Blueberry Picking: U-Pick Blueberries Near Chicago + Tips for Your Trip

It’s blueberry picking time! Blueberries are so good for little hands and freeze really well to use all year. The blueberry season lasts about 3–4 weeks, but we recommend you call ahead to get an update on the field conditions and how plentiful the berries are before you travel to picking locations. When the berries are plentiful, they are easier to pick, which makes the experience much more fun than if there is searching involved!

Note that some of these farms might be in a different time zone, so be aware of this as you make your plans to pick. Hours may also change as the season begins winding down, usually in August.

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Blueberry Picking Locations within 1.5 Hours of Chicagoland

Knutson’s Country Harvest
13550 Townhouse Road
Newark, IL 60541
(815) 695-5905 or (815) 557-4629
Check their Facebook page for updates on fruit availability. Blueberries typically early July-mid August.

Merrillville Farms
6716 South Colorado Street
Hobart, IN 46342
(219) 947-0223
Open Monday–Saturday 9 am – 7 pm and Sunday 9 am – 5 pm.

Tammen Treeberry Farm
37131 Essex Road
Wilmington, IL 60481
(815) 458-6264
Open Monday–Saturday 8 am – 4:30 pm. Blueberry picking begins mid-July and lasts for 3 or 4 weeks.

Valley Orchard
911 East State Street
Cherry Valley, IL 61016
(815) 332-9696
Open Monday–Saturday 9 am – 6 pm and Sunday 10 am – 6 pm.

Blueberry Picking Locations Up to 2 Hours Away

There are quite a few farms between 1.5 and 2 hours away if you don’t mind traveling a little further to pick your own blueberries.

Fritts Berry Farm
10301 N. State Road 10
DeMotte, IN 46310
(219) 987-2228
Open Monday–Friday 7 am – 6 pm, Saturday 7 am – 5 pm, closed Sunday. Blueberries should be ready early July and last through early August.

Eenigenburg’s Blueberries
6721 W State Road 10
Demotte, IN 46310
(219) 987-2957
U-Pick: $2.00/lb
Open Monday–Saturday 7 am – 6 pm, closed Sunday.
You are welcome to eat all the blueberries you can for free while you are picking for yourself in the field. Berries will be available on July 5, 2017 and should last throughout the month.

Zylstra’s Blueberries
11881 W. 1200 North
DeMotte, IN 46310
(219) 987-2061
Open Monday–Friday 7:30 am – 6 pm, Saturday 7:30 am – 4 pm, closed Sunday.

Billy Boy’s Blueberry Barn
650 Freyer Road
Michigan City, IN 46360
(219) 872-7477
Open six days a week 8:30 am – 6 pm, closed Tuesday. Blueberry season begins July 13.

Blue Skies Farm
15552 S. 1050 W.
Wanatah, IN 46390
(219) 733-2416
Open daily 7 am – 7 pm.

VanKley’s Blueberries
2666 W. St. Road 10
Wheatfield, IN 46392
(219) 956-3687
Open Monday–Saturday 7 am – 6 pm
Mouth watering recipes can be found here.

Grandma’s Berry Patch
9895 W. 1700 S.
Lacrosse, IN 46348
(219) 733-9080 or (219) 671-1889
Open Monday–Friday 7 am – 5 pm, Saturday–Sunday 7 am – 7 pm.

Blueberries of Indiana
2388 W. 1000 North
LaPorte, IN 46350
(219) 326-8686
Local honey, jam, and juice are available. They accept cash and checks but not credit cards or food stamps. Boxes are available for purchase or you are welcome to bring your own containers to take your berries home.
Open six days a week 8 am – 6 pm, closed Tuesday. Season usually lasts July 4 through Labor Day.

Stateline Blueberries
9957 North Frontage Road
Michigan City, IN 46360
(219) 874-7721
Open Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday 8 am – 6 pm, Saturday – Sunday 7 am-6 pm, closed Tuesdays. Early July through late August.

Bonnell’s Blueberry Patch
4840 S. 600 West
North Judson, IN 46366
(574) 896-5365
Open daily 7 am – 6 pm. Cash or check accepted.

Planning Your Trip

Always call before you go picking to verify hours. Ask if the fields are picked over or still have a decent amount of blueberries to pick. The length of the season is greatly affected by the weather, especially with berries.

Some farms do not supply containers, or charge you for them–so you can plan for that too. When we have gone blueberry picking in the past, we have used small buckets or metal coffee cans with soft rope through each side.

I also recommend asking when the fields were sprayed. I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t want to pick right after they sprayed that morning or even if they sprayed the day before and it hasn’t rained. It’s way more fun to pick if you can sample along the way!

Things to Bring

I would recommend wearing a hat while picking. Sometimes you can stand in the shade of the blueberry bushes, but shade isn’t always available in the field. If you bring a baby, I would set up a blanket with an umbrella in the middle of the row and make sure your little one is in the shade.

Dress lightly and bring sunscreen. We have gone picking and didn’t need to wear bug spray, but it wouldn’t hurt to bring that along too.

Water! Drink it often!

Bring a picnic lunch or at least a snack and a blanket to eat on.

Don’t wear nice clothes or shoes. Especially with kids, you almost always get blueberry juice on your clothes… which is really hard to get out!

Picking Tips

Blueberries are ripe when they are all dark blue. The portion around the stem turns color last, so don’t pick berries that are just blue on the bottom. If the berries are slightly red around the stem they are good, just a little tart.

If you have a bucket or coffee can with a rope tied to it, you can hang it around your neck to allow the berries to fall into the container as you pick (much faster).

Often there are great berries in the center of the bush, or down low, which is perfect for your little ones!

When You Get Home

Don’t wash your blueberries until you are ready to eat them. Washing makes them more prone to spoiling.

Freeze your blueberries: It is better to freeze blueberries without washing them so they do not get icy. Just pour them into a ziplock bag and place in the freezer. Blueberries can keep for months in the freezer!

About the Author

Meghan Neill
Meghan and her husband live in Downers Grove with their two sons ages six and seven and their four year old daughter. She is a transplant to the Chicago area and absolutely loves all that the western suburbs have to offer for her young family. One of their favorite places to visit year round is the Morton Arboretum. During the summer months, they love to garden, bike, swim, and play golf together. In the winter, Meghan and her children are happy to be home trying out new kid friendly recipes and being creative. As a former teacher, Meghan believes in a healthy balance of unstructured play and scheduled activities. She is excited to be part of the Kidlist team and wants to help families add fun and laughter to their days!

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