Blackberry Farm's Pioneer Village
If you live in the Greater Chicagoland area, or if you are visiting Chicago, you may want to take a day to visit Blackberry Farm. This is part of the Fox Valley Park District, in Aurora Illinois. This is a daytrip you would love, especially if you have children younger than 13. The teenagers might not be as excited. The park is open between May 1st and Labor Day.
The main feature of Blackberry Farm is the Pioneer Park, with many attractions. The park has a several different areas each one detailing a part of the local history. These include the Huntoon House, Carriage House, the Early Streets Museum and more. There is a gift store filled with fun items for kids. There are several small animals in the park, including baby chicks, bunnies, and other small fuzzy friends.
The kids get to interact with the old time way of life, particularly the lifestyle of 19th Century in the American Midwest. The prairie life is captured so well with the farm cabin and the Early Streets Museum. Kids can interact with all the old time tools and talk to characters (park employees) playing the part of our American past. Kids learn how difficult life was on the prairie and understand how easy modern life standards are today compared to earlier generations. Park employees can be found throughout the park, utilizing old time skills such as pottery making, blacksmithing, churning, cooking, sewing, spinning and weaving. Kids will also love the pony rides and the carousel.
The entire park is surrounded by lakes, picnic areas and a train that circles the park. Smaller kids usually can't get enough of the train, it has four stops around the park. Each stop is another part of the park and the train is very regular. Just as in the old times, it whistles to let you know it is approaching, so if you are ready to leave that particular area you can head down to the train station. The picnic areas are nice, with lots of weeping willows providing shade. There are lots of geese and ducks who will loiter about the picnic areas, hoping that someone will toss them a piece of bread. If you don't bring any food, that's fine, there is an outdoor eating area called the Summer Kitchen. It serves standard food items at decent pricing.
Overall a very fun time, for adults and kids. The one exception could be teenagers who are not terribly interested in history at that point in their life, but this is certainly not to say they can't enjoy a trip here. Small kids love the place, mainly because there is so much to touch and interact with. Adults have a good time and enjoy the historical nature of Blackberry. Also, the adults can take satisfaction that the kids are doing something that not only is "real" and outdoors, rather than video games and 400 channels of television surfing.
A great time, plan to be here most of the day. Admission is not bad at all, running at $6 for children and seniors, and $7 for adults. A family of five gets in for just over $30. Admission includes access to all parts of the park, the train, picnic areas, and a map of the grounds. A fun time, about a half hour from downtown Naperville, and about 75 minutes from downtown Chicago. The staff are exceptionally friendly, and helpful at every turn. This is something different for your family, completely unplugged from the modern, digital lives we live.
This sounds WONDERFUL!! My family , especially my grandson, Maison and I will be there on opening day..God Willing. Can hardly wait. Lorine L.