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2019 Trick-or-Treat Hours & Tips for Halloween

Halloween is just around the bend and the witching hour is fast approaching. We’re sure your own little goblins are getting excited with anticipation.

We wanted to pull together two key things that we thought would be of interest: trick-or-treating times for the McHenry County communities and some helpful Halloween tips and tricks.

For the times, we have amassed quite a collection of official trick-or-treating times, so please share (buttons below) with your network of friends. We’re still a little short, but will add other times when we get them.

As for tips, once we came across the following on Parent Hacks, we realized that this list was too good not to share.

Check out this great list of Halloween tips. If you see anything you like, just click on the Parent Hacks link below which will take you to the full list and to get to each of the individual tips.

Easy Halloween Tips:
Best of Parent Hacks

Check out Parent Hacks for all of these great Halloween tips!

Getting ready

  • How do you prepare a toddler for his first Halloween?
  • Never again forget how much Halloween candy to buy
  • Combine door-to-door trick-or-treating with a block party for grownup fun
  • Favorite Halloween books? Talk amongst yourselves.
  • “All Hallows Eve” tells the story of the Halloween Fairy (you know, the one who exchanges the candy for a toy?)
  • Consider keeping the Halloween costume packed away till October 31
  • Skip the Halloween candy! Trick-or-treat for UNICEF
  • Halloween craft: Turn a canvas tote into reusable trick or treat bag
  • A “trick” to help kids remember to say ‘thank you’
  • How to make a Halloween horror movie with your kids
  • Halloween: it’s okay if you’re not prepared

Easy Halloween Costumes

  • No-sew modular Halloween costumes (a huge Hedra favorite around here)
  • No-prep costume: Baby Einstein
  • Baby lotion takes the face paint off
  • Turn Build-a-Bear Workshop outfits into baby Halloween costumes
  • Self-adhesive DOT-It LED light as Halloween headlamp
  • No Halloween costume yet? Swap!
  • Getting a too-big costume hat to fit
  • FlashBrite reflective stick-on patches add nighttime visibility to Halloween costumes
  • Halloween costume hack: turn laptop bag pouches into play holsters
  • Last-minute Halloween costumes from your closet

Halloween candy, treats and toys

  • Tootsie Pop ghosts as decoration and hand-outs
  • Watch out for lead in Halloween props and toys
  • Martha Stewart’s Spiderweb Cheesecake: A hack
  • How to have an allergy-free Halloween
  • Give toys instead of candy
  • No-effort entertainment: glow sticks
  • Non-candy treat: Halloween-themed erasers

Halloween Decorations

  • Tootsie Pop ghosts as decoration and hand-outs
  • Halloween hack: Make a paper jack-o’-lantern
  • Plastic pumpkin head Chia Pets
  • DIY window clings with fabric paint

Jack O’lanterns and pumpkins

  • Prolong the life of cut pumpkins with petroleum jelly
  • Cut the jack-o’-lantern hole in the bottom of the pumpkin
  • Let your toddler glue a face on the pumpkin
  • Hollow out the Jack-o’-lantern pumpkin with an ice cream scoop
  • “Paint” mini pumpkins with colored Sharpies
  • Flame-free Jack o’ Lantern: use Christmas lights!

After Halloween

  • Store the Halloween books with the decorations
  • Storing vinyl cling decorations
  • Expand the dress-up wardrobe with discounted Halloween costumes
  • How do you dole out the Halloween candy?
  • Halloween Fairy swaps candy for toys
  • Buy your kid’s Halloween candy
  • Use excess Halloween candy as cookie ingredients
  • Save leftover candy for holiday gingerbread houses
  • Still got Halloween candy lying around? Give it to the “goblins.”
  • More ideas for using up the Halloween candy
  • Long-term thinking about Halloween candy management
  • Turn your disintegrating Jack O’Lantern into a garden experiment

McHenry County
2019 Trick-or-Treating Hours

Location Date Hours
Algonquin 10/31/19 3:00pm – 7:00pm
Barrington Hills 10/31/19 3:00pm – 7:00pm
Bull Valley 10/31/19 4:00pm – 7:00pm
Cary 10/31/19 4:00pm – 7:00pm
Crystal Lake 10/31/19 3:00pm – 7:00pm
Fox Lake 10/31/19 4:00pm – 8:00pm
Fox River Grove 10/31/19 3:00pm – 7:00pm
Greenwood 10/31/19 3:00pm – 8:00pm
Harvard 10/31/19 5:00pm – 8:00pm
Hebron 10/31/19 3:00pm – 7:00pm
Holiday Hills 10/31/19 4:00pm – 7:00pm
Huntley 10/31/19 4:00pm – 8:00pm
Island Lake 10/31/19 4:00pm – 8:00pm
Johnsburg 11/2/19 3:00pm – 7:00pm
Lake in the Hills 10/31/19 2:00pm – 8:00pm
Lakemoor 10/31/19 4:00pm – 8:00pm
Lakewood 10/31/19 3:00pm – 7:00pm
Marengo 11/2/19 3:00pm – 7:00pm
McCullom Lake 10/31/19 4:00pm – 7:00pm
McHenry 10/31/19 4:00pm – 7:00pm
Oakwood Hills 11/2/19 12:00pm – 4:00pm
Port Barrington 10/31/19 4:00pm – 7:00pm
Prairie Grove 10/31/19 4:00pm – 7:00pm
Richmond 10/31/19 4:00pm – 8:00pm
Ringwood 11/2/19 3:00pm – 7:00pm
Spring Grove 10/31/19 3:00pm – 7:00pm
Trout Valley 10/31/19 4:00pm – 7:00pm†
Union 10/31/19 3:00pm – 7:00pm
Wonder Lake 10/31/19 3:00pm – 8:00pm
Woodstock 10/31/19 4:00pm – 7:00pm

*Note: all times are subject to change.
†Unconfirmed.

Adventure for all at Richardson Farm

Wholesome Family Fall Fun

Richardson Farm, amazing corn.As the rich colors start to take hold of the leaves and the air begins to take on that comfortable chill of Autumn, what could be a more idyllic setting than heading out to the country in search of pumpkins for Halloween. Memories of childhood trips to the pumpkin patch in search of the Great Pumpkin abound.

Okay, to be honest, I don’t recall ever visiting a pumpkin patch as a child, and am pretty sure that is because we never made such a journey. However, that’s not to say that I can’t appreciate the joy and wonder that such a journey and memory can be. And after all, part of a parent’s job is to give our children the memories that we never had.

Richardson Farm

This year we decided to take a nice drive up to Spring Grove to visit Richardson Farm. As is the case, it would seem these days the pumpkin patch is so much more than that. The current versions bring a whole days worth of activities and attractions for all ages, and with that, an admission charge. While not “extreme,” admission can certainly add up quickly at $13 for 13 and up, $10 for ages 4-12, and under 4 is free. Fortunately there’s no fee for parking and there’s lots of activities that are free…however, that’s not to say that everything inside is free by any means.

Once inside the entrance, we were greeted and given the general lay of the land. There’s also a big map posted on a board of the grounds, which we somehow missed initially, as well as the giant corn maze. It’s definitely worth checking this if you’ve never been here before.

Richardson Farm map.

Towering Above

Richardson Farm observation tower.The alternative to this is to head to the observation tower. At 50′, the tower will give you a great view out over the farm and pretty much as far as the eye can see. It is from the tower that you get a much better impression of how large the farm is, even beyond the corn maze. On the ground, the view is very open and uncluttered, to the point that it may seem like there isn’t much here or that it isn’t very large. Don’t be fooled and definitely don’t forget to wear your comfortable shoes.

The tower is also where you can zipline your way across the grounds. However, that will run you another $15.

World’s Largest Corn Maze

The tower is also about the only way you can fully take in and appreciate the expansive corn maze. At 33 acres, they claim it to be the world’s largest corn maze, or should that be mazes. The corn maze is actually 5 mazes combined, featuring a graphic design. Each year a new design is created and I can’t help but say that it truly is amazing. The individual mazes vary in size and difficulty, and if that wasn’t enough, there are various “maze games” that are incorporated as well. If you are into corn mazes and games, this may be reason enough to make the trip.

Richardson Farm corn maze design and map.

More than Pumpkins and Corn

You can take a free wagon ride out to the pumpkin patch, or just to take a ride. The more traditional hayride is actually a group, scheduled event, so you may have to rely on the wagon ride to get your fix, however it is a bit of a rough ride. You can also get a glimpse of the trees being grown for Christmas and perhaps find one to come back for in December.

Every farm needs animals and you can certainly find some here…though perhaps a few different ones than Old MacDonald has. The little ones will enjoy watching the bunnies and chickens, perhaps petting some goats, watching pigs race (they don’t start until noon though), but then it gets taken up a notch at the newly added exotic animal petting zoo (additional fee).

If you prefer the less exotic animals, they’ve also introduced a carousel for 2014. While we thought we saw it operating when we pulled in, unfortunately it wasn’t running while we were there.

Richardson Farm carousel.

There is an assortment of other activities from jumping pillows, which are like inflatable trampolines, slides made from plastic sheeting going down the hills, swings made from barrels, pedal cars, and more. What we appreciated the most was that there were varying levels to the slides and jumping pillows so that all ages can have fun. Kiddie Country is in fact made for the youngsters with a height limit to make sure the smallest ones can safely have fun too.

Richardson Farm pillow jumping.

If you’ve ever wanted to roll around in a giant inflatable ball, then perhaps Zorbing is for you. This will however also set you back a good $20 a ride, $30 for two riders. Or if you’ve ever desired to shoot corn cobs out of a canon, now’s your chance, and fortunately, that comes at no charge.

Working Up an Appetite

With this much fun to be had, you’ll quickly work up an appetite. Fortunately, there is the onsite Cornfield Concessions to address your needs. The menu may be fairly simple as one would expect, but the selection provided enough variety to cover most tastes. The selection was actually greater than I would have expected and the prices were fairly reasonable, all things considered. Unfortunately however, the dining experience itself ended up being one of the few truly negative experiences.

Richardson Farm Cornfield Concessions.

Apparently on the day we were there, they were short a cashier. While there were less than 20 people ahead of us, what should have been a modest wait turned into a considerably longer wait. We didn’t actually time it, but I don’t think we’d be too far off by saying it was 30-45 minutes at least, perhaps even longer. While I appreciate that the owner stepped up to man the order counter, that really was not enough. Food prep can’t be handled by just anyone and trying to work a cash register without any prior experience would be quite challenging, but certainly one or two other staff members could be brought in to simply take the orders. This may have been a rare incident and hopefully plans like this have been implemented to address and prevent this in the future.

Richardson Farm the wait for food.

As for the food itself, fortunately this was a better experience than the ordering process. Apparently we were so hungry that we realized afterward that we didn’t take any pictures to share, so you’ll have to use your imagination. The chili, cheese hot dogs were just what we needed. Given the wait, we probably should have doubled our order, but at least it helped to ease the hunger. They were very good. I wouldn’t say great or exceptional, but I would say they were at least on par with what I would have expected and perhaps a little better. Definitely go for the combo though as the fries were exceptional, again, at least to expectations. Personally, I’m not into the “overly potatoey” fries. I have never cared for the big fat wavy/crinkle cut fries with the mushy potatoe insides. These fries were more like a beer-batter fry with a thicker, crunchier though not quite crunchy outside, with just enough fry “insides” to qualify as a french fry. Definitely a better fry than I would expect from a concession stand.

Richardson Farm concessions.

Of course, no trip to the pumpkin farm would be complete without an order of apple cider donuts. By order of course I mean at least 1/2 dozen, more if you actually intend to leave with any. While it may be said that there is no such thing as a bad donut, some donuts are definitely better than others. The apple cider donuts at Richardson Farm are definitely a treat to be had and will leave a smile on your face.

Far From Perfect

Our trip to Richardson Farm was, like the gravel road we came in, not without its bumps. The excessive wait for food and the carousel wasn’t running, detracted from an otherwise delightful experience. Perhaps everything was running smoother after we left and one could certainly spend an entire day there if desired. With an 18 month old however, that isn’t feasible and we often have to work within the windows of time we have.

However, if you are looking for fun, family time filled with wholesome, low-tech activities, then you can’t go wrong. While some of the “add-on” activity pricing, in my opinion, is a bit much, there is a wide array of other activities that are included in the admission charge. They’ve done a great job making sure that there is fun to be had for all ages and the staff that we experienced were all welcoming. They’ve done a nice job on the Richardson Farm website calling out the various activities they have, including which carry additional fees, so you can make up your own mind.

Be sure to share your own Richardson Farm experience.