We’ve love all the fall activities in McHenry County, and I’m pleased that I’m still finding reasons to bring teens to Richardson Adventure Farm – and having them love it! Visit McHenry County provided me with four free admissions to facilitate this post, but everything else – and my thoughts – are mine.
When my kids were little, I couldn’t wait for all the fall activities. I loved dressing them up and bringing them to local apple orchards and pumpkin farms.
Of course, they lasted all of an hour or two before they tuckered out and were ready to go home. Thankfully, things changed as they got older.
At 13 and 15, both kids still love to visit these traditional activities. I was intrigued at my most recent visit that most guests at Richardson Adventure Farm were teens. It’s fun for ALL ages.
Mine aren’t the only ones to love it! In fact, we ran into a friend of my son’s from his math class who hung with us for awhile, as well as a neighbor who lives one street over from us. Teens still love Richardson’s!
About Richardson Adventure Farm
There are over 30 activities to enjoy at Richardon’s. While the majority are free, some have an additional cost – noted in the description. Make sure to send a little extra money because there’s too much to enjoy without it!
You can find Richardson Adventure Farm in Spring Grove, Illinois. This is located in McHenry County, between 31 and 59, just south of 173.
Richardson Adventure Farm is open Thursday to Sunday from September 1 to (generally) the Sunday after Halloween. Admission varies by time of year and age.
Kids 2 and under are always free. From September 1 to 30, you have one set of pricing, with slight changes October 1 to the end of the season
Admission September 1 to 30:
- Ages 3-12 cost $14
- Ages 13 and up cost $17
Admission October 1 to season close:
- Ages 3-12 cost $14 Thursday and Friday, $16 Saturday and Sunday
- Ages 13 and up cost $17 Thursday and Friday, $19 Saturday and Sunday
In addition to that, you get group discounts for groups 30-100. Kids 12 and under have a $0.50 discount, while others receive a $1.50 discount.
If you have a group over 100, make sure to call in advance to make arrangements!
What does admission include?
Admission to Richardson Adventure Farm includes the majority of the activities. There’s plenty to enjoy without paying extra if you don’t wish to.
In addition to access to the site, you also can play in the corn maze, go on a train ride, enjoy the carousel, and more. There’s plenty to keep you occupied with the base fee.
The activities that cost extra shouldn’t be a huge surprise – ziplining, Zorbing, pumpkin chucking, and the like cost extra. Basically, if it uses materials or involves liability, you pay extra.
What can you bring to Richardson Adventure Farm that you wouldn’t expect?
Much to my surprise, I saw dogs everywhere at Richardson’s. Your dogs must stay on leash, but if they’re well behaved and get along with other people and dogs, bring them!
It was pretty cool to see so many dogs out and about there. Watch their reactions to the different animals and activities. It’s fun to see how they get into it!
Beyond that, you can bring in food and drink within reason. Go ahead and bring a water bottle – because you know you’ll get thirsty.
More fun – bring fixings for s’mores. There are little fires with seating throughout Richardson Adventure Farm, and you can make your own sweet treats as you relax between adventures!
If you go on a cooler night, this is a great place to warm up. And if you bring teens who want to explore on your own, choose a fire area as your base camp and meet up there at designated times.
13 Reasons Richardson Adventure Farm Is Fun for ALL Ages
The corn maze
Really this is the big attraction. The corn maze at Richardson Adventure Farm is the world’s largest corn maze, and it’s incredibly detailed.
Rather than just go into the maze and find your way out, pick up a game sheet or the checkpoint postcard. You have options from quick ten minute explorations to two hour excursions.
There are quick fun games like finding colored chalk you put on different fingers and then decode to have to do a silly action or shorter mazes with questions and checkpoints along the way.
The big event is a 24 point checkpoint that covers almost the entire maze. You’re likely to get lost more than once and have to figure out where you are – or accidentally exit the maze!
If you find and correctly hole punch your postcard at least 20 of the 24 checkpoints, take your postcard to the hut at the start of the maze. They’ll give you a personalized certificate.
One heads up: this truly takes nearly two hours. My teens got to number 12 and then decided they were done, so we left the maze – but they still had fun.
If your child or teen is a Boy Scout or a Girl Scout, once you complete the maze, you can purchase one of five patch designs for $1.50 each to add to your child’s uniform.
The pig races
Pig races run only Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, but go if you can. The last race is usually before 7pm, so make sure you check them out early and don’t miss them.
It’s run to see the pigs dressed in their silks “racing” around the little track. Sit in the bleachers and enjoy the announcers.
Once the race is over, the pigs stay on the course. You can pet them and take picture of them and with them.
If you miss the races, you can find the pigs inside the petting zoo barn, so go say hi to them there.
The petting zoo
What farm is complete without animals? Richardson Adventure Farm doesn’t disappoint.
You can find animals both outside in pens and inside the petting zoo barn. In both locations, you can purchase feed for the animals for $0.50 for a fairly decent size handful.
Cows, goats, sheep and more wander enclosures outside. Try to catch the goats as they cross the bridge overhead from one pen to the other!
You can also find rabbits in hutches designed to look like a farm with barns and silos and windmills and more. It’s a really cute setup.
Inside the barn, you can find ducks, goats, the pigs, chickens, and so much more. My teens’ favorite part of the barn is the baby animals.
The day we visited, they had baby chicks you could pet – but not pick up – as well as goats. The baby goats were only 12 days old and absolutely adorable. It’s definitely worth a visit!
Richardson Adventure Farm actually has two slides on opposite sides of the hill. It’s easy to miss the smaller slide that’s perfect for littler kids, although it isn’t limited to them.
The big slide has a longer line, but it’s definitely worth the wait. Kids, teens, and adults all have a blast with it. It’s a unique experience and something many locations charge for.
If your teens don’t want to wait, have them enjoy the smaller slide that has a much shorter – and often nonexistent – line. As long as they’re respectful of the smaller kids who want to use it, too, that’s not an issue.
Have you ever been inside a rock tumbler?
While they aren’t real rock tumblers, it feels like you may be inside one. Richardson Adventure Farm has various (large) sizes of black industrial rigid tubing on a portion of land bordered by rocks.
Kids and adults climb inside them while friends or family roll them around. My daughter figured out how to hold on so she rotated to get dizzy, but most slide around.
There’s usually a wait for the tubes because they’re so fun, but even watching other people roll around is a hoot. Try out the different sizes because each size is a sightly different experience according to my kids.
And while you’re waiting….
Don’t forget about the ziplining
There’s a free “zipline” right next to the rock tumbler area. They’re larger versions of the pseudo zipline you see on playgrounds. They’re strong enough to hold teens and adults, though anyone taller than maybe four feet has to lift their feet.
Watch people try it. It’s fascinating to see some teens flip upside down with ease to swing across the line while others who look stronger misjudge their timing and… don’t do so well.
You can also purchase tickets to ride the full zipline for $15 per person. You have to be at least 13 years old to ride it, and if under 18, a parent has to sign your waiver. Over 18, you still have to sign a waiver but can obviously do your own.
The zipline goes 750 feet from the 50 foot observation tower across the farm.
Do your pumpkin chucking!
On the 50 foot observation tower, you also have the opportunity to purchase pumpkins to toss off the tower. Aim for a washing machine or rubber tires and more. It’s harder than you think!
Even if you don’t purchase a pumpkin (or three) to throw, it’s fun to watch the pumpkins come flying down! You do need to carry the pumpkin up the tower yourself, so choose your pumpkin wisely.
A single pumpkin costs $3. Buy in bulk and save – you can get 2 pumpkins for $5 or 5 pumpkins for $10. It’s fun for a whole group of teens to chip in and do this together.
This is their turn to get campy
So often kids are too cool for school, but Richardson Adventure Farm turns back the clock. Teens and more act like little kids – in a good way.
You’ll find teens enjoying the free train that circles the farm. It’s a quick ride, and you just have to wait by the “station” for the train to stop.
Near the station, you’ll find the carousel, which you can also ride at no cost. The horses are all recently painted and repaired, so they look fantastic.
It’s a cute little ride, and it’s amazing how many teens revisit their childhood on it. The day we went, surprisingly few people believed it wouldn’t rain, so my kids got to ride the carousel multiple times in a row due to no lines.
You can’t visit without getting apple cider donuts
Though you can bring your own water bottles and s’mores fixings, Richardson Adventure Farm offers all the fall favorites. You can’t visit without picking up apple cider donuts.
Find them for sale throughout the farm and in the gift shop. You can purchase a half dozen for $6.95 or a dozen for $11.99.
They also sell delicious popcorn, fudge, ice cream, hot chocolate, and food for dinner. There’s no excuse to leave hungry!
If you really want to tire your teens out, send them over to the giant pillow. This rainbow striped open jumpy has room for so many kids – and with a smaller version available in the little kid area, you don’t have to worry as much about your teen accidentally landing on a small child.
Once they remove their shoes, it’s a hoot to watch them bounce and play. The pillow shape provides a little challenge and makes it unique and fun.
Back by the train and carousel, they can find a less populated open bouncy shaped like a jack o lantern. This one sometimes has more little kids on it, but everyone enjoys jumping until they’re too exhausted to move and just collapse.
Richardson Adventure Farm has Zorbing
What, you’ve never heard of Zorbing? It’s a giant inflatable ball hauled to the top of a hill by a truck.
You get strapped inside either alone or with one other person, then the ball rolls and bounces down the hill on a track while you flip over and over inside.
No surprise, you need to sign a waiver for anyone under the age of 18, while those over 18 sign their own waiver. It costs $20 to roll by yourself or $30 to roll with a friend.
This is another of those truly unique experiences you don’t find many other places. And yep, it’s almost as much fun to watch as it is to participate – or so I’ve been told!
Race on the pedal cart tracks
It’s kind of like go karts, except you provide the power. This is another free fun activity, which means you’ll often find a line.
Once you get your pedal cart, race your way around the track lined with rubber tires. It’s harder than you think, and kids of all ages love this.
Show off your shooting prowess
Richardson Adventure Farm has two paid “shooting” areas that definitely attract teens. Find the air cannons past the train station and the paintball shooting gallery near the Zorbing hill.
Purchase 25 paintballs for $6 or 50 for $9, and have at it. The paintball gallery is set up with a variety of targets to aim at, and it’s harder than you expect!
You can also purchase tokens to shoot earns of corn at a target using an air cannon. When do you get a chance to do something fun and different like this?
What’s your favorite activity at Richardson Adventure Farm?