If your family is anything like ours, you’ve spent a lot of time outside this summer. By mid-August, we’d exhausted all our usual stops, so we decided to venture out a little farther from home. A visit to Peck Farm Park in Geneva was exactly what we were looking for. There’s a wide variety of things to do with kids at Peck Farm Park, including a butterfly house, nature playground, nature center and museum, observation silo, and sensory garden. It won’t be a short visit!
What You’ll Find at Peck Farm Park
Peck Farm Park was originally owned in the 1800s by Eli Peck and his family, who were known for their sheep farming. The Peck family sold the land to the Geneva Park District in 1991 with the hopes of it turning into an educational center.
The butterfly house was my daughter’s favorite part of our visit. There were countless butterflies very actively flying around the space. The butterfly house is usually open until about mid-September, so we’d recommend a visit soon!
Guidelines for visiting the butterfly house:
- Admission to the butterfly house is free, with a suggested donation of $2/person or $5/family. Donations are collected in a money box, so don’t forget to bring cash.
- Strollers, purses, backpacks, bags, or other personal items are not allowed in the butterfly house. It is right next to the parking lot, so we’d recommend going to see it first. Afterwards, you can easily go back to your car to get your personal belongings for the rest of your visit.
- All visitors must wear a mask, and social distancing must be followed while inside. Only 8 visitors are allowed in at a time, and with markings on the floor, this is fairly easy to follow.
Our favorite part about the Butterfly House was the window of chrysalises. We raised a butterfly kit in our home back in March, but were never able to see any of our butterflies emerge. At Peck Farm Park, we were able to witness two butterflies come out of their chrysalises.
Hawks Hollow Nature Playground
Hawks Hollow Nature Playground is unlike any playground we’ve ever seen. There’s a main rock climbing and water feature running through the middle. Children are encouraged to wade in the water while wearing water shoes. Off to the side are a few smaller water spouts for additional water play.
The main play structure is accessible via ramp, with two rope ladders coming up from the lower level. My 7-year-old liked climbing through to the lookout tower.
Surrounding the playground is an area with outdoor musical instruments, a bird’s nest, and a small hut. Down below, there’s also climbing logs to practice your sheep herding skills.
The Peck House is home to the History Gallery, Exploration Room, and Gift Shop. With a 2-year-old, we tend to move through museums quickly. We were excited to see a large fish and corn snake in the Exploration Room. It was a great space for group programming. We read through the signs and learned a bit about the Peck family, the original owners of the space.
The Observation Silo in the middle of Peck Farm Park offers an incredible view of the grounds. There are windows at each level of the silo, with a full 360-view on the highest floor. It’s a great view!
Just outside of the Butterfly House is the Sensory Garden. The Sensory Garden has a few statues and an array of beautiful flowers.
George’s Circle is an outdoor amphitheater with a fire pit. This space is also ADA accessible.
The Grounds of Peck Farm Park
Peck Farm Park is full of beautiful native flowers, grasses, and wetlands. We enjoyed a short walk on one of the many nature trails down to the boat dock. There are also bike trails around the grounds.
My 7-, 5-, and 2-year-old all seemed to find things they enjoyed. The main play structure is definitely meant for older climbers, but all three enjoyed cooling off in the water, playing music and climbing on the log stepping stones. Climbing to the top of the Observation Silo was fun for my older kids, and of course the Butterfly House was a major hit for all.
Food and Water
There is no food sold on the premises, and I did not notice any water fountains either. There were bottled waters being sold in the gift shop. Make sure to bring food and drinks from home, as there are a lot of great covered areas with picnic tables.
Peck Farm Park is about a 10-15 minute drive from downtown Geneva, which boasts quite a few cute restaurants and ice cream shops.
There were a few indoor restrooms around the grounds. A family restroom was in the Orientation Barn, and another individual restroom is located in the Peck House. We only went in the family restroom, which also has a changing table.
Visiting the grounds at Peck Farm Park is free, but don’t forget cash for your suggested donation to the Butterfly House.
Best Days/Times to Visit Peck Farm Park
Peck Farm Park is a great stop for families during summertime. Before you visit, check their website to confirm their seasonal hours. We were there mid-morning on a weekday, and there were a decent amount of families. It was easy to socially distance ourselves everywhere except the playground area. Masks are encouraged on the grounds, and required in the Observation Silo, Peck House, and Butterfly House.
4038 Kaneville Road
Geneva, IL 60134
Looking for more farm fun? Check out our list of local farms to visit with kids.