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Decatur Public Library
Books (of course), videos, dvds, cds, local history room, computers, classes, art gallery, kids place
Anne Lloyd Gallery - Madden Arts Center
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.
Rock Springs Nature Center
Home to a large visitor center, a museum, a restored farmhouse, nearly nine miles of hiking trails, and a paved bike trail.
This zoo overlooking Lake Decatur is home to animals from around the world, the Z.O.&O. Express train, the Endangered Species Carousel and the Zootique Gift Shop. Family events and activities are offered regularly.
Joseph F. Glidden Homestead
Joseph Farwell Glidden's invention of one of the most widely-used types of barbed wire in 1873 helped change the history of the American West and had far-reaching impact throughout the world. His Homestead, a Victorian Mansion, in DeKalb, IL, is being preserved and restored by a not-for-profit organization founded in 1995. Both the home and the barn are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. We welcome your visit and encourage your membership!
Ellwood House Museum
The story of the Ellwood House reflects the central role of Isaac Ellwood in the development of the barbed wire industry in America. The magnificent estate is also a testimony to three generations of the Ellwood family whose tastes shaped the evolution of the house and grounds. As you visit Ellwood House you will be aware of the comfort and quality of workmanship. At the same time, you also sense the warmth and hospitality of a family home that was lived in for almost one hundred years. The Ellwood House provides historical tours of the grand Victorian and are approximately one hour tour times. Tours are available for teachers, students, groups, and families. Capacity: 80-100
Northern Illinois University Anthropology Museum
The Anthropology Museum at Northern Illinois University was founded in 1964 and is operated as part of the Department of Anthropology. The museum houses over 20,000 objects comprised mostly of ethnographic material with some archaeological material. The museum specializes in cultures of Southeast Asia, New Guinea, and the Southwest and Plains Native Americans. In addition, the museum holds smaller collections from Africa, modern Greece, Mesoamerica, and South America. The museum is particularly proud of the Native American basket collection, featuring over 200 specimens, as well as the Indonesian textile collection, which contains over 600 pieces. In addition, the museum also houses about 100 different Indonesian shadow puppets, a fine collection of Thai khon masks, and important collections of Hmong and Karen artifacts. The museum has a growing collection of modern Mesoamerican artifacts reflecting the cultural and artistic changes taking place in modern Honduras, Guatemala, and Mexico. The Museum is open during the NIU Academic Year.
Northern Illinois University Art Museum
NIU Art Museum’s mission is to service the arts curriculum at NIU and to extend arts education and cultural enrichment to the community. The Museum has a permanent collection of 1,000 art pieces and also hosts visiting exhibitions. The Jack Olson Gallery is “the cornerstone of exhibition programming” that is promoted by NIU School of Art. This exhibit space brings thought provoking exhibitions to the northern Illinois community while also offering faculty and students a space to showcase their latest creative endeavors.
Ronald Reagan Boyhood Home and Visitors Center
Tour the restored home that the Reagan family resided in from 1920-1923, and meander through the Visitor Center and Gift Shop which features books and gifts highlighting the Reagan legacy. The tour includes the four-room Presidential Timeline exhibit and the viewing of a Reagan biographical video.
Northwest Territory Historic Center
The Northwest Territory Historic Center is a History Research and Learning Center housed in President Ronald Reagan's boyhood South Central School; located in his hometown of Dixon, Illinois. Beautifully restored with the dedicated support of the townspeople and Reagan colleagues, the Center is proudly affiliated with the Smithsonian Institution and houses the Veterans History Project Regional Center, auditorium, research library, historical exhibits, art gallery, surround-sound theater and museum store. A visit to the Northwest Territory Historic Center includes: The Unchanged Land-an interactive exhibit on Native American & Black Hawk War; The Changing Land-an interactive exhibit on early American Farming; Ronald Reagan's Restored Classroom; Rock River Assembly Diorama; Chautauqua Assembly Building Model; Earth from Space Poster Exhibit; President Reagan History Room, changing historical exhibits, a museum store and much more.
John Deere Harvester Works Combine Factory Tours
Tour Deere & Companies largest combine factory and Visitors Center. Minimum age 13, closed toe shoes required, tours subject to availability and factory production schedules. Watch combines made from beginning to end. Watch them dipped in the famous green paint and watch workers and machines create these amazing agricultural machines. To Schedule a tour call 800-765-9588. Tours are Monday through Friday at 8 a.m., 10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. by appointment. Tours are guided and take place aboard motorized vehicles.
Children's Museum of Edwardsville
Toddlers to 12-year-olds can enjoy the unique interactive exhibits and seasonal events at this fun children's museum.
Effingham Performance Center
Arts Connection of Central Illinois has been established for the citizens of Effingham County and beyond to showcase arts and entertainment, to encourage interaction with and appreciation of live performance, to endorse the educational process and to enhance the quality of life and cultural vitality of the region.
The Math Maniac Show at the Effingham Performance Center
In Max Millions' fast-paced, up-beat and highly visual demonstrations, The Math Maniac proves that learning math and fun go together naturally live at the EPC at 10 a.m.
Greene County Days
Come out to Greene County this September 11, 12 and 13 to see history come to life! The James J. Eldred House will be open and there will be live period music, food vendors, guest speakers, a Civil War encampment, demonstrations and much more! Carrollton will have live music, crafts, baked goods and demonstrations on the courthouse lawn. The Historical Society will have artisan demonstrations along with arts and crafts. Eldred hosts the Baptist Church's salad luncheon. Rockbridge, Hillview, Haypress, Roodhouse and White Hall will also be serving up great food and entertainment! Don't forget to find a treasure or two to take home from the county wide yard sale.
James J. Eldred House Fall Festival
Historic Greene County is coming alive with people, places, and objects from the past during the annual James J. Eldred House Fall Festival. The festival will be held September 12-13 at the James J. Eldred House Historic Site. This year our Civil War reenactors will return and present new battles and educate about the times and equipment used. We will once again be hosting our Eldred Family Ice Cream Social and our annual Eldred Family Ball. We will also have have period vendors and music by The Fieldon Spring Band. The Eldred House will be open for tours.
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!
Apple River Fort State Historic Site
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.
Twin Groves Wind Farm
Located on the wind-swept Bloomington Moraine in eastern McLean County, Twin Groves Wind Farm offers 396 megawatts of affordable, pollution-free wind energy, enough to meet the annual energy needs of about 118,000 homes. Learn more about this exciting new facility with a farm tour.
Wilder Park Conservatory
A historic tradition lives on at the Elmhurst Park District Conservatory and greenhouses, located in Wilder Park. The conservatory holds four main plant displays a year: a Easter and Calla Lilies in the spring, Chrysanthemums in the fall, Poinsettias in December and an Environmental show with various themes in the Winter. In addition youth education programs are offered with our in house Horticulturist.
Theatre Historical Society of America
Theatre Historical Society of America features archives and gallery space showcasing the history of America's theatres in photos, blueprints and artifacts.Rotating exhibits highlight the history of different theatres.
Legendary Diamonds Lizzadro Museum of Lapidary
See the fascinating stories of some of history's most famous diamonds and their equally famous owners. The exhibit blends the lapidary art of faceting with historic figural artistry to tell each diamond's story including The Hope, The Orlov, The Table Cut, and The Regent.
Mitchell Museum of the American Indian
Focusing on the art, history and culture of the American Indian. Permanent exhibits are dedicated to the Native cultures of the Woodlands, Plains, Southwest, Northwest Coast and Arctic regions of North America. Each gallery contains a “touching table” where visitors can handle real examples of Indian artifacts, as well as feel the raw materials—including snakeskin, caribou fur, birch bark, turquoise and buffalo skin—that were used by native Americans. Temporary exhibits showcase emerging and established contemporary Native artists. Lectures and performances throughout the year provide a venue for multicultural education.
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.
Dominy Memorial Library
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.
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.
Little Toot Railroad
Ride the rails and experience train travel as it was decades ago on a 15-inch-gauge Crown steam locomotive that runs through Charley Brown Park.
Franklin Creek Grist Mill & Interpretive Center
This four-story, reconstructed 1847 grist mill features a four-ton waterwheel and displays of 1800s milling equipment.
Freeport Art Museum
Explore five permanent galleries: European (19th century paintings, sculpture), Art of the Near and Far East (Egyptian, Chinese, and Southeast Asia), Native American (pots, baskets and Kachina dolls), African and Oceanic Art (masks, ceremonial pieces and textiles), and Contemporary (prints and paintings). Two galleries feature new exhibitions every 8-12 weeks and are devoted to regional art or national exhibitions. A student gallery features aspiring young artists from local schools. The museum also offers educational programs, performances, and special events. Open: Tuesday thru Friday: 10 am - 5 pm; Saturday: Noon - 5 pm. Free admission, but donations are appreciated.
Illinois Game and Pet Breeders Fall Swap Meet
This swap meet involves the buying, selling and trading of game birds, animals, pets and supplies. Vendors will also be available with local honey, garden plants, flowers, and a small flea market. Events opens at 6 am. Gate Fee: $3.00 per person over the age of 12.
Northwest Illinois Rock Club's 2015 Jewelry, Gem, Fossil and Mineral Show
Midwest dealers will showcase a variety of beautiful gemstones, minerals, fossils, jewelry, beads and gifts for holiday shopping. In addition, there will be lapidary demonstrations, a fun-filled children's fish pond and games, speakers and displays.
Fever River Railroad
For model railroad aficionados -- and everyone else who ever enjoyed model trains -- this model railroad is something to see. The Fever River Railroad is a 120X24-foot HO scale model of a hypothetical railroad running from Duluth, Minnesota to St. Louis, Missouri. This fully operational model railroad has detailed scenery, rail yards, factories, and interchanges with many other railroads. The model railroad allows for the operation of multiple trains along railroad right-of-way that portrays typical towns along the Duluth to St. Louis route. The Fever River Railroad is an ongoing project with upgrades to the layout and scenery that provides an exciting model railroad experience. A collection of railroad memorabilia and pictures, many from the surrounding area, are on display throughout the facility. The Stephenson Society of Model Trainmen, who operate the railroad, host an open house twice a year, and visitors are welcome at other times by appointment.
Silver Creek and Stephenson Railroad Antique Steam Train
All aboard, as a 36-ton, 1912 Heisler steam locomotive pulls three cabooses, including an antique red caboose reported to be the oldest in the state, for a four-mile ride through farmlands. Purchase your ticket at the Silver Creek Depot, a turn-of-the-century replica filled with railroad artifacts, and browse the Freight House Gift Shop and visit the Silvercreek Museum across the street. Open: May thru October on selected holiday and weekends; 1 am - 4 pm. Train departs on the hour.
Doug Firebaugh Observatory
Enjoy the beauty of the night sky. Open whether cloudy or clear. If cloudy, there will be a presentation or discussion on related topics.Open: May thru September: First and Third Saturdays of the Month: 8 pm
Galena/Jo Daviess County Historical Society
A qualified museum guide will board your group's motorcoach and take you through Galena, with stops that can include the Galena/Jo Daviess History Museum, Ulysses S. Grant Home and Old Market House.
Old Main at Knox College
This historical tour of Old Main at the Knox College campus includes stories about the Lincoln-Douglas debate held at Old Main, the sole remaining original site of the famed political debates.
Galesburg Railroad Museum
Museum celebrating the shared histories of Galesburg and the railroad. Tour a real steam locomotive. See the authentic railroad memorabilia. Great for kids and rail fans! Right next door to the Amtrak Depot.
Two-Story Outhouse at Gays
Arguably one of the most famous outhouses left on the planet is located in the town of Gays, IL, located just five minutes from Mattoon. The existence of outhouses in general are rare, but certainly a two-story version is a unique oddity that the small rural community of 300 has capitalized on for quite some time. Stop by anytime for this great photo opportunity!
Geneseo Historical Museum
The Geneseo Historical Museum features displays of local people and places in an Italianate-style home built in the mid-1800. Walk through the 27-rooms which tell the story of how people lived in the past and Geneseo’s history. See the Underground Railroad space used to hide runaway slaves. A wide variety of President Abraham Lincoln artifacts are the centerpiece of the museum. Visit the newly built carriage house home to Geneseo’s agricultural history. Explore and be delighted while learning about Geneseo’s heritage
Geneva Green Market
The Geneva Green Market promotes local, organic and sustainable-produced products from local artisan farmers and producers who provide freshness, biodiversity, the highest quality food and the basis of regional cuisine. Geneva Green Market is an educational forum for consumers to learn the uses and benefits of quality, locally grown or prepared food products. This is designed to establish an appreciation of nutritional values of produce and to provide more flavor, freshness and variety of locally grown product. Held every Thursday, 7am to 1pm, June through October.
German Valley Historical Museum
This newly refurbished museum features displays of memorabilia relating to the history of German Valley and the surrounding area, including items from the Ostfriesian area of Germany. A kitchen area, bedroom, dining room, parlor, military room, and children's playroom are furnished with items from the past, and a display room offers a variety of exhibits. A schoolroom contains items of interest from German Valley's Pleasant Prairie Academy and other area schools. Farm and other outdoor exhibits are featured in an outdoor facility. Special events and displays are featured throughout the year. Open May through October, last Sunday of the month, 1 to 4pm or by appointment (815-362-3671).
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.
Model Railroad Garden: Landmarks of America
The 7,500-square-foot “Model Railroad Garden: Landmarks of America” exhibition at the Chicago Botanic Garden features trains running on 1,600 feet of track, for train and garden enthusiasts to enjoy the delightful sights and sounds of the miniature trains traversing high and low through tunnels, across bridges and around buildings.
A visit to Wagner Farm affords you the opportunity to take part in and experience first-hand the workings of a genuine American farm. Wagner Farm is an 18.6 acre farm preserved for the educational and recreational enjoyment for all. See how bread was made in a wood cook stove, hear the rooster making time with his crow or milk one of the farm’s many cows. Explore the world of agriculture and rural life as it existed in 1920-1950’s.
Kohl Children's Museum
Kohl Children’s Museum offers hands-on, interactive exhibits designed exclusively for children ages birth to 8. All of the exhibits and programs are designed to make learning fun and interesting for young children. A visit to a grocery store, a veterinarian’s office as well as a day care inhabited by dolls allow children to participate in adult activities on their own scale. Children can build a house, make music, take care of cars, explore the properties of water and much more in the many engaging exhibits featured.
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!
Join us for the return of the Grafton Rendezvous on the banks of the Illinois River. See pre-1840 history come to life and experience what a busy river port was like during that period. Traders will demonstrate candle and rope making, bead working, wood carving, metal working and leather crafting. There will be tomahawk and knife throwing and much more. Bring the family and enjoy the fun.
John Deere Historic Site
John Deere has a presence around the world, but it all started right here in Grand Detour, Illinois. When you step foot on these grounds, it will feel like taking a step back in time. Hear the floorboards creak as you walk inside John Deere's home. Take in the beauty of the picturesque landscape. And feel the heat of fired steel inside the replica blacksmith shop. Whether you're a school group, a John Deere fan or a history buff, it's an experience you just can't miss.
Village of Greyslake Heritage Center and Museum
The Grayslake Historical Society was founded in 1976 and is dedicated to preserving and sharing the history of the greater Grayslake area. The Historical Society stages regular programs, works with the Executive Director on engaging exhibitions, conducts tours and keeps residents and visitors connected with Grayslake’s rich past. For more information, visit the Grayslake Historical Society's website at www.grayslakehistory.org.
Wapello Land & Water Reserve
Experience Native American mounds, prairie and the Apple River. Hike beginner trails. Pets welcome. Fishing allowed.
Lewis and Clark State Historic Site
The Lewis and Clark State Historic Site commemorates Camp Dubois, the 1803-1804 winter camp of Meriwether Lewis and William Clark. It was at Camp Dubois that members of the Corps of Discovery prepared for their expedition to the Pacific Ocean. The 14,000 square-foot exhibit space contains six galleries that outline the background and history of the Lewis and Clark expedition from its conception to its meaning for today's America. Exhibits are kid-friendly, offering opportunities for hands-on engagement. A "reconstruction" of the winter camp, Camp Dubois, is located on the grounds near the visitor center. Its design reflects 1803 U.S. Army regulations for the construction of military posts. Interpreters are on-site daily in the camp to explain how the men prepared for the journey.
Coal Miners Memorial
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.”
Itasca Historical Depot Museum
The Itasca Historical Museum was the original Itasca Train Depot built in 1873. A 1939 Milwaukee Road Rib-side Caboose numbered 01839 was acquired and restored to its original bright orange appearance with all new doors, windows and wood interior. Kids love the interactive train display in the Depot which looks like Itasca in the late 1800’s with bells and whistles. Open Tuesdays & Thursdays from 11am-4pm and the 1st and 2nd Saturdays each month from 9am-2pm.
Jacksonville's Underground Railroad Tour
Visit Underground Railroad sites such as Woodlawn Farm, as well as Jacksonville-area homes that were part of the Railroad.
Voices of Jacksonville Audio Tour
Tune to radio frequencies at each of the seven locations throughout Jacksonville to see the actual places and hear the real stories of Abraham Lincoln as his friends and associates knew him.
Fulkerson Mansion and Farm Museum
Colonel William H. Fulkerson's mansion and farm museum contains many rare agricultural items and equipment with emphasis on large, rare farm steam traction engines, utilized for plowing the prairie, threshing the grain, and for powering early sawmills. The estate is 14-room Southern-style Victorian mansion that has remained virtually unchanged to this day. It was placed on the National Historic Register of Historic Places in 1998.
Family oriented restaurant. Dine in or carry out. Plate lunches, dinners, and specials every night. Historical building dating back to 1927.
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.
Willowhaven Interpretive Center
A facility of the Bourbonnais Township Park District, The Willowhaven Interpretive Center is a free hands-on museum that houses natural and historical exhibits, provides the community a place to learn, explore, and enjoy the splendors of nature! Displays focus on Illinois wildlife, conservation and natural history. The most popular displays include hands-on discovery tables with pelts, nests, feathers, tracks and more. The center also has live animal displays, aquariums, a children's reading nook, computer tables and a microscope lab table.
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.
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.
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.
Wildlife Discovery Center
The Wildlife Discovery Center is a special place offering programs for people of all ages who have an interest in wildlife and their habitat. Children's classes, adult programs, and school field trips focus on wildlife conservation, field biology, and ecology. The Center also offers self-guided nature hikes, workshops, eco-based summer camps, wildlife ecology trips, group presentations, traveling animal exhibits and exciting volunteer opportunities. You can visit eye-to-eye with over 150 animals including a bobcat, raptors, Kookaburras, and an assortment of venomous and non-venomous reptiles like crocodilians, snakes, turtles and tortoises. The Wildlife Discovery Center is home to one of the largest public exhibits of rattlesnakes in North America, including four species that are native to Illinois. Indoor exhibits hours are Tuesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 10:00am to 4:00pm. The outdoor exhibits and walking trails are open year round.
Lock 16 Center
Visitor information, canal exhibits/programs, canal boat tickets, cafe, gift shop, great bathrooms, free Wi-Fi. Private meeting room/facility/canal boat rentals. At western terminus of I&M Canal.
Lena Area Historical Museum
The Lena Historical Museum tells the history of Lena and the surrounding area, with galleries focusing on various historical topics. Highlights include a Civil War regimental flag and an extensive clothing collection. Also on the grounds are a summer kitchen, the first log schoolhouse built in Lena, an Illinois Central Railroad caboose, a general store, a recreated chapel, and a barn filled with antique vehicles and farm tools. Open: Saturday: 1 pm - 4 pm; or by appointment.
Lambs Farm features a farmyard with a petting area and a variety of attractions like mini-golf, a mini-train ride, cow bounce house and an Old World carousel. There is also a pet shop, the Country Inn Restaurant, a thrift shop, and a country store and bakery that benefit programs for people with developmental disabilities.
Lisle Station Park
An 1874 CB&Q Railroad Depot, an 1881 wooden caboose, a circa 1850s farmhouse and 1830s tavern/inn. Exhibits, historic gardens, and various programs offered. Meetings for 40-50.
The Morton Arboretum
Magnificent, 1,700-acre museum of trees and plants from around the world. Hiking trails, paved roads, restaurant, gift shop, open-air tram and handicapped accessible facilities.
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.
West Fork Encampment
Re-creation of Frontier and Military life of the 18th century nestled in the beautiful surroundings of Lake Lou Yaeger. There will be cannon demonstrations, period food, music and many more historical demonstrations. Located at Picnic Area #4.
Sheldon Peck Homestead
This 1840s farmhouse features reproductions of Sheldon Peck's folk paintings, exhibits on the area's first school, the underground railroad, farming and pioneer life.
Western Illinois University Agricultural Department
Explore the Allison Research and Demonstration area, which has historically been farmed without the use of pesticides and limited amounts of commercial fertilizer. The university also has a bull and ram test station.
Visit downtown Makanda, Gateway to Giant City State Park, where black vultures and turkey vultures fly and swoop in the skies each fall. This event is a celebration or the vulture's annual migration with live music and displays by local artists for purchase.
Shawnee Bluffs Canopy Tour
Shawnee Bluffs Canopy Tour consists of eight zip lines, the longest stretching more than 1,100 feet, which will zig-zag across the property’s bluffs and through the valley. The tour also includes 11 platforms high in the trees, three aerial suspension bridges, the longest stretching 180 feet, and two short ground hikes. A canopy tour is an exciting way to experience the flora, fauna, geology and history of the outdoors by safely traversing an established route of ziplines and aerial bridges between platforms built in the trees, and they are just plain fun!
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.
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.
This replica of the Vietnam Veteran's Memorial Wall in Washington is 80% the size of the original. The wall features the names of soldiers who were killed or missing in action between 1955-1975, the time period of the Vietnam War.
Williamson County Historical Museum
Located in an historic brick building in Marion, the museum features artifacts, antiques, and records of a bygone era. 17 rooms contain exhibits, including an old-fashioned school room. Tours may be arranged through the Marion Chamber of Commerce.
Gem & Mineral Show
Annual Gem and Mineral Show showing off Indian artifacts, fossils, lapidary displays, shell crafts and much more.
Byassee Keyboard and Sound
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.
U.S. Congressman Ken Gray Presidential Museum
Opened in 2010, this 3000 square foot space is located in the Illinois Star Centre Mall. It keeps mall hours and is staffed by volunteers. Admission is free and the museum is stocked with items from Ken Gray's Congressional period as well as items he has collected from other congressmen and women.
Bald Eagle Tours at Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge
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, and reservations are required.
Schneidewind Barn Museum
Hundreds of interesting items amassed over a lifetime are housed in this unique gallery that was formally a working farm barn.
Clark County Museum
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.
Stade Dairy Farm
A producer of milk, vegetables and grains since 1977, the farm offers tours, and presents the annual Shades of Autumn festival during the month of September.
McCoy House Memorial Library
This majestic four-story Victorian home, built in 1884 by banker A.G. Cloud, sits next to the old bank of similar architectural style. The house is now a memorial library and museum decorated with beautiful furnishings and paintings.
Fort Massac Encampment
This annual reenactment of late-1700s Illinois life on the frontier prairie features blanket traders, merchants, military units, fife and drum corps, and period-style food from more than 20 vendors. The encampment offers military drills, mock battles, along with story telling and children's activities.
Massiac Marines Living History
Re-enactors depict the French and Indian War period, as living historians. Visit the Garrison for the Massiac Marines on Saturday, from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM at Fort Massac State Park, Metropolis.
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.
QCA Heritage Tractor Parade and Show
Celebrate the history, pride, and technology of Deere & Company during the QCA Heritage Tractor Parade and Show. This tractor parade and show features all brands/colors 1970 and older of John Deere Tractors. It will be held September 8 from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. at the John Deere Pavilion Admission to the parade and show are free.
Monsanto Learning Center
You're welcome to visit the Monsanto Facility at Monmouth, home to many exciting facets of agricultural research and training.
Reeser Embryo Farm
Tour this farm, which is a commercial embryo transfer station that uses donor cows.
18th Annual Prairie Day
The Annual Prairie Day is a celebration of the prairie environment held in conjunction with National Prairie Week at Goose Lake Prairie State Natural Area. Presentations on the environment and nature play a very important part of the day's activities as well as highlighting on the special features of the park itself. Various presentations, educational talks, and projects for children are the special offerings of the day. All special amenities of the park are open including the Cragg Cabin, the Visitors Center, butterfly barn, nature trails with wagon rides and etc.
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.
Mennel Milling Of Illinois
This mill produces everything from animal feed ingredients to cake, biscuit and organic pastry flour.
Jefferson County Historical Village
Authentic log structures. Historic memorabilia from the area are carefully preserved and displayed at the village. Open from the first weekend in May through the last weekend in October