Get your cameras ready: You can find sunflower fields a short drive from Champaign-Urbana
With locations in Champaign, Normal, Paris and more, sunflower field season is coming
We know numerous places within about an hour of Champaign-Urbana — including one right here in town — where you can catch rolling fields of sunflowers for a very short window of time. There’s something about their fleeting presence and cheery posture that makes us swoon every year when sunflower season arrives. Pick a field (or two, or three!) your family can make a visit to when we get the “green light” and hear sunflowers are in bloom.
A note about sunflower season: We encourage you to follow the social media accounts for the various locations listed below so you can run to the fields when they first hit full bloom. As time goes on, the flowers begin to droop a bit and as with other flowers — we’re looking at you, cherry blossoms of spring — there are no guarantees of how long they’ll be blooming based on weather conditions and a variety of other factors.
A few tips when visiting any sunflower field
- Be aware that sunflowers attract bees. There are PLENTY OF BEES in these fields. And other bugs, too.
- Bring your own sunscreen, bug spray, and water. Hats are a good idea, too. Not a lot of shade here.
- Remember, these are fields. There is not a paved path. Terrain may be uneven and bumpy. Plan accordingly.
- If it is rainy, make sure to wear close-toed shoes or take something to clean your feet off when you get back to your car.
- Remember that this is private property; be respectful. Don’t take any sunflowers home, please. Leave the field as you found it.
- Don’t forget to bring your camera — and your smiles.
Clearview Farm, Champaign
Now a Champaign County favorite, Clearview Farm has planted its sunflower fields once again, including a sunflower maze featuring a map of Illinois. According to the Clearview Farm Facebook page, you may see a few buds reaching for the sky in mid-July as the sunflowers inch closer and closer to full bloom. We have heard there may be some special evenings in the field while it is in bloom, too.
In 2020, we remember thousands of people flocking to Stone Creek Subdivision in Urbana to take in the beauty of the beautiful, vibrant sunflowers. The same people responsible for the Urbana field in 2020 are behind the effort at Clearview Farm, which planted the sunflowers in this Champaign location in 2021.
And here’s the best part: Clearview Farm’s sunflower field and maze is free to visit.
HOW TO GET THERE
Clearview Farm is located near the intersection of Interstates 57 and 74, in Champaign. If you just want to stick it in your GPS and go, the address is 3501 N. Mattis Ave.
The sunflower field is located along Mattis Avenue this year. You can see the location of the sunflower field on this map; the sunflower field is the large one in yellow.
There is ample parking along the street (on the Legacy Avenue loop). There were also bathroom facilities (port-a-potties) and trash cans on site. Visitors are asked to follow any posted signs — note that parking for Clearview is not allowed along Mattis Ave.
Clearview Farm encompasses roughly 140 acres of farmland. Guests can observe and learn about other crops in bloom at Clearview Farms during their trip.
Many of the 17 types of crops grown there are not common in Central Illinois, including flax, buckwheat, red clover, alfalfa and triticale.
RELATED: We wrote about Clearview Farm’s mission and vision in 2021.
Rader Family Farms, Normal
Rader Family Farms is known for its fall family fun. But for a limited time at the tail end of summer, visitors can enjoy the blooming sunflowers at the Sunflower Days Festival, which will be held Aug. 13-14 and 20-21 this year. Walk through four acres of blooming sunflowers and a field of zinnias, too. Children ages 5-14 are $5, ages 15+ are $10 and children under 4 are free. The University of Illinois Extension Program will run activities from noon-3 p.m. each day, along with tram rides, music, U-Pick sunflowers (for an additional cost) and so much more. Some activities may have an additional cost.
In previous years there have been dinners and other special events at Rader Family Farms during sunflower season. We will add those details here if they happen in 2022. We recommend following the farm’s Facebook page for sunflower-related updates.
Paris Sunflower Field
Did you know there’s another sunflower maze in Central Illinois? The L&A Sunflower Maze just outside of Paris is in bloom for the 2022 season, beginning July 16.
L&A Sunflower Maze has an admission fee ($8 per person on weekdays, $10 on weekends, kids 2 and under are free) and concessions are available on site. We’ve put together what you need to know about visiting L&A Sunflower Maze and other fun activities to do around Paris to make a day trip out of it. There is a waiver L&A would like you to sign before visiting.
Cerro Gordo Sunflower Field
We haven’t heard any updates on this delightful sunflower field that popped onto our radar in 2020 outside Cerro Gordo, a small town that is southwest of Monticello. This sunflower field grows flowers specifically to harvest its kernels for Prairie Melody Birdseed.
Follow along on the Prairie Melody Birdseed Facebook page for more information.
Want to see more flowers in the Champaign-Urbana area? We have suggestions for where to see beautiful flowers and gardens.