Showing 193-288 of 1,579 items found in Outdoors & Play
An easy 30-minute drive from downtown Chicago places you squarely in this sprawling forest preserve. With 78 miles of wide and singletrack trails at an intermediate level of difficulty, you should expect the unexpected, starting with plenty of hills, fast descents, meandering paths and more.
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.
There are formations of stalactites, stalagmites, soda straws, and more. An underground stream flows through the cave bed, and the temperature is a relatively constant 58 degrees.
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.
Abbot Oceanarium at Shedd Aquarium
The Oceanarium immerses you in the vibrant coastal ecosystem of beluga whales, Pacific white-sided dolphins, sea otters and sea lions. You’ll also find the Polar Play Zone for kids, along with marine mammal presentations.
Mt. Vernon Market
Mt. Vernon Market is located at the former armory building in downtown Mt. Vernon and features farmers markets, flea markets, vendor fairs, trade shows, entertainment, and other events throughout the year.
Giant City Park Campground
Class A campground with separate tent and trailer camping for equestrians. Also, a youth group camp and primitive walk-in tent sites.
Vaughn Athletic Center and Indoor Water Park
The Vaughan Athletic Center is dedicated to fitness excellence with quality equipment and programs designed to offer members the best value for their fitness dollar. The newest facility in the Fox Valley Park District is the Vaughan Athletic Center located on Indian Trail near Orchard Road on the far west side of Aurora. The Vaughan Athletic Center features 225,000 square feet of athletic, fitness, and aquatic fun. The Vaughan Athletic Center is home to an aquatic center with three indoor pools. The aquatic center offers lap swimming, diving boards, warm water therapy, swim lessons, and aquatic fitness classes. In addition, there is an indoor water park featuring two water slides, a lazy river, and spray and play areas. In the Vaughan Athletic Center’s 10,000-square-foot, full-service fitness center, members can use a wide variety of equipment, attend the Fox Valley area’s best group exercise classes, and receive personalized, one-on-one help from certified trainers. This year-round indoor water park has tube slides, zero-depth entry and interactive water play.
One of Oak Park's finest showplaces, the 12,000 sq. foot, 1913 mansion is located in the Historic District. Reminiscent of a gracious English country home and surrounded by 2 acres of beautiful gardens, a greenhouse and coach house. It is available for private and corporate event rentals.
Splashdown Water Park
Central Illinois' premier family water park is located at the Eastside Centre Sports Complex. Play in Splash Tower Island, ride the lazy river, or spend time in the splash and play area designed for little ones.
TPC Deere Run
Built on the site of a former Arabian horse farm, this beautiful 18-hole, par 71 championship golf course stretches along wooded ravines on the Rock River. The course is home of the John Deere Classic, a PGA Tour event that draws top golf talent.
Trolley Car #36
Trolley Car #36 is a turn-of-the-century, open-air trolley, the kind your grandparents might have taken to work, except you don't have to go to work. Board the Trolley at the Trolley Station in Riverview Park (on Thursdays, board at Nicholas Conservatory), ride along Madison Street beside the scenic Rock River Recreation Path, stop for a brief visit to the Eclipse Lagoon and Gardens, travel to the Symbol, then turn around and return to the Trolley Station. Trolley Car #36 is wheelchair accessible; however, the trolley is limited to 2 wheelchairs per ride.
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.
Vermillion River Rafting
This outfitter in Oglesby offers river rafting excursions on the Class 3 rapids of this popular stretch of the Vermillion River. With 14 sets of rapids on this 9-1/2 mile trip, Vermillion River Rafting will supply you with whatever your party needs: from rafts, paddles, life vests even rafting instructions. Reservations are recommended, especially on weekends and for parties of 5 or more.
Vernon Hills Park District Sullivan Community Center
Overlooking park land, the Community Room, equipped with a stage and kitchen, can serve 260 dinner guests or 400 people theater seating. Smaller meeting rooms with a capacity of 10-140 people including a gymnasium rental are also available.
Double M Campground / Cabins
We offer 2 cabins and 131 campsites. Enjoy the biking/running trails, bird/eagle watching, hiking, horseback riding trails, hunting, rock climbing, rappelling and the Shawnee National Forests.
Riverplex Recreation and Wellness Center
State-of-the-art fitness center, indoor family aquatic center, pro shop, smoothie bar, classrooms, gymnasium, multipurpose recreation area with sports, classes, programs and other activities. Daily user fees or memberships available. Don't forget to also check out our indoor two-story water-slide, lazy river, zero depth pool and splash equipment!
Paddock Hills Equestrian Center
Imagine a golden ball of Midwestern sun breaking on the horizon. As the night dew still clings to the vines and the grass in the pastures, a farm comes to life with the sights and sounds of morning. Hot coffee steeps in the pot. Hard-working farm-hands begin the daily chores. Horses whinny as the cool rush of morning air fills their lungs. The gently rolling hills are aglow with another new day. This is the beauty of horses and the magic of a vineyard. Paddock Hills Equestrian Center is located with Prairie Orchard Farm vineyard in the majestic countryside of Union, IL, and is minutes from the I-90 expressway, but miles away from the hustle and bustle of the city and suburbs. Whether, attending one of our many horse shows, riding lessons, clinics, or programs, we are sure that your time with us will be well spent.
Belvidere Park District
The Belvidere Park District spans stretches of the Kishwaukee River and Mill Race. It's a great place for fishing, biking and playing tennis, and includes a playground, picnic shelters, pool, swinging bridge and the historic Baltic Mill.
Itasca Caribbean Theme Waterpark
Features a new zero-depth entry main pool with 6-lanes attached, new separate diving well with drop slide, and high and low diving boards, 185-foot waterslide, separate zero-depth interactive play pools, and more. Call today for birthday party package information.
Polar Play Zone at Shedd Aquarium
In the Polar Play Zone, kids can slip into a penguin suit and try being a bird in the Icy South play area. From there, head to the Icy North to explore the belugas’ Arctic waters in a kid-sized submarine. Don’t forget to shake hands—or is it arms—with colorful sea stars in the touch pools.
Chicago Lakefront Trail
Take in the lake as you soak in one of Chicago’s most beautiful treasures. The Lakefront Trail is a runner’s paradise, spanning an impressive 17-miles of natural beauty and man-made inspirations. It runs north from Navy Pier to Foster Avenue and south to 31st beach. The trail’s smooth terrain makes it easy to traverse, while its hidden secrets make it fun to explore. And when you’re done with your run, bike, hike or whatever, you can cool down with spectacular lake views or breathtaking cityscapes.
Giant City Stables
Enjoy the beauty of Giant City State Park on horseback. All trail rides are guided by experienced wranglers. Lessons & pony rides also available.
Named “Chicagoland’s Best Rainy Day Activity Site” by Chicago Magazine, the Exploritorium is much more than an indoor playground. It is a place where children and adults can come and explore together through interactive play. Make-believe in our costumed dress-up area, run your fingers through our water play area, make music, play with trains, and experience new heights in the two-and-a-half story maze of tubes and tunnels.
Lambs Farm features a farmyard with a petting area and a variety of attractions like mini-golf, a mini-train ride, cow bounce house and an Old World carousel. There is also a pet shop, the Country Inn Restaurant, a thrift shop, and a country store and bakery that benefit programs for people with developmental disabilities.
Chicago Stand-up Paddle Boarding
Stand-up Paddle Boarding (SUP) offers yet another way to experience the Chicago lakefront. This hybrid of surfing and kayaking involves standing on an over-sized surfboard and paddling with a single bladed paddle. The concept, which was originally used by ancient Polynesian cultures, has seen a revival in the last 15 years. You can get all your questions answered and equipment rentals from Chicago SUP, the experts in Chicago for Stand-up Paddle Boarding.
Illinois Lincoln Highway
Take a journey on the Illinois Lincoln Highway, a 179 mile National Scenic Byway. From the Indiana border, west toward the mighty MIssissippi, you will find an adventure filled with variety, rich in history and heritage. As you travel the Lincoln Highway route across northern Illinois, take time to discover each communities' unique culture and special offerings and find a past era woven together with the present.
Mississippi River Visitor Center
The visitor center overlooks Lock & Dam 15 on Arsenal Island. See the observation deck - a great spot for viewing bald eagles in the winter and for watching barges lock through on their way up and down the mighty Mississippi River. Enjoy exhibits on the Mississippi River and a gift shop. Guided tours are available of the Lock & Dam system on Saturdays and Sundays from Memorial Day through Labor Day at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Tour Reservations are required!
National Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows
The Shrine has 200 beautifully landscaped acres of gardens and devotional areas, including the Outdoor Amphitheatre, Shrine Church, Lourdes Grotto, Stations of the Cross, Millennium Spire, the Visitors Center with a restaurant and gift shop, and the Shrine Hotel.
Raging Buffalo Snowboard Park
World's first exclusive snowboard area, USASA regional event location, state of the art snowmaking system.
Adventure Creek Alpaca & Goldendoodle Farm
Come and visit the Netzel's prized alpaca farm! The alpacas are quiet, stately, regal animals that are friendly to people - especially to smaller children. While there, make sure to meet Quincy, a TV star. Take one of the alpacas for a walk or learn about their lives. Or come down to the farm just to say hello to the alpacas and goldendoodles.
Des Plaines River Trail
Located in southeast Lake County near Vernon Hills, this crushed gravel surface trail is perfect for hiking, biking, horseback riding, and cross country skiing. The trail offers a medium level of difficulty as it winds alongside tree-laden riverbanks, through dense bottom-land woods, adjacent to ponds and over footbridges. This trail links the Half Day Forest Preserve to the Wright Woods Forest Preserve spanning nearly the entire length of Lake County.
This zoo located near the Quad Cities houses more than 900 exotic animals. See the animal exhibits on foot or hop aboard the Mel McKay Express, a miniature replica of an old steam engine that takes visitors around the park. Rise and shine with the wild things during Breakfast With the Animals, held on select Saturdays.
Herrin Park District
Herrin Park District is a beautiful, well kept park with a seasonal outdoor swimming pool as well as a multipurpose recreation complex. The park offers two walking paths with a quarter-mile all weather track, and a one-mile lighted walking trail. Herrin Park is an excellent place for a leisurely jog. You can even enjoy feeding the beautiful ducks.
An eclectic district filled with dining and multi-cultural attractions, Midtown Champaign, with the beautiful Boneyard Creek flowing, connects Downtown and Campustown Champaign.
Lake Glendale Beach & Campground
Beautiful beach located on the shore of an 80 acres lake in the heart of the Shawnee National Forest. Beach open Memorial Day-Labor Day, 7 days a week. Concessions available
Haunted Trails Restaurant & Entertainment Park
Perfect setting to raise your spirits! 14 acre park offers 3 go kart tracks, two 18-hole mini golf courses, batting cages, laser tag arena, rides, 100+ games, restaurant w/ private dining room plus private 5 acre picnic grove for company picnics and groups up to 2,000.
Shoppes at Grand Prairie
The Shoppes at Grand Prairie ~ a vibrant, open-air lifestyle center in Peoria ~ is the premier dining and shopping destination for the region. The Shoppes features an exciting blend of retailers and restaurants, along with our anchor stores: Bergner's, DSW, Jillian's and Dick's Sporting Goods. The center is highlighted by an inviting, lushly landscaped outdoor environment that features animal sculptures throughout the center, the nationally acclaimed Holocaust Memorial Button exhibit filled with 11 million buttons, the Caterpillar children's play area, and weekend entertainment.
Great River Trail
The Great River Trail is a breathtaking journey along 60 miles of the Mississippi River. The route is a mixture of paved rail-trail, small-town sidewalks, dedicated bike lanes on the street and a stretch of road shoulder along the Great River Road. The Great River Trail begins in Savanna and travels south through many small river towns with traditions still steeped in the quintessential culture of the Mississippi River.
Mackinaw River State Fish and Wildlife Area
This site offers a diversity of landscape covering 1,448 acres over timbered hills, open meadows, and river bottoms. Canoe access enables visitors to float the scenic Mackinaw River. Other activities include fishing, hunting, hiking, and picnicking.
Anthony Acres Resort
Anthony Acres Resort has picturesque views of Lake Sara. The resort is only five minutes from Effingham, so you can come into town and enjoy some food or shop.
Lusk Creek Canyon
Lusk Creek Canyon is the most well known whitewater run in Southern Illinois. The creek starts out in woodland bottoms with relatively minor gradient but soon is surrounded by rocky hillsides and cliffs. These cliffs rise out of the water to heights over one hundred feet. After the canyon section, the cliffs recede and the creek is surrounded by forest for the final mile. Rapids on this creek are at low to moderate levels and are mostly Class II in nature. However, this is not a good beginner run. This creek flows through forests before entering the canyon.
Egyptian Hills Marina Lodging
Egyptian Hills Resort is your passport to the Ultimate outdoor family vacation. Whether you are into waterskiing, wakeboarding, tubing, sport fishing, or pleasure boating; the Lake of Egypt is a boater’s paradise. All within a stone’s throw of your cabin. Our cabins and chalets sit next to soothing, running streams and waterfalls – with breathtaking lake front views. Each cabin/chalet features a full kitchen, living room, large deck, full bedroom, 2 loft bedrooms and full bath.
Long Hollow Scenic Overlook
This scenic overlook, located along the Great River Road on U.S. Hwy. 20, includes picnic tables, shelters and restrooms. Perfect place for photos to be taken as you can see a spectacular view of Jo Daviess County's rolling countryside.
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.
Lake Katherine Nature Center & Botanic Gardens
Naturally a great place to explore, learn and discover some of nature's wonders. Let nature be your guide, come visit and we'll show you why they call it the great outdoors!
Fabyan Japanese Garden
A tranquil oasis where history melds with nature and design. This historic garden affords the opportunity to experience the uniqueness of Japanese gardening and enjoy a moment of harmony with nature.
Trail of Tears State Forest
Set among the rugged slopes of the Ozark Hills in Southern Illinois, this site offers picnic shelters with roadside fireplaces throughout the forest. Features a network of trails for hiking and horseback riding enthusiasts.
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.
Wildlife Discovery Center
The Wildlife Discovery Center is a special place offering programs for people of all ages who have an interest in wildlife and their habitat. Children's classes, adult programs, and school field trips focus on wildlife conservation, field biology, and ecology. The Center also offers self-guided nature hikes, workshops, eco-based summer camps, wildlife ecology trips, group presentations, traveling animal exhibits and exciting volunteer opportunities. You can visit eye-to-eye with over 150 animals including a bobcat, raptors, Kookaburras, and an assortment of venomous and non-venomous reptiles like crocodilians, snakes, turtles and tortoises. The Wildlife Discovery Center is home to one of the largest public exhibits of rattlesnakes in North America, including four species that are native to Illinois. Indoor exhibits hours are Tuesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 10:00am to 4:00pm. The outdoor exhibits and walking trails are open year round.
Rainbow Ranch Petting Farm
Meet the wide range of animals at this real working farm. Bottle feed kids and lambs. Pet the goats, camels, chicks, rabbits, camels and even two zebras.
Famous Fossil Vineyard & Winery
The name Famous Fossil was inspired by the many fossils emerging from the earth as grapevines were planted. Sculpted and reshaped over thousands of years, the rolling hills are now home to over 12 varieties of red and white wine grapes. You’ll taste Marquette, Frontenac and St. Croix in our red wines and LaCrescent, Traminette or our blend of Prairie Star, LaCrosse and Brianna in our whites. Looking for a sweet wine? You’ll fall in love with our Blackberry, Red Raspberry and our “pie-in-a-glass” Summer Rhubarb wine. Enjoy a glass of wine in our tasting room and snack on our delicious Sweet & Savory Plate filled with local cheeses, sausage, crackers and more. We’re open year round with events and festivals every month including painting classes with local artists, wagon tours through the vineyard, and our Fossil Fest in August and Garlic Fest in October. Our beautiful Oak Barrel Room overlooking our vineyard is available for parties, showers and meetings. So come see our vineyard, watch wine being made and taste the best of the Midwest at Famous Fossil Winery. Open daily from 11-6. Visit www.famousfossilwinery.com to learn more.
Ackerman Farms, celebrating over 100 years as a working family farm, invites everyone to join us from the 3rd week in August through the 3rd week in December. We feature over 150 different varieties of pumpkins and squash in all shapes and sizes, over 25 varieties of beautiful hardy mums, and over 15 varieties of apples from our orchard - everything you need for your fall decorations and for your table. Plan to spend the afternoon with us in our family friendly corn maze, ride a hay rack, browse the gift shop and visit our friendly farm animals. At Christmas, join us for hot cider by a cozy fire and leisurely shop our wonderful Christmas selection of gifts and decor. Don't forget to call us to schedule birthday parties or class field trips.
Raging Waves Waterpark
Aussie-themed Raging Waves is Illinois' largest outdoor waterpark! Sitting on more than 40 acres, this family-friendly waterpark features 19 water slides, a separate kiddie pool area, wave pool, lazy river, 24 private cabanas, a giant sandbox and more. Open Memorial Day to Labor Day.
Hidden Lake Winery & Banquet Center
Welcome! Hidden Lake Winery and Banquet Center, located in rural Aviston, IL, is situated in “Silent Forest,” a wooded parcel of land abounding in local lore. Our winemaking began in 2004 and is influenced by the German heritage of the farming families who settled this part of Illinois. At Hidden Lake Winery, our goal is to offer a variety of wines that will satisfy many different palates. Our wines are produced with locally-grown fruit and bottled here in our cellar. Guests can enjoy a glass of wine (or other beverage if desired) in a tranquil setting with old friends, or perhaps with new ones.
Walnut Street Winery
The Walnut Street Winery plus Saunas is unlike many other wineries. We make fine wines in small batches using the best raw materials available from some of the best vineyards all over the world. Our wine garden features a bocce ball court that is 60 feet long and 13 feet wide. You can enjoy your wine out in the open air, along with a delicious Isabell's Pizza or some of the great Wisconsin cheeses that we have available. The wine garden is a unique setting for hosting wedding receptions, class reunions, office parties, Christmas parties and other group events.
Lincoln Highway Interpretive Mural - Batavia
Dotted along the 179-mile byway, you’ll find an unprecedented series of interpretive murals. Each artistically embodies the cultural heritage of the community where it is located and the legacy of the historic highway. Needless to say, taking a road trip to all or a couple makes for a nostalgic adventure.
An elegantly appointed venue along Peoria’s Riverfront, the Gateway offers the finest surroundings for your next business or social function. Constructed in 1997, this beautiful building was designed and created to be the focal point of Peoria's Riverfront. The Gateway is conveniently located downtown just one block from Interstate 74 and is within walking distance of hotels, major businesses, and many restaurants. The Riverfront provides a spectacular backdrop with its stunning views and the vibrant nightlife offers a unique and festive atmosphere. This is an affordable, convenient site for any meeting, banquet, or conference occasion. With the comfort and versatility the Gateway offers, you will want to make this the new home for your annual banquets and weekly meetings.
Lena Lions Park
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.
Route 66 Park & Tourism Center
This small park is right on Route 66, and it's a great place to check out the town of Atlanta. It is a great park, including flat area to run and playground for the kids to climb and run on, you and your family are sure to enjoy.
Ohio River Scenic Byway
Running parallel to the Ohio River, this scenic route rolls through Southern Illinois' Ohio River Valley, offering stunning views of the lush Shawnee National Forest, dotted by quaint river towns chock-full of Civil War history.
Illinois Beach State Park
Stretching leisurely for 6 1/2 miles along the sandy shore of Lake Michigan, this 4160-acre park is recognized for its geological structure, unique flora, spectacular beauty and recreational opportunities for swimming, boating, hiking, picnicking, biking,
A Hundred Acres Orchard and Market
A fun-filled orchard featuring apples, berries, melons. The indoor market is filled with jams, jellies, sauces, dips, salsas, candy and homemade "take n bake" pies. Also unique is the Krazy Kernel Kettle Korn, produced right in Princeton! Specialty cheeses, such as Antonella, Buffalo Wing Jack, and Tomato Basil Yellow Cheddar are also available. Pair these cheeses with some of the wines that are sold in the new wine shop, or enjoy your purchase on the newly constructed outdoor patio area. The Cider Mill banquet room has been expanded to accommodate 200 guests, so plan your wedding, reception, party, or reunion here!
North Branch Bicycle Trail
Bicyclists and hikers can travel this trail that runs from Caldwell and Devon Avenues in Chicago, to the Chicago Botanic Garden in Glencoe. The 20-mile trail winds along the Chicago River past the Skokie Lagoons and through forest preserves.
Fon du Lac Park District
Experience what 1600+ acres of parks, natural areas, riverfront and trails have to offer. Enjoy 2 golf courses, a picturesque marina and campground, Splashdown Water Park, and a variety of recreational programs and activities for all ages.
Little Lusk Trail Lodge & Campground
Centrally located in the Shawnee National forest, campgrounds have all the hookups; lodge has 6 rooms; beach, fishing, horseback riding at its best; box stalls for horses; hunters welcome; great hiking & mountain biking.
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.
Walnut Point State Park
State park with hunting, fishing, camping, hiking and picnicking. Concession stand and boat rental available.
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.
Rockford Ski Broncs Water Ski Show
This world-class water ski team gives free shows from early June until Labor Day at Shorewood Park.
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.
Hickory Ridge Golf Course
This 18-hole golf center is the highest-rated public golf course in Southern Illinois, earning four stars from Golf Digest. The course offers discounted "twilight hours" rates for unlimited play after 4pm.
Rock Cut State Park
With over 3,000 acres of rolling plains and two lakes, Rock Cut State Park is a hiker's paradise. It's also home to some of the best mountain biking in northeastern Illinois, offering 10 miles of dirt and sand terrain, doubletrack and singletrack trails. One of the loops is 4.25-miles, the Main Trail, which runs around Pierce Lake. Another loop snakes around the northeast corner of the park and leads through dense trees and hills.
Cabin Nature Center
Nature center, nature trail and dog park. Free admission, cost for some activities.
Apple River Canyon State Park
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.
Tour the walk-through gardens and browse the nursery selling 170 different ornamental grasses, trees and shrubs.
Mercury's Urban Adventure Cruise
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.
Lake County Fairgrounds
The annual Lake County Fair runs for five days beginning the last Wednesday in July. The Expo Building is available for rent for meetings, shows, weddings, and events year-round. Monthly events including Antique Shows, Swap Meet, Crafts Shows, Dog and Horse Shows, and much more. Visit the website for event schedule.
Belle-Clair Fairgrounds & Exposition Center
Home to the annual St. Clair County Fair, several craft shows and monthly flea markets, the complex also includes the Belle-Clair Speedway, with stock car races and demolition derbies.
Lincoln Park Conservatory
Step inside and be transported to another place and time! We invite you to take a journey to the Lincoln Park Conservatory where you will find tropical palms and ancient ferns right in the heart of Lincoln Park. Designed both to showcase exotic plants and grow the thousands of plants needed for use in the parks, the Conservatory offers visitors a tropical experience within its four display houses: Palm House, Fern Room, Orchid House and Show House, which is home to the annual flower shows. This historic facility continues to provide an escape to nature to the millions that live in and visit Chicago. No matter the time of year, Lincoln Park Conservatory is always green and lush. Come take a stroll and let yourself be transported away. Admission is free.
Forest City Queen Riverboat
The Forest City Queen gives you an up close and personal glimpse of some of the most stately homes gracing the banks of the Rock River. You will hear about Rockford's humble beginnings on the Rock River and its continuing influence today. A variety of cruise options are available, from hourly narration tours, private rentals, family-style picnics, Ski Broncs performances, to elegant dining.
Rink Side Sports and Family Entertainment
Fun for the whole family in this state of the art entertainment center featuring a regulation-size ice skating rink offering hockey games, public skating and lessons, 180 video and interactive games, virtual reality laser tag arena, 18 holes of glow in the dark miniature golf, and snack bar featuring awesome home made pizza. Group events and birthday party packages with several packages to choose from with many different activities, or we can cater to fit your needs. Visit the website for special events and hours as they can vary during the season.
Middle Fork State Fish & Wildlife Area
The Middle Fork State Fish & Wildlife Area consists of 2,700 acres of grass, forest and cropland, and wildlife habitat. The area also includes a portion of the Middle Fork River, a State and National Scenic River, with over 1,000 feet of scenic corridor for canoeing and fishing. The area also allows for hunting, hiking, picnicking, and camping.
The Tempel Lipizzans
Lipizzaner Stallions have been enchanting audiences for 450 years. Witness art and history come to life at one of our summer performances or a behind-the-scenes tour. From the playful bounding of new foals to the strong, precise jumps of our stallions, the whole family will be captivated by the strength, beauty, and intelligence of these horses. Each performance, to music, is a study in classical horsemanship which has been practiced in Europe since the 16th century; the Lipizzaners have been performing at the Spanish Riding School in Vienna, Austria since the 1500’s. There are very few places in the United States where such an art can be observed. We offer a taste of Vienna, Austria right in your back yard. Matinee and Evening performances starting mid-June and running through mid-September. See website for full calendar. Behind-the-scenes tours available by appointment only.
Klehm Arboretum & Botanic Garden
Klehm Arboretum & Botanic Garden is a 155-acre living museum filled with spectacular gardens and rare trees. There’s beauty in every season from fragrant magnolia trees in spring and a butterfly garden in summer to the brilliant colors of fall and snow-capped evergreens in winter, when trails are cleared for walkers, cross-country skiers and snowshoeing. A 1.8 mile, handicapped-accessible paved path winds through the arboretum plus many secondary, chipped trails. Kids will have fun navigating the maze in the Children’s Garden. Klehm is dog-friendly and any leashed dog is welcome. Filled with four season beauty, Klehm Arboretum & Botanic Garden is waiting for you to explore.
The University of Illinois Pollinitarium is the first free-standing science center in the nation devoted to flowering plants and their pollinators. Its location in the midst of the Arboretum brings together flowers and pollinators physically and conceptually. Changing exhibits relate to world events and ongoing research on pollinators. Guests can explore beekeeping equipment, see live demonstrations and play interactive games. Because so much depends on pollination, the UI Pollinatarium is dedicated to increasing awareness and appreciation of pollination as a remarkable ecological partnership and an essential ecosystem service.
Approximately 25 weekend sites and 200 permanent sites on the east side of Litchfield's Lake Lou Yaeger. Site offers trail hikes, lake frontage, 30 amp RV service, city water and convenience store.
Bobber's River Tap
Bobber’s is an open-deck, outdoor bar along the banks of the Pecatonica River. It is a relaxing stop for travelers by road or river. Bring your own pole or just sit and relax with a cold drink as you watch the river flow by. Weekly entertainment on the Pontoon Boat stage; never a cover charge. Open: May thru October: Sunday: 11 am - 10 pm; Thursday thru Saturday: 11 am - 2 am.
Touch of Nature Enviornmental Center
Just 8 miles south of Carbondale, Touch of Nature borders the Shawnee Forest. It is a 3,100 acre wooded retreat area perfect for group events. Located in the City of Makanda, IL.
American Discovery Trail
What a way to travel - about 75 miles, from one major river to another (the Illinois and the Mississippi), all on one newly built trail. The Hennepin Parkway State Trail (a linear state park) offers surcease from the flat, treeless Illinois prairie with a lock-strewn straight course of water and a green tunnel over the old tow path of a canal that was obsolete before it was completed. Quaint towns lie nearby, camping spaces (usually primitive) abound, and history is there for the dipping of your fingers in the water. At Sheffield, a comprehensive trail museum more than fills the gaps in your experience of a very unique way to travel through the heart of America.
Scovill House & Oriental Gardens
Serenity envelopes this intimate area, where visitors are welcomed by a Chinese Fu dog and flowering dogwoods, star magnolia, Japanese lilac, and rhododendron -- foliage native to the Orient. Originally commissioned by Guy and Rose Scovill in the 1920's and reconstructed in the 1980's, the gardens' soothing nature encompasses a small reflective point, sod bridge, and oriental sculptures, and surrounds a small cottage, which is available for gatherings and retreats.
The Farm includes 23 theme gardens, a rustic shop in the barn featuring herbal gifts and supplies, picnics, hayrides and a greenhouse.
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.
Rendleman Orchards Farm Market
Tree ripened peaches & nectarines from July - August, and apples from September - December. This farm market is open 7 days a week with seasonal produce, preserves, pickles and other specialty food items and gifts.
Haunted Trails Family Entertainment Centers
Family entertainment center featuring hundreds of games, rides, award-winning miniature golf, Go Karts & Batting Cages, Restaurant/Party room featuring karaoke. October Haunted House (www.frightmarehauntedhouse.com). Birthday party and group packages available.
Hall Quarry Beach
Zero-depth sand beach, two islands, youth water slide, drop slide and diving tower with two-and four-meter platforms. Kid tested and family approved. This beach features a sand bottom swimming area covering 60,000 sq. ft. that includes: slides, an island diving area, playground, sand volleyball courts, a large sandy area for building castles, picnic area and concessions. Open May 23 through August 16. Hours 12 - 6 pm (Hours extended to 7 pm Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays).