South Barrington, Illinois, is a great place for kids growing up. There’s plenty of nature to explore and places to both learn and have fun. Families with children of all ages can enjoy these attractions with something new each season of the year. Whether you want to enjoy a staycation with all of these activities or just need something fun to do this weekend, check out this list of the top five attractions in the area for families. 

Crabtree Nature Center

One of the coolest places to connect with nature in the South Barrington area is the Crabtree Nature Center. With the main entrance located at 3 Stover Road in Barrington Hills, this park has more than 1,000 acres of hiking trails, marshes, and woodlands. In the indoor learning center, you can discover facts about local wildlife so you know how to identify different species as you walk around. There are also educational and fun events, including celebrations of the Monarch Butterfly migration and nature art journaling clubs. 

Once you leave the indoor learning center, explore the hiking trails, which offer something unique each season of the year. In the fall you can enjoy crisp morning and beautiful fall leaves, while you can spend the spring taking pictures with wildflowers and watching the birds return home. 

Before you go, consider picking up a local wildlife book or downloading an identifier app, that way you can learn about the flora and fauna you encounter. And note that pets are not permitted on the trails in order to protect the wildlife.

New Community Park

A young girl walking across a chain bridge on a local playground play-set.

Image via Pixabay by StockSnap 

If there’s any location in South Barrington that families of all shapes and sizes can enjoy, it’s New Community Park. Located at 8 Bridges Drive, this park has 22-acres of amenities, activities, and nature, like the South Barrington Conservancy, which is 35 acres of prairie and wetland meant to protect local species.

Young kids will love playing on the playgrounds at New Community Park. Once they reach toddler age and above, they can work on fine motor skills while they enjoy the swings and learn how to go down a slide. As your kids get older, they can use the baseball fields, volleyball courts, and synthetic turf fields for a variety of sports. You can rent the fields hourly if your child wants to practice for team tryouts, or you can join local recreational leagues that play here.   

Overall, the park is free to visit. But from July through October, families can rent park shelters for parties and events. A 3-hour rental costs $120 for local residents.

Goebbert’s Farm & Garden Center

Are you interested in showing your kids where their food comes from? Do you want to step out of the city and enjoy a day surrounded by hay bales and farm animals? If so, consider a visit to Goebbert’s Farm & Garden Center located on 40 W. Higgins Road in South Barrington. This farm is seasonal and only open from May through October to meet local residents and visitors. They have varying hours throughout the week and even some holiday hours for the Fourth of July and Labor Day.

One of the best times to visit Goebbert’s Farm is in the fall. Take the kids to pick out pumpkins and enjoy apple fritters and maple pumpkin butter. You can walk around and meet the animals who live on the farm and learn how they help the farmer. No visit to Goebbert’s is complete with a visit to the giraffe barn or a run through the corn maze. Just watch out for the pumpkin eating dinosaur! This gentle giant can captivate kids and parents alike. 

Before you leave, pick up one of their heavenly caramel applenut pies to share with your friends or relatives visiting during the holiday season.

Pinstripes Bowling and Bocce

If you’re stuck inside on a rainy day, head to Pinstripes, a restaurant that offers bowling and bocce ball. The food is kid-friendly and your children can use bumpers and child-size bowling balls to play. There are also items that parents will enjoy, like adult beverages, mixed drinks, and fun appetizers. 

You should consider making a reservation ahead of time since the lanes and courts can fill up quickly. Prices vary by time and date, with the cheapest hours being on weekday mornings and the most expensive on weekend evenings. Most bowling games will cost $13 per person per hour, while bocce games are $5 to $10 per person per hour. These prices might increase on holidays.

This attraction is located on 100 W. Higgins Road and has plenty of on-site parking. Along with serving as a cool weekend activity, Pinstripes also accommodates birthday parties, school fundraising events, and even weddings.

Congo River Miniature Golf

Located at 1325 Barrington Road, Congo River Miniature Golf is a fun and challenging miniature golf course. The hours for this golf course change seasonally depending on the weather and the month. However, the mini-golf course typically stays open a few hours after sunset during the summer for families to play night golf in the warm June, July, and August air. In the fall, the hours are shorter because it starts to get cooler.

Congo River Miniature Golf is a 36-hole golf course, but you don’t have to play both rounds. For $10 for adults and $8.75 for kids, you can play an 18-hole round. If you want to play both courses, the cost is $15 for adults and $13.50 for kids.

Mini golf is a great sport for the whole family. Kids can practice with angles and learn concepts like velocity and gravity while still enjoying the bright colors of the course and its obstacles. Each person can play on their own, or you can form teams to see which family members have the best putting skills for some friendly competition.

There’s something for everyone in South Barrington, Illinois, from exciting natural excursions to mini-golf. If you have a favorite family attraction that we forgot to mention, reach out to our team at Creme de la Creme of South Barrington. We love helping families find new ways to play and learn to help kids grow into curious and adventurous adults.