The Vaughan Aquatic Center will be closed Sept. 25-26 to allow for safe installation of new rooftop HVAC units. Limited parking will be available during this time. We apologize for any inconvenience.
Fox Valley Park District

Blackberry Farm

100 S. Barnes Road, Aurora, Illinois ● 630-892-1550      Directions

Blackberry Farm is a living history museum where pioneer life is re-created through educational demonstrations and hands-on fun. Admission to Blackberry Farm includes unlimited rides on the train, hay wagon, pedal tractors, paddle boats, carousel and ponies.

 

 


View map of Blackberry Farm

2018 Season Hours

Regular Season: May 1 to Oct. 28, 2018

May
Monday to Friday: 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Saturday: 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Sunday: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

June 1 to August 26
Monday to Friday: 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. (including Friday, Aug. 31)
Saturday: 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Sunday: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

September – Open Friday through Sunday
Friday: 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Saturday: 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Sunday: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

October (Pumpkin Weekends)
Saturdays, Sundays and Columbus Day:
11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

December (Holiday Express)
Fridays: 5 to 8 p.m.
Saturdays: 2 to 6 p.m.
Sundays: 2 to 7 p.m.

Holidays
Memorial Day, July 4, Labor Day: 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

FREE Family Fun Days
2018 Dates

  • May 9
  • May 23
  • June 6
  • June 20
  • July 11
  • Aug. 8

On select Wednesdays throughout the summer, Blackberry Farm hosts Family Fun Days that provide FREE admission for Illinois residents as part of a statewide free museum days promotion. All guests must have a valid ID providing proof of Illinois residency.

Please be advised that Family Fun Days tend to be quite crowded. Large crowds will result in longer wait times for rides and attractions. Blackberry Farm reserves the right to refuse admittance when park attendance reaches capacity. Admission will be closed during these times and allowed only in accordance with guests exiting. For the safety of patrons and our ponies, Pony Rides close at noon and the zipline is not available on Free Days.

Group reservations cannot be scheduled on Free Days. Due to the volume of guests on Free Days, Blackberry Farm reserves the right to refuse any group over 10 people from entering the park for the safety of young children. Buses are no allowed to park in the lot on these days due to lack of space.

Daily Admission

Regular Season Admission (May to Sept.)

NOTE: Resident rates apply to those who live in Aurora, North Aurora, Montgomery and Sugar Grove. Proof of residency is required. Acceptable proof of residency is a driver’s license, state ID, utility bill with picture ID, rental/house contract with picture ID, or insurance card. If you are uncertain about your status, view the Fox Valley Park District Resident Boundary Map.

Resident

Under 2 Free
Ages 2 & up $6

Non-resident

Under 2 Free
Ages 2 & up $9

Pumpkin Weekends (Oct. weekends & Columbus Day)

Children under 2 Free
Ages 2Y & up $7
All amenities included

Holiday Express (December weekends)

Children under 2 Free
Ages 2Y & up TBA
All amenities included
Membership and Season Passes

Enjoy visiting Blackberry Farm as many times as you wish – for one, low fee – with a season pass! In 2018, your season pass grants you admission every day from May 1 through Oct. 28.

NEW season pass features for 2018:

  • Each membership can include up to 2 adults that reside in the same household
  • One named adult must be present during each visit
  • Children are no longer named on the memberships and do not have to reside in the same household as the adults
  • Great for grandparents and childcare providers
  • Children under the age of 2 are free
  • $1 discount per person on special event tickets

Purchase a season pass at any community center, Blackberry Farm (after April 30)  or

Click here to purchase online

RESIDENT
Individual $30
Family of 4* $100
Each addl’ family member $20

 

NON-RESIDENT
Individual $40
Family of 4 $140
Each addl’ family member $25

*A family is a maximum of 2 adults and unmarried children 21. Children 22 and over living at home, and any other relative or individual may not be included in this household. They are considered individual residents and must be set up and entered into our system as an individual household.

General Information

CONCESSIONS

Don’t want to pack a lunch? The Summer Kitchen concession stand offers a great menu with a variety of favorite food items as reasonable prices. Click Here for the 2018 Summer Kitchen menu.

PARKING

Parking is always free at Blackberry Farm. During busy days, overflow parking is available across the street at Splash Country Water Park.

STROLLER RENTAL

Rent an all-terrain stroller at the admission window for your visit. Strollers are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Single stroller: $8
Double stroller: $10

PARK MAP

Click here for a full-color, illustrated map of Blackberry Farm

SHOPPING

Visit Blackberry’s General Store Gift Shop at the end our your trip to bring home a memento of the day. The gift shop features merchandise for all ages ranging in price from under $1 to $29.99. Purchase items like local honey, delicious pumpkin butter or a plush animal for the kids.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Can I bring food into Blackberry Farm?

Yes. Any outside food is allowed, except alcohol. We have numerous picnic tables throughout the park for our guests to us.

What is included with admission to Blackberry Farm?

All rides, amenities and attractions are included. Pay once at the gate and you’re good to go for the day!

Does Blackberry Farm stay open when it’s raining?

Yes, we are open rain or shine. In the event of inclement or severe weather (lightning), the park may shut down, but will re-open once the dangerous weather has moved away. Guests are welcome to stay in an indoor location during bad weather. If storms are prolonged and force us to close the par, guests will be issued rainchecks to return on another day.

If a picnic area is not reserved, can I use it? 

Yes, any picnic areas that are not reserved is considered open and available. However, it cannot be closed off to other guests.

Can I bring sports equipment into the park?

No, due to safety reasons and the large number of guests that enter the park each day, we do not allow sports equipment in Blackberry Farm.

Can my child bring a scooter or skateboard inside the park?

No, we do not allow scooters or skateboards out of consideration for our guests’ safety.

Is Blackberry Farm handicap accessible?

Yes! However, the train and paddle boats are the only two rides that are handicap accessible.

Does Blackberry Farm grow blackberries we can pick? 

No. Blackberry Farm does not have blackberries for picking. The name derives from Blackberry Creek, which runs along the east side of the park and can be seen while riding the train and hay wagon.

Rides and Attractions

Big Rock Steam Train: All aboard! The steam-engine replica train and its open-air passenger cars take you on a 3/4-mile tour around scenic Lake Gregory – about a 7-minute ride across the grounds of Blackberry Farm. See historic pioneer cabins and enjoy sites of turtles sunbathing and even the occasional bass leaping in Lake Gregory. The train is wheelchair accessible. Those needing accommodations should line up on the wheelchair ramp; staff will assist prior to the train boarding.

Paddle Boats: Float on Lake Gregory is a four-seat paddle boat. We also have one ADA-accessible paddle boat that has a hand crank, rather than a traditional foot pedal.

Carousel: Enjoy the old-fashioned merry-go-round reminiscent of fairs and carnivals of yesteryear.

Hay Wagon: Hop aboard the hay-less hay wagon to enjoy a ride in the same way pioneer farm kids used to get around.

Pony Rides: Children delight in saddling up for a ride in the pony ring. For the safety of the ponies, this attraction is restricted to children under 70 pounds.

Little Farmer’s Junction: Tot area geared for children ages 6 and under. Children can ride bikes and toy cars around a paved bike track and enjoy the nearby sensory tables.

Adventure Playground: An extensive network of climbing decks, slides, ropes and catwalk-style bridges connecting an array of playhouses on multiple levels with zip line.

Historical Sites – Open May through September

(Note: Due to the high-skill requirements of our historical interpreters, not all sites are open every day. Generally, most sites are open every day with the occasional exception)

  • Pioneer Cabin (1840s): Observe demonstrations of Dutch oven cooking, candle dipping, soap making, heirloom gardens and  butter making.
  • Wagner House (1840s): Post-Civil War era house once owned by the Wagner family, a prominent 19th century Aurora family believed to have been involved in the Underground Railroad.
  • Pottery Shop (1850s): See how pioneer cookware is crafted – from wet clay to finished product. All items are fired on-site.
  • Big Rock Train Depot (1860s): One of the two original buildings at Blackberry Farm. See what a train lobby and ticket window looked like in the mid-1800s.
  • Spinning and Weaving Cabin (1860s): Watch and learn how spinners card and spin wool for clothing. Observe weavers working on rugs and textiles on antique looms.
  • Blacksmith Shop (1900s): Watch the blacksmith at work on our forge.
  • One-Room Schoolhouse (1880s): One school, one classroom. See what learning was like for students in the 1880s.
  • Huntoon House (1890s): See Victorian room settings, treadle sewing demonstrations and temporary exhibits.
  • Early Streets Museum: Visit 12 shops fashioned after 1880s downtown Aurora, nicknamed the City of Lights because it was the first city in American to install electric street lighting.
  • Carriage House: Houses an extensive 40-vehicle collection of horse-drawn carriages and carts.
2018 Special Events – Fall

A Walk Through Sleepy Hollow
Sept. 28
7:30 to 11 p.m.

Fall Explorers
Sept. 28
1 to 2 p.m.

Pumpkin Weekends 
Weekends in October (Oct. 6-7, 13-14, 20-21, 27-28) and Columbus Day (Oct. 8)
11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Pumpkin Patch Fun
Oct. 19
1 to 2 p.m.

Ghosts in the Graveyard
Oct. 26
6 to 7:30 p.m.

SPECIAL EVENT FAQs

Who do I need to purchase a ticket for?

Everyone ages 1 and up who is attending an event that includes a meal or give-away will need a ticket. For any event that doesn’t have a specific give-away and is part of park admission, ages 2 and up need tickets. This information is included in the event details online and on Facebook events listings.

What happens if there is inclement weather on the day of an event?

Blackberry Farm is open rain or shine. We do everything in our power to stage every special event. This may require postponing or relocating to an indoor facility. If there is lightning in the area, the park will close operations until it is safe to be outdoors, which is indicated by our lightning detection service – or 30 minutes after the last observed lightning strike.

Occasionally, if the weather is deemed too severe for the event to proceed, Blackberry may reschedule the event for another day. If this occurs, no refunds will be made for tickets.

Watch the Blackberry Farm Facebook page for updates when the weather is questionable. Cancellation or postponement of events will be posted as soon as possible or at least 2 hours ahead of the scheduled time of the event.  

I am no longer able to attend the event for which I purchased a ticket. Can I get a refund?

No. All ticket sales are final. Most of our events sell out and are in high demand. You are welcome to post in the event’s Facebook page listing to sell your ticket to another patron. Blackberry Farm does not provide assistance in the resale of tickets.

How should I dress for my event? 

Blackberry Farm is an outdoor facility, so always be sure to dress for the weather. We suggest always packing heavier coats in your car just in case the weather becomes chilly. Blackberry is subject to windy conditions due to the park’s open terrain. If you’re attending a character event, many children dress as their favorite character for pictures.

The event is sold out – can I just get two more tickets…please?

Unfortunately, once an event is sold out we cannot add more tickets. We want to ensure our guests have a great experience at every event, and staying within the specified ticket limit for the event is an importance aspect to that. Many times, if guests are unable to attend an event, they post in the Facebook event listing to sell the tickets they will not use. Blackberry Farm does not facilitate third-party ticket transactions.

Birthday Parties, Picnics and After-Hour Rentals

Blackberry Farm offers several scenic, picturesque settings that can accommodate large and small scale outings and events – receptions, family reunions, graduation parties, baby showers, meetings, retreats, company picnics. We help make your event a memorable success! Daytime and after-hour reservations are available for all locations.

BIRTHDAY PARTIES

The Blackberry Farm Birthday Experience includes all-day admissions for 15 guests, 1 hour in a reserved party area with a birthday party attachment, pizza, drink and paper products that include a commemorative party cup for each child. Birthday child and party parents are free.

The Blackberry Farm Premium Birthday Experience includes all-day admissions for 15 guests, 90 minutes in a reserved party area with a birthday party attachment, pizza, drink, ice cream treat and paper products that include a commemorative party cup for each child. Birthday child and party parents are free.

Blackberry Experience Resident: $150; Non-Resident: $180
Blackberry Premium Experiences Resident: $180; Non-Resident: $210
Additional Child Resident: $10; Non-Resident: $12
Additional Adult Resident/Non-Resident: $4.50
Extra Pizza $16
Extra Party Cup $1.50

BIRTHDAY PARTY FAQs

Is the $50 deposit refundable?

Yes, the $50 security deposit is refunded within 10-15 business days of the event, less any additional guest or food costs.

What if we don’t have 15 children?

If less than 15 children attend, adults can be included in the package.

Are children under 2 free?

Yes, children under 2 are free and should not be included in the guest count. Food, beverage and gift are not included for children under 2.

Where are the birthday parties held? 

Birthday parties are staged at one of two party decks – Olivia’s Party Deck or Paco’s Party Dec. Both are located near the adventure playground and includes tables and chairs for 35 guests. 

What rides and activities are included with the birthday package?

All Blackberry Farm rides and amenities are included with the birthday party package. Special activities outside of daily admission fees are not included.

When can we begin set-up for our birthday party?

Set-up for birthdays parties can begin 10 minutes prior to the start time. We ask that all guests and items be removed from the party deck no later than 10 minutes after the party. Birthday parties are frequently booked back-to-back and these time restrictions help ensure all parties run at the times they are scheduled.

What food and drinks are included in the birthday package?

Both party packages include two cheese pizzas and two 2-liters bottles of pop. Additional food and drink can be purchased, or families may bring in additional food and drink. The Blackberry Premium Experience package includes an ice cream cup for each child. Minor items such as a cake for your party can be stored in the Blackberry Farm admissions office until the start of your party. Refrigeration is not available. Alcohol is not permitted at Blackberry Farm.

What happens is there’s rain or cold temperatures?

Blackberry Farm is open rain or shine; guests are encouraged to dress for the weather to enjoy the day. Weather related cancellations and refunds are determined on a case-by-case basis.

Blackberry Farm Birthday Party Request Form

PICNIC SHELTERS

Blackberry Farm has two shelters to reserve. Each shelter is a great option if you’re concerned about weather affecting your party.

Performance Pavilion

Seats 100

Located equidistant from the carousel, train and playground, this centrally located shelter is a great option for large parties. Tables are round – 3 feet in diameter – and seat four guests per table. The Performance Pavilion has eight electrical outlets available for use. Rent the adjacent picnic areas to accommodate large parties of up to 500 guests.

Boat House Shelter

Seats 40, with extra seating available in the adjacent picnic area that comes with the shelter rental.

Located near the paddle boat dock, this secluded area of the park is ideal for parties under 40. Tables are round – 3 feet in diameter – and seat four people per table. The Boathouse Shelter has 4 electrical outlets available for us.

PICNIC AREAS

Picnic Area 1

Seats up to 300. Picnic Area 1 is perfect for large groups and can be enhanced by renting a tent through a preferred vendor. Picnic tables are 8 feet long and can seat 8-10 guests.

Picnic Area 2

Seats 140. Picnic Area 2 has plenty of natural shade and beautiful scenery right next to Lake Gregory, giving easy access to some of our most popular attractions, including the train and paddle boats.  Perfect for family gatherings and birthday parties. Picnic tables are 8-feet long and can seat 8-10 guests.

Picnic Area 3

Seats 110. Picnic Area 3 is perfectly nestled at the heart of our park with easy access to the carousel, train, and pony rides. Perfect for birthday parties and family gatherings. Picnic tables are 8-feet long and can seat 8-10 guests. There are two electrical outlets available in Picnic Area 3.

AFTER-HOURS RENTALS

An after-hours reservation is a rental that takes place outside of Blackberry Farm’s regular business hours. An after-hours reservation is suitable for company picnics, school outings, family reunions, anniversary receptions, showers and more!

Reservations can be made using one of our convenient After Hours Packages or by an a-la-carte selection using our After-Hours Reservation Form. For help determining the best options for your event please call to speak with one of our helpful staff or email us at blackberryreservations@fvpd.net.

Rentals FAQ

Is my $100 deposit refundable?

The $100 deposit is refundable as long as the picnic area or shelter is left clean and there is no damage to the facility. If you have any last minute guests attend that were not prepaid, we will charge those guests to your deposit and refund the remaining balance. Refunds take up to 10-15 business days to be processed.

What if I have less guests attend than I prepay for?

We will issue a refund for guests that do not attend your reservation. Refunds take up to 10-15 business days to be processed.

What happens if it rains the day of my reservation?

Blackberry Farm is open rain or shine. We encourage guests to dress for the weather. Weather-related cancellations may be rescheduled pending availability or will receive a partial refund less any costs incurred. 

Can we have a DJ or other vendor provide entertainment?

Yes, vendors are permitted to provide services to enhance your event. All vendors need to be provided in writing at least two weeks prior to the event date and must be able to provide a certificate of liability insurance. Arrival of vendors outside the hours of your reservation will result in additional charges. 

Can I bring in outside food or drink?

Yes, we welcome any outside food, however, alcohol is not permitted.

When I can I set up for my event?

Each reservation is allowed 30 minutes before and after for set-up and clean-up. Vehicles are not permitted in the park, all items must be carried or brought in on wagons that are available for use on a first-come,  first-serve basis.

Weddings at Blackberry Farm

Blackberry Farm offers a unique outdoor backdrop for your wedding celebration. Blackberry is located on 54 beautiful acres with breathtaking views of Lake Gregory, ponds and more than 200 varieties of trees, floral displays and historic agricultural gardens.

Blackberry Farm offers several scenic sites that accommodate occasions both small and large. Elegant or intimate, we can help make your wedding dreams a reality. The grounds offer a serene, natural seeing ideal for capturing photos of your special day.

Whether you’re looking for an open air reception or an outdoor experience with cover, Blackberry Farm has a one of a kind location perfect for your special day.

Wedding Rental Request Form

2018 Registered Vendor List

Questions? Call 630-892-1550 or email Blackberryreservations@fvpd.net

MORE INFO HERE

School Programs & Field Trips

Our educational experiences complement classroom curriculum for grades Pre-K and up. Topics and hands-on activities align with Illinois State Standards.

For more information or to reserve a visit, please call 630-892-1550.

Guided History Adventures

  • Apple Hayride
  • Destination: 1800s
  • Pioneer Exploration
  • One-room Schoolhouse

Self-guided Field Trips

  • Aurora History
  • On the Farm
  • A Day at Blackberry Farm

History in the Classroom

Programs At-A-Glance
  • Outdoor Facilities
  • Ages 0-2
  • Ages 3-5
  • Ages 6-8
  • Ages 9-12
  • Teens
  • Adults
  • Active Adults
  • Leagues
For more information