Where to find blueberry picking near Champaign-Urbana
Want to find some summer family fun at blueberry farms in Central Illinois? We can help.
They say that blueberries are a superfood, packed with nutrients to keep our brains healthy and bodies happy. Champaign-Urbana blueberry fans will be pleased to discover several places within roughly an hour’s drive to pick your own blueberries. (If you’re looking for strawberry picking resources, here is our story on where to pick strawberries around Champaign-Urbana; there is a lot of overlap in the two articles.)
In Central Illinois, blueberry season generally starts in late June and goes through mid-July — if we’re lucky. This year most places will be open by the end of June and there’s no guarantee when berries will be all picked.
To be sure that there are blueberries ripe for the picking, we recommend that you call ahead before you go to any farm; some also put information on their Facebook pages or websites. Some farms have limited quantities, and the season can be — and certainly will be — short.
1) Be sure to bring plenty of sunscreen; sunglasses and hats are also helpful. Remember, there is no shade while berry picking. As for shoes, rain boots are a good option – or something else that you don’t mind getting dirty or muddy.
2) Where there is fruit you’ll find bugs. Go early as possible; be prepared with sunscreen and bug repellent.
3) It is always a good idea to bring cash but more and more places are accepting credit.
4) Watch the weather. You don’t want to be picking with any threats of lightning.
5) BYOB – bring your own buckets. Sometimes that is required; every patch has different rules.
WARNING: The season is short, so if you blink you might miss it.
U-Pick Blueberry Locations Near Champaign-Urbana (organized by distance)
Prairie Hill Blueberry Farm, Bethany – OPENING DAY SCHEDULED FOR JUNE 17
Five varieties for early, mid, and late fruit in June and maybe through mid-July. According to the website, blueberry picking is open. Prices for u-pick blueberries are $4 per pound, pre-pick berries are $6 per pound.
Location: Bethany, west of Arthur. (1 hour, 15 minutes from southwest Champaign)
Notes: In 2022 it was open daily Sunday – Saturday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
More Info: Website, Facebook or call (217) 620-3368
Jeffries Orchard, Springfield – OPENING END OF JUNE
Read all about our no-frills experience at Jeffries Orchard. Jeffries has a roadside stand and sells produce most of the summer.
Location: A great advantage for this place: it is close to Springfield and therefore close to other attractions, food, etc. About 75 minutes from southwest Champaign.
Notes: Hours and dates vary. We believe Jeffries accepts credit cards.
More Info: Website, Facebook or call (217) 487-7582
Braffet Berry Farm, Carlock
The blueberry season at Braffet generally starts in late June and ends in early July. We are waiting to hear if Braffet will have blueberries to pick in 2023.
Location: Carlock, which is northwest of Bloomington-Normal (on the way to Peoria). 1 hour, 5 minutes from southwest Champaign. Directions: https://goo.gl/maps/sbLUZzVqcpC2
Notes: Open seven days a week during picking season. Takes cash, check, Venmo.
More Info: Website, Facebook, Twitter or call (309) 376-2012
Just Berries, Stewardson
A popular place for strawberry picking, Just Berries will open for blueberry picking season in late June. You may bring your own containers — ice cream buckets are a suggested option and strawberry flats work, too. Just Berries has containers if you do not have them. No pets allowed and schedule may change day to day.
Location: Stewardson, about 75 minutes from southwest Champaign, straight south between Mattoon and Effingham.
Notes: Hours are Sunday 1-5 p.m., Monday-Friday 8 a.m.-5 p.m. and Saturday 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Cash and personal check only.
More Info: Website, Facebook or call (217) 343-8348
Ditzler Orchard, Rosedale, Ind.
Blueberries are available mid-late June.
Location: About 90 minutes from Champaign-Urbana. This orchard is near the sunflower maze not far from Paris.
Notes: Open seven days a week during picking season, hours can vary. Posts regular updates on its Facebook page. Also has blueberries and blackberries later in the season, and sweet cherries.
Make it a day trip: If you go to Rosedale, check out the children’s museum in Terre Haute.
Directions: On its website.
More Info: Website, Facebook or call (765) 548-2308