1. Tanners Orchard—Those committed to a fall road trip should look into Tanners Orchard, located roughly an hour away in Speer, IL. Tanners is open every day in September and October and on festival days—Saturdays and Sunday—from 10am to 5pm offers wagon rides out to its U-Pick Pumpkin Patch and U-Pick Apple Orchard. The 20-acre pumpkin patch has six different varieties of pumpkins and the apple orchard has over 11,000 U Pick apple trees and seventeen different varieties of apples. Tanners Orchard also has a corn maze and hay rides available. This would be a great way to spend the day with friends or a significant other. Drive out, pick some apples or pumpkins, and then go home and use them to make some of the tasty fall treats you have been mooning over on Pinterest.
2. Rader Family Farms’ Flashlight Night Maze—This is a special event going on this weekend on the evening of September 28. Rader Family Farms will be hosting a nighttime walk through its corn maze and it’s BYOF (bring your own flashlight.) The maze itself will be open from 6-9 p.m. It is NOT going to be a haunted corn maze, but one will certainly experience a bit of nervous energy, trying to find their way at night. There will be bonfires set up throughout the farm as well as S’Mores kits and cider for sale. Cost is $10 per person. If you are not able to make this event on Saturday, do not worry. Rader Family Farms will be hosting a second Flashlight Night Maze on October 26.
3. ISU Horticulture Center’s Autumnal Festival — Also happening this Saturday, The Illinois State University Horitculture Center will be hosting a festival in honor of fall. There will be several classic activities such as a corn maze and hay rides.
4. Rader Family Farms’ U-Pick Pumpkin Patch — Every day of the season, Rader Family Farms offers a U-Pick Pumpkin Patch. This is a classic fall activity that we have been doing since we were children and it is always just what ones needs to be put into a fall spirit. Every pair or group of roommates on campus talks about going to a pumpkin patch together, it is about time you and your friends finally do it. Of course, one can enjoy the other wonderful activities offered at Rader Family Farms as well such as the corn maze, duck races, tube rolls — in which guests roll themselves in giant tubes down a track — a jumping pillow and a giant haystack to jump into. Rader Family Farms is located at 1238 Ropp Road, Normal, IL.
5. The Illinois River Road National Scenic Byway — This is another event for ardent fall road-trippers. Once the colors start to turn on the trees, a wonderful way to enjoy them would be to take a drive on one of the many routes on this scenic tour.