I can’t get enough sunflowers. They are the epitome of summertime. Bright, happy and free. After our visit last year to Von Bergen’s Sunflower Maze, we couldn’t wait to return this year. Although we live in way different times, I thought I’d highlight our visit again since it was a different experience.
RELATED: Looking for more things to do before the summer ends? Check out this list that showcases fun and safe things to do with the family this summer.
Our experience at Von Bergen’s Sunflower Maze:
Unlike last year, we had to wait to get in but the line went by quickly. As you can imagine, as people walked in they wanted to stop right away to take photos. Just move past the crowds to find a less crowded area. Believe me, you’ll get plenty of photo opportunities.
We took our time going through the maze with the kids as our lead. Even though we visited last year, we still couldn’t believe how tall some of them were. Should you need a break, they have plenty of photo ops like those oversized chairs. Just note: Those areas with “props” tended to have more people congregating. Avoid those areas if you’d like to social distance.
Even though we came at a busier time, it was pretty easy to keep to ourselves except when people were passing by. After about a half an hour through, we found our exit.
After the exit, there are more photo ops waiting – a huge Von Bergen chair, as well as tractors and platforms. Just a note that we saw many people “waiting” for their turn. My kids? They were ready to eat.
Try some of the best broasted chicken…and sweet corn
Our family is HUGE fan’s of Crandall’s Broasted Chicken. When I heard Crandall’s Little Red Hen Food Truck was serving food here, it was a no-brainer. We NEEDED to go. (I still highly recommend the full sit-down experience at Crandall’s) Did I mention it’s all-you-can-eat broasted chicken? Their pot pies are delicious and I’ve heard great things about their homemade pies.
But I digress. The food. Oh, the food. We ordered a pulled pork sandwich, chicken and waffles, a sunflower garden salad (add chicken tenders to it), fries, and funnel fries. Everything was amazing!! The chicken and waffles though blew it out of the park. One of the best I’ve ever had! FYI, it’s cash only. They also have an ATM in the market but are limiting the number of people in at one time.
Bergen is also known for their sweet corn, and luckily you can try it for yourself without having to go home and cook it. At $2/ear it makes for a great snack. That way you’ll know that you need to buy more from their market.
During our visit, we saw many kids at the play area, and, in an effort to distance ourselves, didn’t feel comfortable having the kids play. I noticed that they added a “train” ride that looked like fun. Again, the line was too long for us.
Say hello to the animals
Make sure to say hi to Turbo, their adorable pot-bellied pig, Turbo. You’ll also find goats and chicken.
Visit the market
For the absolute best souvenir, grab a $2 sunflower – a great reminder of your time on the farm.
DO NOT leave without grabbing some of local Hazel’s cinnamon rolls. They are HUGE (like as big-as-my-daughter’s-face huge), delicious, and generous with the frosting. One roll is enough to be shared by four people I swear.
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New this year is a butterfly house. Unfortunately, it wasn’t open yet during our visit.
Tips to enjoy Von Bergen’s Sunflower Maze:
- For up to date information, make sure to check out their Facebook page. If you can’t make it now, theyare hoping to extend the season until Fall. Once the sunflowers have bloomed, they last two weeks. So get there while you can!
- Bees. Lots of bees. Don’t bother them and they won’t bother you.
- Two acres takes about 20 minutes to go through unless you stop and take pictures.
- To avoid crowds, visit first thing in the morning or later in the day. Mid-morning and lunchtime seem to be busier.
- Make sure to stop by their market for their sweet corn and fresh cut sunflowers.
- For more fun, come during fall where they have fall festivities.
- Getting hungry? For breakfast or lunch, I suggest Hazel’s Diner and Bakery with it’s homemade comfort food and large portions. A visit to Crandall’s Restaurant would not disappoint. Craving ice cream? The Dari has been a Hebron institution celebrating 50 years of serving the community soft serve ice cream, shakes, burgers, and more.
Address: 9805 RT 173, Hebron, Illinois
Hours: Maze runs from 9-8 and is weather permitting! Make sure to check the local forecasts as the maze will be closed if it rains.
Admisson: $5/person. 3 and under are free! Credit cards accepted.
Parking: Free parking on grass