Lambs Farm Blog

Check back often to get the inside scoop on the happenings at Lambs Farm!

Musical Production of Into the Woods

Into The Woods Junior ColorPresented by our Fine Arts Program, this year our Participants will be performing Into the Woods Junior on September 20 and 21 at the Gorton Community Center in Lake Forest.  Click here to see more info about the musical and how you can get tickets.

The story weaves the plots of beloved fairy tale characters to make a creative, exciting musical!

“Into the Woods is a fun musical that intertwines the story of Cinderella, Jack and the Beanstalk, Little Red Riding Hood and other fairy tale characters as they work together to undo a curse that the evil witch has placed on a baker and his wife,” said co-director Janine Neumann.

This year’s production has fewer character roles than some of the past musicals, which makes each of the roles essential to the story.

“We chose this musical because rather than having one or two ‘lead’ roles, every
single character is a lead in their own specific story that combines to make the musical Woodsa whole. Without each character, the story of Into the Woods would not be complete,” stated Janine.

Beginning in March, the cast has been hard at work learning their lines and songs and are eager to show off their talent!

According to Participants Josh J. and Sue W., it has been fun to learn their lines and they have already been able to memorize parts of the musical.

Mark your calendars, and stay tuned for more updates on our social media as it approaches. Tickets will be available online, by phone and at the door.

The Participants want everyone to know that they are very hard at work and would love to have people come see the musical to support them. According to them, “it is cute and will make you feel good!”

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Lambs Farm Loves Volunteers!

IMG_3652Looking to volunteer? At Lambs Farm, we offer a variety of different volunteer opportunities that are equally appreciated! No matter what your interests are, we certainly have volunteer work that will satisfy what you want from a volunteer experience.

Over the years, we have had many companies come here as a group to volunteer their time. We, as an organization, love having the businesses here helping out and greatly appreciate them donating time out of their work day! If you think your company may be interested in forming a group to come volunteer, please contact us! We would love to have you!

We also offer an assortment of ongoing volunteer opportunities for individuals whoIMG_2850 are interested! With a variety of different time options, this volunteer work will be sure to fit your busy schedule! If you have extra time on the weekends that you would like to donate, the Magnolia Café & Bakery would be a great place for you! The restaurant looks for volunteers that are available any time between the hours of 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. to help the staff as a greeter, waiter, or busser. Another option for Saturdays would be to work at the Cedar Chest Thrift Shop. The thrift shop looks for individuals who would like to assist with sorting, tagging, and placing items any time between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. In addition to offering the volunteer experience on Saturdays, the thrift shop welcomes volunteers Tuesday-Friday as well.

If you do not think volunteering in our businesses is the best fit for you, don’t worry, 20140514_130422we still have more options for you! We always appreciate volunteers who want to assist our landscaping and maintenance staff. These projects may include, but are not limited to, gardening, painting, and window washing. Another area we look for volunteers to help with is our website. If you have experience in web development, we would love your help!

View more information on becoming a volunteer, including options involving more interaction with Participants. If you have any inquiries or would like to learn more about the volunteer experience we offer, feel free to email our Volunteer & Groups Coordinator, Angela Ramert, at

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Voices of Lambs Farm

Our Participants are pleased to share with you their creative writing and personal stories found in this edition of Voices!  Through reading these poems and narratives you will receive a  glimpse into the lives of the men and women of Lambs Farm. Enjoy!

Voices: A publication written by Participants


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A Night of Recognition for Special Olympics Teams

SObocceJune 26 marked another successful event to honor our Special Olympics teams. With the theme of the night being “practice,” the recreation department ingrained into the Participants the importance of practicing, rather than relying only on talent – you can always improve your skill!

The event kicked off with speeches from President and CEO Dianne Yaconetti and the head of the Recreation Department, Kreig Alm. Following the speeches, there was a video presentation featuring Participants and staff that encompassed the theme as well. Participants, staff, and family then got to relax and enjoy a delicious meal provided by the Magnolia Café & Bakery.

After dinner, Participants were recognized for their involvement in various Special Olympics teams through both an awards ceremony and a slide show of photos. The slide show featured pictures of the ten sports offered by Lambs Farm, including the brand new softball team. The awards ceremony presented each Participant with a certificate based on the number of teams they are a member of. At the end, four Participants were honored with special awards:

Big Achievement Award: Brandon F.

Most Outstanding Athlete at State: Stephan K.

Karen Buron Sportsmanship Award: Virginia F.

Athlete of the Year: Linda S.

We are so proud of our recreation staff and volunteers for their involvement and dedication to our athletes!

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Field Trip Experience Near Chicago

babyIf you are searching for a fun field trip location, look no further! We offer a field trip experience that cannot be found elsewhere. There are three different package options for field trips, plus additional activities and food options that can be integrated into your visit for a customized experience that accommodates all of your interests.

We would love for you to visit us during our field trip season from April through October! Field trips are offered Mondays-Fridays from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. We are perfect for schools, summer camps, daycares, senior groups, and so much more!

By scheduling a field trip at Lambs Farm, you will receive a discounted price on all activities! You will definitely get the bang for your buck with a Lambs Farm field trip that involves a high level of fun for a very affordable price.

To learn more about the field trip experience we offer, feel free to read our brochure.

For more information on field trip package options and pricing, take a look at our field trip reservation form.

For any other questions or if you are interested in scheduling a field trip, you may contact Angela at

We hope to hear from you soon!

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A Day of Family Fun at Lambs Farm!

DSCF2647Looking for a fun-filled day to entertain the whole family? Lambs Farm would love to have you! The variety of attractions and businesses will be sure to keep you entertained and smiling all day long.

Our Farmyard will definitely satisfy your need for fun activities and keep the kids happy. Not only is there a variety of animals to observe and spend time with, there are plenty other features that will appeal to children – or even the child in you! The miniature golf course, carousel, and mini train rides will provide a pleasant change to the normal routine of family days.

In addition to the amusements found in the Farmyard, Lambs Farm is home to ba-farmyardmany businesses that will catch your eye and entice you to come in. The Cedar Chest Thrift Shop is a quaint spot filled with many hidden gems – you never know what you’ll find in this treasure chest of a store! Also, you will not be able to resist the Dogwood Garden & Pet Center, filled with adorable pet products, garden décor, and – best of all – puppies! Whether you intend to adopt a pet or simply go to look, these puppies, provided by The Anti-Cruelty Society, will melt your heart!

No family bonding time would be complete without delicious food! Luckily, Lambs Farm can satisfy all your edible cravings! First, we have the Magnolia Café & Bakery for a nice sit-down meal with a great assortment of food options. If you are looking for something quick and simple, head to the Snack Shop – you will not be DSCF2980disappointed! Feel free to sit at a picnic table under the pavilion to relax and enjoy your Snack Shop purchase. Finally, we have our Sugar Maple Country Store that will definitely accommodate your sweet tooth! This is the place to go for delectable, gourmet sweet treats and preserves that you can eat here or bring home to enjoy at a later time.

We hope to become your family’s new favorite place to spend time!

Call 847-362-4636 for more information!

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Exceptional Work from Astellas Enhances Lambs Farm

20140625_091401On Thursday, June 26, Astellas returned to Lambs Farm for another wonderful day of highly appreciated volunteer work. The contributions from Astellas went above and beyond expectations by not only working on tasks necessary to the maintenance of the grounds, but by also supporting the businesses.

Throughout the day, the volunteers indulged in a breakfast buffet, lunch buffet, and ice cream, which they purchased from the Magnolia Café & Bakery and the Snack Shop. However, the majority of their time here involved hard work, dedication, and passion in various areas of the grounds.

There were approximately 70 volunteers who split into several different task 20140625_110030 (2)groups – each with a project that would greatly benefit the organization. The volunteers delved into painting, landscaping, window washing, power washing decks and residential buildings, and helping out in the businesses, such as the thrift shop. Astellas purchased all of the paint and supplies necessary to complete the projects and generously donated several pairs of work gloves for future volunteers.

The volunteers did a spectacular job that day and their work did not go unnoticed. The time spent by Astellas has a profound impact on Lambs Farm’s maintenance and overall appearance. We are immensely grateful for the partnership we have had with Astellas for several years, and genuinely hope to see them in the future.

Thank you Astellas!


Astellas is one of many corporations and businesses who have volunteered their time this summer.  If you are interested in bringing a group to participate in volunteer projects too, please email

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The Inspiring History of Special Olympics at Lambs Farm

Floor HockeyWith over 50% of Participants engaged in one or more teams here at Lambs Farm, the Special Olympics program of the Recreation Department is an integral part of their lives!

Since Lambs Farm’s early years, Co-founders Bob Therese and Corinne Owen envisioned recreation as an essential part of Participants’ lives. They continually called out to the community for volunteers who would teach and help organize sports options. Many Participants fondly remember playing softball games in the field where the Magnolia Café & Bakery now stands.

Special Olympics began in the 1950’s and the first International Summer Games were held at Soldier Field in Chicago in 1968. By the mid-1970’s the Lambs Farm recreational activities followed suit and began Special Olympic sports teams. Participant Libby Creigh remembers swimming at Special Olympic events as early as 1976.

Later in 1978, several Participants joined forces to form a Special Olympics basketball team. Through their determined efforts, they interviewed prospective players, held tryouts, organized pre-season games with staff and families, delegated a coach and even were able to find a gym to be able to practice and play games. These pre-season games garnered so much excitement that a cheerleading team was even formed!

“We just wanted to create a new experience for everyone. To give people a chance to learn, play and have fun,” said Participant Doug Wagner, one of the team members.

By 1981, the basketball team was not only posting a perfect season score of 10-0, Bballthey also won first place at the State Special Olympics games and won fourth place at the Regional Special Olympics games, competing against teams from the Midwest.

Tennis was also added in 1986 and the athletes competed in the first ever Special
Olympics tennis competition in June 1989! As interest grew at Lambs Farm for more sports options, teams were formed for floor hockey, bowling, bocce, snowshoe, golf and track and field.

Over the years, several Participants have had the chance to compete at the International Games. This is quite an accomplishment, as each competitor is nominated to be a part of the team based on their skill, independence and character. Current Participants, Libby Creigh, Kevin Donohue, Mike Kurschner and Jeff Tomaszek have all been on International teams throughout the past 30 years. Mike even won a bronze medal at the World Games in 1996 for tennis.

“I love Special Olympics,” Libby Creigh said about her time on the International team. “It gives you good goals to work for and the training keeps you going.”

As the Participants are aging, many of the athletic needs are changing as well. In order to meet these needs the Recreation department has made some important adjustments in the past year. For instance, an adapted sports option called Motor Activities Training Program was added to the team offerings for the first time last hockey_1spring. This provides Participants a chance to gain new skills and to perhaps one day join or rejoin a Special Olympics team.

This summer, softball reintroduced as an official team for the Lambs Farm Participants. Due to Participants’ changing abilities and skills, this team will be in place of the tennis team. Overall, softball is less demanding on the body than tennis and it has a wider appeal as more people can play at the same time.

No matter the skill level or sport, Special Olympics continues to be an important part of life at Lambs Farm for the majority of Participants.

According to Recreation Manager Kreig Alm, “Special Olympics allows everyone to be an athlete, to set physical goals and stay physically active. Throughout the year, Participants have yet another thing to look forward to in their lives and share with others.”

Many opportunities exist each sports season to cheer on our teams and be a part of the excitement! Keep watch on our social media, e-newsletters and mailed newsletters for the latest information on each sports team.

View more pictures of our Special Olympics teams here!

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Donations and Updates through Texts!

TextingEveryone can now make a donation and get updates by text message!  Since many people no longer carry cash, this is an easy way to make a donation.

How it works for donation:  Text LAMBS to 501501 and follow the simple steps to make a $5 donation.  The donation will appear on your cellular bill.  Once the donation has been made you can opt in to receive Lambs Farm news via text.  It is that easy!  Click here to read about our programs that the donations benefit.

Lambs Farm News Texts: You can also sign up to receive once-a-month Lambs Farm news and information texts highlighting our latest business promos and events by texting LF to 91011.

To sign up for our e-newsletter as well, simply enter your email address into the grey box on the right side column of this page.

Sign up today and help us to spread the word about this new, simple way to support Lambs Farm and stay up to date with all the latest news and information!

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Lambs Farm to the Rescue! New Garden & Pet Center

photo (3)Lambs Farm to the Rescue!
Introducing the new Dogwood Garden & Pet Center – shop and adopt!

We are pleased to announce the official opening of the new Dogwood Garden & Pet Center. The new greenhouse offers a large assortment of hanging baskets, ornamental grasses, annuals and perennials, as well as garden décor and accessories, flowering plants and home accents for year-round decorating needs. A wide array of pet supplies and unique animal gift offerings are also available.

After just one year of facilitating the adoption of hundreds of puppies and kittens to loving families through the partnership with The Anti-Cruelty Society, Lambs Farm will now exclusively offer rescue puppies and kittens for adoption. The nominal adoption fee charged will be shared with The Anti-Cruelty Society to support their expenses associated with the transport, spaying/neutering, and inoculations required for the rescue animals.  View the current adoption list here.

“Partnering with Lambs Farm has proven to be a rewarding experience. We are thrilled to expand our relationship by providing their 100% rescue-based operation with adoptable cats and dogs,” said Dr. Robyn Barbiers, President of the Anti-Cruelty Society.

“Our Pet Shop, the first non-sheltered business in the country to employ people with developmental disabilities, has provided a wonderful growth opportunity for more than 53 years by offering meaningful employment in a nurturing environment. Through our partnership with The Anti-Cruelty Society, the men and women we serve will continue to share that environment of love and acceptance with the puppies and kittens for which they provide care,” said Dianne Yaconetti, Lambs Farm President and CEO.

On June 14 and 15 from 11:00am to 2:00pm, we will host a special Adoption Day event with The Anti-Cruelty Society at the new Pet Center.  Stop by to meet representatives of The Anti-Cruelty Society and some of their older dogs in need of loving homes.

Find out more about the history and mission of Lambs Farm!


The Anti-Cruelty Society is Chicago’s oldest and largest, private, open-admission, unlimited stay non-profit humane society. With a mission of building a community of caring by helping pets and educating people through comprehensive programs and services that help over  50,000 animals and humans every year and include: adoption, charity veterinary clinic, low or no-cost spay/neuter clinic, cruelty investigations and rescue, humane education & community outreach, a free behavior hotline, dog training classes, S.A.F.E. program (short-term accommodations for emergencies), The Bruckner Rehabilitation & Treatment Center, the Virginia Butts Berger Cat Clinic, and the Dog Rehabilitation Center. For more information, visit or call (312) 644-8338.

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