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This privately owned museum houses forty-two John Deere farm implements manufactured in the late 1920's through 1940. Showcased is a 1936 Model B John Deere Tractor, fully restored. The Ag Museum also features an antique horse equipment collection and period farm house furnishings, as well as equipment and hand tools found on a 1930's farmstead. All free of charge, open by appointment, located on the northern edge of Quincy.
Above and Beyond offers guests the opportunity to explore innovations in aviation and aerospace, from the first powered flights to space travel, through hands-on experiences and virtual simulations. In Above and Beyond, guests can learn about the scientific principles that allow us to fly and explore farther through exhibition features such as a group flying experience with motion-sensing technology that simulates the flight of a bird in a flock; a simulated space elevator that transports guests to the edge of space; a virtual design challenge that allows guests to create and race their own supersonic fighter-jet against other pilots; and more. Throughout Above and Beyond, guests explore the scientific concepts behind flight and learn how humans continue to discover innovative ways to fly faster and higher, challenging the limits of both our world and outer space.
Has electronic audio narrated dioramas that depict Abe the railsplitter, the self-taught scholar, the story teller, the lawyer and the politician.
This museum is one of the most-visited presidential museums in the nation where visitors can experience the entire Lincoln story under one roof, from Abe's humble beginnings in an Indiana log cabin to his days as president in the White House. Be dazzled by two special effects theaters featuring historical ghosts and a Civil War battlefield, life-like vignettes that depict important moments in the president’s life, and artifacts that range from Lincoln’s stovepipe hat to an original copy of the Gettysburg Address.
Try a segway tour, where you'll enjoy fantastic views of Chicago's famous attractions. Explore Chicago by day or night with friendly tour guides.
Ackerman Farms, celebrating over 100 years as a working family farm, invites everyone to join us from the 3rd week in August through the 3rd week in December. We feature over 150 different varieties of pumpkins and squash in all shapes and sizes, over 25 varieties of beautiful hardy mums, and over 15 varieties of apples from our orchard - everything you need for your fall decorations and for your table. Plan to spend the afternoon with us in our family friendly corn maze, ride a hay rack, browse the gift shop and visit our friendly farm animals. At Christmas, join us for hot cider by a cozy fire and leisurely shop our wonderful Christmas selection of gifts and decor. Don't forget to call us to schedule birthday parties or class field trips.
The Adler Planetarium—America’s First Planetarium—is more than a museum; it is a laboratory, a classroom, and a community exploring the Universe together. The Adler offers interactive exhibitions, live planetarium shows, hands-on, minds-on STEM education programs, and world-class collections.
Alto Clay Work is the studio home of Stephen Grimmer. The pottery showroom is open Friday-Sunday, Noon to 5PM during Spring, Summer, and Autumn, and other times by appointment and by chance. Also offers ceramics classes for adults and children, resident artist studios, and a gallery for occasional exhibitions.
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.
Family oriented restaurant. Dine in or carry out. Plate lunches, dinners, and specials every night. Historical building dating back to 1927.
Located at the north end of Crystal Lake Park, this environmental education facility is a natural resource to individuals, families and groups interested in learning more about the outdoors. The Nature Center features four multi-purpose rooms, an exhibit field station, an Observation Room, the Audubon Nature Shop and an Educator Resource Room. The adjacent Busey Woods is perfect for hiking and bird watching.
The warm, welcoming and slightly funky Madden Arts Center is a richly renovated hub where the Decatur Area Arts Council makes its home. The building houses galleries, classrooms, an art shop, photo lab and rehearsal spaces. The Anne Lloyd Gallery showcases local exhibits as well as extraordinary traveling collections. The gallery spotlights an International Arts Experience exhibition over an 8-week period each summer. Participating in the downtown Decatur “art walks” the gallery holds a “First Friday” reception on the first Friday evening of each month, showcasing a different artist or artistic medium each time.
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.
Apple River Fort State Historic Site, located in Elizabeth, Illinois, is the site of one of the battles fought during the Black Hawk War. Black Hawk and his 200 warriors attacked the hastily erected fort on June 24, 1832. His story and that of the early settlers are told.
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.
The Coach House, a replica Log Cabin, the 1882 home of F.W. Muller and the 1908 Banta House tell the story of Arlington Heights over the last 150 years. Tour guides introduce you to the life of early residents. Tours: Sat. & Sun. 2pm & 3pm Heritage Gallery & Gift Shop: Fri.-Sun. 1:30pm-4:30pm
The second-largest art museum in the United States is home to more than 300,000 works of art, including “American Gothic” by Grant Wood, Edward Hopper's “Nighthawks” and more. Renowned for its rare master works, at The Art Institute visitors can experience one of the world’s most notable collections of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist art. With the addition of its Modern Wing, the museum now features an impressive showcase for its contemporary artworks.
The site of an early political rally during Abraham Lincoln's campaign for President, now showcasing an interpretive sign explaining the historic significance.
The historic landmark Auditorium Theatre, an architectural masterpiece designed by Dankmar Adler and Louis Sullivan, opened in 1889. The Auditorium, which regularly hosts live performances, is renowned for its amazing acoustics.
One of the largest collections of rocks, minerals, and fossils in the Midwest. Exhibit also includes a complete skeleton of the dinosaur Cryolophosaurus and a large fluorescent mineral exhibit. Museum is located on the campus of Augustana College in the Swenson Hall of Geosciences.
The museum features a variety of interactive exhibits designed to educate and entertain children, families, and firefighters. Visitors can pass a leather fire bucket, marvel at a strange looking firemen’s smoke mask and explore the differences in fire hose nozzles. See and hear how fire engines clear the streets with sirens, horns, and devices that control traffic lights. Watch vintage firefighting films on five video touch-screens. All this, in addition to 5 pieces of fire apparatus on display in a fully restored fire station built in 1894. Experience the new Children’s Discovery Room for ages under 18. Our discovery room provides an opportunity for younger children to play and learn about fire safety. Admission $3 for children and $5 for adults.
This much-lauded and beautiful auditorium hosts classical and popular musical events as well as popular lectures and recitals. It is located in Aurora University's Institute for Collaboration building.
Enjoy a free concert by the critically acclaimed Avalon String Quartet where they will be playing Dutilleux: Ainsi La Nuit, for String Quartet & Beethoven String Quartet No. 15 in A minor, Op. 132. The Avalon is quartet-in-residence at the Northern Illinois University School of Music, a position formerly held by the Vermeer Quartet.
One of only seven in the world and the only one in North America, the Baha'i House of Worship is the largest and oldest surviving Baha'i Temple. Standing on the shores of Lake Michigan, the auditorium, with its walls of lace-like ornamentation and its dome rising 135 feet above the main floor, offers a scene of unsurpassed beauty. It is surrounded by exquisite gardens and fountains. This imposing and dramatic structure has received numerous design awards, and is on the National Register of Historic Places.
A four-hour bus tour of five bald eagle wintering communities along the Upper Mississippi River. View bald eagles feeding roosting and/or nesting. Reservations required.
Come out to Pere Marquette Lodge where you can not only be personally introduced to our nation’s most majestic symbol, but also shop our unique vendor booths, grab a bite to eat at our restaurant, taste locally made wines, tour our historic Lodge and enjoy time with friends and family. The festival will feature live music, entertainment and the Bald Eagle and several other raptor species during the Masters of the Sky shows at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. The show will be a wonderful opportunity to see and experience the magnificence of the Bald Eagle first hand. For more information call (618) 786-2331.
Crab Orchard is home to six nesting pairs of resident bald eagles and their offspring. A few nesting sites are visible from public roads throughout the Refuge and eagles are spotted daily. Guided tours visit eagle nests and areas of the Refuge where eagles may be spotted. The cost is $5 for adults and $2.50 for youth under the age of 12. Reservations are required.
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.
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.
Barnacopia is a farm museum, events venue and Bed & Breakfast featuring two fully appointed guest rooms with full bathrooms and hot tubs all located in a silo next to the barn and the top floor of the silo is a library.
Downtown park on the banks of the Rock River. Site of several Native American "Effigy Mounds," which have been preserved.
The fascinating history of the Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts comes to life in the Behind the Curtain historic tour program. Led by a group of specially trained docents, you'll not only see the beautiful neo-Classical interior design of the BCPA, but also learn all about the many technical and patron service updates achieved in the building's significant renovation. You won't want to miss this surprising, fascinating, and fun-filled look at one of Bloomington's historic and most thriving buildings. Bring your stories, your questions, and, above all, your curiosity. Behind the Curtain tours are one hour in length and can accommodate a wide variety of group sizes.
This museum located on the campus of Wheaton College is devoted to the history of Christian evangelism and its influences on society. View rare artifacts, art and displays that include a powerful 3-D presentation of the gospel message.
We invite you to spend the day in an enchanting village. The park is the center of this small town and will be filled with storytelling and music. What is a Chautauqua anyway? Join us for the historical re-enactment, a family oriented event sharing true tales of what makes us uniquely American.
Enjoy watching the potter in an open air studio creating artwork on the potter's wheel. The center also features rug, broom, weaving and spinning artisans.
Four historically significant buildings are owned by the State of Illinois and are maintained as part of the Bishop Hill State Historic Site. These architectural treasures are the two-story Colony Church (1850), the three-story Colony Hotel (1852-ca. 1860), the Boys Dormitory (ca. 1850), and the Colony Barn (mid-1850s) that has been relocated behind the Hotel. In addition, the central village park contains a reconstructed gazebo and war monuments. On the south edge of the village, stands a new brick Museum to house a comprehensive collection of paintings by colonist and self-taught artist, Olof Krans (1838-1916). Hours and days of operation change with the season. Please call to confirm your visit.
Wonderful for families, friends for outdoor recreation. Additionally, the Watch Tower Lodge has hosted thousands of wedding receptions and offers a lovely setting in the beautiful historic park. This wooded, steeply rolling 208-acre tract, borders the Rock River in the city of Rock Island. Prehistoric Indians and 19th-Century settlers made homes here, but the area is most closely identified with the Sauk nation and its great warrior, Black Hawk. Voted one of the "7 Wonders of Illinois," this pristine park offers beautiful trails for hiking and walking only. Picnic areas are also available. While at the park be sure to visit the Watch Tower Lodge that houses a large reception area and the John Hauberg Indian Museum. The museum features Sauk and Meskwaki Native American Indian artifacts and displays depicting the four seasons and life of these tribes. A new exhibit tells the story of the Sauk and Meskwaki—how they came to live in the Quad City area, why they no longer live here, and, as the piece de resistance, a four-by-eight-foot scale model of the city of Saukenuk one of the largest Native American Indian settlements in the United States.
Nestled on 54 scenic acres, Blackberry Farm is a family-friendly destination that features unique play areas for all ages, live animals, amusement rides, and a living history museum that brings Aurora’s history to life through demonstrations, exhibits and extensive artifact collections. Blackberry Farm is fun for all ages and is a great choice for your wedding, company picnic, birthday party or family reunion. All attractions are included with daily admission. Enjoy unlimited rides on the train, hay wagon, pedal tractors, paddle boats, carousel and ponies. Ice skating rink in winter when weather permits.
Halloween fun awaits families at Brookfield Zoo’s annual Boo! at the Zoo celebration. The popular daytime event, presented by Fisher-Price, features a Costume Parade, Costume Showcase, professional pumpkin-carving demonstrations, not-so-scary games and activities, special animal Zoo Chats, and haunted hayrides. For more information, visit www.CZS.org or call (708) 688-8000.
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.
The newly renovated Bowen park's theme for their new playground is "Forest Findings". The overall layout offers tiered play areas arranged on the northwest hillside of Bowen Park. Fun and learning will go hand-in-hand as children and their families enjoy modern playground amenities, combined with several environmental learning stations that represent a forest ecosystem. Parents and kids alike will also enjoy the six-station fitness/exercise trail located on the perimeter of the playground.
Broadway In Chicago presents the hottest shows in Chicago's bustling Downtown Theater District. On the stages of the Oriental Theatre, Cadillac Palace Theatre, Bank of America Theatre, Auditorium Theatre and Broadway Playhouse, you will discover theater productions direct from Broadway, along with world premieres.
First and only African American children's museum in the country for children ages 3-9. Interactive exhibits, unique programs. Focus on culture, history and contributions of African Americans.
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.
Come explore Burpee Museum and its award-winning exhibits such as Jane: Diary of a Dinosaur, called one of the ten most important dinosaur discoveries in the past 100 years. Burpee Museum also features Homer, a sub-adult or "teen-age" Triceratops. Four floors of exhibits include Windows to Wilderness, a woolly mammoth skeletal cast, Pennsylvanian coal forest, a Native American exhibit, Geoscience, and a viewing lab.
Whether you're just starting out or a seasoned pro, Byassee Music is one of the locally-owned and operated choices for music instruments and equipment in Williamson county and Southern Illinois. Backed by over three decades of experience, the store has become a cornerstone of the Marion community. Also offering DJ services.
The Byron Museum Complex consists of a large Exhibit Hall and the historic Lucius Read House, which was on the Underground Railroad and is a listed site on the National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom. The Read House features a permanent exhibit entitled, ‘From Shackles to Freedom: The Underground Railroad’ which shines a spotlight on Byron’s participation in the Underground Railroad. We are happy to accommodate group tours outside regular hours. Tours are free and are self-guided or a docent can be arranged. We also have ample meeting space available.
Illinois' only United Nations World Heritage Site. This 2,200-acre site preserves the central section of the largest prehistoric Indian city north of Mexico. An Interpretive Center presents a coherent account of this sophisticated prehistoric culture. Climb Monk's Mound, see the film and life-size village. Don't miss annual events that focus on Native American culture.
Camp Shaw was established in 1956 and is the best kept secret in all of beautiful Kankakee County! Camp Shaw is also a wonderful place to hold a variety of outdoor and indoor events. It provides overnight accommodation; horseback riding, guided trail rides or group lessons and weekend packages are available. It is also an outdoor, environmental science education program encouraging interest and participation in the balanced management of natural resources.
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.
Opened in June 2011, the Carterville Heritage Museum is a beautifully renovated building showcasing architectural detail of the former 1924 area high school, hundreds of photo and memorabilia. It also serves as a gift shop, offering nostalgic custom-designed t-shirts, retro candy, gift baskets, a few antiques and popular hand-made cards made by community volunteers. It features books on the Tri-C community for sale, covering Cartervile, Cambria, & Crainville.
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.
Opened in October 2012, this new visitor's center celebrates the long history of the Caterpillar Company. Visitors can explore the past by taking a journey back in time via historic photos and antique equipment. Visitor favorites include a 24-foot tall 797 mining truck that doubles as a movie theater and a product floor complete with simulators to explore its world-famous product line.
This museum is located in an 1889 school building and features a permanent exhibit honoring Jane Addams, who was born and raised in Cedarville. Miss Addams was an internationally famous humanitarian and social work pioneer who founded Chicago's Hull House and won the Nobel Peace Prize. Museum exhibits include personal items and memorabilia from her life and the life of her family. There are also changing exhibits on topics of local historical interest and a research center and a research center. Open: May thru October: Saturday and Sunday: 1 pm - 4 pm; or by appointment.
Museum and education center highlighting our nation's social heritage through captivating exhibits and programs. Stories of the 1915 Eastland Disaster, and experience life on the run following the Underground Railroad.
The Challenger Learning Center at Heartland Community College offers interactive, simulated space and science experiences through scheduled team missions for students and the public.
The mission of the center is to honor the memory and spirit of the Space Shuttle Challenger 51L crew by providing hands-on space exploration curriculum and center that enhances thinking skills and inspires those to meet the challenges of 21st Century.
The Chanute Air Museum celebrates the 76 year legacy of the former Chanute Air Force base and the development Illinois aviation. The Museum showcases over 30 aircraft, including a rare P-51H Mustang and XB-47 Stratojet, while exhibits include "Life at Chanute" and "The 99th Pursuit Squadron: From Rantoul to Ramitelli and Beyond." Bus parking and a gift shop are available.
The Chief Keokuk Campground features 70 pads with electrical hook-ups for trailers, plus 25 tent sites. There is a shower building on site. A sanitary dump station is near the camping area. 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.
The Chicago Architecture Foundation (CAF) is a nonprofit organization with tours, exhibitions, programs and events for all ages. Visit CAF on Michigan Avenue to view our 1,000-building scale model of Chicago, shop in our award-winning store or participate in a fun LEGO® building event in our ArcelorMittal Design Studio. Choose from 85 tours by boat, walking, bus, or even L train, including the CAF River Cruise aboard Chicago's First Lady Cruises. Tours depart daily and are led by CAF's expert docent guides. Every fall, check out CAF's free annual Open House Chicago festival. Private tours and group tour rates available. Open daily 9am to 9pm. Learn more at architecture.org
Chicago: You Are Here, a permanent exhibition, is free and open to the public daily in the ArcelorMittal CitySpace Gallery from 9:30 am to 5:00 pm. Designed to encourage visitors to explore the architecture and infrastructure that make up the environment of Chicago, You Are Here includes a scale model of the Loop, along with bold images, artifacts, and multimedia presentations. Temporary, architecture-themed exhibitions throughout the year. Free and open daily. Check website for details. Full schedule of lectures, workshops, special events and presentations at noon, evenings, and weekends throughout the year. Free or low cost. Check website for listings.
The setting sun gives way to the city's nightly light show as each building begins to shine. For two hours you'll be treated to what's been called the world's most beautiful skyline.
This theater venue includes three performing arts schools, a casting center, a 350-seat theater, a lobby bar and banquet space. Plays, musicals and original productions are performed here.
Hands-on exhibits and daily-changing activities make every visit unique for young children and adults, too. Dig deep into the Dinosaur Expedition, try to stay dry in WaterWays, make a masterpiece in the KraftArtabounds Studio, and climb up to the crow's nest on the Kovler Family Climbing Schooner. Toddlers can have fun in Kids Town and Treehouse Trails.
Get an insider’s look at this historic American landmark that has enchanted baseball fans for almost a century. Each 90-minute guided tour shows guests the clubhouses, bleachers, press box, dugout, field, and more.
Chicago's architectural showplace for the lively and visual arts. Daily programs and exhibitions covering a wide range of the performing, visual and literary arts are presented by the Chicago Department of Cultural Affiars. See the world's largest Tiffany stained-glass dome. It was initially built for dual purposes. It was the city's central library and a monument dedicated to the Civil War's Grand Army of the Republic. Since 1977 the building has housed cultural entities that included galleries, an auditorium, and the city's office of cultural affairs. The building architects are Shepley, Rutan and Coolidge.
Experience history and culture through educated commentary and multimedia on iPads while exploring stories and places even locals don't know about. Highly trained guides share forgotten stories from the past on regularly scheduled tours.
The Chicago Flower & Garden Show brings springtime to winter with its 20 lush gardens, beautiful and fragrant flowers, trees and other plants allowing “newbie” gardeners and experts alike to experience the latest the industry has to offer. Top garden builders create fresh designs, while nationally-known presenters teach visitors how to get that professional garden look. It's all happening at the Chicago Flower & Garden Show. Be among the first to see new plant varieties for 2017 and experience the newly-redesigned Navy Pier. Enjoy art, free kids activities, wine tastings, cooking demos from noted chefs, and a shopper's paradise of garden gadgets, jewelry, and more. Special rates available for groups.
The Chicago History Museum is a major museum and research center for Chicago and American history. From permanent galleries to special exhibitions and exciting programs, people of all ages are able to experience the past and better understand the present. Please call for museum hours, pricing and exhibitions.
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.
Chicago Savvy Tours specializes in architectural and historical tours of Chicago, and offers a variety of services for both private and group tours.
We operate Chicago’s premier Hop On Hop Off ® city sightseeing tours in the classic red & green Trolleys and fun-filled Double Decker buses. We also offer private group transportation for special events such as weddings, parties, and corporate outings. For 19 years the Hop On Hop Off® sightseeing tour has been the gold standard for entertaining and informative tours. Covering 13 miles and 14 stops, the Signature Tour is an eye-popping adventure through the heart of Chicago, giving you the option of Hopping On and Off at your choice of stops to visit the hottest retail, cultural, and family attractions. Summer tours include neighborhood tours and night tours.
Head to the Kohl Children's Museum in Glenview for its newest exhibit: Children's China. Children’s China portrays the present-day activities that Chinese families practice, as well as their roots in Confucius’ teachings. Read Confucius’ quotes, explore hands-on activities, and immerse yourself in innovative technology and authentic artifacts to gain an understanding of Confucius' impact on modern Chinese life.
Toddlers to 12-year-olds can enjoy the unique interactive exhibits and seasonal events at this fun children's museum.
The Chocolate Factory prides itself in offering quality gourmet chocolates in a wide variety of mouth watering flavor, formulated with only the finest ingredients. Our irresistible silky smooth blended chocolates make delicious rich candies for any occasion!
As is tradition, the museum's 45-foot Grand Tree takes center stage in the Rotunda decked out in 30,000 lights. It takes on a different theme each year so expect giant gears to be part of the decor to match the special MSI exhibit, Robot Revolution. Surrounding it will be more than 50 smaller trees beautifully decorated by volunteers from Chicago communities to represent their various cultures and holiday traditions. The occasional falling of "snow" adds to the fun. . New this year, and in conjunction with MSI’s Brick by Brick exhibit, guests can create their own holiday trinket to remember their visit—a LEGO® ornament.
Where did the Lincoln boys hang their stockings for Santa to fill? What might have been in those stockings? What kinds of Christmas goodies were on Lincoln's table? Discover how the Lincoln family celebrated the holidays by taking a tour through the Lincoln Home.
The Clark County Historical Society is dedicated to the preservation and education of all things pertaining to the people and places of Clark County, Illinois. Learn about the Lincoln-Douglas debates and unique area country architecture here.
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.
Pioneer artisan and craftsman demonstration, historic building tours, kids activities, craft vendors, with food and refreshments. Enjoy period music and audience participation entertainment throughout the weekend in an 1820's pioneer village.
In the late eighteen hundreds there were many thriving communities that were totally dependent on area coal mines. Now there is a Memorial to honor all miners. Dedicated on October 14th, 2000, the Coal Miners Memorial is a tribute to all Southern Illinois coal miners of the past century. The inscription at the base of the statue reads, “In memory of coal miners who gave so much that future generations may benefit with a better life. They labored, served their country, sacrificed for their families and some lost their lives. We honor and salute them so that they will never be forgotten.”
Enjoy a large Flea Market with over 20 vendors each day displaying their wares for sale from 10am to 5pm. Hayrack Rides, U-Pick Pumpkins, Corn Maze. Fall Fun Park Hours: 10:30am to 6pm.
Jack O’Lantern meets Jack and the Beanstalk! Like Jack’s plant, a pumpkin can grow, and grow, and grow – until it becomes one of the stars of the annual Giant Pumpkin Festival! See pumpkins weighing over 500 pounds. Most are for sale, so–give yourself the ultimate challenge and wrestle a giant out in our 20-acre pumpkin patch–or just point at one that’s been pre-picked at the farmstand. We’ll help with the wrestling, weighing and toting. Fall fun park, hayrack rides, corn cannons, our famous “Cow Train” barrel train, “Mining for Gems” ,bounce house, and Kids’ Corn Maze. Free admission, ample parking, nominal charge for events. Fall Fun Park open: 10:30am to 6pm.
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 tour of Critter Camp Exotic Pet Sanctuary. Personally guided tours are available seven days a week year round for up to six people per tour, but all tours are by appointment. Animal lovers can learn about, pet, hold, and feed 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, sell, or exploit any animal.
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!
Culture Stock is a social venture that operates as a hub for cultural activities and community programs while serving as a used book and media re-seller. Culture Stock, located in the heart of Downtown Aurora, offers up-and-coming musicians, poets and other artists a place to display their talents. Stop in for a taste of Aurora's culture, read a good book in a cozy corner, listen to a new performer or join a language circle. Kids have events at Culture Stock too. Check their Facebook page for a Downtown Aurora cultural experience update today!
Darnall’s Gun Works and Ranges is a family owned business that has been in existence since1923. This is Bloomington-Normal’s only Indoor & Outdoor Range with Trap, Skeet & Sporting Clays. Also offering personal instruction and training in the use of firearms for self-defense.
Books (of course), videos, dvds, cds, local history room, computers, classes, art gallery, kids place
Named one of the top 12 children's museums in the nation by Forbes in 2012, here kids can explore more than 250 hands-on art and science exhibits, a planetarium, TV studio and the Tot Spot for toddlers. Discovery Center also boasts the nation's first community-built outdoor science park, the Rock River Discovery Park, featuring a two-story maze, water play area and dinosaur fossil dig.
A resource to encourage education and to promote research, the library acts as a cultural center, housing 18,709 books. It is also home to large print books, audio books, newspapers, magazines, music cassettes, videos, bifocal kits, and art prints. Patrons have access to a fax machine, copy machine, microfilm printer-reader, genealogy materials, and the internet through two computers. The library offers a meeting room, outreach programs, children's programs, and a children's library.
View the final resting place of U.S. Senator Stephen A. Douglas, who gained fame arguing Abraham Lincoln in the 1858 Lincoln-Douglas Debates. The 96-foot granite and marble structure was built following Douglas' death in 1861.
DuPage Children’s Museum is more than a Museum. We’re a force for early learning! Experience a unique hands-on museum where children and adults learn and play together in neighborhoods of hands-on exhibits designed to promote skill development in math, science and art. DuPage Children's Museum helps develop curiosity, creativity, thinking and problem solving in young children. Check out our new S.M.A.R.T. Café, where food becomes an opportunity to learn about science, math, art, reading and technology.
Enjoy DuPage County's rich history from the 1830s to the present. The Museum exhibits feature hundreds of historic artifacts and photos along with many fun hands-on activities. You'll find something for toddlers to seniors, and everyone in between. Housed in an 1891 Richardsonian Romanesque building, the museum highlights 150 years of DuPage County history with participatory activities, changing exhibits and extensive model railroad display.
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.