Berry picking is a great family activity and a unique way to spend a weekend, and there are plenty of local farms that offer a wide variety of fresh produce. From strawberries to blueberries, raspberries, to blackberries, there is something for everyone.
One of the best things about berry picking is that it allows you to get up close and personal with the food you eat. By picking your own berries, you can ensure that they are fresh and ripe, and you can take pride in knowing exactly where your food came from.
Plus, many of the family-owned farms in the area offer other fun activities like hayrides, petting zoos, and corn mazes, making it a great day out for the whole family. So, grab your baskets and head out to one of these fantastic berry-picking spots near Chicago.
Best Time of Year for Berry Picking Near Chicago
In the Chicago area, the berry-picking season typically runs from mid-June to mid-August, but the exact timing can vary depending on the weather and other factors. A warm, dry spring can lead to an earlier berry season, while a cool, wet spring may delay the ripening of berries.
- Strawberries: Mid-June
- Tart cherries: Mid-June
- Sweet cherries: June to early July.
- Blueberries: Mid-July to August
- Apples: August-November (not a berry, but many berry patch farms also have apple trees and apple picking)
- Peaches: Mid-Late July (also not a berry, but delicious and a nearby apple orchard offers peach picking)
- Weather can affect the growing season and when the fruits are ready to be picked, so follow the linked Facebook pages for the most up-to-date information on picking times and berry availability.
- Bring strollers or wagons for children because picking fields can require a lot of walking.
- Bring plenty of sunscreen and water!
Top Berry Picking Spots Near Chicago
In no particular order
Located in McHenry, Stade’s Farm and Market offers U-Pick strawberries, red raspberries, blueberries, and apples. They also have U-Pick fields for fresh vegetables, including beets, green beans, peppers, pumpkins, sugar snap peas, tomatoes, and pumpkins. In late summer they have U-Pick Sunflower fields!
They have an onsite market that is open daily from early summer through October. They sell fresh fruits, sweet corn, homegrown asparagus, and other produce that you’d expect from a typical midwestern farm.
Their bakery sells apple cider donuts, strawberry frosted donuts during strawberry season, and seasonal fruit pies.
During the fall, they have a U-Pick orchard for apples, a pumpkin patch, live music, a petting zoo, hayrides, childrens’ activities, and more.
- They accept cash and all credit cards except American Express.
- There is no admission fee, but everyone must make a minimum $6 purchase to enter each U-Pick orchard.
- Baskets are included in the price, and you may not use your own containers.
Heider’s Berry Farm is a family farm in Woodstock, Illinois that had a typical midwestern start of raising hogs, sheep, chickens, etc. It grew into the largest berry farm in Illinois and, after years of landscaping, they have restructured into Heider’s Berry Farm, a family-owned farm providing quality fruit and friendly service.
Heider’s Berry Farm is known for its strawberry picking. They offer pick-your-own strawberries and pre-picked strawberries. They also have red raspberries and black raspberries available for picking, and pre-picked cherries and rhubarb.
The farm is open from June to October.
- Red Raspberries
- Black Raspberries
- Follow their Facebook page for picking condition updates.
- Or call (815) 338-0287 for picking conditions/berry availability.
- They do NOT accept credit cards. They only accept cash or check.
- There is no admission fee or parking fee.
Sun Berry Orchard is one of the newest pick-your-own farms, and it’s the perfect place to pick fresh berries, vegetables, and more! It’s owned by a Ukrainian Family committed to sustainability and good customer service. It’s a short drive from downtown Chicago (40 miles), and they have pick-your-own strawberries, pick-your-own raspberries, 30 different varieties of tomatoes, beets, carrots, cucumbers, eggplants, corn, dill & parsley, zucchini, and squash.
They have a petting zoo, children’s playground, a picnic area, and they often have food trucks, so it’s a great place to enjoy the fresh air with your family.
- Check the Facebook Page or call (847) 404-7555 for picking availability and closings.
- No dogs are allowed on the premises.
- They host field trips, so give them a call for educational, fun group visits.
- Produce picking is available on Tuesday – Sunday 10AM – 6PM
- The address above is for the berry picking location. They also have a butcher shop and farm market, located at 1124 Rose Rd, Lake Zurich, IL 60047, that sells produce, fresh eggs, chicken, duck, pork, beef, Ukrainian sausage, and local honey
McCann Berry Farm focuses exclusively on pick-your-own blueberries. They are open from July 15-first week of August.
- Berry picking is available on Wednesdays and Saturdays only
- Berry picking begins at 8:00 am until they are picked out, which usually happens around noon.
- Check the website or call 815-568-8810 for berry availability before coming.
- Cash and check only. No credit cards.
Thompson Strawberry Farm has been around for 150+ years and 7 generations of family farmers. Strawberries make up the bulk of their u-pick business, but they also have raspberries, sunflowers, and pumpkins!
Opening in mid-August, they have an adventure farm for kids complete with two bounce pillows, a bale pyramid, a sandbox, a large wooden playground, a tricycle track, yard games, picnic tables and lots of grass area to play.
- The Adventure Farm is closed until mid-August
- They accept cash, credit card, and apple pay.
- The only pre-picked goods they sell are strawberries. Everything else is U-Pick.
- No pets allowed.
Johnson’s Farm Produce is a perfect day trip from Chicago, and they have a huge variety of fruits and vegetables available for picking.
During the “festivals”, they have family-friendly activities, like hayrides, train rides, barnyard games, and more. The strawberry festival takes place during 3 weekends in June, and the blueberry festival takes place during 3 weekends in July. They also have watermelon, raspberry, and sunflower festivals, but they haven’t announced the dates yet.
Johnson’s Farm Produce also has one of the largest garden centers in the area and a fresh market for those who prefer pre=picked produce.
- Their website conveniently lists what’s available for picking.
- No dogs allowed on the premises.
- Activities are ONLY available during the festival weekends.
Stateline Blueberries is THE place for all things blueberry. They have multiple varieties of blueberries, and they sell homemade jams, syrups, BBQ sauce, and more.
- They accept cash, check and credit card, but there is a $10 minimum for cards.
- Different blueberry varieties ripen at different times.
- They are open 7 days a week during picking season.
- Check their website, Facebook Page, or call 219 874-7721 for berry availability.
Olive Berry Acres is a small farm that sells U-Pick strawberries, and pre-picked asparagus, raspberries and rhuburb.
Most of their produce is sold at small farmstand at farmers markets, but they added 20,000 strawberry plants in 2022 to expand their strawberry picking business.
- Check their Facebook page for updates on strawberry picking.
Garwood Orchards has been around since 1831 and they put the ultimate emphasis on quality. They have fruit and vegetable picking, wagon rides, and they host field trips.
They a wider selection of berries than most places, with tart cherries, sweet cherries, strawberries, blueberries, black raspberries and red raspberries all available for picking.
They have a farm market and gift shop with gift baskets, chocolate covered strawberries, and more!
- Red Raspberries
- Tart Cherries
- Sweet Cherries
- Black Raspberries
- Their website lists predicted availability dates, but check their Facebook page or call 219-362-4385 for produce availability.
- You can order many of their gifts and items on their online market!
10. Apple Holler
Apple Holler is known for, of course, known for their pick-your-own apples. While they do have many varieties of apples in the late summer/fall, they also have a variety of peaches available for picking in July.
They have a restaurant on-site, a fantastic gift shop and market, lots of family-friendly activities, live music, and more!
In the winter they even have horse-drawn sleigh rides.
Apple Holler is conveniently located right between Milwaukee and Chicago, so this is usually where my family goes for apple picking, but we want to try the peach picking this year too!
- No berries, but peaches!
- They can get very crowded during apple picking season. If possible, I recommend going on weekdays to avoid the crowds!
There are plenty of great U-Pick farms near Chicago, each with their own unique offerings and experiences. Whether you’re looking for an expansive farm with a wide selection of homegrown produce or a smaller scale operation with a focus on customer service, there’s something for everyone.
Whether you’re looking for a great place to take the family on Labor Day weekend or you’re looking to enjoy the fall blitz of berries, there’s something for everyone near Chicago. So grab a basket and head out to one of these great berry-picking locations near Chicago!