If your toddlers are anything like my twin boys, then they love farm animals. We sing, read and talk about animals on the farm all day long. After a long winter, I can’t wait to get them out to see some real farms in person. We are very fortunate to live within driving distance to some great family-friendly farms. I have put together a quick list of local farms that are perfect for toddlers. Some of these I have visited in the past, and some we plan to check out for the first time this summer.
Toddler-Friendly Farmyards in Lake County
14245 W Rockland Rd, Libertyville IL 60048
Located right off 94 in Libertyville, Lambs Farm farmyard is a convenient choice to bring the toddlers to brush a goat or a sheep, get up close to the cows and pigs and see all sorts of other birds, llamas, and various farm animals. Along with checking out the animals, the farmyard offers a train ride by the lake, miniature golf, a carousel, and a bounce house to round out the outing. It is recommended that you call ahead if the train or bounce house is important to your visit, to ensure they will be available.
Historic Wagner Farm
1510 Wagner Road, Glenview IL 60026
Historic Wagner Farms is operated by the Glenview Park District and is one of the last working dairy farms in Cook County. It is open to the public for learning and recreation. You can see the cows grazing in the fields, along with chickens, pigs, and horses. The Wagner Farm Heritage Center has interactive exhibits, including a 1930’s grocery store and a cow that toddlers can pretend to milk. You won’t want to miss a visit to Sweets & Treats Old Fashioned Soda Fountain for a delicious treat to cap off your visit.
Bonner Heritage Farm – Little Sprouts Program
Sand Lake Road, Just West of Route 45 in Lindenhurst
Bonner Farm is Lake County Forest Preserves’ self-guided, interactive farm experience with cows, chickens, and a toddler-friendly sand table. Occasionally, the forest preserve offers special programs for toddlers and kids through their Little Sprouts program. See their website for a list of upcoming classes.
Green Meadows Petting Farm
33603 High Drive (hwy 20), East Troy, WI 53120
Located about an hour north of Lake County, Green Meadows Petting Farm is a wonderful place to spend the day with your toddlers and older children. Admission to the farm includes a hayride, pony ride, an opportunity for everyone to milk a real cow as well as access to countless other farm animals. The farm also has a very large picnic area, plus some really unique play areas, including large ramps for Hot Wheels cars and sand areas to play in. Check out Groupon before you go as they are frequently offering discounts. Heather also has a personal review of Green Meadows.
15900 Kelly Road, Wadsworth 60083
A real working farm and field trip favorite. Visit with the family on Sundays from May through Halloween to pet the animals or ride the ponies. It’s a great place to get friendly with barnyard animals. The pony rides are what really make Patch 22 stand out. For $10/pony your child gets a 20-minute ride through an open pasture led by a parent or other caregiver. It’s nothing like a carousel ride, and lets your little ones feel like real cowboys and cowgirls! Read Loralie’s personal review.
Miss Jamie from The Farm
If you can’t get to any of the farms mentioned above, you can always get a magical farm experience by catching a performance from Miss Jamie from The Farm. Miss Jamie’s performances are perfect for preschool through age 8 with her puppet friends from the farm. Miss Jamie is a regular at many local events and groceries stores, and always a fun farm option for your little ones.
Have fun on the farm, and tell them Little Lake County sent you!
Find more Lake County Farms where you can pick, play and learn about agriculture.
Susanna Farms in Lake Villa is open by appointment for groups of 10 or more to explore the farm and gardens, go for a horse ride or just check out all the animals.