Showing 1-96 of 174 items found in Outdoors & Play
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.
A destination port on the Mississippi with picnic area's, playground, and outdoor pool. Within a half of a mile to Alton's historic antique district and the Argosy Casino.
Get the best view of Alton and the Mississippi River from eight stories in the air atop the Melvin Price Locks & Dam. Take a free guided tour and see towboats and barges as they push their way through this incredible structure. It's also a great spot to eagle watch in the winter.
The 4,000 seat Liberty Bank Alton Amphitheater hosts a variety of events from community festivals to live concerts throughout the summer months. With the Mighty Mississippi River as a backdrop, bring your blanket and spread out for an evening under the stars. Check out our website for a list of upcoming events.
For 84 years, C. J. Smith Resort has provided everything needed to enjoy a day of fishing and boating on the beautiful Chain O' Lakes in northern Illinois. C. J. Smith Resort is a family owned and operated business since 1929. We believe in providing exceptional service and reasonable prices to our valued customers and guests.
Apple River Canyon State Park is in the hilly northwest corner of Illinois in Jo Daviess County near the Wisconsin border. Limestone bluffs, deep ravines, springs, streams and wildlife characterize this area. Once a part of a vast sea bottom that stretched from the Alleghenies to the Rockies, the scenic canyon area was formed by the action of the winding waters of the Apple River. The park offers hiking, day use, camping and fishing, plus Millville, a National Historic Register site.
Sail boating, Memorial Day through Labor Day, and weekends in September and October. Includes boat rentals (sailboat and paddleboat), 2 mile bike/walk path, picnic area, and playground.
The Hennepin Canal State Park, a 104-mile linear park, is a rustic, historic, educational, and recreational jewel spanning five counties and includes the entire width of Henry County with access points in Annawan, Atkinson, Geneseo, and Colona. It offers an up-close look at a fascinating piece of transportation history. It is popular with bicyclists who ride from town to town exploring the history, dining, lodging, and entertainment possibilities as they travel. The canal multi-purpose recreational trail is a portion of the American Discovery Trail, a 6,800-mile coast-to-coast trail devoted to non-motorized use. It is also part of the Grand Illinois Trail, a 535-mile loop through northern Illinois. The tree-lined park is a refuge with prairie restorations and wetlands slicing through corn and soybean farmland. Home to diverse flora and fauna, it has become a favorite for bird watchers and prairie enthusiasts. It offers numerous year-round opportunities to boat, hike, bike, fish, ride horseback, snowmobile, ice skate, and cross-country ski. Explore Henry County’s jewel – the Hennepin Canal. In wintertime experience the longest snowmobile trail in the state -- 91 miles on the tow path. You can use the ice at your own risk, but pay heed to the locks, bridges and culverts where the ice likely is thinner than the rest of the canal. Bring your blades, skating along the canal is free! Keep in mind the rule is there must be 4" of snow and 6" of frost on canal for route to be open. Call the Visitor Center for automated message.
More than 35 miles of trails, from Aurora to Crystal Lake, pass through scenic landscapes. Routes include the Fox River, Virgil Gilman and Red Oak Trails, and the Illinois Prairie Path.
Rocktown Adventures is a specialty outdoor retailer and adventure club. They offer sales, rentals, lessons, guided trips and related apparel for kayaking, canoeing, stand-up paddleboarding, Nordic skiing and snowshoeing. They also carry camping equipment, lifestyle apparel and transportation equipment. Rocktown's mission is to help you gear up and head out. They carry top equipment sold by knowledgeable staff. Their experienced instructors love to share their passion for the outdoors. The trip guides know the waterways and trails like the back of their hand. The shop is conveniently located near an abundance of recreational assets waiting to be discovered by you!
Cruisin' Waves is proud to present to the public Go-Float electric boats. The Go-Float Electric Boat Company is based out of Fergus Falls, Minnesota and is another fine example of a manufacturer that makes a great product that is "Made in America." Open daily (weather permitting). June - Sept.
Scuba dive at this unique spring-fed stone quarry and marvel at underwater treasures such as a submerged airplane (actually used in the movie U.S. Marshals) and a cement petting zoo. Mermet Springs offers on-site instruction and equipment rental.
It's all about the water at Rend Lake, where you can swim, boat, water ski and fish. Relax at Rend Lake Resort, tee off at the 27-hole Rend Lake Golf Course or do some target practice at the Rend Lake Shooting Complex. Also located at Rend Lake is the Southern Illinois Art & Artisans Center, featuring more than 800 artists.
Anglers looking for crappie, catfish and bass drop their lines at this area, located on the 18,900-acre Rend Lake. A comprehensive management program provides habitat for a variety of wildlife, including great blue herons and many species of shorebirds.
Located in the Shawnee National Forest, this 1,750 acre lake has 40 miles of shoreline, a maximum depth of 60 feet, and 10hp limit on boat motors.
This 810 acre lake with a maximum depth of 90 feet and a 24-mile shoreline is part of the Crab Orchard Refuge. It is stocked with rainbow and brown trout and provides largemouth bass, bluegill, sunfish, crappie, channel catfish, bullheads, and carp. Boat ramps are available. Boats have a 10-horsepower limit. Camping is available.
Little Grassy Lake Campground and Marina is located on Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge and is a destination stop for returning campers, boaters, and sportsmen. They offer full service camping, primitive camping, boat rentals, concessions, and a bait shop. Reservations accepted to reserve boats and campsites. Pontoon boats, fishing boats, and kayaks can be rented. You don't want to pass up the opportunities to explore the thirty miles of shoreline and embrace the solitude you will find on the lake. The 1200 acre lake is stocked with catfish, crappie, and bass, and offers plentiful oppourtunities for fishing, paddling, boating, and wildlife observation. Amenities include waterfront camping sites, remodeled bathrooms with hot showers, dump station, swimming, pets allowed, monthly educational programs and a renovated concession/bait shop which is stocked with minnows, crickets, camping supplies, cold beverages, food items, ice cream, firewood and ice.
Camping & Seasonal spots for outdoor lovers. Carlinville Lake open for fishing and boating. Campground opens April 1st for the season. For more info call the Lake office at 217-854-8931 or City Hall at 217-854-4076.
A year-round facility for large and small boats located at the southwest end of Carlyle Lake. Suited for a complete variety of water sports.
CSA has docking for 380 boats, 3 electric jib cranes, 1,300 ft. of dock and 2 launching ramps. Special events feature annual regattas.
Able to accommodate boats up to 45 ft. in covered slips and 40 ft. in open slips, Trade Winds Marina is a great place to moor your boat. The new clubhouse features showers, restrooms, and a lounging area for members.
The largest man-made lake in Illinois (26,000 acres), is a premier location for outdoor sports. Known to sailors, it is one of the best and most challenging for sailboats. There is also boating, fishing, hunting, bird watching, sand beaches, and camping areas. Hotels, cabins and golf courses make the area a true outdoor lover's playground.
This beautiful Carterville park includes a community center, baseball field, skate park, walking path that surrounds a fishing pond, volleyball courts (sand), playground, pavilion, gazebo, and memorial garden. Ballfields and shelters can be reserved.
The park is open for boating and fishing year round and hosts a major drag boat racing event each year.
Fishing guide - muskies, walleyes; all equipment furnished.
An eclectic district filled with dining and multi-cultural attractions, Midtown Champaign, with the beautiful Boneyard Creek flowing, connects Downtown and Campustown Champaign.
Enjoy the sparkling beauty of Lake Charleston, which features hiking and biking trails.
Navy Pier's resident 148-foot, four-masted schooner pays tribute to the Great Lakes' rich maritime heritage during a variety of cruises each day.
Come aboard Seadog Cruises for the most thrilling, unique way to experience the windy city! Seadog offers Lakefront Speedboat Rides, Lake & River Architectural Tours and Extreme Thrill Rides, all of which are perfect for a solo traveler to a group of 110. Chicago’s favorite dog cruises April through October and is available for private charter.
A 90-foot jet stream creates an arc across the Chicago River for ten minutes on the hour.
The Combined Lake and River Tour offers a comprehensive overview of Chicago, with breathtaking views of the magnificent skyline and an up-close perspective from the Chicago River.
Experience Chicago's world renowned architecture with one of 80+ different tours offered by The Chicago Architecture Foundation (CAF). Explore by boat, foot, bus, bicycle or Segway, and choose from tours such as the Devil in the White City tour, Lights, Camera, Architecture! Tour, the Daniel Burnham Tour and many others. Interested in the boat tour? Only the Chicago Architecture Foundation and Chicago's First Lady Cruises can showcase Chicago's world renowned city architecture with style, class and comfort. Learn more at www.cruisechicago.com. Also offered: FREE exhibitions, programs and workshops, youth education, family programs and an architecture and design-themed retail store. Private tours and group tour rates available. Open daily 9:30-5:00.
Chicago’s 26 miles of lakefront and beaches are free and open to residents and visitors alike. In fact, they were foremost in Daniel Burham’s plan to make Chicago’s lakefront and beaches always open and unobstructed for the public to enjoy. And to this day, you can see that his vision is still alive and well, from the joggers and volleyball players to the swimmers and sail boaters who take to the lakefront every day. Of course, admission is free.
A cruise aboard Odyssey lets you see Chicago from a whole new perspective. You’ll enjoy a three-course, locally-sourced menu, upscale DJ entertainment, a sophisticated ambiance and breathtaking skyline views. Cruise with Odyssey for a brunch, lunch, dinner or specialty cruise, or consider Odyssey for your next group event.
The Midwest’s number-one attraction is the place in Chicago for lakefront fun. Board a sightseeing or dinner cruise boat, and see a live performance at the outdoor Skyline Stage or acclaimed Chicago Shakespeare Theater. Dine at one of Navy Pier’s many boardwalk restaurants and browse the unique shops and stands (a great place to pick up a souvenir).
Chicago's newest and largest cruise ship located at Navy Pier. Cruises are available for group and private charters along Chicago's lakefront for groups of 50 to 400 passengers.
Tour Chicago on a cool cruiser-style bicycle and follow a guide who makes brief stops at the most popular sights, providing light-hearted commentary that will keep you entertained. Some fun rides include the Lakefront Neighborhoods Tour, Bikes, Bites and Brews Tour, and the Southside Gangster Tour.
Immerse yourself in Chicago's rich history with a live commentated, family-friendly 90-minute tour cruising the Chicago River and Lake Michigan aboard Mercury, Chicago's Skyline Cruiseline. Learn fun facts and hear fascinating tales as you cruise amongst the city's famous architectural giants. Capture incredible photos as only can be experienced from the unique vantage point of the Chicago River, and marvel at incredible skyline views from the expansive waters of Lake Michigan. Cruises depart daily, May through October.
Chicago's only Segway-authorized touring company has locations at Navy Pier and Michigan Avenue, plus certified tour docents who will ensure a memorable, safe experience.
Discover Chicago at your pace, on your schedule! Explore the city’s most popular destinations with MetroWalkz Self-Guided Walking Tours. Designed specifically for your mobile device, each of our free, fun and informative tours contain easy-to-use maps and insider narratives, making sightseeing a breeze. Current tours include The Magnificent Mile, Loop Architecture, Millennium Park, Navy Pier, Museum Campus, Grant Park, Chinatown, Old Town, Gold Coast and the West Loop. Chicago is known as a city of neighborhoods, and it is best seen on foot. To take our FREE self-guided walking tours, just open your mobile browser and go to www.evisitorguide.com/chicago, then “Tours” > “MetroWalkz”. To get the most out of your Chicago visit, use eVisitorGuide’s other features including information on museums, attractions, dining, nightlife, shopping, theater and much more. With eVisitorGuide and MetroWalkz, everything you need to discover Chicago is in the palm of your hand!
Mercury, Chicago's Skyline Cruiseline offers 90-minute tours for the whole family that include lake and river cruises, fireworks cruises, canine cruises and night cruises all departing from the landscaped dock on Chicago’s Riverwalk at the Michigan Avenue Bridge. Cruising season May - October.
Kayak through canyons of skyscrapers and architectural wonders, or explore the waters just off beautiful Lake Michigan. Kayak Chicago is Chicago’s premier full-service outfitter, offering a variety of tours with certified instructors and guides. It’s a truly unique way to experience the urban landscape.
The Chicago Riverwalk trail in downtown Chicago is an easy way to experience the vibrant city while exploring some of its more nature-oriented offerings. This trail is rated as easy, and will take you only 2.5 hours or 4.2 miles round-trip to complete.
Proudly referred to as Chicago's "Front yard," Grant Park is a public park, 319 acres located in Chicago’s central business district in the Loop Community area. Grant Park’s most notable features include Millennium Park, Buckingham Fountain, The Art Institute of Chicago and the Museum Campus. Named for United States President and Civil War General, Ulysses S. Grant, Grant Park was developed as one of Chicago's first parks and expanded through land reclamation.
The Millennium Reserve stretches from downtown Chicago to the Indiana border and suburban Park Forest. It encompasses numerous neighborhoods, the Southeast lakefront, and 37 South suburban municipalities. In aggregate, the Reserve includes a collection of over 15,000 acres of open space such as trails, wetlands, and forest preserves; Making it ideal for runners, bikers and kayakers alike.
Weldon Springs State Recreation Area is a 550-acre state park located near Clinton, Illinois. It centers on Salt Creek and the impoundment of a tributary, Weldon Springs, to form Weldon Spring Lake, a reservoir.
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.
One of the newest parks with over 9 acres of natural habitat. Sporting a new playground, small fishing pond and a wooden gazebo on its shore.
50-acre wooded city park located in the heart of Collinsville. Amenities consist of picnic shelters, playgrounds, fishing lake, and softball diamond.
Eastern side of Lake of Egypt. Facility offers full service, boat rentals, restaurants, bait, tackle, guide service, launching and RV rentals.
Scenic canoeing and kayaking on the Middle Fork National Scenic River, Big Vermilion River, and Salt Fork River.
The state's largest artificial body of water, Lake Decatur spans 2,800 acres, with 30 miles of shoreline offering recreational opportunities and wildlife vistas at lakeside parks and the city marina. Water sports include boating, fishing, sailing and jet skiing. While shoreline locations surrounding Nelson Park Marina offer miniature golf, dining, public gardens and picnic facilities.
This new lake is located on old Route 66 at the southeast edge of Dwight. Donated to the village in 1994 and improved with funding from local organizations, the lake offers a beautifully landscaped picnic are, fishing, and a bike trail. Open year-round.
Part of the Riverfront Greenway, Spindler Marina is a public gateway to the Illinois River, offering reasonable rates, parking and storage. Make Spindler Marina your launch today. Available for public boat launch, slip rental and dry dock storage. Pick up your ice, boating or camping supplies at the Marina office. With a picnic and shelter area, rest rooms available seasonally, and the beautiful views from the River Trail Boardwalk, make Spindler Marina your next Illinois adventure.
One of the area's premier marinas, EastPort Marina is located along Illinois Route 116, at mile marker 164.5 on the Illinois River. Rated Four Anchors in the Quimby Cruising Guide, this East Peoria marina is presently lined with 280 slips ranging from 25 to 50 feet in length. Boaters are welcome to stop and spend a few days enjoying the marina and its many amenities, as well as the entertainment opportunities in East Peoria and the the Peoria area.
This 10-foot wide asphalt trail winds 4.8 miles along the former Illinois Terminal Railroad Co. path. Build in 1991, the River Trail provides a safe scenic route for outdoor recreation year round, winter weather permitting. The trail affords patrons the opportunity to experience the natural preservation of wildflowers, grasses, trees and wildlife. With direct access at the Park Administration Center, Bunnell field, and Taylor Street ball diamonds, and in close proximity to Veterans Park, Central Jr. High, West Park, and local restaurants, the River Trail offers something for everyone!
A quiet cove at dawn, where the only sound is the whir of a casting reel and the gentle splash of the fly hitting the water’s surface...that’s Lake Sara. A sunny afternoon slalom skiing behind a powerboat or running along the beach...that’s Lake Sara. A family picnic in the grass at water’s edge or a family reunion, with fried chicken and the works, under one of the pavilions...that’s Lake Sara. Lake Sara is an 800-acre recreational lake nestled into a wooded shoreline, encircled by a winding road. Spend a day, a week, or a season on the shores of Lake Sara. Lake Sara has something for everyone, in every season of the year.
Two different locations on Lake Sara. The pavilions offer a chance to host a meeting on the lake. The two outdoor facilities are perfect for receptions and parties with plenty of outdoor space. It also features a large open room, kitchen area, boat dock and outdoor decks.
Dawn until dusk, a 36 m. trail is the forefront of outdoor recreation passing through Elgin, St. Charles, Geneva, Batavia and Aurora. It winds along the banks of the Fox River through miles of prairie grass, overshadowing trees and blooming flowers.
Built on the shores of Lake Michigan by the United States Government in 1873 after several shipwrecks demonstrated its need, this was the lead lighthouse marking the approach to Chicago. In 1999, Grosse Point Lighthouse was designated a National Historic Landmark by the National Park Service; the first lighthouse on the Great Lakes to carry that status. The Garden Club on Evanston maintains wildflower and butterfly gardens on its property.
Bring your dog to Evanston's Dog Beach! Admission restricted to dogs with a "dog beach season token".
Sand beach used for launching small carry-in crafts. Lockers and racks available to store crafts on site.
Poured concrete ramp for launching boats. Can be used by power boats up to 22 feet, sailboats 15-22 feet, and personal watercraft.
Boats of all kinds pass through the locks, and visitors can view the river traffic from just a few feet away.
This park features a pavilion with tables, a gazebo, fountain, a play lot, basketball court, historic cannons and monuments, and a walk bridge across the Galena River to Galena's downtown historic shopping district.
Jump aboard Mississippi Explorer's latest 1.5-hour cruise. Experience the magical splendor of Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife & Fish Refuge.
Scenic biking and hiking along a six-mile trail featuring views of the Galena River and towering bluffs.
The Galena River, also known as Fever River, meanders through the lush scenery of Northern Illinois before winding through Galena’s historic downtown. Put-in near Galena's Main Street which will offer you plenty of opportunities to explore the river on your own, or to take day excursions offered by a local outfitter.
Located 4 miles north of I-80 at exit 19 and adjacent to the historic Hennepin Canal. Shady, quiet camping in the midst of nature's wonders. Spend a night in one of our four rustic cabins. Try the Yurt Accommodations. It is 20 foot diameter, and sleeps 8. It has one queen bed and 2 bunk beds with a full on bottom and twin on top Rent a canoe or kayak and relax on historic Hennepin Canal. Bring you own bicycle or simply walk to enjoy the recreational trail along the Hennepin Canal. The town of Geneseo has great Victorian homes with welcoming porches. In additional to the RV camp sites, there are 12 tent sites available. Internet services on site.
The Van Raden Memorial Park features Lake Baalton, a three acre man-made lake stocked with bass, crappie, blue gill and catfish. A small shelter and playground area are also offered. A Veterans Memorial honoring all German Valley area service men and women, past or present is at the park
Want to relive Ferris Bueller's Day Off? Then visit this North Shore beach that was featured in the hit flick.
One of the finest fishing and boating areas in the nation, this marina is the gateway to the Ohio River's Smithland Pool, constructed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The 619-acre full-service boat marina has more than 200 slips.
Looking for a jaw dropping, heart racing experience? Try Grafton’s newest attraction – a zip line that affords those brave enough a stunning river view and hours of fun. The nine zip lines total 1.75 miles, which should take approximately two hours to complete. The first of nine zip lines is nicknamed the Baby Bear – the shortest measuring only 300 feet in length. The longest, at 2,000 feet, is the Soaring Eagle, which has breathtaking views during its 250-foot descent. The Deer Hollow (3rd zip) and the Barn Burner (the final zip) are both 1,500 feet. The Limestone Leap (7th zip) is 1,300 feet, the River Run (5th zip) is 1,200 feet, the Gobblers Knob (6th zip) is 1,000 feet and the Road Runner (2nd zip) at 700 feet.
RV campground with bathhouse, boat ramp and country store. Restaurant and lodge also on site.
This site is on the Granite City Canal, near the Lock and Dam on the Mississippi River. Tri City Port is a duty-free foreign port, as well as a loading facility for farm and other products being barged on the river.
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.
Located on Lake Hillsboro , many camp sites, hiking and horseback trails, picnicking areas, playground and swimming beach
All the beauty and excitement of the great outdoors awaits you at Lake Jacksonville. Whatever you're looking for in outdoor recreation, fishing, sailing, swimming, skiing, canoeing, hiking, and picnic areas you'll find it here.
Located on the northeast corner of Johnston City, this 35-acre lake includes a paved boat ramp for fishing, walking path, and campground. Only electric motors and canoes are permitted. You will find largemouth bass, bluegill, redear sunfish, black and white crappie, and channel catfish in this small reservoir. Pedal boat rentals are available from July-September.
The Kankakee River takes a leisurely path from its origin to a point near Wilmington, Illinois, where it joins the DesPlaines River to form the Illinois River. Long acclaimed as one of the cleanest rivers in the Midwest, the Kankakee is a gentle Class I river ideal for first-time canoeists.
Scuba dive the spring-fed quarry of 12 acres in a park-like setting. Call for reservations.
Includes picnic and playground areas, a shelter, tennis court and basketball court.
Windmont Park, a 20-acre site on the city’s southwest side, is one of the most attractive settings of any park in the Midwest. A lagoon is surrounded by a large variety of trees and shrubs, and the eye is drawn to an iron footbridge that crosses the lagoon. There’s also a sidewalk that circles the water. A fountain donated to the park by a group of citizens adds a finishing touch to the scene. Recently installed at Windmont were an disabled accessible fishing pier, a new shelter, playground equipment and wider sidewalks for walkers enjoying the jaunt around the lagoon.
Mule pulled canal boat rides with period clothed storyteller, open May-October. The year-round visitor center includes exhibits, programs, visitor information, cafe and gift shop.
Visitor information, canal exhibits/programs, canal boat tickets, cafe, gift shop, great bathrooms, free Wi-Fi. Private meeting room/facility/canal boat rentals. At western terminus of I&M Canal.
Offers picnic & playground areas, sand volleyball courts, soccer field, basketball court.
Enjoy the natural wonders of the Pecatonica River, Stephenson County's water trail, as is meanders nearly 60 miles through undisturbed Midwestern beauty. Access the river at McNeil's Damascus Landing which offers ample parking, a picnic area, fire pit and charcoal grills, portable toilet, 10' x 20' floating dock and canoe/kayak and concrete boat launch with access docking. Camping at the site is available for canoe, kayaks and boaters. Reservations required.
This scenic 1,114-acre preserve offers a wide range of outdoor recreation and education opportunities centered around a 115-acre lake reclaimed from a gravel quarry. Visitors can enjoy swimming, fishing and boating, a Marina with boat rentals, a native garden and nearly seven miles of trails. The 19,000-square-foot Visitor Center features exhibits and a cafe. It can be rented for weddings and other private functions.
Home of the first Litchfield Chautauqua, with speakers such as William Jennings Bryan and Carrie Nation in 1905. Beautiful lake, playground and picnic areas.
Explore the heart of America! Follow the Mississippi River as it winds its way along Illinois' western border from Galena to Cairo. Experience over 550 miles of small towns, big cities, historic sites, recreational areas, cultural attractions and museums. Follow the green and white paddle wheel signs as they guide your next adventure!
The 275-acre River Bend Forest Preserve south of Mahomet contains approximately 130 acres of clear water in two lakes, one of which is the largest public lake in Champaign County, and includes 2.5 miles of forest along the Sangamon River.
Beautiful sandy waterfront on Cedar Lake. State certified Lifeguards on duty during beach hours, lap lane, restrooms, picnic tables and a concession area.