- Family Field Day at St. James Farm Forest Preserve May 24 (DuPage Forest Preserve)
DuPage County Forest Preserve has a Family Field Day each year at the St. James Farm. The event is described on their website in this fashion:
The Forest Preserve District of DuPage County invites families to join its celebration of the region’s agricultural and equestrian heritage at “Family Field Day at St. James Farm” on Saturday, May 24 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at St. James Farm Forest Preserve in Warrenville.
During the event, demonstrations by numerous horses and riders will echo the thrill of world-class competitions the site once hosted. Hay-wagon rides and live bluegrass music will be ongoing as will activities for children 12 and younger, including archery, fishing and pony rides. Dogs and their handlers will present agility, field and search-and-rescue demonstrations. A display of vintage tractors will commemorate the property’s ties to agricultural history. A collection of the District’s alternative-fuel vehicles will showcase ecofriendly technology. Visitors will be invited to explore a colonial-style stable and one modeled after Roman round barns or can stop by the 1920s dairy barn that housed a state-of-the-art operation and a Guernsey herd that set the benchmark for the Midwest. They’ll also be able to try a hand at making butter the old-fashioned way and check out Maggie the milking cow.
Admission and parking are free. Children’s activities and wagon rides require a $10-per-family pass. The entrance to St. James Farm is on Winfield Road one-quarter mile north of Butterfield Road. For more information visit www.dupageforest.org/familyfieldday or call Visitor Services at 630-933-7248.
“Family Field Day” has traditionally coincided with the start of the St. James Farm operating season, but the preserve is now open year-round. Visitors can hike, bike or ride horseback along 3.4 miles of turf trails or stroll among historic buildings, tree-lined paths, statues and other works of art from one hour after sunrise to one hour after sunset 365 days a year.
The Forest Preserve District of DuPage County owns and manages 25,000 acres of prairies, woodlands and wetlands. Each year its 60 forest preserves, 145 miles of trails, five education centers and scores of programs welcome over 4 million visitors. For information, call 630-933-7200 or visit dupageforest.org, where you can also link to the District’s e-newsletter, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and YouTube pages.
Media Contacts: Wayne Zaininger, St. James Farm, 630-580-7026
Bonnie Olszewski, Communications and Marketing, 630-871-6402
Here is a video published by the DuPage Forest Preserve about this property and its history:
Without a great deal of fanfare the DuPage County Forest Preserve and IDOT have put together a nice bit of bicycle infrastructure along Butterfield Road. You can enter St. James Farm from the Illinois Prairie Path’s Southern Spur. The place is open throughout the summer and you can find docents wandering the grounds on special occasions to give you insight into most of the history of the property.
We have biked the back section where there is virtually no trail only a footpath. Today there had to be several thousand folks gathered with family and friends taking in a multitude of exhibits and demonstrations. I did not get a chance to visit the farm machinery (i.e. antique tractors) nor the Buffalo Bill Cody sharpshooter event. Both seemed great but time was tight.
If you are from a small town this is just the kind of entertainment that you might have experienced growing up. If you live in a place like Chicago and have kids this is ideal in that it is close to the city and thus inexpensive to visit and you can buy food on the grounds.
We left early to go and get luncheon at the Two Brothers Brewpub in Warrenville. We arrived having found a new path through the sports complex just to the north of Two Brothers. There were several brewery tours that came through the outdoor dining area. It is really amazing that this place is as full as it gets since there is absolutely no advertisement of its location and no identification of it once you arrive.
Distance: 19.8 miles
Time: 2h 54m 27s
Speed: 6.7 mph