Showing 1-96 of 169 items found in Outdoors & Play
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.
A destination port on the Mississippi with picnic area's, playground, outdoor pool. Within a half of a mile to Alton's historic antique district and the Argosy Casino.
Melvin Price Locks & Dam
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.
Alton Riverfront Amphitheater
The 4,000 seat Alton Riverfront 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.
C.J. Smith Resort
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.
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.
CITY: Arlington Heights
Hennepin Canal Parkway State Park
Good old fashioned family fun is in store - a peaceful, relaxing day of picnicking, hiking, biking and fishing. 104.5-mile linear park spanning through the communities of Annawan, Atkinson, Geneseo and Colona in Henry County. 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.
Bicycle Trails - Aurora
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.
Mastodon Lake at Phillips Park
Remains of the extinct elephant-like mastodon were found in this lake in the 1930s. Today, see a life-size sculpture of a mastodon and a restored prairie grass development.
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.
Rend Lake State Fish and Wildlife Area
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.
Devil's Kitchen Lake
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
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.
Fishing, boating, and campground.
West Access Marina
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.
Carlyle Lake Sailing Association
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. We 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.
The park is open for boating and fishing year round and hosts a major drag boat racing event each year.
Robert F. Apple - Fishing Guide
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.
Tall Ship Windy
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.
Seadog Speedboat Rides
The largest speedboats in the country, the 70-foot-long, bright yellow Seadog boats carry up to 149 passengers and offer 30-minute speedboat rides along the lakefront. Seadog rides depart from Navy Pier.
Centennial Fountain and Arc
A 90-foot jet stream creates an arc across the Chicago River for ten minutes on the hour.
Combined Lake and River Tour - Wendella Sightseeing Boats
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.
Chicago Architecture Foundation
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 Public Beaches
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.
Odyssey Lunch/Dinner/Champagne Cruises
Step aboard Odyssey and enjoy a two or three-hour escape to the signature elegance and total entertainment experience only a luxury cruising vessel can provide. Creative appetizers, entrees and desserts prepared fresh onboard daily. Award-winning wines. Dancing to live music. And unmatched skyline views.
The Midwest’s number-one attraction is the place in Chicago for lakefront fun. Take an exhilarating ride on the sky-high Ferris wheel, 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.
Bobby's Bike Hike Chicago Tours
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.
Mercury's Urban Adventure Cruise
Board this 90-minute river and lakefront cruise, complete with live commentary detailing over 50 downtown Chicago buildings and bridges. Cruises depart daily, May through October.
Steve's Segway Tours
Explore Chicago's lakefront, museums and Millennium Park on a three-hour Segway tour led by guides all year round.
Segway Experience of Chicago
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.
MetroWalkz Self-Guided Walking Tours
Our numerous self-guided walking tours with easy-to-use maps and insider narratives make sightseeing a breeze. Current tours include Loop Architecture, Millennium Park, Navy Pier, Magnificent Mile, Museum Campus, Grant Park, Chinatown, Old Town, Gold Coast and the West Loop.
Mercury, Chicago's Skyline Cruiseline
Mercury, Chicago's Skyline Cruiseline offers 90-minute tours for the whole family that include lake and river cruises, fireworks cruises, canine cruises and wacky pirate cruises, all departing from the landscaped dock on Chicago’s Riverwalk at the Michigan Avenue Bridge.
Mercury 3D Fireworks Cruise
This fun boat ride for the whole family offers panoramic views of Chicago lakefront fireworks aboard Mercury, Chicago's Skyline Cruiseline popular 90-minute commentated lakefront fireworks sightseeing boat cruise on Wednesday and Saturday evenings.
Wacky Pirate Cruise
Kids (2-10) swashbuckle with Buccaneer Bob aboard Chicago’s only Wacky Pirate Cruise. During the 60-minute lake and river sightseeing boat ride, little buccaneers receive their own pirate bandana; learn how to tie nautical knots; are “knighted” by Buccaneer Bob with their own pirate name and tattoo and “captured” by mom and dad in great family photos. It’s a one-of-a-kind cruise aboard Mercury, Chicago's Skyline Cruiseline.
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.
Weldon Springs State Park
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.
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.
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.
Egyptian Hills Campground & Marina
Eastern side of Lake of Egypt. Facility offers full service, boat rentals, restaurants, bait, tackle, guide service, launching and RV rentals.
CITY: Creal Springs
Middle Fork Canoe at Forest Glen
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.
Mid-Town is a full-service marina, restaurant and lounge located on the Mississippi River in East Dubuque. Open year-round.
CITY: East Dubuque
Carl Spindler Marina
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. Spindler Marina is a public gateway to the Illinois River. The Mar ina is 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.
CITY: East Peoria
Public marina with two levels of accommodations. Beautiful view of downtown Peoria, nautical gift shop, full parts and service department along with five gas pumps, one diesel pumps, pump-out facility and detail shop on site (East Peoria Boat Works).
CITY: East Peoria
River Trail of Illinois
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!
CITY: East Peoria
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.
Lake Sara Pavilions
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.
Schmidt's Canoeing Service
Camping, trips, outfitting and instructions.
Fox River Bike Trail
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.
Grosse Point Lighthouse
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.
Gross Point Rd. Fishing - Evanston
Equipment, bait and fishing expertise provided.
Evanston's Dog Beach
Bring your dog to Evanston's Dog Beach! Admission restricted to dogs with a "dog beach season token".
Dempster-Greenwood Street Beach
Sand beach used for launching small carry-in crafts. Lockers and racks available to store crafts on site.
Church Street Boat Ramp
Poured concrete ramp for launching boats. Can be used by power boats up to 22 feet, sailboats 15-22 feet, and personal watercraft.
U.S. Lock & Dam 13
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.
Mississippi Explorer Cruises at Chestnut Mountain Resort
Jump aboard Mississippi Explorer's latest 1.5-hour cruise. Experience the magical splendor of Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife & Fish Refuge.
Van Raden Memorial Park
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
CITY: German Valley
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.
Grafton Zipline Adventures
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.
Ohio River Recreational Area
RV campground with bathhouse, boat ramp and country store. Restaurant and lodge also on site.
CITY: Grand Chain
Tri City Port District
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.
CITY: Granite City
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
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.
Located on Lake Hillsboro , many camp sites, hiking and horseback trails, picnicking areas, playground and swimming beach
Lake Jacksonville Campground
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.
Arrowhead Lake and Campground
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.
CITY: Johnston City
Trail of Tears Lodge
A remote lodge surrounded by the Shawnee National Forest. An abundance of outdoor recreation: horseback riding, hiking, hunting, fishing, shooting range, archery range, dirt bike & ATV trails. Outdoor pool, game room, hot tub and pets accepted.
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.
LaSalle Canal Boat & Lock 16 Visitors Center
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.
Lock 16 Center
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.
Embarras River Canoeing
Spend the day canoeing and fishing on the Embarras River.
Offers picnic & playground areas, sand volleyball courts, soccer field, basketball court.
McNeil's Damascus Landing
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.
Independence Grove Forest Preserve
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.
Poplar Camp Beach
Beautiful sandy waterfront on Cedar Lake. State certified Lifeguards on duty during beach hours, lap lane, restrooms, picnic tables and a concession area.
Pyramid Acres Campground & Marina
Offers gas, bait, tackle, ice, beer, groceries, contour maps and camping with water and electricity. Open all year. Located at the northeastern edge of the lake.
Lake of Egypt
Lake of Egypt is a privately owned reservoir located six miles south of Marion, Illinois and covers 2,300 acres with 90 miles of shoreline. The lake has an average depth of 18 feet. The lake is owned by the Southern Illinois Power Cooperative (SIPC), who created the impoundment in 1962, by damming the South fork of the Saline River, to supply cooling water for a coal-burning electric power plant.
Mack's Lake of Egypt
They offer new and used boats, seasonal slip rental, boat lauch, boat dock and lift sales, rental pontoon boats, rental fishing boats, full line of boating accessories, full convenience store, package beer, liquor and wine.
LaSalle Lake State Fish and Wildlife Area
2,058 acre lake with rocky shoreline. Called a "perched" lake because it is formed by levees that rise above the surrounding land. High winds require that safety precautions be followed to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.