The Children’s Farm at The Center in Palos Park is a must-see for farm animal lovers! Our recent trip included up-close and personal time with pigs, cows, chickens, goats and more. We learned about the animals, enjoyed a hayrack ride, and sang “Old McDonald Had a Farm” the whole ride home. We can’t wait to visit The Children’s Farm at The Center again, and hope the info below encourages you to go see the animals soon, too.
A Visit to the Children’s Farm at The Center in Palos Park
What You’ll Find at the Children’s Farm
A visit to the Children’s Farm at The Center is incredibly hands-on. When you enter the grounds, there are outdoor spaces for ducks and bunnies. Each area had a volunteer stationed at it, who would hold the animals while you pet them. They’d kindly answer questions and talk to you about the animals. When you enter the main barn, you are again greeted by volunteers who welcome you into the exhibits with the animals. Chickens, goats, pigs, cows and donkeys are all ready for visitors. You’re even welcome to groom the sheep! There was a small window to see the baby chicks. This was a highlight for us, as they were so soft! Everyone was really friendly, knowledgeable, and patient with guests, reminding us to space out and wash our hands before leaving.
After quite a bit of time interacting with and learning more about the animals, we ventured back towards the main entrance, where a tractor ride was stationed. These rides were included in admission, and took us around the grounds, past the cows and horses. There were a few stairs to get up into the tractor trailor, but once there, you’re sitting on comfortable wood benches.
There is a wide variety of programming offered at the Children’s Farm at the Center. We were there for a daily visit, but with group tours, junior farmers, volunteering opportunities, summer camps, egg incubation programs, and birthday parties, there’s something to meet your family’s interests. The Children’s Farm at The Center hosts many fundraisers which offer special opportunities to purchase local plants, fresh produce, eggs, beef and pork, honey and crafts.
At the check-in table, you’ll find bottled waters, juice and freshly popped popcorn available for purchase. There is a covered picnic area on the grounds, perfect for bringing a lunch from home. If you’d prefer to purchase lunch, pick up a pizza from Jullianni’s Pizza or take a drive near Orland Square Mall, which has countless delicious options to pick from.
Public restrooms can be found in the “People Barn”, which is the main office building. The bathrooms are equip with changing stations.
The Children’s Farm at The Center is open to the public on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, from 10:00am – 1:00pm. Starting in May, it will be open Thursdays through Sundays, from 10:00am – 2:00pm. There are also private tours, Junior Farmers and SAGE programming, summer camps, and birthday parties.
Daily visits to the Children’s Farm at the Center cost $7 per guest ages 2 and up. Hayrack rides are included with admission. Private tours, which run on Tuesdays, cost $100 for up to 10 people. Friends of The Farm annual memberships can be purchased. Some special events are omitted, but visits to the fall Pumpkin Playland are included. These allow for 4 guests each visit and cost $150.
Animal lovers of all ages will enjoy a trip to the Children’s Farm at the Center. We’ve never been able to get this up close and personal with farm animals before. We appreciated that it was a simple visit, not a lot of extra bells and whistles, but definitely a spot to see. Our visit was perfect for my 2-year old, but I know my 5 and 7-year olds are looking forward to a trip back soon!
Upcoming Events at the Children’s Farm at The Center
There’s a lot of exciting things coming up at the Children’s Farm. May 22 and 23, 2021, they’ll be hosting Barn to Be Wild 12, a weekend farm festival and fundraiser. Throughout these two days, visitors will be enjoying hayrack rides, food concessions, youth horse show, art and craft fair, and cow pie BINGO. On the right side of their website, you’ll find their monthly newsletter with details about this, and all the events they have in store for families.
Children’s Farm at The Center
12700 Southwest Highway
Palos Park, IL 60464
Looking for more ways to visit animals? Check out our list of local farms to visit with kids.