Taking a young toddler to a new place for a larger event, even a ‘kids’ event, is always a bit of a crap shoot — and we didn’t know what to expect at the Butterfly Festival at Garden Patch Farms. And, you never know how an almost 2-year-old is going to react. Will there be age-appropriate activities? Will she be in a good mood? Will I be able to let her out of the stroller to roam around without worrying that she’s going to run into a street? Does the time of the event work relatively well with her nap schedule?
Yet, as Emme is now a legit toddler, I’ve done a lot of research about fun summer activities, and the Butterfly Festival at Garden Patch Farms caught my attention. So this weekend, Emme and I, along with my sister, brother-in-law, and their 20-month-old son, ventured to Garden Patch Farms in Homer Glen, Illinois, a you-pick orchard and berry farm, for their 2nd annual Butterfly Festival.
The event kicked off with the release of hundreds of butterflies. While I was expecting swarms of butterflies, it didn’t quite happen that way. The butterflies are slow to start, and many don’t take flight or go too far initially. That said, Emme couldn’t have been more excited to get up close and personal with a Monarch that landed near our feet.
When most of the butterflies finally flew away, we explored the rest of Garden Patch Farms. What I liked best about the Butterfly Festival was that it was very contained. There was enough to see and do without feeling overwhelmed, the crowd was manageable, and the space big enough that we felt comfortable letting Emme and her cousin roam around.
Emme’s favorite part of the day was the chickens. She doesn’t regularly get into something for long periods of time, but I had convince her to move on from the chicken coup.
We ended our day at Garden Patch Farms in the strawberry fields. While the crop wasn’t quite ripe enough, it was still fun to watch Emme and her her cousin pick strawberries and throw straw at each other.
The Butterfly Festival was free and totally worth the 35-minute drive from the near western suburbs of Chicago — close enough to be no big deal, but far enough to feel like we were in a totally new and different setting. We loved our visit to Garden Patch Farms and can’t wait for next year’s festival.