, so the hosts ask you to be mindful of social distancing and safety.

The Pullman Train Car “Constitution” in Plano

The Pullman Train Car “Constitution” in Plano
Starts at $209/night. 6 guests · 5 bedrooms · 5 beds · 3 baths

This 1905 Pullman train car was used by two U.S. presidents: Woodrow Wilson and Warren G. Harding. Now, it’s been converted into a beautiful place to stay off the tracks, with an extension to make things a bit roomier. It’s set in nature for beautiful views, too.

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Jaybird Treehouse in Goreville

Jaybird Treehouse in Goreville
$154/night. 6 guests · 2 bedrooms · 4 beds · 1 bath

I’m not sure it gets much cooler than staying in a treehouse . . . except that the twin beds for the kiddos are down a trap door. While it’s not actually built in a tree, this house is set up high under giant oak and pine trees for a treetop feel. Included with your stay: access to a paddleboat, canoe, kayak, fishing poles, and mountain bikes! End the day with s’mores around the fire pit.

Main Street Home Near Starved Rock and Downtown in Ottowa

Main Street Home Near Starved Rock and Downtown in Ottowa
Starts at $161/night. 5 guests · 3 bedrooms · 4 beds · 2 baths

If you want to explore Starved Rock, this remodeled house would be a great home base. Grab some eggs from the backyard chicken coop for breakfast in the morning to fuel your explorations. This place is outfitted with a ton of family-friendly features, including kids’ books and toys, a high chair, a changing table, and more.

Fall Colors at a Guesthouse in Harrisburg

Fall Colors at a Guesthouse in Harrisburg
Starts at $110/night. 4 guests · 2 bedrooms · 3 beds · 1 bath

This little house has an amazing patio to extend the outdoor fun after a day spent exploring the Shawnee Forest. Bonus: after the kids go to bed, the grown-ups can claim the hot tub!

Highview Country Escape in Stockton

Highview Country Escape in Stockton
Starts at $161/night. 6 guests · 2 bedrooms · 5 beds · 1 bath

Starry nights in the country await at this retreat in northwestern Illinois, about half an hour outside Galena. The renovated log home has a hot tub and shaded gazebo on the wrap-around porch, perfect for admiring a hilltop view of woods and wildflowers. Make sure to check out the family farm’s vegetable business while you’re there!

The Best Little Sunset in Central Illinois in East Peoria

The Best Little Sunset in Central Illinois in East Peoria
Starts at $154/night. 8 guests · 2 bedrooms · 5 beds · 2 baths · 2 bedrooms · 5 beds · 2 baths

Watch birds head south for the winter on their on their migratory path as you enjoy waterfront views of the the sun setting over the Illinois River. The inside of this home is gorgeous, too.

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The Depot B & B in Champaign

The Depot B & B in Champaign
Starts at $65/night. 5 guests · 2 bedrooms · 3 beds · 1 bath

This train depot from 1857 still has graffiti from 1917, but it’s been remodeled into a cozy retreat. It sits on five acres and has a fenced-in yard for pets (and kiddos) to explore. Annie and her family spent the weekend in Champaign and found some great things to do (almost everything was outside!), so click here to read her review.

Barefoot Beach House in Centralia

Barefoot Beach House in Centralia
Starts at $250/night. 7 guests · 3 bedrooms · 4 beds · 2 baths

This 2,300-square-foot house is made for beach living, with a pet- and kid-friendly concrete floor on the ground level, its own private beach, and a dock for fishing and rafting.

Finding Family-Friendly Airbnbs

When you’re looking for an Airbnb for your family, you’ll want to make sure it’s a comfortable, safe space for everyone. Some hosts go out of their way to welcome little travelers, while others prefer to keep things adults-only.

I’ve got a few tricks for finding kid-friendly stays:

  • Check the amenities. When you’re reviewing the listing, look under the “Amenities” header and click the button to see all amenities. There’s a “Family features” section that will show up if any family-friendly amenities are included. These can include pack-n-plays, cribs, highchairs, children’s books and toys, children’s dinnerware, and more. This is a great sign that the house is ready for kids!
  • Read the whole description. Does the description mention family or kids activities, or does it focus on the stay as a destination for couples or adult parties? Some hosts also leave a note that the house is not childproofed or that kids under a certain age cannot stay.
  • Search the reviews. Click the “Show all reviews” button beneath the Reviews header. This will bring up the full list. I often hit control+F to search the page for “family” or “kids”, which will show me if people are talking about those kinds of trips.
  • Check out the pictures. My boys are little (5 and 2), curious, and hands-on. When I see a living room full of antiques and knick-knacks, I know it’s not going to be a place where I can relax.

Looking for more safe ways to spend time with your family? We’ve got you covered!

About the Author

Rachel Matuch
Rachel is a mom to two boys (ages 2 and 4) who "certainly has her hands full," as strangers in grocery stores tell her. She's doing her best to keep up and get comfortable with the mud pies and tree-climbing her kids love. In addition to writing and editing, Rachel frequently pillages the Naperville library, plays nerdy board games with her husband, and collapses into a tired heap at 8:30 p.m.

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