Skip to content
The Barn


About The Barn

The Barn at Blackberry Farm is located in Aurora, IL at Barnes Road and Galena Road, minutes from I-88.

A rustic event space located on the picturesque grounds of our 54-year-old living history museum staged in the era of pioneer life. The 4,500-square-foot pole barn encapsulates “rustic elegance” with exposed beams, farmhouse décor, and weathered wood tables and accents. The venue is surrounded by meticulously maintained grounds and views of Lake Gregory. The Barn offers a flexible floorplan and amenities such as the patio and bonfire pit. Photo ops abound in the naturally stunning backdrop of Blackberry Farm and its attractions such as the replica steam engine train, hay wagon, carousel and covered bridge. This event space is perfect for small and large weddings with guests of all ages. The Barn accommodates up to 200 guests.

Meet the Team

Abby Oldenburg Headshot

Abby Oldenburg

Rentals and Events Manager

In 2021, Abby joined the Fox Valley Park District as the Rental and Events Supervisor at Blackberry Farm. Soon after, she transitioned into the Rentals and Events Manager. Abby oversaw the growth of weddings at The Barn at Blackberry Farm and The Wilds at Red Oak as well as rentals/birthday parties, and special events at Blackberry Farm. Abby’s passion comes from planning and coordinating her own wedding. She fell in love with the industry and the magic of the wedding day. “Watching our team grow has been an amazing journey. The team has a passion to make the most important day as stress free as possible for our couples.” As the manager, Abby prides herself on customer service. “Ensuring the personalized client experience is my utmost priority. I’m always willing to help guide and support my team and our couples”. In Abby’s spare time, she enjoys traveling to National Parks and spending time with her husband, and their two dogs.

Favorite Wedding Song:
Lifetime – Justin Bieber
Favorite Wedding Moment: Flower Men walking down the aisle

Tara Molnar Headshot

Tara Molnar

Wedding Services Supervisor

Tara joined the Fox Valley Park District as the Wedding & Rental Coordinator in the Fall of 2021. Just after graduating from NIU with a business degree, Tara partnered up with a friend and created a part-time wedding and event planning business. “I was working full time in an office setting but after 5pm I loved planning weddings and parties. I have a large family and we always had elaborate get togethers, celebrations and weddings.” Tara and her husband moved to Aurora and after working out of her house to be home with their two sons, she came to the Fox Valley Park District as the Wedding & Event Coordinator. As the Wedding Services Supervisor, Tara supervises the rental & wedding team at The Barn and The Wilds and services weddings. Tara loves building a relationship with couples during the planning process. “Life can throw you a lot of curve balls, celebrating the love you have for your partner is sacred, and I am so honored I get to share in that.” During the off season, Tara enjoys spending time outdoors with her family & friends, hosting parties and relaxing by a cozy fireplace.

Favorite Wedding Song:
 You’re My Best Friend – Queen
Favorite Wedding Moment: First Look

Katie Volkening Headshot

Katie Volkening

Wedding and Rental Coordinator

“My story begins with a bouquet of flowers.” Katie previously owned her own floral arrangement boutique. She designed wedding centerpieces, bouquets, boutonnieres, and corsages. Katie enjoys helping couples learn their style and create a vision. She loved working in the wedding industry but wanted to be part of a collaborative team where she could bring her natural artistic abilities and assist couples throughout the wedding planning process. In March of 2023, Katie joined the Fox Valley Park District as the Wedding and Rentals Coordinator servicing weddings and rentals at Blackberry Farm and The Wilds at Red Oak. “The final meeting is one of my favorite parts of this process. The couple finally sees the results and all their hard work. I love the reveal of the venue to show off the couple’s unique style.” Outside of work Katie enjoys spending time with her family, being outdoors and going to baseball games.

Favorite Wedding Song:
Steal My Girl – One Direction
Favorite Wedding Moment: Grand Entrances


Our Reviews

We choose Blackberry Farm because of the location, the view, flexibility, and the gorgeous barn. In many places you feel as though the event coordinator is just there to do their job. Not at Blackberry Farm. Tara loves doing what she does daily and you can tell because of the love she puts into her work. She helped make a stressful planning time become something so easy and simple. She is very knowledgeable and we are forever thankful. The staff during our wedding was amazing! She took the time to keep everything on time. She coordinated well with those in my wedding party that was in charge. She was very informative and a very valuable staff member. She made the cleanup super smooth. After the wedding was over, we had so many family and friends compliment her and her hard work. They explained how nice she was and her hard work was noticed. If I had to redo my wedding, it would be the exact same. Thank you Blackberry farm for creating the most beautiful wedding venue and staff we could have asked for.

11/30/2022 08:26 AM

I just had my wedding ceremony and reception at Blackberry Farm and it was absolutely the most perfect day! The park is so beautiful and makes for amazing photos. LOVE the barn and the classy rustic vibe. Best of all it was much more affordable than other options we had been looking into. I honestly couldn’t have chosen a better venue!

11/14/2022 10:27 PM

Having our wedding at BlackBerry was perfect! Their vender flexibility allow for us to have a unique experience which was not something other venues offered. The location was beautiful with a stunning day to night change and fit all of our needs. The staff was so helpful throughout the process and on the day. I would recommend this place again and again!

11/7/2021 04:39 PM

I can not praise Tara and the team enough. She took away the stress of the day and let us focus on spending time with each other and with our guests and really enjoying our wedding day. The venue was beautiful and everyone had so much fun riding the carousel and the train. I have nothing but amazing things say about our experience with Blackberry Farm and have been recommending this venue to every engaged couple I know.

11/7/2021 02:51 PM

We were thrilled with everything about our wedding. It was exactly what we wanted. It struck exactly the right chord of having shelter yet overall being an outdoor space. Price was a factor. When looking at venues, we knew we wanted something that had access to outside, so we started looking at barn venues. Blackberry Farm was by far the most reasonable on price (without sacrificing beauty). I loved that it was beautiful yet casual. The space and grounds are just gorgeous. The guests enjoyed the bag game and the bonfire. I loved that we were able to have guests inside and outside. The ceremony location was beautiful. The bathrooms were perfect (and the amenities were very appreciated!). Our wedding coordinator was a joy to work with. She was very responsive to our emails and calls in the time leading up to our day. She was professional and fun, and everything ran smoothly on the day. We made the absolute perfect choice by picking Blackberry Farm.

11/6/2021 09:24 AM

We love Blackberry Farm. Communication was wonderful and quick! The add ons like the train rides, hay rides, and bon fires are a perfect touch and brought our wedding experience to one everyone will never forget!

10/29/2021 11:34 AM

The staff was so helpful and accommodating, they even stepped in to help when there was an oversight by my decorator. The venue is huge and very flexible in presentation but also provides wonderful entertainment for guests! Everyone had such an amazing time!

10/28/2021 01:40 PM

Blackberry Farms helped us bring our dream wedding to life. The wedding coordinators were great and helpful. The flexibility of Blackberry Farms really sold us. They were open to all of our ideas and made the stressful wedding process so much better. Thank you!

10/28/2021 11:31 AM

We were very impressed with the staff at Blackberry Farm. All of our questions were answered quickly, and all of our expectations were exceeded. Everything went perfectly, and we are very happy. Thank you for everything, Blackberry Farm and the Fox Valley Park District!

10/15/2019 09:21 AM

I love Blackberry Farm!

10/10/2019 03:59 PM

Read View reviews: in  


As Seen on The Knot         Review us on The Knot         Couples love us! See our reviews on The Knot.

Fox Valley Park District Weddings

Install Fox Valley Park District Weddings

Install this application on your home screen for quick and easy access when you’re on the go.

Just tap then “Add to Home Screen”

Accessibility Toolbar