Showing 1-96 of 265 items
Starved Rock State Park
Seasonal waterfalls, awe-inspiring bluffs and rugged canyons dominate the storied landscape at Starved Rock. Rich with history and beauty, Starved Rock’s hiking trails meander through towering trees and scenic overlooks along the Illinois River. Outdoor activities include hiking, canoeing, paddle boat cruises, cross-country skiing, trolley rides, fishing and picnicking. Visitors can stay at the historic Starved Rock Lodge or in one of its cozy cabins.
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.
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
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.
Chicago Botanic Garden
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.
Magnificent Mile Lights Festival
Kick off the holiday season and create your special memories on The Magnificent Mile in 2014! The BMO Harris Bank Magnificent Mile Lights Festival, the nation’s largest evening holiday celebration, jump starts the holiday season on Saturday, November 22 with a full day of family friendly activities, concerts by top musical artists and the best holiday shopping. The day’s excitement culminates with a grand evening parade down Michigan Avenue marshaled by Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse from Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, illuminating one million lights on 200 trees. The parade concludes with a grand finale fireworks show over the Chicago River.
Allerton Park & Retreat Center
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.
Chestnut Mountain Resort
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.
The Nest at Palisades Cabins
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.
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.
Tara Point Inn and Cottages
Noted in Midwest Living magazine as "a riverside retreat for the romantic," Tara Point Inn is known for its incredible accommodations and breathtaking views of the Mississippi River. Atop the palisades bluffs above Grafton, visitors can choose either the main inn or a secluded cozy cabin escape to what some call the most pleasantly memorable getaway experiences in the Midwest.
Hardy's Reindeer Ranch
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!
Wildlife Prairie Park
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.
CITY: Hanna City
The River House
Relax, reflect and unwind in this private guest house that is a turn-of-the-century cottage completely restored with modern amenities. Located high above the confluence of the Mississippi & Illinois Rivers, it offers a quiet retreat with a spectacular view, yet it is only one block from village shops, marina, restaurants, bike trails and the scenic byway.
Critter Camp Exotic Pet Sanctuary
Tour Critter Camp Exotic Pet Sanctuary. Animal lovers can learn about, pet, hold and feel some of the 350 rescued animals, comprised of 30 different species. All income supports the rescued animals. Critter Camp is a non-profit, tax exempt, charitable, volunteer operated, no-kill facility that does not buy, breed, sell or exploit any animal.Personally guided tours are available seven days a week year round for up to six people per tour, but all tours are by appointment.
CITY: German Valley
Starved Rock State Park Visitors Center
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.
Eagle Watching at Starved Rock State Park
You don’t have to travel north to see these majestic birds of prey. Thousands of eagles migrate south from Canada during the winter and Illinois is one of the homes of the greatest population of wintering bald eagles. The Starved Rock Lodge in Utica offers a “Bald Eagle Trolley Tour” in January and February on Mondays, Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays. Viewing birds from the Veranda at the Starved Rock Lodge is good as well. Dress warmly though. This great viewing spot is right outside the doors of the Great Room. If you’d like some exercise, take a hike on one of the trails at the Starved Rock State Park. One trail begins right at the Veranda. For a birds eye view, hike to the top of the Rock. Another popular event is "Eagle Watch Weekend" with activites both at the Starved Rock Lodge and the Illinois Waterway Visitors Center.
Lincoln Park ZooLights
Enter a winter wonderland illuminated by the laughter of children and more than one million lights at Lincoln Park Zoo’s annual ZooLights Presented by ComEd and Charter One. This holiday classic has become one of the Windy City’s must-see seasonal events. Watch live ice carving then escape Jack Frost with an exotic trip past crocodiles, pygmy hippos and meerkats at the Regenstein African Journey. Animal exhibits stay open late as guests roam taking in the lights, music and taking photos with Santa. Prepare holiday crafts and enjoy the zoo’s incredible animals immersed in an atmosphere unlike any other.
Holiday Lights Train
The Holiday Light Train is Pete's biggest event of the year. The park is decorated for the Holidays. See over 250,000 lights in various displays. Giant toy soldiers, candy canes, cascading snow flakes, flying reindeer, and swans swimming, just to name a few of Pete's displays!
The Christkindlmarket is a four-week, open-air market modeled after the famous Nuremberg Christmas market dating back to 1545. The market offers shopping opportunities and serves as a winter wonderland meeting place for family and friends. Plus, enjoy German delicacies like brats, goulash and potato pancakes while you’re there.
Phillips Park Zoo
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.
Christmas Around the World & Holidays of Light
Christmas Around the World began in 1942 as a United Nations Day salute to American allies during the war, is now in its 70th year. The exhibit features more than 60 dazzling trees and displays that are decorated by members of Chicago's ethnic communities to reflect holiday customs from around the world. Holidays of Light showcases various global holidays that celebrate light or enlightenment such as Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and Diwali. Festivities include ethnic dancing and singing, storytellers, and school choir performances.
Pere Marquette Lodge and Conference Center
As a centerpeice of Pere Marquette State Park, the lodge and restaurant are an attraction for visitors from miles around. Visitors can spend a day at the park and explore the Great Room of the lodge, dine in the restaurant or even spend a night in a cozy lodge room or cabin. The centerpeice of the rustic timber 1930s Great Room is the 700 ton stone fireplace and life-size chess set. The Great Rooms beckons visitors to pull up a chair and a glass of wine with a view of the Illinois River. The Lodge restaurant is known for its family-style chicken dinner and season Sunday brunch buffets. Spend the afternoon or a weekend for an unforgettable experience.
Lake Le-Aqua-Na State Park
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.
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.
Bald Eagle Trolley Tours
Be mesmerized by the beautiful bald eagles at Starved Rock. In January and February ride the trolley from Starved Rock Lodge to the Illinois Waterway Visitor Center for bald eagle viewing and an educational program. Includes lunch during the week and brunch on Sunday in the Main Dining Room. Tour options: 9:00am w/tour first & 11:00am w/lunch first, $25 Includes Lunch/Adults; Children under 10/$5 less. January & February Mon, Wed, Sat & Sunday Monday: Tour begins with lunch at 11am Wednesday: Tours begins with lunch at 11am Saturday: 1st tour begins at 9am, ending with lunch 2nd tour begins with lunch at 11am (Please note: There are no tours on January 24th) Sunday: Tour begins with brunch at 11am (Please note: There are no tours on January 25th).
Luthy Botanical Gardens
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.
Funks Grove Pure Maple Sirup
Guided tours offered during February and March that show syrup making by the "Boiling Down" process. Gift store stocked with syrup as well as Route 66 memorabilia.
Japan House offers the public an opportunity to learn about traditional Japanese culture through tea ceremonies, workshops and special events through the year. The beautiful Japan House gardens are open from dawn to dusk for you to stroll through and enjoy. The Japan House closes during the summer. Call for information on tea ceremonies and tours.
Cross-Country Skiing & Snowshoeing at The Morton Arboretum
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.
Ruebel Hotel & Restaurant
Located near the convergence of the Mississippi and Illinois rivers, Grafton, Illinois is a little town steeped in history. In the heart of that history is the Ruebel Hotel. The Ruebel was built in 1884, caught fire in 1912 and was rebuilt and completely renovated in 1997. In 2008, it was upgraded to modern standards - all rooms have new beds and are equipped with hair dryers, refrigerators and 26" flat screen TVs with satellite. To ensure your stay is a pleasant one, we've supplied free wireless internet to the lobby, saloon and all rooms. The Ruebel Hotel has a magnificently restored bar from the 1904 Worlds Fair in St. Louis. The Ruebel Saloon offers excellent food and a great variety of beer and wines.
University of Illinois Arboretum
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.
Christmas with the Lincolns
Where did the Lincoln boys hang their stockings for Santa to fill? What might have been in those stockings? What Christmas goodies were on Lincoln's table? Discover how the Lincolns celebrated he holidays by taking a tour through the Lincoln Home.
Starved Rock State Park - Ice Climbing
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 Fish Market - A Loading Dock Guest House
This upscale cottage was designed with comfort and fun in mind. Perfect for families or singles, the Guest House sleeps up to 6 with one king size bed and four twin size bunks. A full kitchen and large living room makes for a most relaxing stay. Two televisions and wireless internet access keep you in touch. The Guest House is small-pet friendly with a fenced-in side garden.
Ski Snowstar Winter Sports Park
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!.
This landmark development on State St. features first-to-Chicago retailers, signature dining and entertainment venues within a five-story atrium. The center has direct access to the CTA Red and Blue Lines as well as Chicago's extensive pedway system.
Located in the heart of the mid-west in Monroe Center, Illinois, just a 20 minute drive south from Rockford, a quiet, majestic dwelling sits among the trees that seclude Kilbuck Creek from sight of even its closest neighbors. This secluded sanctuary in the wilderness could be the location of your upcoming wedding, family reunion, church or business retreat or romantic getaway.
CITY: Monroe Center
Peoria Civic Center
Downstate Illinois' largest center is a four-building complex with a 12,000-seat arena. With 110,000 square feet of exhibit space, a 2,200-seat theater, a ball-room seating 1,500 for banquets and 16 meeting rooms this venue can house it all. As the premier entertainment facility in downstate Illinois, the Civic Center plays host to a variety of concerts, family shows, sporting events and Broadway Theater Series each year.
Green City Outdoor/Indoor Market
Green City Market is Chicago’s only year-round farmer's market promoting local, sustainable farmers, producers and chefs by connecting them to the public through educational programming and special events. Enjoy the Outdoor market May through October.
Aquin Flea Market
The Aquin Flea Market has been the treasure hunters' favorite for many years. This large indoor flea market is filled with antiques, collectibles, crafts, and books. Open the first Sunday of the month September - May.
Matthiessen State Park - Cross Country Skiing
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.
Bald Eagle Watching in the Cache River Wetlands
The Cache River Wetlands offers great opportunities for eagle watching, as well as spotting other birds. The Cache River Wetland Center provides resource and identification materials to help you spot eagles and other birds in the area and along the rivers. They will provide maps and directions to the viewing station for the nest just off Illinois Route 37 off Perks road and south of the visitor's center.
Jeni J's Guest House
Stroll the streets of Grafton with the great rivers at your doorstep. From a stone terrace overlooking the junction of the Mississippi and Illinois Rivers, Jeni J's offers the choice of 3 cottages with 1, 2 or 3 bedrooms. Built in the early 1800's, the cottages are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Situated between the two cottages, take the time to stop into Jeni J's gift shop for a memento of your trip.
Holiday Magic at Brookfield Zoo
Chicagoland’s largest lights festival surrounds you in the cheer of over 1,000,000 twinkling LED lights, ice carving, light shows, Santa and Mrs. Claus. You’re sure to feel the magic of the holidays! Saturdays and Sundays, December 6-7, 13-14, 20-21 Friday to Wednesday, December 26-31 See the Lights. Feel the Magic. Continue the Tradition.
Raging Buffalo Snowboard Park
World's first exclusive snowboard area, USASA regional event location, state of the art snowmaking system.
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.
Comfort, convenience and beautiful surroundings await you in this 1870's guest house located in the historic Christian Hill District. Enjoy private one or two bedroom units with secluded brick courtyards and cozy gas fireplaces. Located on State Street, the Haagen Haus is within walking distance to downtown shops, restaurants, the scenic byway, biking and walking trails, and the Argosy Casino.
Bald Eagle Bus Tour
Guided, four-hour tours of bald eagle, wintering communities. View and learn about the bald eagle's habits, life history, preservation efforts and threats to its future. Reservations required. Bus departs from Stoney Creek Inn.
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.
Chicago French Market
Come visit Chicago's first and only year-round, indoor marketplace providing you with permanent, convenient and personal access to local artisans and purveyors.Featuring nearly 30 individual specialty vendors, Chicago French Market offers fresh ingredients for cooking at home, delicious grab-and-go options for breakfast, lunch and dinner, light snacks, picnics, easy party planning for home and office settings, plus meaningful gift ideas, all in one convenient location.
Historic Town Square & Downtown Carbondale
Twenty-five historic buildings ring Carbondale's nostalgic Town Square. When Daniel Harmon Brush, Carbondale's founding father, filed the original 56-acre plat of Carbondale in 1852, almost 10 acres were left open in the center of town. Today you can shop charming locally owned boutiques here, ranging from bike shops to furniture stores.
Frank Lloyd Wright's B. Harley Bradley House
The B. Harley Bradley House Designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1900 The B. Harley Bradley House in Kankakee, Illinois, is widely acknowledged as Wright's first Prairie Style design. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places individually and as part of the Riverview Historic District. Following an extensive restoration, the Bradley House now enjoys the opportunity to be appreciated by architecture fans from around the world. This Prairie Style house was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright along with its neighboring home. The houses are acknowledged by the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy as Wright's first house designs that ushered in Wright's Prairie Style. The B. Harley Bradley House is open for 1 hour tours.
Aerie's Cottages & Vacation Villas
At Aerie's, the individual Cottages include jaccuzzi tubs, kitchenettes and private decks. The Lodge, perfect for family gatherings includes a common room, full kitchen and a deck shared by four ensuite rooms. The Vacation Villas offer multiple arrangements and include private deck space with access to the swimming pool and clubhouse. Free Wi-fi.
Beall Mansion - An Elegant Bed & Breakfast Inn
Indulge yourself at the Beall Mansion, a sumptuous Bed and Breakfast Inn located 12 blocks from the Mississippi River. Designed by Lucas Pfeiffenberger and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, this elegant mansion features 18 ionic columns, eleven and a half foot ceilings, crystal chandeliers and marble and bronze statuary throughout. Let us pamper you with sumptuous feather beds, whirlpools for two, 24 hour "all you can eat" chocolate buffet, and optional gourmet breakfast in bed. Free Wi-fi. In room massage, spa, golf and corporate packages available.
Warrenville Holly Days
Holly Days, sponsored by the Warrenville Park District is the City's annual holiday celebration that marks Santa's official entry into Warrenville. Guests can enjoy a warm bonfire, raffles, free horse and carriage rides, hot cider and cookies, and, of course, a visit with Santa. Local Park District and school dance troops, singers, and bands entertain attendees during the event. It is at this event that Warrenville officially turns on its holiday lights creating an array of colors for passersby along Route 56 to see. Holly Days, primarily for Warrenville residents, gives the community an opportunity to come together and kick off the holiday season.
Lena Lions Park
Lions Park, at over 20 acres, features Splash Land Family Aquatic Center with a 180' waterslide, 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. Quench your thirst and your appetite at the Splash Land Food Court. 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.
Famous Fossil Vineyard & Winery
Taste soft reds, crisp whites and luscious fruit wines all make at the winery using the best of Illinois grapes. Watch wine being made and then relax and enjoy a glass of wine in the tasting room or on the deck overlooking the vineyard. The Sweet & Savory Plate of meats, cheeses, fruits and chocolate is available daily for a light lunch or snack. Special events are held throughout the year including vineyard tours, festivals and wine & food pairings and a small private room is available for showers, parties & meetings. To learn more about Famous Fossil wines or upcoming events, visit our website. Open: June thru December: daily: 11 am - 6 pm; January thru May: Wednesday thru Saturday: 11 am - 6 pm; Sunday: Noon - 5 pm.
Gallery of Trees
Throughout the Kankakee County Museum, Christmas trees are decorated by community organizations. Yearly, a special theme is added for your enjoyment. Come in and view the different arrangements and vote for that special tree.
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.
Cabin at Blueberry Ridge Farm
Wonderful getaway, with walking trails, wildlife and excellent bird watching opportunities. The house sleeps six and includes a fully equipped kitchen.
Walnut Point State Park
State park with hunting, fishing, camping, hiking and picnicking. Concession stand and boat rental available.
Jackson House - Alton
Jackson House offers a Victorian elegance in the main house, or secluded luxury in a guest house. Sink into a king-sized bed in the spacious master bedroom or snuggle under a quilt in the atmospheric Fireplace room. After slumbering in the loft of The Barn, enjoy the woodland landscape while lounging on the enclosed porch. In The Cave, a cozy earth house, you might bask in the glow of the fireplace, or in the summer, relax on the romantic patio.
A Christmas Carol
Charles Dickens’ timeless tale of hope and redemption comes to life in an enchanting 36th anniversary production that promises more magic and merriment than ever before. Join us as we celebrate three and a half decades of the beloved holiday tradition, and experience the electrifying arrival of the ghosts, the jubilant musical numbers, the “Bah Humbugs” and Scrooge’s joyful discovery of life and love.
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.
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.
Matthiessen State Park
Enjoy hiking, cross-country skiing and more in this state park known for its waterfalls, bluffs and canyons.
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.
Begin your holiday celebration escaping from the chaos of the season and experiencing the enchantment of Christmas at the "Christmas Wonderland" holiday light display. The "Grandpa Gang" has been at it again transforming Rock Springs Park in Alton, Illinois into a Winter Wonderland. Visitors can drive through the park to view more than 2 million lights, cascading waterfalls of lights, lighted trees and displays, and visit Santa Claus in the Enchanted Forest. Christmas Wonderland 2009 will be open from November 27th through December 27th. The suggested donation is $7 for cars and small vans or $1 per person for vehicles holding more than 10 people. Carriage rides will be available first come first serve on weekends. For more information about Christmas Wonderland, call 1-800-258-6645.
Centrally located in Grafton with two suites available. Each suite has a wet bar with a refrigerator, microwave and coffee pot. A large sitting area with a TV, DVD player and a full size sofa. The bedroom has a queen size bed and fireplace. The bathroom has a shower, a large make-up vanity and features the Bain Ultra air jetted tub for two. Making it perfect for the special couples getaway!
Way of Lights
This unique celebration of Christmas features a drive through light display, tree and wreath displays, an interactive children's village, camel rides and an indoor laser show. With over one million lights, this event celebrates Christmas in all it's glory.
19th Century Christmas at Deere-Wiman House & Butterworth Center
Don't miss these two beautifully decorated Deere family mansions during the holiday season. The 19th Century Christmas features the interiors of the homes decorated for the holidays; along with living-history volunteers, Choir performances, Santa Claus, music, and make-and-take activities for the children. These homes once belonged to the John Deere family and are now operated by the William Butterworth Memorial Trust. Open noon to 5 p.m. Free admission.
The Riverside Cottage - A Loading Dock Guest House
Relax in this riverfront cottage located a block from Main Street in downtown Grafton. This unique, art-filled guest house is just a stone's throw from the Mississippi River. The flower-filled back deck faces the river and the historic Boatworks building, which houses the monthly Riverside Flea Market. A restful atmosphere and overstuffed comfy furniture will entice you to read by the fireplace or paint a picture at the artist's easel. A full kitchen allows for snacks of cooking in style. This cottage is designed for two. Free Wi-fi.
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.
Lighting on John Deere Commons
Come and experience the sights and sounds of the holiday during the Lighting of John Deere Commons in downtown Moline. Meet Mr. & Mrs. Claus, take a carriage ride and watch the fireworks during this holiday celebration centered around the famous John Deere Pavilion.
MB Financial Park at Rosemont
MB Financial Park at Rosemont, the new entertainment district, features lively bars and restaurants with live music, casual dining, bowling, and outdoor patios. A seasonal courtyard is in the center of it all- perfect for farmers markets, movies under the stars, music festivals & ice skating. MB Financial Park at Rosemont is only a block from the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center and is anchored by Muvico 18- Movie Theater, a number of hotels and the vibrant Rosemont Theatre.
Steve's Segway Tours
Explore Chicago's lakefront, museums and Millennium Park on a three-hour Segway tour led by guides all year round.
Winter WonderFest at Navy Pier
Everyone’s favorite winter extravaganza returns to Navy Pier – Winter WonderFest presented by Bank of America! ‘Tis the season to have too much fun inside a 170,000 square foot festive holiday playground. Entertainment for the entire family includes indoor ice skating, rides, attractions, an indoor Ferris wheel and so much more. Bring your family for fun and excitement at the 12th annual Winter WonderFest by Bank of America at Navy Pier!
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.
CITY: Alto Pass
Located in a historic downtown Alton building, these suites are private, secure and first class in a quiet, relaxing atmosphere. Fully furnished one and two bedroom units. Kitchen, VCR, digital cable, washer and dryer, free local calls. Located within walking distance to local restaurants, clubs and shopping.
Lucy Mae's Guest House
Built at the dawn of the 20th century this two-story home retains its turn of the century charm while offering the convenience of modern pleasures and comfort. The home offers 2 units, upstairs & downstairs with an adjoining stairway that can be opened for large groups.
Miss Emily's Cathouse
Miss Emily's is a new gastropub located downtown in Marion Illinois. We serve lunch, dinner as well as craft beers, fine liquors and mixed drinks. The décor is designed to have a burlesque/speakeasy feel with lots of brass and hardwood throughout.
Cedarhurst Center for the Arts & Mitchell Museum
Exhibitions, a children's gallery, a permanent collection and special events. Grounds include 85 acres sculpture park, nature trails and bird sanctuary. Hosts annual Cedarhurst Craft Fair.
CITY: Mount Vernon
Alton Museum of History and Art
Winged monsters, explorers, riverboats and a gentle giant. The Alton Museum of History & Art shows the crossroads of American history in Alton. The museum is located in the historic Loomis Hall across from the Wadlow statue. Loomis Hall is the oldest building in the state of Illinois continuously utilized for education. One of the most popular rooms, the Wadlow Room, pays tribute to Alton's "Gentle Giant" and the World's Tallest Man. The Pioneer Room explores the history of Alton from the Lewis & Clark Expedition to the Civil War with exhibits on Elijah Lovejoy, the Lincoln-Douglas Debates and the "Alton Route" on the Underground Railroad. Hours: Wednesday - Saturday 10 a.m. - 4 p.m., Sunday 1 - 4 p.m.
Shoal Creek Nature Preserve
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.
Du Quoin Annual Holiday Lights Fair
Starting the day after Thanksgiving and continuing through the month of December. Come experience Du Quoin Tourism’s transformation of the Du Quoin State Fairgrounds into a magical place with lights and decorations. The event features a 1 1/2-mile drive through over $250,000 worth of lighted displays as well as decorated trees, entertainment, food, crafts and visits with Santa in the Expo Hall. The light trail opens nightly from 5:30 – 9:30 p.m., and the Expo Hall will be open on the second and third weekends in December from 5:30 — 9:30 p.m. The Expo Hall features Santa’s train ride and Santa’s Workshop.
CITY: Du Quoin
Peace of Earth Lodge
Peace of Earth (an eco-friendly lodging experience) offers you the chance to relax and enjoy nature in a comfortable homey atmosphere in all seasons of the year. Guest rooms, cabins, and the ever-popular Tree House include queen-sized beds and a sitting/ reading area. All our lodging accommodations are television, telephone and internet free. Our great room in the Lodge includes a common area and dining room, both of which feature amazing wildlife viewing through the south-facing forty-foot-long window wall. Cedar decks wrap the Lodge and offer tree-top dining or relaxing. Take Highway 24 north of Rushville Middle School to Route 4 (Ray Road). Lodge is mailbox 41 on Ray Road.
Sculpture on the Avenue
Come explore the sculptures that have transformed the City of Effingham's avenues into an art gallery. Over 30 sculptures created by some of the Midwest's best known and unknown sculptors bring life to the streets of Effingham as part of the annual "Sculptures on the Avenues" outdoor exhibition. Sculptures on the Avenues is a self-guided walking tour that begins at City Hall, located at 201 E. Jefferson Ave. From there, the exhibition winds in and out of Downtown Effingham. An informative guide, which facilitates a walking tour, is available at the Effingham Visitors Center or City Hall.
Northern Illinois University
Come tour the Northern Illinois University, catch a show preformed by their Theatre or Dance department, or explore one of their Art Galleries. There is much to do on campus including their new Anthropology Museum, an Observatory, the Huskies Den or take in a game! Their Museums are free to visit, some fees may apply for shows or School of Music Concerts. There is never a dull moment on campus!
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.
Kankakee County Museum
The Kankakee County Museum is the home of the Kankakee County Historical Society. Founded in 1906, it is the oldest incorporated local historical society in Illinois. The Main Museum Building contains seven permanent and temporary exhibit galleries, the Museum Store, the Museum's Archival Research Library, the Museum's offices, and support facilities. The Museum Complex also encompasses the historic 1855 Dr. A. L. Small House, the 1904 Taylor One-Room Schoolhouse, Column Garden and Outdoor Exhibit Area. The museum boasts more than 85,000 artifacts in addition to 20,000 still images in the photo collection.
Friends Forever Humane Society Dog Park
Take your dog to this special 10 acre fenced dog park with a pond (for dog swimming ony). The park also offers a separate fenced area for small dogs and a dog agility equipment area. Fee is $5.00 per dog per day. Open: Every day dawn to dusk.
Holiday Lights at Bunker Hill
Historic buildings at Kennekuk County Park's "Bunker Hill Historic Area" will be lit for the occasion and decorated for the holidays. Continuing throughout the holiday season, the holiday lights will be displayed weekends from 5-8 p.m.
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.
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 LaMarsh House
Stay at one of the oldest guest houses in Grafton! This guest house boasts historic charm and modern amenities. Located in the center of downtown Grafton, it's within easy walking distance to restaurants, shops, wineries, and the riverfront.