Summer is marked by open patios, lots of trips to the dog park, and the return of sunflower season. While pupper may be all the light you need in life, it never hurts to have some extra sun. Take a walk through these 5 dog-friendly sunflower fields near Chicago for an extra boost of serotonin this summer!
Sunflower season tends to be between July and September, but planting and weather can affect how long they’ll actually stay in bloom. Make sure to call ahead (or check social media) to see if you’ll be able to have fun in the sunflower fields.
1. M&D Farms and Garden Center
M & D Farms And Garden Center in Homer Glen is a family-owned and operated 3-seasons farm and greenhouse. And they’re the home of an absolutely corgi-ous dog-friendly sunflower field! Their special u-pick “Sunflower of Color” garden has a $7 admission fee and is filled with sunflowers in colors that are as unique as your pup. The main sunflower field should open in August, but check their Facebook to make sure those blossoms are poppin’ before you and your bestie make the drive!
Note: Dogs are welcome in the sunflower fields, but must be polite and remain on leash. Our Patio Leash™ is pawfect for keeping your canine close!
2. Matthiessen State Park
Your pup deserves the perfect day, and Matthiessen State Park is the place to give it to her. With over 1,500 acres of nature, trails, and some of our favorite waterfalls near Chicago, 60 of those acres are also dedicated to sunflower fields. Whether Princess is in the mood for a hike or a photoshoot for the ‘gram, she’ll be tired and happy for the car ride home. Park officials say peak bloom this year should be late July. Be sure to check out the website before you go; some of the parking lots are closed this season for construction.
Note: Matthiessen State Park does not allow the sunflowers to be picked.
3. Richardson Adventure Farm
Don’t say Richardson Adventure Farm until you’re ready to leash up and go—because once Fido hears “adventure,” he’s gonna be tippity tappin’ out that door. Richardson Adventure Farm in Spring Grove is hosting its third annual Sunflower Festival with over 3 miles of flowing trails that wind through a multi-colored, gorgeous sunflower field.
Note: Tickets are required, and leashed dogs that play well with others are allowed to party at the festival.
4. Lannon Sunflower Farm
With a corn maze, u-pick pumpkins and raspberries, and sunflowers, Lannon Sunflower Farm is the perfect spot for the whole fam. It opens in July 2022 for sunflower season. This farm is also the owners’ home (lucky), so they’ve asked that only the politest of pups come visit. And if your dog drops a #2, make sure to bag and trash it appropriately.
Note: Don’t forget to bring your own scissors and container for your flowers!
5. Shabbona Lake State Park
Are you looking for a pawfect weekend escape? Head to Shabbona Lake State Park and enjoy 8 miles of trails, brilliant blooms, and dog-friendly campsites. Shabbona Lake State Park plants 29 acres of sunflowers each year for its dove hunting program. Doves are attracted to the brightly colored flowers and eat the seed. In early August, the fields are mowed down, so don’t delay on your trip! Park officials say everyone is welcome to stop by and take photos, but picking the blooms is not allowed.
Note: Dogs must remain leashed and close to their pawrents at all time while hiking or camping.
Did we miss any Chicago sunflower fields?? Woof at us in the comment and don’t forget to tag #SidewalkDog during your sunflower field visit!
Featured photo: Delphine Beausoleil
Sidewalk Dog’s mission is to help dog parents spend more time with their puppers by discovering and sharing activities they can do and places they can go—together! Sniff out our award-winning newsletter and Instagram, and join our Dog-Friendly Chicago Facebook Group.