Tips for Visiting Blackberry Farm in Aurora (and 2021 Free Days!)

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Outdoor ActivitiesPlaces to Go

Blackberry Farm is set to reopen on May 1, 2021 after being closed all last year!

Blackberry Farm is full of rides, exhibits and historical demonstrations that will fill an entire day of family fun. Don’t plan on it being a short visit, as there is something to do for everyone. There isn’t a part of Blackberry Farm that my girls didn’t love!

This article was originally published on May 13, 2018 so the photographs are from then, but all other info has been updated. They are planning to reopen with a regular season, extra cleaning, and will adhere to all state guidelines.

A Visit to Blackberry Farm in Aurora

Blackberry Farm 
100 S. Barnes Road
Aurora, IL 60506
(630) 892-1550

What You’ll Find at Blackberry Farm

Families can enjoy pony rides, a carousel, and hay wagon rides. You can take a leisurely trip on Big Rock Steam Train, a 3/4-mile train ride around the Blackberry Farm grounds. You’ll circle Lake Gregory, and watch other guests cruising around on paddle boats. Adventure Playground is filled with climbing towers, bridges and slides. Animal lovers can find chickens, pigs, cows, goats and a variety of other farm animals in the Discovery Barn and Hatchery. A designated area for smaller children, Little Farmer’s Junction, has trucks and bikes that kids can ride around or play in sensory tables. Forgot your stroller? Blackberry Farm rents single and double strollers to any patrons looking to use one for the day.

One of the great things about Blackberry Farm is the variety of activities. My daughters, ages 4 and 2, spend a lot of time on the rides. Pony rides, Big Rock Steam Train, Carousel, Hay Wagon, Adventure Playground and Little Farmer’s Junction. There’s so much for them to see, and the fact that everything is so nicely spaced out around the grounds, gives their little legs even more exercise. On crowded days, such as nice weather days, free days and even the weekends, you may have to wait a round or two for some of these rides, but the staff is great with facilitating larger crowds and no wait ever felt over the top.

Train rides around the pond and through a tunnel

Older children can enjoy a leisurely paddle boat ride around Lake Gregory. Historical sites around the grounds give kids a peak into life in colonial times. They’ll witness interactive demonstrations such as blacksmith work, spinning and weaving, or a pottery shop. They can observe how cooking has changed since the 1840’s, and take a seat in the front of the class in a one-room school house.

Learn from a blacksmith
Weaver demonstration

Best Days/Times To Go to Blackberry Farm

Blackberry Farm hosts a variety of themed events throughout the summer. Just to name a few, families can enjoy Superhero Day, Fairytale Weddings, and Father’s Day Fishing Derby. These events are usually ticketed events, and can sell out quickly. Please refer to their Facebook page for up to date information on special events. We haven’t gotten word yet if these events are taking place in 2021.

Wagon rides

Food at Blackberry Farm

Blackberry Farm has a concession stand where food can be purchased for moderate prices. Families are also welcome to bring in their own food and drinks (alcohol excluded). There are plenty of picnic tables available, mostly around the concessions area and playground. For large groups or family gatherings, picnic tables can be reserved ahead of time.

Bathrooms

There are three sets of restrooms spaced out evenly around the grounds. One can be found near the main entrance in the Storefront Displays, one is near the Discovery Barn, and the last is conveniently located at the Concessions. The ones near the main entrance and concessions areas are more updated, with changing tables and automatic flushing toilets. The smaller restrooms near the Discovery Barn do not have changing tables, and the toilets are manual flushing.

Blackberry Farm Hours

Hours of admission to Blackberry Farm vary seasonally.

  • May:
    • Monday to Friday: 9:30 am – 2:00 pm
    • Saturday: 9:30 am – 5:00 pm
    • Sunday: 11:00 am – 5:00 pm
  • Summer hours, which run from June 1st through August 26th:
    • Monday to Friday: 9:30 am – 3:30 pm
    • Saturday: 9:30 am – 5:00 pm
    • Sunday:11:00 am – 5:00 pm
  • September:
    • Friday: 9:30 am – 3:30 pm
    • Saturday: 9:30 am – 5:00 pm
    • Sunday: 11:00 am – 5:00 pm
  • October (Pumpkin Weekends):
    • Saturdays and Sundays: 11:00 am – 4:00 pm
    • Columbus Day: 11:00 am – 4:00 pm

Hours are subject to change; last updated March 1, 2021.

Play area with play tables and ride-on cars and tricycles
Visiting with farm animals

Blackberry Farm Prices

For regular season (May through September) visits, admissions prices for Aurora residents ages 1 and up are $7, while under 1 is free. Non-residents ages 1 and up are charged $10, while under 1 is free. All activities and attractions are included in the price of admission.

Think you’ll visit Blackberry Farm frequently? Season passes can also be purchased. Early bird pricing (through May 14, 2021) for residents is $30 for an individual pass, or $100 for a a family of four. Non-residents will pay $40 for an individual pass, or $140 for a family of four.

During Pumpkin Weekends in the fall, any patron ages 1 and up will pay $8.

Admission prices and season pass information were updated in March 1 2021, and is subject to change.

Examples of shoppes in the museum buildings
Games at Blackberry Farm

Special Needs Accommodations

The entire park is easily wheelchair accessible, and some rides are more easily accessible than others. Big Rock Steam Train is, as patrons needing assistance can line up on the wheelchair ramp. If you’re interested in taking a paddle boat ride on Lake Gregory, there is one ADA-accessible paddle boat with a hand crank that can be rented. To get on the hayride wagon, patrons will need to climb a few steps. All staff are trained to assist patrons in safely entering and exiting rides.

During the month of December, Blackberry Farm is decorated for “Holiday Express”. The first Friday of the month is a sensory-friendly evening. Families with children who have special needs are encouraged to come experience the excitement with reduced light and stimulation levels.

2021 FREE Days at Blackberry Farm

Blackberry Farm offers free days for Illinois residents (with valid ID) on the following dates in 2021:

  • June 2
  • June 16
  • July 7
  • July 21
  • August 4
  • August 18

Please be aware, these days are extremely crowded, especially when the weather is nice. When we attended one of these days in 2017, we waited quite a long time for rides. The staff were very good at handling the larger crowds, just be aware that you may be waiting quite some time for rides, especially the pony ride. Note that Blackberry Farm does not accept large group reservations on free days.

New for 2021: Day Ride passes will be available for $4/person (Ages 1+) on free days. You can purchase a ride pass to have access to all of the free amenities as well as the rides including the train, wagon, carousel, paddle boats, and pony rides. If you don’t buy the pass, you will still have free access to the Discovery Barn, Playground, Historical Sites, and Little Farmer’s Junction.⁠

For more family farm fun, check out our list of farms to visit with kids in Chicagoland!

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