St. James Farm is a free local outing for families looking to stretch their legs, learn a little history, and enjoy the gorgeous outdoor landscaping. My husband, Joe, took our kids on a trip to St. James Farm last week and they had a great time! I asked him to take plenty of photos and get the full scoop to share with you all. (Thanks, Joe!)
What You Will Find at St. James Farm: History and Grounds
St. James farm was the longtime retreat of the wealthy McCormick family, which purchased the land in 1920. The grounds are definitely a lush escape! It’s also surrounded by the broader St. James Forest Preserve, with plenty of nature to explore. (That includes a 1.6-mile crushed gravel path, which you can find on the map here.)
There are some amazing historical structures from the late 1800s, including a farmhouse and a barn. Kids can check out historical buggies and other antiques, too, by peeking inside the coach house’s open front. The other sights are spread throughout the grounds and include sculptures, a fountain with three life-sized dolphins, and more.
Allées are rows of trees planted to create a natural “alley.” These rows of trees are beautiful to explore, and the kids loved running back and forth. This was actually their favorite part of the trip!
There are several different allées to enjoy throughout the farm, all with different types of trees. Joe said they were nice and shady, even on the very hot and humid day when they visited.
All buildings are closed (as of July 2020), including bathrooms. There are port-a-potties on site, but no hand sanitizer or sinks available, so you’ll have to bring your own. There are no changing tables handy, either.
Food and Drinks
Bring your own food and drinks to the preserve. You’ll find many shady spots and picnic tables to enjoy.
2S541 Winfield Road
Warrenville, IL 60555
Open daily from sunrise to sunset.
Looking for more safe, fresh-air fun? Check out our outdoor activities page! We’re exploring new places all the time with a focus on new finds in our area.