Showing 1-65 of 65 items found in Outdoors & Play
Starved Rock State Park
Seasonal waterfalls, awe-inspiring bluffs and rugged canyons dominate the storied landscape at Starved Rock. Rich with history and beauty, Starved Rock’s hiking trails meander through towering trees and scenic overlooks along the Illinois River. Outdoor activities include hiking, canoeing, paddleboat cruises, cross-country skiing, trolley rides, fishing and picnicking. Visitors can stay at the historic Starved Rock Lodge or in one of its cozy cabins.
Shawnee National Forest
The Shawnee National Forest is famed for its awesome Garden of the Gods, and is home to the Rim Rock Recreational Trail (the forest has a system of 403 miles of equestrian/hiking trails). Hikers are greeted by magnificent jutting walls of rock covered with emerald-green moss, and paths that meander through canyons under the forest canopy. Nestled between the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers, the stunning Shawnee National Forest landscape features rolling hills, lakes, creeks and rugged bluffs. If you’re into climbing than a must-see is Jackson Falls, located near the town of Ozark in the Hidden Springs Ranger District in Shawnee National Forest. The climb takes place on 60 feet of sandstone cliffs and boulders that include numerous freestanding towers.
Wildlife Prairie State Park
Wildlife Prairie State Park is home to over 150 animals that are native to Illinois, including wolves, bison, black bear, elk and cougars. Experience the Adventure Trek Tour, which includes a trip through the bison and elk pasture. Unique overnight lodging located in the park includes authentic train cabooses and a cabin nestled in the woods. The park also offers biking enthusiasts 5 miles of singletrack intermediate level terrain with good technical trails and rocky terrain it will feel like you’re biking in the mountains.
CITY: Hanna City
Chicago Botanic Garden
The Chicago Botanic Garden opened a little more than 40 years ago as a beautiful place to visit, and it has matured into one of the world's great living museums and conservation science centers. Each year, nearly one million people visit the Garden's 26 gardens and four natural areas, uniquely situated on 385 acres of land on and around nine islands. Six miles of shoreline extend along 81 acres of water, including the Great Basin, North Lake, and Skokie River Corridor. The Garden also has a renowned Bonsai Collection.
There's more than 200 beautifully landscaped acres to explore at Brookfield Zoo. Highlights include dolphin shows at Seven Seas, ape encounters at Tropic World and the chance for kids to dress up and play veterinarian at the Hamill Family Play Zoo. The zoo also offers an old-fashioned carousel and a wide variety of shopping and dining options.
Allerton Park & Retreat Center
Allerton Park was the private estate of Robert Henry Allerton, who donated it to the University of Illinois in 1946. It features 1,500 acres of woodlands, formal gardens and more than 100 sculptures. The park is open to the public for hiking, picnicking, cross-country skiing and leisurely garden strolls.
Chestnut Mountain Resort
Ski along scenic slopes at Galena's Chestnut Mountain Resort, perched high above the Mississippi River. Rated by Ski Magazine as one of the top ski resorts in the Midwest, Chestnut Mountain goes all out with a snowboarding park and night skiing. Stay at the rustic 120-room lodge, which has three restaurants, including the fine-dining Sunset Grille. There are fun non-skiing activities in the summer as well, including boat cruises on the Mississippi Explorer and the exhilarating Alpine Slide, which speeds 2,000 feet down a hillside. Or try the new Segway Mountain Adventure Tours, a three-mile guided ride through rolling terrain.
The Nest at Palisades Cabins
The Nest at Palisades Cabins offer secluded luxury cabins designed to provide charm, quiet luxury and romance. We’re located on a wooded acreage high above the Mississippi River minutes from Savanna, the Palisades State Park and an easy 20 minute drive to Galena.
Hardy's Reindeer Ranch
The North Pole has moved to Central Illinois. Try your luck at the 6+ acre corn maze, the Grand Prix style race track, pick a pumpkin or a Christmas tree (depending on season), stop by the fascinating gift shop and, of course, see the reindeer!
Central Illinois lake with over 11,000 water acres and 172 miles of shoreline. Lake Shelbyville has 5 federal campgrounds, and 2 state campgrounds with over 1,000 campsites from tent camping up to full hookup. There are several recreational areas with picnic areas and pavilions and 2 wildlife management areas. Three public beaches are available for swimming on the lake. The lake also hosts many launching ramps that are available for boats, and 3 marinas on the lake. Many hiking trails also encompass the lake such as the General Dacey which also includes fitness stations, the Chief Illini trail and others.
Starved Rock State Park Visitors Center
The Starved Rock State Park Visitors Center has several interactive displays, free videos on the park, hiking maps, and more. Trailheads Concessions & Gifts, also located here, is a great place to buy gifts, souvenirs, and snacks (fresh fudge, too)! The Visitor Center and Trailheads are open year-round.
Wildlife Prairie Park
A unique, 2,000-acre zoological park which is home to wolves, bison, waterfowl, black bear, elk, cougar, otter, and others. You will enjoy the park's spectacular natural settings, butterfly garden, wildflowers, lakes and restored prairies.
CITY: Hanna City
Critter Camp Exotic Pet Sanctuary
Tour Critter Camp Exotic Pet Sanctuary. Animal lovers can learn about, pet, hold and feel some of the 350 rescued animals, comprised of 30 different species. All income supports the rescued animals. Critter Camp is a non-profit, tax exempt, charitable, volunteer operated, no-kill facility that does not buy, breed, sell or exploit any animal.Personally guided tours are available seven days a week year round for up to six people per tour, but all tours are by appointment.
CITY: German Valley
Cross-Country Skiing & Snowshoeing at The Morton Arboretum
Explore a winter wonderland at The Morton Arboretum, where you'll find 3.5 miles of groomed ski trails. Bring your own or rent a pair of snowshoes or cross-country skis (in children's and adult sizes). Ski trails are open when there are four or more inches of snow on the ground.
Argyle Lake State Park
Find serenity at this beautiful 1700-acre wooded park situated along an old stagecoach route between Galena and Beardstown. Featuring 95-acre Argyle Lake, the park is home to countless beaver dams and more than 200 bird species and 5 miles of hiking and biking trails.
Lake Le-Aqua-Na State Park
This beautiful 715-acre state park with a 40-acre lake derives its name from a combination of the town of Lena and the Latin work for water, aqua. Lake Le-Aqua-Na offers a variety of outdoor recreational activities including more than 10 miles of mult-use trails. The large tracts of wooded land include oak, hickory, walnut and pine trees. Woodland flowers are on display, especially in the spring and early summer, and wildlife is abundant. There is boating, fishing, a children's fishing pond, swimming, picnic and playground areas, shelters, trails for mountain biking, hiking and cross-country skiing, equestrian trails, sledding, hunting and camping.
Ski Snowstar Winter Sports Park
Minutes from the Quad Cities. Easy access from I-80, I-74 and I-280. Enjoy skiing, snowboarding, tubing, ski lifts, restaurant and complete ski and board rentals. Skiing available every night. Features 100% snow-making equipment as well. Great winter fun for the entire family!.
Luthy Botanical Gardens
This beautiful spot features five acres of landscaped gardens including the Woodland Garden, Children's Garden, Herb Garden and several others. Tropical conservatory is open year-round. Outdoor Garden is open 8:30am to dusk year-round. Closed Mondays.
Starved Rock State Park - Ice Climbing
While rock climbing is prohibited, there are up to five canyons in which ice climbing is permitted when conditions allow. All ice climbers must sign in at the ranger station (Park Office) and must have a partner. Call ahead to check ice and other park conditions.
Matthiessen State Park - Cross Country Skiing
Five miles of scenic trails amidst a spectacular geological backdrop enable hikers, mountain bikers, horseback riders, runners and cross-country skiers to experience a peaceful jaunt through the park, while families congregate around fully-equipped, shaded picnic areas neighboring playgrounds, trailheads and 17th-Century restored French fort.
Raging Buffalo Snowboard Park
World's first exclusive snowboard area, USASA regional event location, state of the art snowmaking system.
University of Illinois Arboretum
The University of Illinois Arboretum is a living laboratory, including plant collections and facilities that support the teaching, research and public service programs of several units throughout campus. Central to the Arboretum was the development of the "All American Selection Trial Gardens" established by a bequest from Miles C. Hartley in the early 90s. Other highlights of the Arboretum include the Welcome Garden, Hosta Garden, Kari Walkway and native ponds plantings, the Idea Garden, sponsored by Champaign County Master Gardeners, and the Japanese Tea and Dry Gardens at the Japan House.
Cheif Keokuk Campground
The Chief Keokuk Campground features 70 pads with electrical hook-ups for trailers, plus 25 tent sites (All camping Class B/E). There is a shower building on site. A sanitary dump station is near the camping area. A primitive cabin, Chief Tecumseh, is also available. The cabin is located on a slope overlooking Johnson Lake. A fire grill, table and BBQ grill are provided outside. A full size bed, two sets of bunk beds, a table and benches are provided inside. The cabin has heat and air conditioning as well as two ceiling fans. Reservations can be made, for dates between May 1st and November 1st, at ReserveAmerica.com for the campgrounds and cabin.
Walnut Point State Park
State park with hunting, fishing, camping, hiking and picnicking. Concession stand and boat rental available.
Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge
Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge is located primarily in Williamson County, with small extensions into eastern Jackson and northeastern Union counties of southern Illinois. At almost 44,000 acres and with three lakes, Crab Orchard, Little Grassy, and Devils Kitchen, endless opportunities abound for watching wildlife, hiking nature trails, photography, swimming, fishing from the bank or by boat, and hunting. Four seasonally operational campgrounds are open from April-October and offer full hook-up, water, electric, or non-electric sites. Refuge staff and volunteers at the visitor center welcome visitors and sightseers 7 days a week from 8am-4:30pm. Visitor activities such as guided hikes, bald eagle tours, and monthly F.U.N. programs help connect families with the diversity of flora and fauna that southern Illinois has to offer. The Refuge provides many opportunities for wildlife-dependent outdoor recreation for the nature lover in us all.
Lena Lions Park
Lions Park, at over 20 acres, features Splash Land Family Aquatic Center with a 180' waterslide, zero depth entry, many shade shelters, wet sand play area, water features and drop slide. The Splash Land Mini-Golf offers one of the nicest 18 hole miniature golf courses in the Midwest. It has over 275 plant varieties, 4000+ square feet of water areas, three waterfalls and challenges that the entire family will enjoy. The course is ADA compliant. Quench your thirst and your appetite at the Splash Land Food Court. Full restaurant offering sandwiches to soft serve and smoothies to salads - a true family food court. The park also offers picnic and playground areas, flower gardens, shelter house, a concession stand, volleyball and basketball courts, lighted ball diamond, batting cages and restrooms. A 110x110' ice rink is available in season.
Steve's Segway Tours
Explore Chicago's lakefront, museums and Millennium Park on a three-hour Segway tour led by guides all year round.
Over 45 exhibits of native Illinois wildlife and domestic farm animals; tree-shaded picnic area - seating for 300; "Exclusive Use" facility rentals; private party room; open year-round.
Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum
The urban gateway to nature and science. The Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum is a place where city dwellers can reconnect with the wonder of the natural world. From a hands-on water lab to a wilderness walk to the only international, year-round butterfly haven, science comes alive.
Matthiessen State Park
Enjoy hiking, cross-country skiing and more in this state park known for its waterfalls, bluffs and canyons.
Ballard Nature Center
Just minutes away from the city but a world away, Ballard Nature Center is home to dozens of species of birds and wildlife. Natural prairie, wetlands, butterfly and hummingbird gardens, ponds and creeks round out the outdoor experience.
Shoal Creek Nature Preserve
This 260-acre site offers nature trails for visitors to explore wetlands, prairie openings, and sandstone bluffs and ledges. The preserve is home to more than 700 plants and 70 bird species, including bald eagles during the winter months.
Friends Forever Humane Society Dog Park
Take your dog to this special 10 acre fenced dog park with a pond (for dog swimming ony). The park also offers a separate fenced area for small dogs and a dog agility equipment area. Fee is $5.00 per dog per day. Open: Every day dawn to dusk.
Boone County Conservation District
The Boone County Conservation District manages over 3,00 acres of prairies, woodlands and wetlands in scenic Boone County, Illinois. Minimum impact recreational opportunities, special events and educational programs are offered to the public throughout the year.
This year-round facility offers five basketball courts, eight volleyball courts, two soccer fields, a video game arcade, bumper cars, two mini-golf courses, softball batting cages, a go-kart track, climbing wall and paintball field.
Read Park offers many recreational opportunities and is highlighted by the Read Park Family Aquatic Center, which includes a zero depth pool, water slides and play area, and by a state of the art 11,000 square foot skate park, SK8 Park. This scenic park also features baseball and softball diamonds, tennis courts, sand volleyball courts, an outdoor lighted hockey and ice staking rink, concession stand, picnic areas, shelters, and playgrounds. The Morgan Memorial, a charming statue of two children surrounded by fountains, is a serene spot to enjoy. Park attractions are open seasonally; please call ahead to confirm availability of specific attractions and costs.
Eagle Watching - Union County Refuge
The Union County Refuge in Union offers a popular spot for bald eagle watching. Visitors can view bald eagles and take wildlife photography off the main road, which runs down the middle of the wildlife refuge. Park rangers will be available weekdays to answer questions about the eagles and other wildlife spotted in the refuge. Admission is free. For more information on eagle watching, contact the Union County Refuge (618-833-5175).
Camp Sagawau Environmental Education Center
Environment Education Center - offers cross country skiing in the winter.
Huron Farm Market
This multi-seasonal shop offers a garden center in the spring, a summer produce market, and fall and Halloween items in the autumn. From April thru October, also enjoy a flea market every Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Acorns Golf Links
Acorns Golf Links is located in Waterloo, Illinois featuring 6,701 yards of golf from the longest tees for a par of 72 . The course rating is 72.3 and it has a slope rating of 125. You will not find subdivision golf at Acorns; just nature, beautiful scenery, challenging design, and you. Making Acorns the premier public course to test your game, have fun with good friends, or to get away from your daily hussle and bussle. Acorns features zoysia fairways, five tee boxes; matching every level of golf and large bent grass greens. Designed by William Ebeler, the Acorns golf course opened in 1997.
Hot Wheels Skatium
Hot Wheels Skatium, a new state of the art skating rink, is located by the former Ike Auto Park location outside of Carbondale. We offer skating for those of all ages; skates for rent are available from a child's size 8 to an adult's size 15. We have numerous fun-filled family nights, and we can also accommodate your birthday parties or private parties.
Villa Olivia Country Club Ski Area
Skiwee for kids 4-9 years old, snow tubing, ski, dining, golf, lessons, snowboarding, sleigh rides.
All Seasons Ice Rink
Two full-sized rinks are open for year-round skating. All Seasons also offers a game room, ballet room, pro shop and party room.
Park provides sledding and ice skating in the winter, gardens, greenhouse, tennis, walking trails, shelter and pool in summer.
CITY: Rock Island
Seven Bridges Ice Arena
DuPage County, Chicago’s Western Suburbs - Includes three ice surfaces, public skate 7 days a week, learn-to-skate and hockey classes, observation area, off-ice training center, party/conference rooms, arcade and a pro shop.
Skatium Ice Arena
A full-size hockey rink and a smaller ice rink are open for public skating, lessons and leagues.
Richland Creek Trailhead
The Richland Creek Trailhead serves as the main trailhead for the northern end of the Jane Addmas Recreation Trail. It features parking, a large shelter house with electricity, lights and picnic tables, a restroom, water and a primitive campground area.
Decatur Civic Center Arena
Ice skating available during fall/winter months. Call ahead for exact dates. Admission to the ice arena is $6 and skate rentals are $2. During the spring/summer months, the arena is used as venue for shows and fairs.
U.S. Ice Sports Complex L.C.
An ice arena offering hockey leagues open skate and entertainment for all ages. The facility offers two rinks, a game room and concession area.
CITY: Fairview Heights
Cross Country Skiing at Rock Spring Center
Trails open whenever there is at least three inches of snow on the ground. Equipment rental available from 9am-2pm.
Quarry Ridge Hunt Club
The premiere, upland-hunting experience in Northern Illinois. Quarry Ridge offers hunting (member or non-member) for rooster pheasant, dove, turkey, deer and moor. Dogs and guides can be provided if needed.
Robert Crown Center Skating Park
Indoor public skating and private lessons available. Call for hours.
River Skate along the Quincy Riverfront offers ice skating on a 2,500 ft rink of synthetic ice called Super-Glide. Featuring a warming hut and light concessions. Open from early November to mid February, with hours from 4-9pm Wednesday through Friday and from noon to 9pm Saturday and Sunday. Admission is $3 for children under 12 years of age, and $5 for adults, which includes ice-skate rental and rink admission.
Elgin Park District
Outdoor ice skating; new refrigerated skating system; warming shelters available.
Rock Hollow Conservation Club
Discover this awesome sportsmen's club conveniently located on the Pecatonica River. The club's activities include open trap and riffle ranges, hunting, shooting classes, gun auctions, pheasant shoots, sight-in-gun days, indoor range, camping and fishing. This conservation club specializes in dog breeding, training, and bull rentals. The club also offers quality home-raised beef, pork and pheasants through the Walsh Girls Cattle Company. A clubhouse with banquet facilities is also available to the public. Gun shop available and open to the public.
East Alton Ice Arena
Grab your skates and hit the ice any time of the year at this indoor ice arena. Didn't bring your skates? No problem. Rent a pair and take a few laps around the rink. It's the coolest place in town all year round!
CITY: East Alton
Byron Forest Preserve District (skating)
The Forest Preserve has one outdoor skating rink and warming shelter - open weekends.
Ball Fore Family Entertainment Center
All types of family fun. Miniature golfing, driving range, batting cages, ice skating, in-line skating and archery.
Emery Brothers Skating Rink
Opened in 1986, this indoor rink is open seasonally from August to May. Public skating sessions are the main attraction but the rink is available for private parties as well. Large arcade, snack bar and Skate Shop on site.
Ice Skating at the McCormick Tribune Ice Rink
The rink, now in its twelfth season and drawing more than 100,000 skaters annually, is free and open to the public. Skate rental is available for $10. The ice rink is located on Michigan Avenue between Washington and Madison Streets.
Fox Valley Ice Arena & Fitness Club
Year-round sports complex with 3 ice surfaces, full-service pro shop, full-service fitness club, and on-site restaurant. Also home of The Chicago Freeze Junior A Hockey Team.
Amboy Marsh Wildlife Sanctuary
The Amboy Marsh Wildlife Sanctuary is 272 acre of wetlands offering a rare and fragile ecosystem, which includes endangered turtles, many birds and unique plant life. It is located near the intersection of U.S. Route 52 and Mormon Road about 3 miles south of Amboy. Open to the public 7 days a week for walking and bird-watching. No dogs are allowed due to sensitive plant and wildlife.
Mt. Hawley Bowl and Castle Golf
At Mt. Hawley Bowl we offer 24 high quality Bruswick Synthetic lanes with easy automatic scoring for family, friends, and league bowling. We make it fun for everyone! Also enjoy our 18 hole outdoor premium mini-golf. Just look for the 30ft Castle!
Castle Rock State Park
Castle Rock State Park is located three miles south of Oregon on Highway 2. The 2,000-acre park includes rock formations, ravines, and unique northern plant associations. In one valley, 27 different types of ferns have been identified. A sandstone bluff, adjacent to the river, has given the park its name. Picnic area amenities include tables, shelters, grills, toilets, drinking water and playground equipment. Six miles of marked hiking trails have been developed, and a public boat ramp/parking facility is located across from the park's main entrance.
Lowden State Park
One of the most picturesque sites along the Rock River is just north of Oregon in Ogle County. The bluffs are graced with a majestic image of an American Indian gazing over the Rock River Valley. This is no ordinary statue. It is a 50 foot, concrete-reinforced wonder that is awe-inspiring. A tribute to all Native Americans, but more commonly associated with Chief Black Hawk, the statue was designed by sculptor Lorado Taft. You can enjoy many wonderful views of the Rock River from the park, but the best view of the statue is from IL Rt. 2.