The air is growing crisper, the first hint of color is creeping into the leaves overhead and Primrose Farm is primed to make this fall a memorable one.
Part of the St. Charles Park District, the facility features many characteristics of a real working farm, and more than a little country charm.
Patricia Green, farm program supervisor, is a new face at Primrose having started in the position at the beginning of the summer. But she’s no stranger to educating children and families about playing (and learning) in the wondrous outdoors.
“I’ve been doing this type of work for a while,” said Green, who held previous roles at Garfield Farm in La Fox and Schaumburg’s Heritage Farm. “I love how unstructured the play is. Most kids aren’t exposed to farm life anymore, so here they have the experience of touching a chicken or an egg that was just laid and discovering that it’s actually warm.”
Discovery and observation of the natural world is very much the focus of her upcoming programs, which include All About Apples on September 17.
During the new program, open to children 3 and older, participants will learn about the popular fruit and its many varieties. In the farm’s orchard, little hands will reach to pick apples right from the tree. The nearby kitchen space will provide attendees with the opportunity to peel apples and see how delicious apple butter and other sweet apple treats are made.
Apple-themed games will keep the fun going. One activity will find kids hurling fruit repurposed as bowling balls down a lane to knock down makeshift pins. Another challenge involves scooping apples from where they float atop water—Green’s variation on bobbing for apples.
And when the lively activities work up an appetite, there’s apple cider donuts and a cup of cider for everyone.
When the sun goes down, the music goes up on September 17 for the return of the Barn Dance from 5:30 to 9 p.m. Tickets at $15 per person include admission and a 30-minute beginner dance lesson. Be sure to take a break from your do-si-do to watch the sunset and, if weather permits, there will be a bonfire too. Ages 15 and younger must be accompanied by a paying adult.
Another celebration of the season will be the Fall Color Walk, which takes place October 1 through October 31.
This new, free self-guided program encourages people of all ages to explore the farm anytime between dawn and dusk and take note of the beautiful surroundings against nature’s back drop of the glorious colors in autumn. Those who participate can snap photos of trees or other natural objects in the shades of red, orange, yellow and brown. Photos shown to farm staff will yield a chance to win a prize for the fall color hunter.
To learn more about Primrose Farm and its programs, visit www.primrosefarm.org.