Shhh… Keep this a secret. Part of the allure is Blackberry Farm is the unhurried pace and its freedom from crowds. Blackberry Farm, Old-fashioned fun; the brochure lives up to its name. The warmer weather gets me thinking about planning a trip to a simple place and time.
Located in Aurora, Illinois, Blackberry Farm is an easy drive from Chicago or the far Northwest Suburbs. A quiet, easy-paced hike through a picturesque farm promises to delight toddlers, younger children, and grandparents. Children older than seven and parents anxious to “do” something might not be quite as enamored as those of us who enjoy strolling along and taking as much time as needed to move piles of corn with toy trucks and tractors.
With three rambunctious grand-kids along, we spent the afternoon wandering around the farm. Being a farm-girl myself, I’m compelled to warn you that it’s not a real farm. No crops, no manure, and no hard work. But to city-folk, it’s close enough.
First the kids rode around on the John Deere-style trikes. Gracie, two years old, chose a lightweight scoot-along tractor. Loads of fun. Since the road traversed a one-lane covered bridge, everyone got a chance to practice good manners.
Once everyone tired of “working the fields,’ we moved on to the grain elevator, where six-year-old Dean bulldozed corn kernels around, loaded them into little trucks, and transferred them into the grain elevators. This is basically a sandbox setup. It’s so smart to use corn instead of sand: some educational value, low on messiness. What are a few kernels of corn in the pant cuffs; compared to a boatload of sand that one sneaker can carry?
We took a little train ride around the farm, which wove through the farmland and along a quiet stream. We took a break to check out an old homestead. Homes sure were a lot smaller, and the families bigger. We explained that the kids spent a lot more time outside, back then. Instead of getting back on the train, you can opt for a hay-ride back.
We end the day with a snack in the gazebo, while we watch the frogs in the pond. On the way back to the car, Luke and Dean have fun rolling down a hill. Remember when such simple things were such fun?