Showing 1-69 of 69 items found in Outdoors & Play
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
Established in 1915, this free zoo is open daily, year round. Exhibits include bald eagles, wolves, mountain lions, foxes, otters, elk, goats, llamas, turkeys and peacocks.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!.
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.
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.
Shred down the slopes at Raging Buffalo Snowboard Park in Algonquin. Officially the world’s first snowboard exclusive area, the park features five different runs with numerous table tops, rails and half pipes to keep you getting air all winter long.
Lions Park, at over 20 acres, features Splash Land Family Aquatic Center with a 180' water slide, 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. Added in 2014 is a 9 hole frisbee gof course. Quench your thirst and your appetite at the Splashland Snack Shop. 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.
The Chief Keokuk Campground features 70 pads with electrical hook-ups for trailers, plus 25 tent sites. There is a shower building on site. A sanitary dump station is near the camping area. 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.
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.
State park with hunting, fishing, camping, hiking and picnicking. Concession stand and boat rental available.
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.
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.
Enjoy hiking, cross-country skiing and more in this state park known for its waterfalls, bluffs and canyons.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The McCormick Tribune Ice Rink draws 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.
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.
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.
Enjoy your stay at the state of the art campground. There are 28 sites that will easily accommodate a 40' motor-home and then some! All sites have electricity and water, while some have sewer. A dump station is at the east end of the campground. There are 6 total shower houses also available: Each room has a shower, toilet, sink and hooks to hang your towel. Enjoy your evenings with a fire in the public use area. This is a great place for getting to know your neighbors and sharing stories about your day of riding and fun!
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).
This multi-use 17 mile recreational trail offers beautiful scenery and 21 decked bridges, including a covered bridge in Orangeville, passing wetlands, creeks, woods, prairies, geologic formations and farmland. The trail, named after Jane Addams, is part of the Grand Illinois Trail which traverses northern Illinois from Lake Michigan to the Mississippi River. Its crushed limestone surface may be used by hikers, bicyclists, snowmobilers, and cross-country skiers. The The tow miles of trail between the Wes Block Trail Access and Illinois 26 is an asphalt paved surface. The final two mile asphalt paved segment from Highway 26 to the Tutty's Crossing Trailhead on the riverfront in historic downtown Freeport will open in summer 2015. This segment crosses the 1885 Van Buren Street Bridge to the Old River School Historic District, the original north entryway into the City, and through historic downtown Freeport offering specialty shops, restaurants, a bicycle shop offering repairs, and more. At Tutty's Crossing, the Jane Addams Trail connects with the Pecatonica Prairie Trail currently under development between Freeport and Rockford. The Jane Addams Trail connects the Wisconsin state line to the Badger Trail which extends to Madison. Access to the trail is available at the West Block Access, 2636 W. Fairview Road, Freeport, at the Richland Creek Trailhead, 101 N. Ewing Street, Orangeville, at Cedarville Road, at Red Oak off of Beaver Road, and by mid-summer at Turry's Crossing in downtown Freeport. Trail Maps are available.
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.
More than 35 miles of scenic trails, from Aurora to Crystal Lake, pass through scenic landscapes. Active travelers enjoy biking, hiking, jogging and cross-country skiing. Nature-seekers enjoy bird watching and tranquil vegetation. Routes include the Fox River, Virgil Gilman and Red Oak Trails, and the Illinois Prairie Path.
Two full-sized rinks are open for year-round skating. All Seasons also offers a game room, ballet room, pro shop and party room.
Looking for an adrenaline rush in Henry County? Experience the thrill of the Hill! Filled with 200 acres of unrestricted trails, undiscovered timber, rugged hills, steep valleys and lakes. Gob Hill is a motorsport enthusiast's dream. More conservative riders can enjoy over four miles of perimeter road riding, with beautiful Midwestern vistas. Gob Hill is also home to a children’s dirt track perfect for knee-high dirt trackers. There is also a motocross track.
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.
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.
Environment Education Center - offers cross country skiing in the winter.
Villa Olivia is a public facility. Slope ticket required to access ski and snowboard activities including 7 runs, quad chair lift and 6 rope tows. Villa Olivia has skiwee for kids 4-9 years old, snow tubing, ski, dining, golf, lessons, snowboarding, sleigh rides.
Experience the best of autumn and Christmas at Larson’s Family Farm. Fall features include pick-your-own pumpkins, gourds and squash. Hayrides and bonfires available on October weekends. Harvest decorations and antiques for purchase in the Barn Store. U-pick Christmas trees, handmade evergreen wreaths and lengths of roping available in winter. Enjoy a steaming cup of hot apple cider and shop the Barn Store for antiques and Christmas decorations. Contact the farm for special event and farm tour information. Lasting memories are made at Larson’s Family Farm!
A full-size hockey rink and a smaller ice rink are open for public skating, lessons and leagues.
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.
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.
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.
Trails open whenever there is at least three inches of snow on the ground. Equipment rental available from 9am-2pm.
Skateland of Jacksonville is the sister rink of Skateland South in Springfield, IL. Whether you are looking for a good way to celebrate a special birthday or if you are just looking to have some fun with the family, come on out to Skateland! Please contact us with any questions you may have, (217) 243-4121.
An ice arena offering hockey leagues open skate and entertainment for all ages. The facility offers two rinks, a game room and concession area.
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!
Outdoor ice skating; new refrigerated skating system; warming shelters available.
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!
The Forest Preserve has one outdoor skating rink and warming shelter - open weekends.
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.
Take in all the energy and entertainment available through the abounding opportunities at Ball Fore Family Entertainment Center! Mundane does not exist within the vast array of choices distributed throughout this park. Treat yourself, family, friends, or colleagues to an interactive day at the park. Ball Fore Family Entertainment Center has something for everyone including eight batting cages, an eighteen hole miniature golf course, driving range, sand volleyball pit, archery range, basketball, bags sets, playground, picnic area and concessions.
Indoor public skating and private lessons available. Call for hours.
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.
A tradition for over 25 years. Thousands of hand-pruned, organically grown firs, spruces, and pines in 9 varieties. Free horse-drawn wagon rides & Santa on weekends. Pets welcome
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!
Forest Park is a municipal park with the Chautauqua Auditorium, Vietnam Memorial, Family Aquatic Center, picnic areas, pavilions, baseball & softball diamonds, fishing lagoon (Crystal Lake), skateboard park, soccer fields, a youth athletic center, and more. There is an entrance to the General Dacey trail at the back of the park and the Memorial Sunken Gardens have been revitalized. The park is also home to the Festival of Lights.
Step back in time a few years and enjoy clean, old-fashioned outdoor fun at Abbey Farms. Unique – no haunting themes, no electronic games, no gimmicks, just clean old-fashioned outdoor fun for everyone. Enjoy three seasons of fun; fresh produce in summer, Pumpkin Daze in fall and U-pick Christmas trees in winter. Shop their fresh bakery goods, cider donuts, and other seasonal delights. Looking for a unique venue for that special occasion? Visit their new rustic-chic barn, the Nagel Emporium.
Cut your Christmas tree in a backwoods setting. We have many trees, including Norway, white spruce and blue spruce. Family owned and operated. Trees up to 23 feet tall.
Create a family tradition! Choose and cut your own fresh Christmas Tree. All trees are $30 (tax included) and we'll shake and bale it for free. Open Saturdays and Sundays 8 AM to 4 PM Thanksgiving to Christmas. We have white pine and scotch pine.
Owned and Operated by Greg and Jennifer Martindill and Family. Open Weekends, Saturday and Sunday starting the weekend after Thanksgiving to Christmas, 10 a.m. to dark. Pick and cut down your own - Saws provided. Scotch Pine Christmas Trees ~ $35 Any size - Table top, Family or Grand Entry.