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Dr. Charles Wright House
Built in 1889 by Dr. C.M. Wright, this stately Renaissance Revival home holds three generations of Wright family furnishings, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
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.
Alton Hauntings Tours
Based on the book Haunted Alton by Troy Taylor, Alton Hauntings Tours offers an entertaining and spine-tingling trip into the unknown, taking visitors to the most authentic haunted places in Alton. Uncover the eerie folklore, ghostly tales and documented haunted spots on a three-hour walking tour of the city’s most haunted sites. Visitors will see sites that have become nationally known, like the old Alton penitentiary, First Unitarian Church, Enos Sanitarium and many others. The tours have been proven to be popular with ghost enthusiasts and history buffs alike, and nowhere else can you learn as much about the real, haunted history of Alton. Walking tours and bus tours are offered during two touring seasons – Spring & Summer and the Haunted Fall Season. Private tours are also available for groups of 20 or more. Reservations must be made in advance for all tours.
Mineral Springs Haunted Tours
Take an eight-block tour of some of the haunted locations in downtown Alton, investigate the four floors of the Mineral Springs Hotel, be part of a seance and top the evening off with a tarot card reading. All tours begin and end at the Mineral Springs Mall. Tour options include New Moon Haunted Tours, Waking the Dead Walking Tours, Cemetery Tours and Haunted Overnights.
Underground Railroad Shuttle Tours
Learn about local Underground Railroad sites on a shuttle tour with J.E. Robinson Tours and the Alton Regional CVB. These two-hour guided shuttle tours will stop at some of the sites that were part of the Underground Railroad system including the Old Rock House, Rocky Fork Church and more. Alton’s riverfront location along the Mighty Mississippi played a vital role in helping slaves make connections to the freedom of the northern states. Buried beneath the streets of Alton and Godfrey, remnants of this period in history still exist. For more information on the Underground Railroad shuttle tours or to make advance registrations, please contact the Alton Regional Convention & Visitors Bureau at (800) 258-6645.
McPike Mansion Haunted Tours
Learn the history of the McPike Mansion and take a look at the documented photos of the mansion and paranormal activity. Then, take a tour of the surrounding grounds and the crypt. Talking with the spirits with Dowsing rods and join us for a dark session in the cellar with our experienced medium. Tour lasts approximately 90 minutes. All proceeds go toward the restoration of the mansion. For more information, contact Sharon at (618) 830-2179.
Mineral Springs Haunted Tours
Walking Tours include visits to several haunted buildings as well as an exclusive guided tour of the most haunted building in Alton, the Mineral Springs Hotel. The only tour to enter Mineral Springs! Tour includes light refreshments. Bring cameras, recorders, flashlights, and any ghost hunting equipment you may have. For more info, call (618) 465-3200.
Dicken's Holiday Village
Olde England comes alive in Historic Downtown Antioch with lifelike figures representing scenes from the Dickens Era. The Dickens Holiday Village is back and the handcrafted Dickens characters made by our volunteer artists will bring a Public Art Program that is free for everyone to enjoy! Antioch will proudly displayed 45 Dickens characters for people to tour. Each character has a plaque describing the scene and also serves as an educational tool for students. Take a self-guided tour with one of our Dickens Walking Brochure Maps or reserve a tour guide for groups of 24 or more. Plus there is plenty of Dickens Fun for everyone in November and December. You may enjoy Dickens Teas, an Antioch "Oliver" dog afternoon, Dress like Dickens event, and much more.
Aurora Downtown Walking Tour
Take a self-guided tour of Aurora's historic downtown. Tour brochures are available at the Aurora Area Convention and Visitor's Bureau.
BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir
Enjoy the fusion of traditional Indian architecture with modern technology; Explore the various facets of Hindu rites & rituals, as well as the core philosophical precepts of the religion; Experience peace & serenity. All are welcome.
Formerly known as the Illinois Asylum for the Incurable Insane. Come take a tour and hear stories of the history of the hospital, employees and the inmates. See how this nationally recognized historic
Boone County Conservation District
The Boone County Conservation District manages over 3,00 acres of prairies, woodlands and wetlands in scenic Boone County, Illinois. Minimum impact recreational opportunities, special events and educational programs are offered to the public throughout the year.
Jordbruksdagarna – Agriculture days
Celebrate Bishop Hill’s agrarian heritage, this event features traditional 19th century harvest activities and demonstrations, hands-on activities, music, farm produce, and Colony stew. Hours: 10am to 5pm.
Bishop Hill Steeple Building
Take a look back in history and visit the Steeple building, built in 1854. Architecturally intriguing it is a three-story stucco Greek Revival structure with a two-story tower and 66 six-over-six windows. It was built to be used as a hotel, but instead was used as a dwelling, school, administration building, and later housed a bank, telephone switchboard and apartments. The museum is home to the Bishop Hill Heritage Asssociation offices. The rooms and exhibit showcase historic artifacts and photos of early Colony days and take visitors back through time to a quaint prairie village. Group tours by appointment, small fee.
Epiphany Farms Restaurant
Epiphany Farms Restaurant is committed to supporting, growing, and showcasing a thriving local food culture. We serve as an anchor for a network of local food producers by increasing community awareness of locally sourced ingredients, increasing interest in the culinary traditions of the Midwest, and providing a positive model for responsible stewardship of the land that nourishes us. Our "Farm to Fork" concept represents a concern for every step of the process linking the meal to the land that produced it. "Farm to Fork" means keeping money in the local economy and using only what the community can provide. It signifies attention to excellence: from the farmer raising the crops to the family sitting down in our dining room to share a meal together.
Glorious Garden Festival
The Glorious Garden Festival offers self-guided tours through eight incredibly diverse, high-quality private gardens in the Bloomington-Normal community, along with guided tours of Sarah Davis’s heirloom garden at the David Davis Mansion. These gardens provide solitude and sanctuary, where one can soothe the spirit while enjoying the quiet pleasures of an outdoor retreat. The walk begins on the grounds of the David Davis Mansion State Historic Site where walkers pick up their maps and programs. The Garden Walk is held rain or shine.
Epiphany Farms Enterprise (EFE) is a “Farm to Fork” concept that practices sustainable, beyond organic, environmentally friendly techniques. EFE harnesses ideas from a wide range of agricultural theories, such as permaculture and intensive pasture rotation, to cultivate a multitude of fruits, vegetables, herbs, and animals. Pioneering a new food system frontier, they blend their farm and restaurants to create one self-sustaining organism. Tours of the farm are available.
Cruisin' With Lincoln on 66
The main source for information about McLean County’s historic and modern attractions in the Bloomington-Normal area is the "Cruisin’ with Lincoln on 66" Visitors Center. Located in Downtown Bloomington, the Visitors Center provides information on all of the wonderful attractions, events, dining and lodging available in McLean County. Their exhibits highlight two types of heritage tourism that is integral to Central Illinois: Historic Route 66 and Abraham Lincoln. The gift shop is filled with local products, memorabilia and more!
Miller Park Zoo’s 125th Birthday!
Come celebrate with activities throughout the zoo in honor of the zoo’s 125th Birthday! There will be crafts, vendors and food to purchase as well as the many exhibits and Zookeeper interaction opportunities that are enjoyed by the whole family.
Sounds of Spring Frog Call Walk at Two Rivers National Wildlife Refuge
The popular Sounds of Spring Frog Call Walk will be help from 7-9 p.m. Saturday, May 7 at the Refuge Visitor Center. Participants should register by May 5. On this special evening walk, participants will enjoy the sounds of the frog calls that fill the air at Two Rivers National Wildlife Refuge. This program is great for kids 4 and up.
White Oak Vineyards, Inc.
At home in the heart of Central Illinois, White Oak Vineyards is pleased to share their passion for wine, love for the land and German heritage. The tasting room boasts a comfortable, warm and inviting atmosphere perfect for gatherings with family and friends. The wrap around porch offers lovely views of the vineyard and surrounding countryside. White Oak Vineyards is also available for group tastings, showers, weddings, and more.
University of Illinois Champaign Urbana
The University of Illinois is a world leader in research, teaching and public engagement. It's distinguished by the breadth of their programs, broad academic excellence and internationally renowned faculty. This Big Ten school offers rich experiences beyond the classroom from the best in performing arts to world-class sports. Discover the scenic campus through tours of the historic buildings and those that are pushing the envelope in technology.
Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery
Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery is Illinois’ first farmstead cheese making facility, founded in 2004. Visit this off the beaten path farm and learn about their cheese-making process and their “Animal Welfare Approved” Goat Dairy. Taste their delicious, award winning varieties of goat cheese and sample their amazing goat milk gelato and organic fruits. The farm is open weekdays for drop-in visitors to see the goats, walk the grounds and purchase farm products. During the summer, you can also visit the farm during Wednesday afternoon open houses. In addition to self-guided tours of the farm, you can get gelato by the scoop and purchase products from their farm as well as those from other farms and food artisans. Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery also offers additional food events in the summer with Dinners on the Farm, Third Friday Pop-Ups, and tasting trail events. This is a working farm, so check their website for hours and activities before venturing out to the farm.
Charnley-Persky House Museum
Designed by Louis Sullivan with assistance from his junior draftsman, Frank Lloyd Wright, the Charnley-Persky House is recognized as a pivotal work of modern American architecture. Docent-led tours of the exterior and interior of the Charnley-Persky House (1891-1892) are offered on Wednesdays and Saturdays throughout the year. The National Historic Landmark building serves as the headquarters of the Society of Architectural Historians. Photos by David Schalliol.