Kid Zone: Plenty of diverse family fun to be had at the sprawling Goebbert’s Farm in Pingree Grove and Great Wolf Lodge in Gurnee
By Trent Modglin
Goebbert’s Pumpkin Farm
A fall tradition for our family — as well as our Park Ridge Wilderness Guides tribe — is a visit to Goebbert’s Farm in Pingree Grove. Located just a half hour from Park Ridge, it’s a mega farm with fresh produce and fall decor, an apple orchard and pumpkin patch, snacks (mmm… sugar donuts and apple cider), food, adult beverages, carnival games, an exotic petting zoo (with everything from sheep and deer to kangaroos and giraffes), slides, train rides, playgrounds, hay rides, fall photo props, a haunted house and much, much more.
Make sure to carve out a good chunk of the day to explore everything because it’s just that massive, with options to entertain the whole family through Oct. 31.
Make sure to carve out a good chunk of the day to explore everything because Goebbert’s is just that massive. … And don’t forget their Halloween drive-through light show, also running through Oct. 31.
Weekday admission: $18 per person, weekend admission: $22 per person. Children 2 and under are free.
Also, don’t forget their Halloween drive-through light show, also running through Oct. 31. Tickets are available online, with the show starting at 6 p.m. nightly.
Located at 42W813 Reinking Road in Pingree Grove (near the route 47 exit off of 90 in Huntley). Goebberts.com
Great Wolf Lodge in Gurnee
With our nieces visiting from New York for two weeks in August, we were looking for a nice, quick getaway that was guaranteed to satisfy all the kids. And Great Wolf turned out to be the ideal spot. And then some.
Great Wolf offers a weatherproof chance for families to unwind with an 80,000 square-foot indoor water park that’s kept at a balmy 84 degrees year-round. Think water slides for all ages, lazy river, wave pool, a giant water fort, etc. And when adults get tired of splashing around, there’s even a bar so you can relax, sit back and have a drink. But it doesn’t stop there at Great Wolf. There’s also miniature golf, rock climbing, an arcade, Magiquest adventure, bowling, kids activities and plenty of food options.
Great Wolf offers a weatherproof chance for families to unwind with an 80,000 square-foot indoor water park that’s kept at a balmy 84 degrees year-round.
One other bonus: You don’t have to stay at the hotel to go to the water park. They offer day passes for $40, which a lot of similar places don’t. But if you are planning to stay a night or two, they have a variety of package and seasonal deals that will save you money online.
Great Wolf’s catch phrase is “experience a world of play all under one roof,” and that is about as accurate as can be. We got a combined eight thumbs up from our 9-12 year-old crew.
1700 Nations Drive in Gurnee. GreatWolf.com