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Enjoy a self-guided driving tour of Aurora’s historic districts. Go back in time to Pre-Civil War era when Illinois' second largest city was being formed. Visit the Roundhouse, Stolp Island, Central Fire Station, Auto-Row, the house made of coal and much more. Online tour information available by clicking the link to the City of Aurora's Historic Preservation page of the City's web site.
From 1908 to 1940, Sears Roebuck and Company ordered, manufactured and sold homes to hundreds of thousands of Americans. Sears homes were popular in the railroad community of Aurora, which boasts 136 authenticated properties, making Aurora one of the largest concentrations of Sears homes in the country. Take the tour - stop by the literature center at 43 W. Galena Blvd. or download an entire list of Sears Homes from the City's web site.
In a new Halloween event called Night of 1,000 Jack-o’-Lanterns, more than 1,000 hand-carved pumpkins—some as large as 150 pounds—will light up the night at the Chicago Botanic Garden. Replacing HallowFest, Night of 1,000 Jack-o’-Lanterns is the only event of its kind in the Chicago area. The LED-lit jack-o’-lanterns will be staged along a festive, paved pathway, starting at the Esplanade. Along the way, encounter entertaining characters, view the ghostly trains in the Model Railroad Garden: Landmarks of America, and find seasonal light food and drink, such as apple doughnuts, cider, and ale, for sale.
The Candlelight Walk offers the only opportunity to see the village at night. Period clothed interpreters will be inside many of the log homes and shops in the village to talk about life in 19th century Illinois. Gingerbread and cider will be served in the Rutledge Tavern.
The City of Aurora and Zagster, Inc. launched a new bike-share program that will provide Aurora visitors with a convenient, affordable and healthy way to get around town. 18 cruiser bikes are available at three downtown stations for riders to use for on-demand, local trips. Stations are located at RiverEdge Park - 360 Broadway Ave., Aurora City Hall - 44 E. Downer Place and Santori Public Library of Aurora - 101 S. River Street. This initiative creates new opportunities for visitors to experience the Aurora Area from a different vantage point and see it in a whole new light.
Visitors are invited to explore Bloomington-Normal and join in the celebration of McLean County's agricultural heritage, quilting, local history and the arts. The Barn Quilt Heritage Trail features over a dozen area barns or other farm buildings, each decorated with an 8' x 8' painted quilt square. A complete list of all participating locations is available on the Barn Quilt website. Step-on tour guides are available upon request for bus tour groups.
A self guided tour of places in Bloomington-Normal was developed with a map and description of the sites to explore the life of David Foster Wallace who was an American author of novels, short stories and essays, as well as a professor of English and creative writing. Wallace is widely known for his 1996 novel Infinite Jest, which was cited by Time magazine as one of the 100 best English-language novels from 1923 to 2005. Infinite Jest was completed while Wallace was living in Bloomington and employed in the Illinois State University English Department. In 2013, Illinois State created an annual David Foster Wallace Conference to celebrate his life and review his works.
The Chicago Architecture Foundation’s Open House Chicago is a free public festival that offers behind-the-scenes access to 200 buildings across Chicago. Open House Chicago is extending beyond the city's boundaries into Evanston. Explore the hidden gems and architectural treasures of Evanston and Chicago’s diverse neighborhoods—all for free. See website for full listing.
Have you heard the expression BIG things come in SMALL packages? The same holds true for a small Central Illinois town of 3,000 named Casey. To date, it is home to 8 Guinness World Records World’s Largest attractions; the wind chime, golf tee, knitting needles, crochet hook, pitchfork, mailbox, wooden shoes and rocking chair! Take Exit 129 off Interstate 70, and you will be able to easily find all of the local attractions within a 3-mile radius. Tourists also can enjoy several large objects along the way that make unique photo opportunities, such as a 36-foot pencil and ruler. There is even a bird cage that you are able to swing in. Casey offers several food and retail establishments that add to the uniqueness of the small town. Each year this small town grows a little bigger, with more attractions and shopping. Make sure to visit often, so you don’t miss out on the journey!
Take a self-guided tour of the beautiful historic homes, buildings and churches of Alton, some of which are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. There will be 10-12 sites on the tour. Tickets on sale and available at the Alton Regional Convention & Visitors Bureau at 200 Piasa Street. Tickets are $12 for adults and will be on sale beginning in October. For more information, call 618-463-5761.
Professionally guided photography tours of the tri-state area. Printing/framing services available. Studio gallery displaying photographs by Henry Matthiessen, III.
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!
Embark on a culinary adventure to Chicago's finest restaurants. Guests are chauffeured around the city to enjoy hors d'oeuvres served at the first restaurant, the main course at a second restaurant and dessert at a third restaurant.
Historical and sightseeing motorcoach day-tours of Chicago and the suburbs. Tour packages available for out-of-town groups, conventions, family reunions, local groups and organizations. Call for group tour details.
The Air Center hosts many fly-ins and ultra-lights throughout the year.
Let us save your soles today! We'll take you for a ride, give you a tour, provide shuttles for your party or even run errands with our fleet of pedicabs (aka bicycle rickshaws). Call us at 773-771-3922 or visit www.rickshawrick.com. Catch us at the Oak Park Visitors Center, Frank Lloyd Wright Home & Studio, Write Inn, Harvey House, Under the Ginkgo Tree B & B and other fun spots.
See displays of early life in this German Catholic community, founded in 1838. The first Franciscans arrived in October 1858, and the three priests and six brothers quickly set about building a parish and friary.
Come see noodles and sauce made from scratch. Baskets and shipping are also available.
The Heart Theatre is located across the street from the Effingham County Courthouse. The theatre is one of the two examples in Effingham of the Art Deco style that was popular from 1920 to 1940.
Tour this centennial barn, one of the largest in the country and one of forty-two left in the State of Illinois. It stands 80 feet high and 85 feet in diameter and features a 16-foot diameter floor to ceiling silo. A farm implement museum in on the main floor. Tours are provided by Friends of Johnson’s Park Foundation and groups of ten or more asked to call ahead. Open the first, third, and fifth Saturday beginning May through October. Hours: 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Tune to radio frequencies at each of the seven locations throughout Jacksonville to see the actual places and hear the real stories of Abraham Lincoln as his friends and associates knew him.
Ocean Farm is working to make a harmonious place where nature and agriculture complement each other. A contour strip rotation uses corn, soybeans, oats, alfalfa, and buckwheat. 56 acres are used in the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program.
Come see live eagle demonstrations 10 a.m. til 2 p.m. every Saturday in January at the Alton Visitor Center. See a live bald eagle up close and personal! Ask and learn about their species and habitats. Then, grab your official All Around Alton Eagle Watcher's Guide as you journey out along the Meeting of the Great Rivers National Scenic Byway to see eagles in their natural habitat. Free! For more information, call 1-800-ALTON-IL or go to www.VisitAlton.com.