Generations of Champaign-Urbana area families have taken their children to Prairie Farm each summer
Find out everything you need to know before planning a trip to Prairie Farm in Champaign
When you hear about Prairie Farm, you may think it sounds too good to be true! But this Champaign Park District gem is as wonderful as you have heard it is. Before you load up your littles in the car for a visit, we have the info you want to know.
Tips For Your Trip From Other Parents
- Prairie Farm is free … yes, FREE! There is some programming you can sign up for, but afternoons during open season are open to the public for free. There is a donation drop-box located at the farm if you are so inclined.
- Prairie Farm is an afternoon outing. Hours are 1-7 p.m. daily and petting zoo hours are 3-5 p.m. When you’re working around nap time with young children, you’ll want to keep this in mind so you don’t miss out on petting zoo time.
- You must wear closed toe/closed heel shoes to enter the petting zoo area. Yes, that includes the parent if you want to accompany your child into the petting zoo area. Shoes are a very important detail that can really affect your trip to the farm. You don’t need boots or anything; a pair of old tennis shoes will have you covered.
- The farm is open most of the summer, but not all summer. This is an important detail! You’ll want to make sure you note the closing date, as it varies from year to year and we’ve been known to miss our opportunity to visit the farm in years past when we haven’t been paying attention to how fast the summer is flying by. It typically opens on Memorial Day weekend and stays open through late July or the first week of August.
Is the farm good for toddlers?
Yes! We think it is. While children of all ages will enjoy a trip to the farm, we think Prairie Farm is most geared toward children 0-5 years old. There’s a small playground located there too, with play equipment geared toward this age group as well.
What amenities are offered?
Prairie Farm has a number of offerings, including:
- petting zoo area, featuring goats, donkeys and miniature horses (may vary)
- beautiful koi pond and bridge
- variety of farm animals including pigs, chickens, turkeys, horses and more
- portable toilets located on site for visitors’ use
- children’s playground
- programming like the free “story time at the farm” events and the popular “farm hands” summer program (cost to register) for older kids to help out at the farm
- birthday parties, tour groups and more available by request
Are food/snacks allowed?
You may not have open food near the animals at Prairie Farm. We have been known to have a snack on the playground, which is located a safe distance away from the animals. You can also walk to the nearby Oasis concession stand at Sholem Aquatic Center, which has a walk-up counter so you don’t have to be inside the pool to purchase pizza, chips, drinks, ice cream, etc.
Can I have a party or rent the facility?
Yes. Prairie Farm can work with a variety of groups/events to make a successful outing possible. Contact the Champaign Park District directly if you’re interested.
How do I get there?
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