Berry Picking at Stade’s Farm and Market

One of the best ways to encourage your entire family to eat cleaner and pay more attention to their food is to actually grow it yourself.  But since square footage is a hot commodity in the Chicagoland area there is another option:  visit a local farm and pick your own fruits and veggies.  After trying out a few different places, our family has deemed Stade’s Farm and Market in McHenry the best place for u pick produce.

What makes Stade’s so great?  It isn’t just their friendly employees and fair prices.  Instead, it is their well maintained property and delicious crops that they care for so deeply.  All of the patches at the farm are well organized and planted with enough room for people to pick from…and when the crop is out, you only have to wait a little bit since they have perfected timing to make sure they always have something in bloom and ready to be devoured.


After you pick fruits and veggies (our favorites are the strawberries and snap peas), you can head over to the Farmtractions theme park.  Within this area they have over 30 interactive activities, including a petting farm and other attractions to celebrate agriculture.  Be mindful of when this area is open, however, as hours vary during different fruit and veggie seasons (daily during strawberry season, weekends after the strawberry season has expired).


Be prepared to spend the day at Stade’s Farm and Market by either packing your own lunch and having a picnic, or ordering lunch from a local food truck.  We enjoyed homemade smoothies, sandwiches, and hot dogs during our trip and were delighted to have to do no prep work other than enjoy the beautiful day.


Stade’s grows the following produce:



Sugar Snap Peas

Green Beans

Sweet Corn



Apples (2017)



Enjoy the fresh air and the family memories, as well as healthy eating at Stade’s Farm and Market.


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  1. Jeanine M Weintz says

    This is Jeanine, Director of Fun and Social Media Manager for Stade’s Farm & Market. We are glad you enjoyed your time at Stade’s Farm and we appreciate your write up. It really makes our day when families come, have fun, create memories and we thank you for sharing your experience.Definitely visit us in the fall for our Shades of Autumn Festival, complete with pumpkin picking and hayrides.

  2. Ourfamilyworld says

    I have not visited a farm for years and it sounds like you had a wonderful time there. How nice that aside from picking berries, the offer a lot interactive activities for the whole family. I wish I live nearby.

    • amandasimkin says

      The kids got such a kick out of picking their own produce–it was such a fun way to spend the day.

  3. chanelle says

    I love this idea and have been wanting to take my toddler to a farm to pick fruit. I love the strawberries from farmer’s markets, they are so much sweeter than at the supermarket! Stade’s sounds like a fun way to spend the day, especially with the theme park next door. Did you end up using the strawberries in other recipes, or did you just enjoy them as-is?

  4. Kita says

    This is the first year we have not went to our local farm and picked strawberries and we go every yr. It’s been a rough time for my family with the hubs losing his job we forgot that these are the things that bring joy to us.

    • amandasimkin says

      I’m so sorry to hear that. Hopefully you can still find fun ways to make great memories within your budget.

  5. Yona Williams says

    The only U-Pick place that I have been to is a well-known apple farm in my neck of the woods – and we go often. I love bringing home apples that I have selected. I have always wanted to pick berries in the same way, but haven’t gotten around to it because those farms are a little farther out.

  6. Nicci says

    Luckily in Texas land is an available commodity, so we have a big family garden. I haven’t had much luck with strawberries though. The birds always eat them first! I wonder how those acreage farmers fend off birds. . . anyways, I’m glad your family had fun. Sounds like a relaxing, enjoyable day.

  7. Tami says

    I’m not sure which my little guy would enjoy more — picking fruit or chasing the animals in the petting area. I will have to check to see if they have a something like this in my area. I want to start eating more fruits and veggies.

  8. Joanne T Ferguson says

    I love farm and market kind of places and have very fond childhood memories of picking strawberries too! There is nothing like picking fruits and vegetables, then going home and enjoying what we picked! This always appeals to children of all ages and is a fun, family thing to do together!

  9. Sage says

    Those berries look delicious! I used to have a mature strawberry patch and there was nothing like picking and eating, but I’ve since moved abroad and become a city slicker, so I’m resigned to half rotten berry baskets from the grocery store. I’d love to find a u-pick place, but it’s not really a thing here 🙁

  10. Lauren Harmon says

    This looks like so much fun, I went strawberry picking with my 2 year old niece in May and we had a blast! The animal part of your adventure sounds like the perfect way to really enjoy the experience!

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