Living in northern Illinois comes with many perks, and one of them is a front-row seat to the gradual, magical transition from summer to fall. For Kim Kuipers, co-owner of Kuipers Family Farm in Maple Park, this time of year also means opening up her family’s 230-acre farm for all to enjoy.
“We connect people to agriculture and each other,” Kuipers says. “It’s all about coming together as a group and enjoying the wonderful agriculture that the Midwest has to offer.”
Each year, the Kuipers team adds to the farm’s offerings to create a memorable experience for everyone. This year, changes include a larger bar for the over-21 crowd, even more fall flowers and a new way to tour the property.
Elburn-based Obscurity Brewing returns with its hit apple cider doughnut beer and a new variety: pumpkin beer. Both are expected to sell out quickly.
The Sunflower Festival is also back again. The field contains more than 20 sunflower varieties and sets the perfect backdrop for photos. It’s also more colorful this year, with several acres of zinnias planted alongside.
Of course, all of Kuipers Farm’s usual family favorites return this fall, including the Farmview Railway Train, jumping pillow and apple blasters.
Also returning this year are the pig races and live musicians. Any day of the week, visitors can also ride down the mountain slide, get lost in the corn maze, visit the cute farm animals and climb on the “crazy combine.”
No trip to Kuipers Family Farm would be complete without a stroll through the Orchard Shop, where there are locally produced gifts and other items including made-from-scratch treats such as doughnuts, pies, cider and apples harvested right on the farm.
The fall season runs Aug. 26 to Oct. 31, with activities every day. The store remains open with reduced hours from Nov. 2 until the day before Thanksgiving.
“It’s a great place to come out, stay connected to agriculture and enjoy each other’s company,” Kuipers says.
Kuipers Family Farm is located at 1N145 Watson Road in Maple Park, (815) 827-5200.