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Christmas at the Mansions Tour
Travel back in time to the late 1800s and early 1900s and experience a traditional Victorian and Edwardian Christmas! Tour Ewing Manor, the David Davis Mansion and a Mystery Mansion in Bloomington-Normal and take in the architecture and history of these homes while they are decorated for Christmas. Tours will be at: 2 pm – 5 pm and 5 pm – 8 pm
Maple Syrup Time
For 4 weekends in February and early March, you're invited to walk with us into the Garden's sugar bush as we tap our maples. Help us collect the sap as it flows from the trees and cook it down to pure maple syrup. A great way to shake the winter blues!
Winter Chocolate Walk
Bring your sweet heart or just your sweet tooth to Discover Sycamore’s Winter Chocolate Walk. Enjoy the best of our downtown shops while sampling a vast array of fine chocolate desserts. Enjoy hot chocolate, chocolate covered candy canes, chocolate martinis, homemade chocolate marshmallows, chocolate donuts, chocolate dipped mini cones and much more! Shopping doesn’t get much sweeter than this! The Chocolate Walk will begin at Blumen Gardens at 5pm. You will receive a Chocolate Walk guide listing all participating businesses. Stop at each location and get your card signed when you taste a chocolaty treat. Be sure to make as many stops on the walk as you can – when your card is full – drop your card off with your name and phone number into the bag at your final location. The winner will be drawn from the names of those entered that made the most stops on the walk. We are featuring several wonderful raffle baskets this year.
Holiday Open House at the Sycamore History Museum
Sycamore History Museum says “Thank you” to its supporters Saturday, December 5th during their Annual Holiday Open House. This free event is fun for everyone who loves the holidays. Enjoy festive music, drink hot chocolate, take home a craft activity, and decorate sugar cookies. The museum will also be open for tours led by the Junior Docents.
Wonderland Express is one of the Chicago area’s top holiday “must-sees,” and a family-friendly, made-for-memories experience. Bring the smartphones and video cameras, as our holiday exhibition delights children and parents, friends and families. Kids, look for Thomas the Tank Engine! New this year: A focus on landmark history, plus the Maggie Daley Ice Ribbon, Glencoe's Writers' Theater, Chicago "El" trains, and both Spike and Alice the Amorphophallus join Wonderland Express! Join Landmark Illinois' Bonnie McDonald for narrated tours of the history and architecture of Chicago's landmarks. Kids' tours, too!
Allerton Mansion Holiday Open House
Get into the holiday spirit at the Allerton Mansion Holiday Open House. The mansion will be festively decorated for all to see! The weekend will include tours of the mansion, live music, horse and carriage rides and decor from preferred business owners. Bring your last minute shopping list!
Wright Plus: The Great American Housewalk
Join us for the annual Wright Plus, the internationally renowned Great American Housewalk. The 2016 theme, Wright and His Studio, features rare interior tours of private buildings designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and the architects and designers who worked in Wright’s Oak Park Studio. Your Wright Plus ticket also includes entry to landmark Wright buildings. Celebrate architecture, design, Frank Lloyd Wright’s innovative vision and the talents of his fellow architects in historic Oak Park and River Forest, Illinois. Experience extraordinary living spaces and share an enjoyable day with visitors from around the world.
Ellwood House Holiday Traditions Tours
Enjoy a holiday open house and tours of the beautifully decorated Ellwood House Mansion. Every November, the Ellwood Museum partners with area businesses, community sponsors, and volunteers to decorate the mansion room-by-room on all four floors. From November 15-29, (closed Mondays and Thanksgiving) our guided holiday tours give visitors the opportunity to see the mansion in a new light. See our VISIT page for hours and information. At the end of our touring season, we open the doors for a three-day Holiday Open House weekend. Visitors may purchase tickets in the Visitor Center (or online) and present their tickets at the front door of the mansion. Upon entering the decorated mansion, volunteers will be stationed in each room, presenting the history of the Ellwood House and sharing information about the two generations of Ellwood family members who called Ellwood House home.
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.
Christmas Home Tours
Visit Historic Golconda and tour 4 homes, a church and the local museum. Christmas in the courtyard begins at 5:30 pm with refreshments and, at 6:00, a live Nativity Scene and caroling around a huge bonfire on the Court House lawn in downtown Golconda, Santa arrives on the fire truck at 6:30.
Luminary Night On Stephenson and Lincoln Streets
Enjoy the beauty of the soft light of luminaries and the architecture of these historic homes as you stroll this lovely residential neighborhood. Also, enjoy hot cocoa and cookies. Stephenson Street and Lincoln Boulevard from West Street to Park Boulevard.
Chicago Food Tours - Tours By Foot
Like their neighborhood history tours, the Chicago food tours have no upfront costs. All food is chosen and ordered by you. Their guides make recommendations and facilitate ordering, but you have the final say. You choose your own food and pay for it directly. They have planned in 4-5 food shops, including a dessert shop, and sometimes even a tea shop. Each establishment serves up incredibly delicious and inexpensive food served in portions that can be easily divided and shared or singularly devoured. In between the food stops, you’ll have time to digest your food as well as digest the history of the neighborhood, as told to you by one of their entertaining and knowledgeable guides.
A Big Ten school and one of the leading universities in the U.S. Its Evanston campus is on the shores of beautiful Lake Michigan. Founded in 1851, this renowned educational institution is rich in stunning architecture. More than 150 historically significant and interesting sites on campus are featured in various walking tours, each taking approximately 30 minutes to complete. Highlights include the Arch, University Hall and the Arts Circle.
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.
Tours By Foot
Free Tours by Foot is pleased to present the only pay-what-you-like Chicago walking tours. These interesting and informative sightseeing tours will take you through many of the Windy City’s most famous neighborhoods. They’re one of the best things to do on your visit. They offer walking, food, architecture and bike tours. Come experience their Chicago walking tours.
Teutopolis Monastery Museum
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.
Franklin Creek Grist Mill & Interpretive Center
This four-story, reconstructed 1847 grist mill features a four-ton waterwheel and displays of 1800s milling equipment.
Frye Pottery is located in a beautiful country setting. The Frye's have been professional potters for nearly thirty years. They have made award winning ceramic art as well as functional stoneware pottery designed for everyday use. Frye Pottery also has a sculpture garden for visitors to enjoy.
Downtown Crystal Lake/Main Street
Visit our award-winning Premier Main Street which is full of charming shops, delightful restaurants, quality entertainments and life-enhancing opportunities and events.
Carmelite Campus National Shrine of St. Therese
The National Shrine of St. Therese is a Roman Catholic shrine, chapel, and museum dedicated to St. Therese of Lisieux. The Shrine is home to the most wonderful collection of relics, personal effects and memorabilia of Therese outside of France. The Shrine chapel celebrates Mass every weekday at 11:30 am. Tours are available for groups of 20 or more, including a private tour of an exact replica of St. Therese's monastery cell in France. The shrine sits peacefully on a 50-acre estate owned and operated by the Carmelites of the Most Pure Heart of Mary. Adjacent to the Shrine is the Carmelite Spiritual Center, offering meeting room rental, lodging, meals and spiritual retreats as well as organized Shrine tours.
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.
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.
Schurmeier Teaching Forest
Two miles of beginner and intermediate hiking trails, educational signage teaches about tree and forestry practices. This forest is the perfect place to spend the day. Horses welcome!
Oak Park Visitors Center Walking Tour
This PDA guided tour will show you the evolution of architecture in Oak Park, from the Victorian period through to Prairie School and the 1930s Art Deco period. Hear the reflections of the famous people who walked these streets and nurtured their creativity in Oak Park.
River Forest Methodist Church
First stop of the Frank Lloyd Wright Preservation Trusts' River Forest Walking Tour.
Starved Rock Walkers Club
Join the fun on our weekly, guided hikes! Explore Starved Rock State Park, Matthiessen State Park, the I & M Canal and a nearby Nature Preserve. Every Thursday morning, year round, the Starved Rock Walkers Club meets in the lobby of the Lodge and departs at 9:00 am. Hikes last between 2 and 3 hours, depending on the destination. The hikes vary each week and over a 4-month period, the group will see the entire park. Make some new friends and learn about wildlife, wildflowers and more. This event is free and open to the public. Please note: We will not hike on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve or New Year’s Eve. Time: 9:00 am - 12:00 pm Every Thursday (year round).
Center Children's Farm
Experience life down on the farm during guided family tours, or take a hike on the peaceful nature trail.
Mt. Carroll Walking Tour
Take a self-guided walking tour through Mt. Carroll's historic district, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Effingham County Courthouse
The courthouse was built in 1871 after Effingham was named the county seat. The courhouse retains a pristine exterior and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It also features a museum inside. The museum displays two rooms devoted to the military, which gets changed throughout the year. It also has a room dedicated to the railroads in Effingham County. The Effingham County Courthouse is open Tuesday and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Joliet Prison Park
Once you arrive, a huge steel and barbed wire entry sign will beckon you into a park unlike any other. Information kiosks on site offer an insight into the prison’s past and inmate history, as well as the famous films that have been shot here.
Naperville Bites and Sites
Enjoy a culinary and cultural walking experience through Naperville's historic neighborhood. One delicious taste at a time! Sample some great food and drink tastings from family run restaurants and shops. Along the way you will discover beautiful downtown Naperville, the Riverwalk and fun facts on the rich history that makes Naperville amazing.
Walldog Walking Tour
Walldog sign and mural artists trace their trade back to the signpainters of old who painted advertisements on walls in communities all over the country. They worked like dogs in the hot sun and thus came to be known as "wall dogs". Walldog artists traveled from all over the world to paint the murals in Downtown Danville in 2010 which depict the history and culture of the area. Guided tours can be scheduled through the Danville Area Convention and Visitors' Bureau.
Kewanee Lighted Parade and Windmont Park Lighting
View Kewanee’s magical wonderland of vivid colors and whimsical lights celebrating the spirit of the Christmas season. Open daily 5 p.m. – 10 p.m. through New Years Day.
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.
6th Annual Downtown Celebration
Plan to be part of the Downtown Celebration, a festive day of music, food and fun in the heart of Historic Downtown Jacksonville.
Embark on a three-hour walking tour that's an unforgettable food adventure, offering the traditional tastes of Chicago.
Joliet Mosaic Walking Tour
Take a self-guided walking tour of the magnificent murals, sculptures and mosaics found throughout Joliet's city center.
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.
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.
The Ragdale Foundation
Art, architecture, and garden tours of Howard Van Doren Shaw's summer retreat. The house and gardens, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places among examples of the Arts and Crafts movement in the country. It house 12 artists at a time.
General Grant Walking Tour
Whether you are a history buff or someone who is just looking for insight behind the makeup of Galena, join in an one-hour walking tour with Galena's own General Ulysses S. Grant on Main Street in downtown Galena. Periodically, his fellow eight Civil War generals make an appearance. Be on the lookout!
Chicago Photo Safaris
A professional photographer takes visitors to a landmark Chicago destination while giving tips on composition, lighting and exposure. These sessions are for photographers of any skill level with any kind of camera, digital or film.
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.
Riverside Walking Tours
Take a walk through Riverside's history by spending the afternoon with the Frederick Law Olmsted Society, your guide to learning more about the village's unique community and landscape design. Riverside was designed in 1869 by famous landscape architects Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux.
Constructed in 1857 as the southern division of the Illinois State Supreme Court, Abraham Lincoln successfully argued a famous tax case in 1859. In 1888, Clara Barton used the building as a hospital. Tours are available. Please call in advance.
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.
Walking Tour of Historic Riverside
The Frederick Law Olmsted Society is pleased to offer great opportunities to learn about our historic landmark village. Discover the winding roads, delightful parks, beautiful landscapes, varied architecture and much more!
Northwestern University Walking Tours
Founded in 1851, Northwestern University is a renowned educational institution rich in history and architecture. More than 150 historically significant and interesting sites on campus are featured in various 30-minute walking tours.
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.
Sweet Autumn Clematis Festival
See and smell hundreds of feet of walls covered in Autumn Clematis; followed by punch served in Luther Hall. The event runs from 10:00am- 5:00pm.
Andersonville & Edgewater: Chicago Neighborhood Tours
Discover the gay-friendly shops and restaurants of Andersonville, then head to Edgewater to see Art Deco and Tudor Revival architecture in the Bryn Mawr Historic District. Tours depart from the Chicago Cultural Center.
MetroWalkz Self-Guided Walking Tours
Discover Chicago at your pace, on your schedule! Explore the city’s most popular destinations with MetroWalkz Self-Guided Walking Tours. Designed specifically for your mobile device, each of our FREE, fun and informative tours contain easy-to-use maps and insider narratives, making sightseeing a breeze. Current tours include The Magnificent Mile, Loop Architecture, Millennium Park, Navy Pier, Museum Campus, Grant Park, Chinatown, Old Town, Gold Coast and the West Loop. Chicago is known as a city of neighborhoods, and it is best seen on foot. To take our FREE self-guided walking tours, just open your mobile browser and go to www.evisitorguide.com/chicago, then “Tours” > “MetroWalkz”. To get the most out of your Chicago visit, use eVisitorGuide’s other features including information on museums, attractions, dining, nightlife, shopping, theater and much more. With eVisitorGuide and MetroWalkz, everything you need to discover Chicago is in the palm of your hand!
Clayville Historic Site
The centerpiece of Clayville is the Broadwell Inn, the oldest brick building in Sangamon County, built in 1824 by the Broadwell family as a stage coach stop between Springfield and Beardstown. The Inn is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It is surrounded by numerous other historic buildings from Central Illinois moved to Clayville in the 1960s to recreate an early frontier pioneer village. Come see a unique piece of Illinois history.
Watson Adventure Scavenger Hunts
Explore museums, historic neighborhoods and more while hunting for answers to tricky, humorous questions. Monthly hunts are offered for the public and private groups.
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.
Frank Lloyd Wright Home & Studio
This landmark structure in suburban Oak Park served as Wright's private residence and studio from 1889 to 1909—the first 20 years of his career. Wright used his home as an architectural laboratory, trying out design concepts before sharing them with clients. With 25 Wright-designed buildings in the neighborhood surrounding the Home & Studio, Oak Park is an outdoor museum of architecture.
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.
Kennekuk County Park
The 3000 acre park includes a seven mile backpack trail among its 15 miles of trail system. Boats and canoes are available for rental in season, and seven lakes are available for fishing. Hunting of pheasant, rabbit, squirrel, dove, waterfowl, goose, mushrooms, turkey, and deer is permitted (Illinois and Vermilion County Conservation District regulations apply).
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.
TREC Recreation Trails
The TREC trail system is a public trail designed to create recreational opportunities. The trails provide a great place for visitors to exercise, whether its walking, riding bikes, or roller blading. The mission is to develop a countrywide, multi-use trail system, educate the communities on the benefits of the trails, and promote an active lifestyle by providing recreational activities.
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.
Rosiclare River Walk
Located in Rosiclare City Park, the River Walk offers great views of the Ohio River. The walk is handicapped accessible with benches for those who want to rest and enjoy the view.
Sleepy Creek Vineyards
Sleepy Creek Vineyards offers more than just great wine. Experience live entertainment, unique shopping, and tastings from local farms. Group tours of the vineyards can be scheduled, and rental space is available for special events including business meetings, parties, and weddings.
Ludwig Farmstead Creamery
Guests can tour the farm, watch how several types of cheese are made and sample some of Ludwig's products for just $5.00. Tours can be scheduled for groups of 10 or more throughout the week or on Saturdays for groups of less than ten or individuals. The Creamery sits on Feathercreek Farm, a 150-acre, fifth-generation family farm originally settled in 1866. The Ludwig family's primary business is the care and breeding of high pedigree, purebred Holstein dairy cattle.
Illumination: Tree Lights at the Morton Arboretum
Declared a "must-see destination" by the Chicago Tribune, Illumination: Tree Lights at The Morton Arboretum returns this November with more lights, sights and sounds that will transform a Chicago-area wintertime walk in the woods into a colorful, inspiring experience like no other. Brand new experiences in 2015 include dazzling lighting effects on Meadow Lake, and Ornament Hill, where a series of glowing orbs create a glittering vista. Visitors can also take in new effects — sing to the trees to activate LED lights that rain down from the trees like shiny strands of tinsel and watch as lights dance, synchronized to updated music from the world-renowned Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
Galena Main Street Walking Tours with General Grant
Partake in an one-hour tour with one of Galena's most notable citizens, General Ulysses S. Grant, and explore the historic highlights of this award-winning Main Street. The tour also features the 'Field of Dreams' movie locations that were captured in downtown Galena. Reservations are not required to join in the tour.
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.
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.
Chicago Chocolate Tours
Take a fun, educational guided walking and tasting tour of select chocolate shops along the Magnificent Mile or in the Loop. Learn about the history of chocolate and sample chocolate delights on this tasty tour
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.
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
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.
Chicago Greeter Service
Explore Chicago with a friendly, knowledgeable Chicago Greeter as your guide! Visitors can register for a free 2-4 hour guided walking tour of a neighborhood or special local interest of their choice. This free service matches an individual, family or small group of friends with one of over 200 enthusiastic volunteer Greeters who love sharing their expertise and passion about the city and all there is to see and do here. For more information, visit http://www.explorechicago.org/city/en/things_see_do/tours/tourism/chicago_greeter_tours.html.
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.
Take a Hike & a Lunch - Starved Rock Canyons
Join us for a guided hike from the Lodge to LaSalle and Tonti Canyons. Participants meet in the hotel main lobby of the Lodge to pick up a lunch and a “Starved Rock” backpack. Hikers will stop for lunch once they reach a Canyon. The tour concludes at the Lodge about 2:00pm. Please dress for the weather and wear appropriate footwear. Hike will be around 4.5 miles round trip. This hike is classified as strenuous. Lunch includes: your choice of turkey, ham or PB&J, bag of chips, homemade granola bar, piece of fruit and a bottle of water. Advanced reservations are required as space is limited. For more information or to book, call 815-220-7386 Saturday hikes will go to LaSalle Canyon. Depart from Lodge and hikers will stop for lunch once they reach LaSalle Canyon. After lunch, the hike continues to Eagle Cliff and Lover’s Leap. The tour concludes at the Lodge around 2:30 pm. Sunday hikes will go to St. Louis Canyon. The hike will depart from the Lodge and go to the top of Starved Rock then hike to Aurora Canyon. After Aurora Canyon, hikers will go to St. Louis Canyon and stop for lunch. After lunch, the hike continues back to the Lodge and ends around 2:30 pm. Saturday & Sundays through November, 11am-2pm. $17 per person.
Lincoln: History to Hollywood
“Lincoln: History to Hollywood,” an exhibition of sets, costumes and props from the Steven Spielberg’s Academy Award-winning film “Lincoln,” has opened at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum complex, located in downtown Springfield, Illinois. Items of note in the exhibit include Lincoln’s office set, a vignette of Mary Lincoln’s bedroom, Lincoln’s gloves, Tad Lincoln’s tin soldiers, and the rocking chair where President Lincoln sat with Tad. Most of the furniture pieces in the exhibit are antiques from the Civil War era, not reproductions. The exhibits are on long-term loan from Spielberg and DreamWorks Studio. The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum features more than 40,000 square feet of galleries, theatres and historic displays that takes visitors on a journey from Lincoln’s humble beginnings through his Presidency. The “Lincoln: History to Hollywood” exhibit will be located in Union Station, across the street from the presidential museum.
Chicago Food Planet Tours
Take the 3-hour food tasting and cultural walking Chicago tours, which combine delicious food and drink tastings with some serious fun in Chicago’s most delicious, off-the-beaten-path neighborhoods. Suitable for all age groups and fitness levels, you’ll experience delectable foods from one-of-a-kind specialty food stores and ethnic eateries while receiving an insiders view into the culture, history and architecture that defines the Windy City. Walk away with new culinary perspectives, big smiles, satisfied taste buds and the confidence to continue exploring the areas where locals live.
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.
August Hill Winery
Visit the August Hill Winery & Illinois Sparkling Co. tasting room and experience locally-made handcrafted wines. Wine tastings and flights, wine gifts & accessories, gallery of local art, outdoor patio, private events.
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.
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.
Chicago Architecture Foundation
Experience Chicago's world renowned architecture with one of 80+ different tours offered by The Chicago Architecture Foundation (CAF). Explore by boat, foot, bus, bicycle or Segway, and choose from tours such as the Devil in the White City tour, Lights, Camera, Architecture! Tour, the Daniel Burnham Tour and many others. Interested in the boat tour? Only the Chicago Architecture Foundation and Chicago's First Lady Cruises can showcase Chicago's world renowned city architecture with style, class and comfort. Learn more at www.cruisechicago.com. Also offered: FREE exhibitions, programs and workshops, youth education, family programs and an architecture and design-themed retail store. Private tours and group tour rates available. Open daily 9:30-5:00.
DeSoto House Hotel
Stay the night at the DeSoto House Hotel on Galena’s Main Street, which dates back to 1855 and is Illinois’ oldest operating hotel. The DeSoto has hosted such notable guests as Abraham Lincoln (who spoke from a hotel balcony to the assembled crowd below) and served as the presidential campaign headquarters for Ulysses S. Grant. The hotel features 55 Victorian-style guest rooms, three restaurants and boutiques.
David Davis Mansion
The David Davis Mansion was the home of Judge David Davis, the friend, mentor and campaign manager for Abraham Lincoln. The elegant 36-room Victorian home tells the story of the generation that led the United States through the Civil War and early years of Reconstruction. Take a tour of the lavishly decorated mansion, where you’ll learn about the important friendship between Davis and Lincoln, and get a peek at what life was like for a wealthy Victorian-era family.
Chicago Pedway Tour
The Chicago Pedway Tour will lead you through the Pedway, the backdrop for an amusing and enlightening tour of some of the hot-spots (or a least warm-spots) of downtown Chicago. The tour focuses on interesting anecdotes and tales about some of the great buildings downtown, but it’s also a study of the city underneath the city. The Pedway is a strange and wonderful place and adds so much to the city’s personality. These are great tours for Chicagoans who want to learn more about the city and for tourists who want a full Chicago experience without ever going outside. The tour is 90 minutes and is $20. Monday/Thursday/Saturday at 10:30 am. Please note: the start location for the Monday and Thursday tour is at 40 W. Lake St. in the “Gallery of Shops.” The start location for the Saturday tour is at start at Block 37 – 108 N. State St.
This 500-acre park offers vast formal gardens, picnic grounds, a top-ranked public golf course and two museums: Robert R. McCormick Museum and First Division Museum. Enjoy a wide variety of programs and events throughout the year, such as festivals, lectures, concerts and workshops.
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.