Outstanding Agricultural Tourism in the Land of Lincoln

Illinois Tour Planner, Outdoor & Adventure

From pumpkin patches to petting zoos, there are attractions for every group in the agricultural heartland of Illinois.

By Tinder Kiely

The Land of Lincoln boasts more than just its political legacy; it offers rural landscapes and experiences waiting to be discovered. One such facet of Illinois’s charm is its growing agritourism scene, where farms open their gates to visitors, inviting them to immerse themselves in the agricultural lifestyle and enjoy farm-fresh produce, scenic backdrops and genuine hospitality.

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Agritourism in Illinois


  • Nestled in the picturesque countryside of Normal, Illinois, Rader Family Farms is a sprawling agritourism destination that offers an array of seasonal activities for visitors of all ages. From pumpkin patches and corn mazes in the fall to sunflower fields and baby animals in the summer, the farm provides a year round escape from the hustle and bustle of city life.
  • Just a short drive from Rader Family Farms lies another gem of Illinois’ agritourism landscape: Ropp Cheese. Situated in the quaint town of Normal, this family-owned creamery has been producing artisanal cheeses since 1863, using time-honored techniques passed down through generations. At Ropp Cheese, visitors can witness the cheesemaking process firsthand—from milking the cows to aging the cheeses in temperature-controlled caves. Guided tours offer a behind-the-scenes look at the craftsmanship and dedication that goes into each batch of cheese, allowing guests to savor not only the flavors, but also the stories behind them.
  • Epiphany Farms feels strongly about the value of understanding the source of your food, which is why the team offers tours of their 70-acre working farm during the growing season. Visitors will have the opportunity to learn about the regenerative and chemical-free agricultural practices that Epiphany Farms uses to provide food to local restaurants and its CSA members.
Apples + Donuts from Curtis Orchard & Pumpkin Patch

Apples + Donuts from Curtis Orchard & Pumpkin Patch

Champaign County

  • Curtis Orchard & Pumpkin Patch is a family-run farm that’s been feeding people since 1873, and now grows dozens of varieties of apples alongside a pumpkin patch just waiting to be picked in the fall. If you don’t have time to pick your own, their large country store offers the opportunity to shop for these and much more, including specialty food and gift items, fresh apple cider, baked goods and delicious homemade honey. A visit here would not be complete if you didn’t also stop at their corn maze, goat petting zoo and the Monkey Cafe.
  • The Great Pumpkin Patch is a family-owned farm with over 300 varieties of pumpkins, squash and gourds from over 20 countries around the world. Visitors can experience the harvest season with beautiful surroundings in the heart of Amish Country. Pumpkins aren’t all this place has to offer as guests can experience detailed mum displays known as “quilts,” corn mazes, farm animals, scenic wagon rides and numerous places to eat and drink.
  • Visit Illinois’ first farmstead cheesemaking facility located just north of Champaign, at Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery. Here, you can learn about their “Animal Welfare Approved” goat dairy, sample award-winning varieties of artisan goat cheese and their unique goat milk gelato. During open hours, you can roam the grounds, meet the goats and visit the farm store. Group tours and tastings are also available, where you can learn all about the farm and their vision of sustainable, regenerative agriculture.
  • Hardy’s Reindeer Ranch allows visitors a totally unique experience: visit a herd of authentic Alaskan reindeer. Take a tour and get the opportunity to meet these friendly animals and if you’re brave, you can even give one a kiss. If you come at the right time, you might even get to see a baby reindeer. Hardy’s Reindeer Ranch also contains five acres with a variety of Christmas trees and provides all the tools needed to cut your own. In the fall, you can get lost in their massive “groovy” corn maze.

For more Illinois travel ideas and tips, be sure to Download the Illinois Tour Planner for FREE and Subscribe to Leisure Group Travel for more information

Hardy’s Reindeer Ranch

Hardy’s Reindeer Ranch in Rantoul, Illinois

More Illinois Agritourism Ideas


  • Explore rural farm life on the Illinois Grand Prairie in 1860 when you visit Homestead Prairie Farm, located in southwest Decatur. Free weekend tours are available June-October at this living museum. After you immerse yourself in the history of the farmhouse, you can tour the beautiful trails and ponds located in the nearby Rock Springs Conservation Area.


  • Just a 15-minute drive west from Danville is Sleepy Creek Vineyards. The folks at Sleepy Creek grow their own grapes on 10-acres of vineyard and ferment all 13 of their wine varieties on site. Schedule a tour or come by for a tasting, and leave with a bottle.


  • Try some wine when in Effingham at Tuscan Hills Winery, a romantic setting designed to give an old-world Tuscan feel. The European-esque winery offers daily tastings, frequent live music shows and a comfortable on-site restaurant serving artisan pizzas, flatbreads and more.


  • The Marcoot Creamery in Greenville invites guests to experience the true spirit of farming and is a shining example of agricultural excellence. This family-run creamery provides a special chance to observe the craftsmanship that goes into making artisan cheeses and farm-fresh dairy products. A visit to Marcoot Creamery, which offers guided tours, interactive experiences, and a quaint farm store with its delicious creations, is sure to be an informative tribute to the rich tradition of American agriculture.
  • Just 10 minutes from Marcoot Creamery, The Rolling Lawns Farm creation of The Milk House entices guests with a blend of rustic charm and mouthwatering delicacies. This family-run farm, tucked away among lush pastures, is a haven of expansive pastures. When visiting, make sure to stop by the Milk House which serves delicious, freshly made ice cream and dairy products. Every scoop, created with the freshest milk from their own dairy herd, is a flavor and tradition celebration.


  • Visit Woodlawn Farm, located just five miles east of Jacksonville, and learn about its significant history. This farm was an important stop on the Underground Railroad for runaway slaves seeking shelter. Woodlawn Farm is now a living history museum complete with its own farm and allows guests to immerse themselves in mid-1800s farm life.
  • Another quality stop is Bland Family Farm, a regenerative farm in Jacksonville, that serves high quality organic meat, eggs, and produce.

Logan County

  • Logan County’s own Gail’s Pumpkin Patch offers a seasonal pumpkin paradise with over 60 species of gourds, squash and pumpkins—many are even edible! For only a quarter, children can enjoy feeding the goats, watching the chickens and petting the rabbits. After you’re done, grab some homemade apple cider donuts for the drive back.

For more Illinois travel ideas and tips, be sure to Download the Illinois Tour Planner for FREE and Subscribe to Leisure Group Travel for more information

Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery

Agritourism at Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery

More Agritourism in Illinois for Groups


  • Southfork Homestead Pumpkin Patch is a beautiful place for anyone looking for the ultimate fall experience. This family-run pumpkin patch can be found away within the natural charm of the countryside in Paris and has plenty to offer guests of all ages. Harvest season enriches every moment, from riding hayrides through beautiful scenery to navigating the vast fields of pumpkins in search of the ideal pumpkin. Southfork Homestead Pumpkin Patch, with its attractions including corn mazes, petting zoos, and seasonal delights, promises a day full of fun, adventure, and treasured memories set against the backdrop of rustic beauty.


  • Fon du Lac Farm Park is a wonderful destination in East Peoria for families with young children. The Farm Park includes a 1920’s farm museum, a petting zoo with farm animals that you can feed and a red barn with a silo slide for kids to play in.


  • If you find yourself in Shelbyville, consider taking a stop at the Tower of Baa. This peculiar tower may look like a standalone castle turret, but no humans live here; instead the tower is inhabited by goats! The Tower of Baa the largest goat tower in the world, and gives Dave Johnsons’ Saneen goats shade and a place to climb like they would normally get in their native home of Switzerland.
Illinois State Fairgrounds Route 66 Experience Neon Park Signs Sunset

Illinois State Fairgrounds Route 66 Experience Neon Park Signs Sunset


  • Springfield’s premier equine experience, Riverside Stables, invites groups of all skill levels to take a riding lesson on one of their majestic horses. Or you can simply take a trail ride with an experienced guide and leave the hustle and bustle of the city behind for a while.
  • Jubilee Farm is located just west of Springfield, on a stunning 164-acre piece of land. Explore the grounds and visit the llamas and alpacas or sit on a bench and watch things grow at their gardens and orchard. Jubilee Farms also offers classes on sustainable life, gardening, eating and more.
  • Since 1853, Springfield has been home to the Illinois State Fair, one of the oldest state fairs in the country. Each year, the Illinois Department of Agriculture showcases the Land of Lincoln’s diverse and extensive farm culture with animal shows and other exhibits. The 2024 Illinois State Fair takes place August 8-18, but you can visit the fairground year-round at the The Illinois State Fairgrounds Route 66 Experience, a self-guided tour highlighting businesses in 92 communities along the Illinois stretch of historic Route 66. Vintage billboards, a drive-in movie theater, Legends Neon Sign Park and a tribute to Illinois’s muffler men make up a large part of the experience.

Stephenson County

  • When sustainability is as important as production, alternative energy sources are top priority. In the northwest corner of Illinois, Stephenson County is home to several opportunities to learn about several forms alternative energy. Tour Adkins Energy to learn about the uses of biodiesel and methanol and then travel 10 miles north to learn about and view the 100-megawatt High Point Solar Farm and 67-turbine EcoGrove Wind Farm that are co-located on the same property.


  • Discover the lovely world of flowers and botanical marvels at Wild Child Flower Farm in Sumner. This charming farm is nestled in the hills of Illinois, producing an array of colors and scents while preserving heirloom varieties and an array of wildflowers. In addition to taking part in interactive activities such as picking your own bouquet, visitors are welcome to stroll across the fields and take in the beauty of nature’s abundance.

For more Illinois travel ideas and tips, be sure to Download the Illinois Tour Planner for FREE and Subscribe to Leisure Group Travel for more information

Feature photo – Great Pumpkin Patch, Arthur, Illinois. (Photo credit: Enjoy Illinois)

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