Rader Family Farms returns for fall this weekend with new activities for all ages | Features


After 14 years of fun fall activities, Rader Family Farms returns for the season with its opening day on Saturday.

The farm is not far from the Illinois State University campus, located at 1312 Ropp Road in Normal. This makes it a popular outing for college students during the fall months.

This year the farm will be offering new activities and bringing back old ones now that COVID-19 restrictions have been lifted.

“We’ve built a low-ropes challenge course with 17 obstacles using tires, ropes, logs and more. We’re confident it will appeal to guests of all ages,” said Operations Manager Adam Rader. .

Along with the course, Rader said the farm will add a Konk-a-Crow game and a small rebuilt village. The village will include a children’s market, restaurant, house, bank and post office.

A few highlights of the farm are its food, animal farm, corn maze, and of course its pumpkins. In total, the farm will offer 50 different activities for guests of all ages.

Activities include a giant 40-foot slide, Skee-Ball, baseball, basketball, soccer, a climbable straw castle, tram rides, cannon shoot apples and more.

Admission to the activity is $15.95 for children five and older, while children four and under enter free. Admission to the Night Maze is $10.

Rader Family Farms will be open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays, and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays through October 30.

However, some specific dates will offer special events.

On Friday, there will be an early opening for season pass holders only.

September 17 and October 15 will be the Chick-Fil-A Nighttime Flashlight Maze from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. The Ropp Road Festival will take place on October 2.

October 29 will be the last night maze with flashlight from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. On the last day of the fall season, October 30, it’s Orange Crush pumpkin smashing.

A returning attraction will be the Corny Bins. The bins are filled about two feet high so kids can play like a ball pit but with corn.

“We had to close them for a couple of years because of COVID and people really missed them. They’re pools, but with corn. People do crazy things in trash cans – bury themselves, stuff their shirts with 20 pounds of corn,” Rader said.

Animals that participants can interact with and feed with include horses, donkeys, sheep, cows, and alpacas.

The farm will offer foods such as pumpkin donuts, hot corn, funnel cakes, pizzas and more. He will also be selling his signature Apple Slushy Silo Shake, which is apple cider slurry with ice cream, caramel sauce, whipped cream and a pumpkin donut.

“As always, we value our community and welcome you to the farm to harvest memories with us,” said Donna Verda, Business Development Manager.

Rader Family Farms started in 1945. It was originally a dairy farm, but became a grain farm in 1971. It opened to the public in 2009 and continues to grow.

ANNIE LAMONTAGNA is a news and feature reporter for The Vidette. LaMontagna can be reached at [email protected] Follow Lamontagna on Twitter at @AnnieLaMontagna

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