Relleke Farm in Pontoon Beach, Illinois, opened up for the pumpkin season on Sept. 20 and their Fall Celebrations on the weekends returned on Sept. 25. I was lucky enough to attend on a Sunday during the Fall Celebration, a weekend event that changes weekly.
When I arrived, it was already busy with families milling about as their kids were running and playing, while others sat at picnic tables provided in the food area. Pumpkins, gourds, and mums were everywhere. Parking is free and entry is free.
A large sign advertising ‘good eats’ immediately drew my attention to a tent filled with jars of honey, salsas, jams, jellies, cider and pickles. I purchased bread and butter pickles, honey and a single-serve cider, all for around $15. The pickles were extremely fresh and tasty. The pricing was very fair. After a quick wait, we also had drinks and funnel cake.
All tickets were $1, required for each activity or ride. There are multiple places to stop while walking around and purchase tickets including at the main counter. With all of the rides and activities being on average, three tickets, it can quickly become costly.
You pay one ticket for an ice cream cone filled with pellets to feed the goats, pigs, turkeys, sheep, ducks and more. On the other side of these pens were ponies or a camel that children could ride, which was the most expensive activity at six tickets.
Pick your own pumpkins are 49 cents a pound. If you don’t want to pick your own pumpkin you can choose from some at the front counter. They also carry pie pumpkins for $3.
There are no inside options at Relleke, so they provide Porta Potties and handwashing stations. At the time I was there, they were all clean and filled with sanitizers and soaps. All of the employees of the farm, vendors, carnival attendants and animal handlers that I came in contact with were friendly and helpful.
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