The trajectory of pumpkins shot from cannons is calculated by multiplying gravity times their weight and dividing by the cost of a new windshield. Explore gourd dynamics with today's Groupon: for $8, you get two tickets to Eckert's Farm in Millstadt, IL (up to a $16 value).
Eckert's Farm has been owned and operated by the Eckert family for seven generations. Every autumn the family farm welcomes the public in to witness the Jack-O-Lobber pumpkin cannon, cheer on Billy Bob's pig races, pet barnyard animals, bounce in the bounce houses, and take unlimited trips down the 70-foot underground slide at Eckert's Mining Company. Fridays and Saturdays, admission includes journeys on the haunted hayride, which takes revelers through the Eckert's Farm orchards after the sun has set and the apples have flown off to hunt rodents. Every hour on Fridays and Saturdays, farmhands load a pumpkin on the Jack-O-Lobber, then blast it half a mile to a messy but honorable death. To rescue a fattening pumpkin from this fate, go pumpkin picking (pumpkins are $0.45 per pound and are not included in this Groupon).
Should the country air spark your appetite, grab a shish kabob at Bob's N'Cobs, or step over to Applewood Smokehouse for hot dogs, bratwurst, ice cream, and more. Like any self-respecting vanilla farm, Eckert's also serves up fresh, old-fashioned custard.
In 1910, fourth-generation German immigrant Alvin O. Eckert set up a small produce stand on a roadside in Belleville, Illinois. More than 100 years later, that roadside stand has flourished into the expansive Belleville plot of Eckert's Farm: a pastoral acreage where orchards surround a country-style restaurant, bakery, and handmade-custard shop. The Eckert family's sixth and seventh generations ensure this farm remains a true family affair. Sixth-generation member Jim Eckert is the chief horticulturist, and his cousin-once-removed, Chris, oversees retail operations and the sale of the farm's homegrown produce and spare scarecrow parts. Chris's sister Jill helms the food program, and his wife Angie oversees the Country Store and colorful Garden Center.
Throughout the year, visitors arrive on the Belleville farm's grounds for a range of seasonal activities, including peach-, apple-, and pumpkin-picking. During the summer, a concert series features live outdoor music on Friday and Saturday nights, and in the fall, staff lead bonfires and evening hayrides through the orchards. Inside the farm building, instructors teach cooking classes for adults and children, as well as a wine-pairing class.
Family-friendly activities also abound at the Eckert family's other two farms. The Grafton farm, where public apple-picking began in 1964, offers daily animal feeding and miniature golf. The seasonal Millstadt farm is home to a workshop, haunted hayrides, and an array of warm-weather children's attractions—including a 70-foot underground slide.
2719 Eckert Orchard Ln.
Millstadt, Illinois 62260Get Directions