Lambs Farm Blog

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

Local Students Give Back to the Community at Lambs Farm

OakgroveEach year we have thousands of amazing volunteers who graciously give their time and energy here at Lambs Farm.  They help us undertake projects that we would never be able to do otherwise, and tackle projects in a matter of hours that would normally take us weeks, if not months, to finish on our own!

Among these great volunteer groups are some young students who wished to be engaged in our campus projects as well! Oak Grove School, located just around the corner from us, has been bringing volunteer groups for over 10 years.  What an inspiration they are to the rest of the community!

They began coming after 9/11 when President Bush declared September 11th as a National Day of Service and Remembrance (Patriot Day).   “We chose Lambs Farm because it was in our community and we wanted the students to understand that they could make a difference in the world,” said Kathy Zurawski.

Their service even extends into the holiday season as they purchase & wrap gifts and send gift cards to our Participants for the past few years!

Here is a letter written by one of these special volunteers:

Dear Lambs Farm,
Thank you for inviting Oak Grove back for another year of working at Lambs Farm.  It was a wonderful experience, and I truly enjoyed it.  Thank you for giving us the opportunity to give back, especially on a day of service.  It felt good to know that we were helping out.  It was fun working with my friends, and meeting some of the residents at Lambs Farm.  Thank you for the wonderful meal you gave to us, it was delicious.  I’m truly grateful that I had the chance to experience this.  I’d love to come back to Lambs Farm someday and enjoy it with my family.  Thank you for the work you do everyday, and the lives you provide for many people.  Keep up the amazing work!


We have many opportunities for groups to come and make a difference through volunteer projects! Read more about these volunteer opportunities here and check out our list of posted volunteer jobs.  Contact Volunteers Coordinator, Angela Ramert, at 847.990.3864 or for more information.

Posted in News, Volunteer Opportunities | Leave a comment

Great Corporate Gift Ideas to Eliminate Purchasing Stress!

Our Sugar Maple Country Store and Bakery has great corporate gift basket ideas to eliminate your purchasing stress!

LF Favorites AssortmentwebAre you tired of giving the same kinds of gifts each year to your clients, customers, employees and everyone else on your list? This holiday season, and all year long, you can send them meaningful gift baskets that also support our services for people with developmental disabilities!

All of our thoughtful gift selections are made by our Participants right here on our campus at the Sugar Maple Country Store.  Therefore, when you purchase an amazing gift basket or item from us you are providing vocational experience for our men and women and you are making it possible for us to continue to provide these important services!

These corporate gift ideas then become more than just a thank you- they show your recipients that you are also supporting a good cause!

There are several easy ways to make  your gift purchases for all the people on your list:

1. You can shop online and create an account, which allows  you to be able to make ChocLovers1webyour orders at different times.  It is fast and easy to be able to make your selections and all of your information is saved in your profile so that you can make future purchases with more ease.

2. You can contact our Sales Manager, Amy Barry, who can help with custom gift baskets and gift ideas.  She can also provide you with a spreadsheet to use for collecting all your gift information and addresses.  This way you can send it all in at once and not worry about it anymore!  Email Amy at, or call her directly at 847.990.3797.

For more than 30 years, we have been helping corporations and businesses find the perfect gifts to meet their needs and we would love to help you!

Many, many thanks for the outstanding service received over the years!  Giving your cookies and treats to our best customers each year has become a tradition here at the bank and one we and our customers look forward to as the holidays approach – The Peoples’ Bank of Arlington Heights

We were thrilled to partner with Lambs Farm in our efforts to let our clients know how much we appreciate them.  Our clients were impressed not only with the fact that we chose an organization that does great work as the source of our gifts, but also the quality of the presentation and the tastiness of the treats – Oak Wealth Advisors LLC

We would love to hear from you!  Sales representatives are available Monday-Friday from 8am – 5pm at 847.362.4636.

Posted in Businesses & Attractions, News | Leave a comment

Generous Donation to Special OIympics Teams

sportsshedwebIn September, the Recreation department received a generous donation of sports equipment from The Sports Shed, which is a nonprofit that provides equipment for under-resourced communities and teams.

A Participants’ sister recently began working for them and her first project was to help our Special Olympics teams! Through her hard work we were given hundreds of pieces of equipment that we had put on our wish list for all of our teams!

Additionally, they will continue to work on completing the rest of our wish list throughout the year.

Thank you to The Sports Shed for this great donation!

Read more about the amazing history of Special Olympic sports here at Lambs Farm and how it impacts all of our Participants!

Posted in News, Special Olympics | Leave a comment

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 a 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!”

View the photos from the musical production here.

Posted in Fine Arts, News | Comments Off

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, we 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

Posted in News, Volunteer Opportunities | Comments Off

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


Posted in News, Voices of Lambs Farm | Comments Off

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!

Posted in News, Special Olympics | Comments Off

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!

Posted in Farmyard, News | Tagged , , | Comments Off

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!

Posted in Businesses & Attractions, News | Comments Off

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

Posted in News, Volunteer Opportunities | Tagged , | Comments Off