Jonamac Orchard is Malta is a little bit of a drive, but I found it to be completely worth it. The prices are much lower than a lot of apple orchards and pumpkin patches, especially on weekdays when they have their “after school special” pricing. It offers a great variety of things for all ages, and the apple cider donuts were delicious!
Name: Jonamac Orchard
Address and general directions: 19412 Shabbona Road in Malta, which is located in DeKalb County. Jonamac is about 10 minutes west of the city of DeKalb and is very easily accessible from Interstate 88.
Admission prices: Admission is a little bit confusing to me since there are a variety of different options. There is a barnyard play area that is free to enter on weekdays. On weekends (and Labor Day and Columbus Day), the cost to enter that area is $6 per child, $4 per adult. Children 2 and under are free. That admission price on the weekend includes unlimited access to the jumping pillow and the petting zoo. There are some activities (like an apple train, pony rides, apple cannon) available on weekends that use “Apple Tokens” which cost extra, though admission does include one token. There is also a corn maze that can be done separately or as a combo admission price with the other barnyard play area activities; Jonamac also offers a discounted family pass.
While admission to the barnyard play area on weekdays is free, on weekdays you have to pay extra to play on the jumping pillow or enter the animal barn. That is part of the “After School Special” where admission for kids is only $4 and adults are $2. The website says that animal feed is not included in this price, but I am not sure about that because we were all given feed when we went on a Friday.
For the full list of different admission options, check out Jonamac’s “Activities Page.”
Hours: The Country Store and Bakery is open 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday in October and Wednesday through Sunday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. until November 26.
The corn maze is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday through Sunday. The barnyard and activities are available from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday; 2 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday; and 12 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Fridays. They also offer a haunted corn maze from 7 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.
What It Offers: Jonamac is a great orchard that has something for everyone. You can pick your own apples, do a corn maze, see animals, plus a variety of other activities. There is also a 12-acre pumpkin patch if you want to select your pumpkin off the vine. We did not do the apple picking, but it also seems much more inexpensive than some of the orchards I have seen, there is no per person admission price and you can just buy a single bag. (Note: Make sure to call Jonamac before you head out for U-pick apples. As of Oct. 13, the orchard said it was hoping for limited picking on the last remaining varieties for the weekend of Oct. 17-18.) Jonamac also rents out private campfire sites.
About Our Trip: My two daughters and I went on a Friday afternoon and arrived right at 2 p.m. for the after school special pricing; it was only $6 for the three of us to enter, since my 2 year old was free. They immediately wanted to go on the jumping pillow, and when we first arrived, there was a bit of a line so the time limit was enforced pretty closely. Adults were allowed in with the children and there was a five-minute timer set. Later in the afternoon we went a second time and since there wasn’t any line the kids were able to jump as long as they wanted.
The barnyard activities area has a variety of things such as a corn pit, slides, a duck water race, and a stack of hay bales that could be climbed. Both my daughters loved the corn pit, it was full of different scoops and trucks and other toys.
There is an animal barn with chickens, rabbits, sheep, and goats. There is an employee handing out small cups of animal feed to people with a wristband and additional cups can be purchased there as well.
The Country Store is open to the public without admission and they have donuts, cider, pie, caramel apples, and other treats.
Our Favorite Part: For my daughters it was a toss up between the apple cider donuts and the jumping pillow, but for me it was definitely the donuts! This was our first trip to Jonamac but we will definitely be making this a fall tradition!
For more information: http://www.jonamacorchard.com or call (815) 825-2158