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Five of the Best Corn Mazes, Agri-Adventures and Fall Festivals in the Great Lakes.  From Illinois and Indiana to Michigan, the fall season looks promising for awesome agri-adventures, corn mazes, pumpkin patches and places for quick getaways ideal for making family memories.

Taste sweet apple butter or corncob jelly; carve a pumpkin or stuff a scarecrow; ride on a wagon full of hay or bob for apples; enjoy a film in Chicago. Make time for fun with your kids and family. Our list includes theFamilyTravelFiles reader’s favorites plus staff recommendations. See what it takes to be the best and make time for fun with your family.

Richardson Adventure Farm with Corn Maze in Illinois 
(early August to the end of October). Who would have guessed that the world’s largest corn maze is north of Chicago and just south of the Wisconsin state line.  In addition to the never-ending maze, they also grow thousands of pumpkins from four-inch mini pumpkins to super-sized pumpkins weighing more than 50 pounds. Each weekend a pumpkin wagon provides families with easy access to the pumpkin patch. Agri entertainment activities include slides, corn bin cabin, pedal trikes, and goat walk, pig races, and a picnic area with space for campfires. Bonus Points: Visitors can get a bird’s eye view of the maze from a 50-foot tower, and even travel along a zipline over the farm.  If corn isn’t thrilling enough visitors can take a ride inside an 11-foot “Orb.” Wait for it! Ride your own horse through the maze on the Saturday after the maze adventure closes following checkpoints on a map for a reward. (9407 Richardson Grove, Spring Grove, IL. 60081. (815) 675-9729 or

Chicago International Children's Film Festival in Chicago 
(late October - early November). For a city event this one is splendid. This year's festival will feature 200 animated and live action films from 40 countries. It is the largest competitive festival of children's films in the United States and is hailed as the Cannes for Kids; the festival presents the very best in non-violent multicultural films for children ages 3 to 13. Best Part: At every screening, a panel of kids cast their votes for the Best of the Fest Award as well as other awards and prizes for excellence. Bonus Points: There will be post-screening discussions with more than 100 directors, producers, and actors in attendance. (Chicago Children's International Film Festival (773) 281-9075 or

County Line Orchard Fall Harvest Festival and Corn Maze
 in Indiana (September - October). Start with the eight-acre corn maze and move ob to an orchard tour. They offer u-pick apples and pumpkins for an authentic farm experience. The farm animal petting experince and bee barn are worth the trip. See working bees at observation hives in the orchard, baby chicks hatching, and goats up in the trees. Watch Peter Pumpkin Eater getting his teeth cleaned after munching on pumpkins. Best Part: The barnyard has miniature tractors, tools, wheelbarrows, and even a kid-sized barn and a Moo Choo. Bonus Points: Trio of Fears not for the faint-hearted but lots of funn. It includes a wagon ride, dimly lit path through the trees, and a crawl through darkened passages plus Nocturnia the haunted barn. (County Line Orchard & The Barn 200 County Line Rd., Hobart (219) 947-4477 or

Jacob's Corn Maze in Traverse City, Michigan  
(mid-August - October) Identified by the State of Michigan's Historical Commission as a Centennial Farm, Jacob's providesan authentic American fam experience. During the fall season family friendly activites include barn dances, horse-drawn wagon rides and hotdogs by campfire light.  Best Part: While any maze is fun and challenging by day Jacob's encourages families to return and try the journey by flashlight.Ghosts among the stalks may or may not be present depending on the moon. Bonus Points: Jacob's Farm provides visitors a chance to pick seasonal fruits and vegetables and make memories with their kids and grandkids. (Jacob's Corn Maze 7100 E. Traverse Hwy. Traverse City, Michigan 49684. (231) 632-MAZE (6293) or

DeBuck's Corn Maze and Pumpkin Patch Belleville, Michigan (mid-September - October) Grab the kids and romp through DeBuck's 13-acre of corn maze, and wander through 12 acres of pumpkins. Enjoy a free wagon ride through the pumkin patch and select a pumkin for purchase. Try uour skills in a pedal go-kart race or fire a corn cannons. Make time for a calming farm animal encouter or slide on the super slide. Best Part: Sample scrumptious cinnamon donuts and farm made apple cider. (DeBuck's Corn Maze and Pumpkin Patch 502 Martz Road Belleville, Michigan 48111. (734) 260-0334 or

aMAZING Fun for FamiliesTo zero in on more options for family fun go to our aMAZING Fun folder.  

Information reserached and posted by Nancy Nelson-Duac, Curator of the Good Stuff for the Family Travel Files. Video courtesy of Jacob's Farm, and images from Richardson Adventure Farm, Tweite's Corn Maze and Sever's Corn Maze. Sometimes things change, so please confirm details before making plans. Copyright updated 2017.