A Visit to Green Meadows Petting Farm

Back in July, I stumbled across an article on Red Tricycle Chicago that highlighted Chicago-area farms offering family friendly activities. Ever since our outing to Garden Patch Farms in June, I’ve been wanting to take Emme to another farm. The petting zoo aspect of Green Meadows Petting Farm caught my attention, and I became mildly obsessed taking Emme to this Wisconsin farm.

But I needed an excuse to make the trip.
A Visit to Green Meadows Petting Farm in East Troy, Wisconsin. Add this petting farm to your list of must-do activities with toddlers in Chicagoland. Only 90 miles from the Chicago area.

Luckily, my husband had a conference last week in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin where he would be staying at Timber Ridge Resort, which features an indoor water park. It was the perfect excuse for a mini-family vacation.

Lake Geneva is less than 90 miles from our home in the western suburbs of Chicago — incredibly easy to get to — and Green Meadows Petting Farm was about 20 miles from our hotel in East Troy, Wisconsin. It was the perfect day trip for Emme and I while Daddy spent the afternoon in meetings.

Welcome to Green Meadow Petting Farm | www.mommysanest.com

The entrance to Green Meadows Petting Farm farm is a bit unassuming, but beyond this yellow building, the grounds blew me away. For $13.50 each (children under 1 are free), Emme and I had access to more activities and animals than I expected. Admission to Green Meadows Petting Farm also included a hayride, a pony ride, and a pumpkin picked from the farm’s pumpkin patch.

Green Meadows Petting Farms| www.mommysanest.com

We lucked out with perfect weather: blue skies, sunshine, and temperatures in the mid-70s temperatures. We took advantage of the picturesque day and spent hours exploring.

Green Meadow Petting Farm | www.mommysanest.comFrom a fleet of Cozy Coups to a variety of bikes, a small merry-go-round, and a learning center with a train set, there was so much to keep Emme busy at Green Meadows Petting Farm that she could have easily played for an hour or more without even bothering with the animals.

Goats at Green Meadow Petting Farm | www.mommysanest.com

I did eventually convince her to move on from the toys so that we could check out the animals.

Green Meadows Petting Farms | www.mommysanest.com

Despite what it looks like, no kittens were harmed in the making of these memories.

We didn’t even go to every pen, but we did manage to get up close and personal with goats, kittens, and chickens. From afar we saw horses, a Texas longhorn, and pigs. Feeding the animals was definitely one of Emme’s favorite parts of the day.

Chicken at Green Meadows Petting Farm | www.mommysanest.com

Playground at Green Meadow Petting Farm | www.mommysanest.com

We wrapped up our visit to Green Meadows Petting Farm on the playground, picked out a pumpkin, and took a pony ride (included with admission). At that point, I was too tired to wait for the next hayride, which runs roughly once an hour.

Pumpkin Patch at Green Meadow Petting Farm | www.mommysanest.com

“It’s heavy, Mommy.”

Pony Ride at Green Meadow Petting Farm | www.mommysanest.com

There was more to do at Green Meadows Petting Farm than I ever expected, and I’m so glad we drove the 30 minutes from Lake Geneva to visit it. We stayed almost three hours and probably could have stuck around longer. Emme loved it, and I’m hoping we’ll have the opportunity to come back.

If You Go To Green Meadows Petting Farm

  • Bring quarters for animal feed. Emme loved feeding the animals, and I had fun feeding the goats and chickens too.
  • Consider packing a picnic lunch. There’s plenty of seating where you can have lunch. Green Meadows Petting Farm does have some food you can buy. I ended up getting Emme baked Cheetos because I’m campaigning hard for that “Mother of the Year” award. I bought myself a cookie because that’s the award for “Mother of the Year.”
  • Plan to spend a few hours. Like I said, there’s a ton to see and do.
  • Go on a weekday if you can. I cannot imagine how busy this place gets on the weekends, especially in the fall when farms visits are on everyone’s to-do lists. There were other people at the farm, but it was completely manageable and there were few lines to deal with.
  • Check the schedule. In the spring and summer, the farm is closed on Mondays. It’s open seven days a week in the fall from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Admission to the farm ends at 2 p.m.
  • Call ahead if you have a group. There are details on the website about making reservations if you’re planning to come with a group of 20 or more.

Find Fun Things to Do in the Western Suburbs of Chicago with Kids

My weekends aren’t what they used to be. Pre-kiddo, Saturdays and Sundays were filled with long runs, brunches, errands, dinners, bars, and naps. Post-kiddo, we have to be way more strategic about how we spend those precious 48 hours.

We also have to figure out how not to be stuck at home — we need to get my toddler out of the house rain or shine, least we all go insane, and sometimes the local parks just aren’t going to cut it. When I’m trying to figure out where to go and what to do, I look to these sources for information about kid-friendly events in the western suburbs of Chicago as well as Chicago and beyond.

Looking for fun stuff to do with your kids in the western suburbs of Chicago, the city of Chicago, and beyond? Look no further. These sources will be your go-to websites for events, ideas, and activities in the Chicagoland area.

Red Tricycle Chicago Edition: Red Tricycle launched in Seattle in 2006. Since then, the site has expanded into several metropolitan areas, and I’m a huge fan of the Chicago edition. Red Tricycle’s content focuses on local activities and information for families and kids and they don’t shy away from highlighting the western suburbs of Chicago. What I love about Red Tricycle is that their style is easy to read; their site is intuitive; and they don’t discount the suburbs for fun family adventures. I click through nearly every Red Tricycle article that shows up in my inbox or Facebook feed, which is basically the holy grail of digital content, right? I highly recommend you check them out on Facebook and subscribe to their newsletter.

{kidlist}: A mom in the western suburbs of Chicago launched Kidlist in 2011 when she was trying to figure out what to do each day with her two little ones. She focuses on stuff to do in the western suburbs of Chicago and publishes a weekend events list every week. She also offers insight into places for birthday parties and seasonal fun, and keeps up-to-date listings of businesses and organizations in the western suburbs of Chicago that cater to families and kids. Follow Kidlist on Facebook for additional information about local events.

OPRF Mom Mail: If you’re in Oak Park, River Forest, or one of the surrounding suburbs, I recommend subscribing to Mom Mail. In addition to providing opportunities to buy and sell used goods for kids, Mom Mail sends out two “Things To Do” emails each week with information about local events and activities.

Free Things to do in Chicago with Kids: Free Things to do in Chicago with Kids is the Facebook page for Kidwinks.com. Kidwinks offers lots of content about things to do and places to go in Chicagoland, but their Facebook page lists only FREE events. It’s a great resource for family fun on the cheap.

Local Meetup Groups: Are you a mom looking for things to do with your kid(s) and other moms to hang out with? Then go to meetup.com, and search for a mom’s group in your area. (Kidlist also put together an extensive list of mom’s groups in the western suburbs of Chicago.) Even if there isn’t a mom or parent group in your specific town, I’ve found that most groups in the western suburbs of Chicago don’t discriminate based on your location as long as you’re in the general vicinity. Brookfield, La Grange, Hinsdale, Elmhurst, Oak Park, Berwyn, and more all have mom’s groups. If the group in your area is active, typically one or more of these moms will have the inside scoop on local events like grand openings, special events at parks, and fun fairs that are basically in your backyard.

Have any other tips on great event sources for moms in the western suburbs of Chicago? Leave them in the comments!

A Trip to the Butterfly Festival at Garden Patch Farms

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?

Summer fun in the western suburbs includes a trip to Garden Patch Farms, a you-pick berry farm. We went for their annual Butterfly Festival.

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.

Garden Patch Farms Butterfly Festival

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.

Garden Patch Farms Butterfly Festival

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.