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Laugh Out Loud Improv Theater
Hilarious improvised comedy that combines live action, video, and the audience! Family-friendly and grown up shows every weekend starring Chicago's top improv comedians.
Luthy Botanical Gardens
This beautiful spot features five acres of landscaped gardens including the Woodland Garden, Children's Garden, Herb Garden and several others. Tropical conservatory is open year-round. Outdoor Garden is open 8:30am to dusk year-round. Closed Mondays.
The Water Works is an indoor water park located in the Schaumburg Park District Community Recreation center. It features three water slides, rapid water channel, water playground, diving pool, lap pool, gradual beachlike entry pool, whirlpool, family changing room and a nursery.
Curtis Orchard is an 80-acre apple orchard, pumpkin patch and entertainment farm offers activities for the whole family. Open July 20–December 20, the orchard country store and bakery offer a wide variety of gift and food items, including pies, fritters, apple crisp donuts and award-winning cider. Outdoor activities include seasonal apple and pumpkin picking, kids play structures, a giant slide, several mazes including the corn maze, petting zoo, toddler area, birthday parties and corporate picnics. Weekend activities include outdoor meals, live entertainment, seasonal pony rides, and an orchard wagon.
Wild Reef: Sharks at Shedd Aquarium
See sharks glide through underwater gardens of iridescent corals and garden eels. Wander through a lagoon and mangrove forest, and visit a fishing village where residents saved their reef from destruction.
Chicago History Museum
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.
Splash City Family Waterpark
Surfing in Illinois? Yes! The FlowRider creates a perfect wave for surfing and body boarding. Water slides, a lap pool, the lazy river, a sandy play area and "Monsoon Mountain" make for a family adventure.
Fantasea at Shedd Aquarium
Dolphins soar, belugas dance and penguins parade in Fantasea, the aquatic show at Shedd Aquarium. The marine mammal presentations showcase the natural talents and learned skills of the animals—and their trainers.
Gateway Fun Park
Gateway features mini-golf, go-karts, an arcade, bumper boats, a kiddie track and Rudy's Restaurant.
Wildlife Prairie Park
A unique, 2,000-acre zoological park which is home to wolves, bison, waterfowl, black bear, elk, cougar, otter, and others. You will enjoy the park's spectacular natural settings, butterfly garden, wildflowers, lakes and restored prairies.
CITY: Hanna City
Raging Rivers WaterPark
Choose from four winding waterslides, brave the waves at the Breaker Beach wave pool or just spend the afternoon floating along the Lazy River. Located just outside Grafton on the Great River Road.
Christmas Around the World & Holidays of Light
Christmas Around the World began in 1942 as a United Nations Day salute to American allies during the war, is now in its 69th year. The exhibit features more than 60 dazzling trees and displays that are decorated by members of Chicago's ethnic communities to reflect holiday customs from around the world. Holidays of Light showcases various global holidays that celebrate light or enlightenment such as Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and Diwali. Festivities include ethnic dancing and singing, storytellers, and school choir performances.
Fairview Water Park
Fairview has an activity pool featuring arched water jets, a polar bear slide and a water mushroom. The park also features six lap swim lanes, a deep pool with two thrilling drop slides, multiple diving boards and two sand volleyball courts.
Kuipers Family Farm
Kuipers Family Farm is a 230 acre entertainment farm. U-Pick Apple Orchard September thru October. Orchard Store is open thru Mid December offering apples, pasteurized apple cider, our famous cider donuts, home baked pies, cream & butter fudge & country gifts and goodies. Have we grown a challenge for you at The Amazing Maize Maze open weekends only thru October. U-Pick Pumpkin Farm Mid September thru October features Scarecrow Acres where customers can enjoy hay wagon and pony rides, the Haunted Forest, a petting corral and much more down-on-the-farm fun! U-Cut or precut Christmas Trees Nov. thru Mid Dec.
CITY: Maple Park
Critter Camp Exotic Pet Sanctuary
Tour Critter Camp Exotic Pet Sanctuary. Animal lovers can learn about, pet, hold and feel some of the 350 rescued animals, comprised of 30 different species. All income supports the rescued animals. Critter Camp is a non-profit, tax exempt, charitable, volunteer operated, no-kill facility that does not buy, breed, sell or exploit any animal.Personally guided tours are available seven days a week year round for up to six people per tour, but all tours are by appointment.
CITY: German Valley
The Science Center of Southern Illinois
This center was designed for children ages 3-13 and their families. The science museum features several interactive hands-on exhibits dealing with a variety of basic concepts of science, as well as special events and programs.
Children's Museum of Illinois
Kids can shimmy up Luckey's Climber, make a giant bubble and pretend to be whatever they can imagine, from a pilot to a scientist. The museum's permanent exhibits complement temporary exhibits and projects.
National Great Rivers Museum
Located adjacent to the Melvin Price Locks and Dam, this museum is dedicated to telling the story of the Mississippi River, from its colorful history to its modern-day role as a major transportation corridor. The museum features kid-friendly, interactive and computer animated exhibits. Steer a towboat through the locks and dam via simulator, measure your water consumption or come face-to-face with river fish in the aquarium.
Laser Force Lazer Tag Zone
A 5,000 sq. ft. laser tag arena and a 2,500 sq. ft. game arcade is conveniently located by hotels and restaurants off I-64.
Chicago Children's Museum at Navy Pier
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.
Odyssey Fun World
Out of this world family fun featuring a four-level exploration playland, tag team laser trek, interactive video/prize redemption/games and outdoor amusement park. Caters to groups.
William M. Staerkel Planetarium
Discover the universe at the second largest planetarium in Illinois, the William M. Staerkel Planetarium, located on the campus of Parkland College. With a state-of-the-art digital projection system, visitors can learn about the stars, planets and more in this cutting-edge environment. At the planetarium website, you will learn of special programs and features coinciding with the many events in our universe. Public shows are on most Friday and Saturday nights, as well as summer matinees.
Polk-a-Dot Drive In
Drive-In founded over 50 years ago has become one of the most memorable attractions along Illinois Route 66. Stop in and see the collection of memorabilia and enjoy a great meal.
Peoria Zoo at Glen Oak Park
Open year-round, the Peoria Zoo is home to more than 100 species of animals from around the world. Come see our newest members of the zoo family in Africa! From giraffes and rhinoceros to spider monkeys and lions, the Zoo is the wildest family place in town. In addition to family recreational resources, educational programming and conservation-based programs are top priorities.
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.
Grady's Family Fun Center
As Bloomington-Normal's only amusement park, Grady's features an 18-hole mini-golf course, batting cages, bumper boats, go-karts and kiddie rides.
Splashdown at EastSide
The wettest and wildest family water park in Central Illinois. Play in Splashtower Island or ride the lazy river. There's even a splash and play area for the young ones in your family. www.fondulacpark.com
CITY: East Peoria
Mayan Adventure Indoor Waterpark by The Waverton Hotel
237 newly remodeled guestrooms, Holidome Recreation Center, indoor pool, jacuzzi, sauna & fitness room. Two diverse dining establishments - Hang Time Restaurant and Hang Time Bar & Eatery. 3,500 square feet in meeting space.
Raging Waves Waterpark
Illinois' largest Waterpark offers 45 acres of family fun! 17 water slides, wave pool, lazy river, huge kiddie play structures, sandy beach area and a 2000 foot long 4 course zip line.
Adler Planetarium and Astronomy Museum
The Adler Planetarium — America's First Planetarium — was founded in 1930 by Chicago business leader Max Adler. The museum is home to three full-size theaters, extensive space science exhibitions, and one of the world's most important antique astronomical instrument collections on display. The Adler is a recognized leader in science education, with a focus on inspiring young people, particularly women and minorities, to pursue careers in science.
Consisting of the Robert McCormick Mansion Museum, the First Division Military Museum, ten acres of gardens and parks, 27-hole championship golf course and nine-hole Cantigny Youth Links.
Hardy's Reindeer Ranch
The North Pole has moved to Central Illinois. Try your luck at the 6+ acre corn maze, the Grand Prix style race track, pick a pumpkin or a Christmas tree (depending on season), stop by the fascinating gift shop and, of course, see the reindeer!
The Christkindlmarket is a four-week, open-air market modeled after the famous Nuremberg Christmas market dating back to 1545. The market offers shopping opportunities and serves as a winter wonderland meeting place for family and friends. Plus, enjoy German delicacies like brats, goulash and potato pancakes while you’re there.
Blackberry Farm's Pioneer Village
Go on a one of a kind country adventure you'll never forget! Become pioneers for a day on a real 1800s farm and village. Miniature train rides, pony rides, petting zoo, pioneer craft demonstrations, and special events.
Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field
The North Side Chicago Cubs baseball team calls historic Wrigley Field home.
John Deere Pavilion
The legend of John Deere lives on at the world's most comprehensive agricultural exhibit. Showcases vintage and modern-day equipment, interactive agricultural displays and feature film. Largest collection of John Deere merchandise anywhere.
Enchanted Castle Restaurant & Entertainment Complex
Chicago's premiere entertainment complex! 60,000 sq. ft. of fun featuring: indoor go karts, laser tag, bumper cars, 200+ games, mini golf, Kid's Quest Softplay plus a 625-seat restaurant w/ great food and song (karaoke)., Sir Bounce-A-Lot Jumpland coming this summer! Great team building and corp. events for up to 1,800.
Jump America, LLC
We have over 16,000 square feet of trampolines including two dodgeball courts, a foam jumping pit, kids zone, and more! Plenty of parking, convenient location. This awesome facility designed for kids from age 4 and up. Jump America is great for adults too. It's a great place for birthdays, parties, day camps, schools, civic and community gatherings and corporate events.
Burpee Museum of Natural History
The award-winning "Jane: Diary of a Dinosaur" exhibit explores the history of the museum's young T. rex skeleton on display that has been called one of the 10 most important dinosaur discoveries of the past 100 years. Visitors can also view the skull of Homer, a juvenile Triceratops, and see Burpee staff members working on his bones in the lab. Other exhibits include a coal forest with simulated thunderstorms, a Native American exhibit with a full-size wigwam, and rotating traveling exhibits in the new Woodward Hall. Don't miss Burpee's annual PaleoFest in March.
Magic Waters Waterpark
Some of the many fun water attractions include the five-story Abyss (a dark tunnel tube ride), the two-person Splash Blaster water coaster, Tsunami Bay (Illinois' largest wave pool), Splash Magic River, and Little Lagoon for the tykes. The newest ride is the Double Dare Drop speed slides. Each slide drops riders 75 feet, making the thrill ride the steepest speed slide in northern Illinois.
CITY: Cherry Valley
Magnificent Mile Lights Festival
Kick off the holiday season and create your special memories on The Magnificent Mile in 2013! The BMO Harris Bank Magnificent Mile Lights Festival, the nation’s largest evening holiday celebration, jump starts the holiday season on Saturday, November 23 with a full day of family friendly activities, concerts by top musical artists and the best holiday shopping. The day’s excitement culminates with a grand evening parade down Michigan Avenue marshaled by Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse from Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, illuminating one million lights on 200 trees. The parade concludes with a grand finale fireworks show over the Chicago River.
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.
LEGOLAND Discovery Center
Step inside LEGOLAND® Discovery Center and it's like you have just jumped into the biggest box of LEGO® bricks ever! Journey through a medieval castle on the Dragon Ride and pedal to the skies on the Technicycle, feel a part of the story in the 4D cinema, learn top LEGO® building secrets from the Master Model Builder, see iconic landmarks in "Miniland" and much more!
Azoosment Park at Santa's Village
Azoosment Park at Santa's Village is an amusement park/petting zoo. Unlimited pony rides and amusement rides with one paid admission.
CITY: East Dundee
Chicago Trolley and Double Decker Co.
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.
Family entertainment center featuring Illinois' largest indoor roller coaster, go-karts, bumper cars, Tilt-A-Whirl, bowling, and hundreds of video and redemption games.
CITY: Villa Park
Tall Ship Windy
Navy Pier's resident 148-foot, four-masted schooner pays tribute to the Great Lakes' rich maritime heritage during a variety of cruises each day.
Chicago Botanic Garden
The Chicago Botanic Garden opened a little more than 40 years ago as a beautiful place to visit, and it has matured into one of the world's great living museums and conservation science centers. Each year, nearly one million people visit the Garden's 26 gardens and four natural areas, uniquely situated on 385 acres of land on and around nine islands. Six miles of shoreline extend along 81 acres of water, including the Great Basin, North Lake, and Skokie River Corridor. The Garden also has a renowned Bonsai Collection.
Knight's Action Park & Caribbean Water Adventure
The theme park offers miniature golf, go-karts, batting cages, carnival rides and an arcade. While the water park features a wave pool, bumper boats, water slides, paddle boats and a lazy river. Catch a movie at the old-fashioned drive-in, adjacent to Knight's.
Chicago's First Lady Cruises
Located at the Michigan Avenue Bridge, Chicago's most luxurious touring vessels offer one of Chicago's top tourist attractions, the critically-acclaimed Chicago Architecture Foundation river cruise with commentary by trained, certified docents, and the American Girl Dinner & River Cruise created especially for families and girls (8-12).
Caterpillar Visitors Center
Opened in October 2012, this new visitors 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.
CoCo Key Water Resort - Rockford
CoCo Key, one of Illinois' largest indoor water parks, is Rockford's home for any-weather family water park fun. Attached to the Best Western Clock Tower Resort and Conference Center, CoCo Key Water Resort makes for a perfect tropical family getaway. Explore over 60,000 square feet of indoor water park fun with three giant waterslides, Coconut Grove Adventure River, Parrot's Perch interactive Play Island, indoor/outdoor spa, kiddie pool with zero depth entry, 10,000 square foot Key Quest Arcade, private cabanas, birthday party rooms, and more
Six Flags Great America/Hurricane Harbor
Six Flags Great America features 14 rocking roller coasters (including the new X Flight wing coaster), the free Hurricane Harbor water park with splashy water rides and a giant wave pool, spectacular shows and parades, and pint-size rides for the little ones. New for 2013 is “igNIGHT - Grand Finale,” a vibrant nighttime spectacle bursting with brilliant high-tech visual effects and lively performances.
Lincoln Park Zoo
Located in the heart of the city, the free Lincoln Park Zoo features an impressive ape house, the Farm-in-the-Zoo, a charming children’s zoo, and rides on an old-fashioned carousel. Catch ZooLights during the holidays, when the zoo features glittering light displays and seasonal family activities. The zoo was one of the locales featured in the film Return to Me.
The Field Museum
Discover Sue, the largest and most complete T. rex ever found! At the Field Museum you can also get a bug's-eye view in the Underground Adventure, descend into an Egyptian tomb, be dazzled in the Hall of Gems, come nose to nose with the infamous man-eating lions of Tsavo, and walk among dinosaurs in Evolving Planet.
Strap a mask and flippers onto your imagination and chart a course to Shedd Aquarium. Have you ever seen eye-to-eye with a dolphin? Said hello to a penguin on a stroll to the South Pole? Immersed yourself in a flooded Amazon forest? Or met a friendly beluga whale? You can do it all at Shedd! Photo courtesy of the John G. Shedd Aquarium
Starved Rock Lodge
Full-service Conference Center in Starved Rock State Park. Dining room, bar, veranda, outdoor dining, indoor pool (for Lodge guests). Retreats, meetings, banquets and dream weddings. Lodge has 69 rooms and 21 cabin rooms in a rustic, wooded setting.
Grizzly Jack's Grand Bear Resort and Enchanted Forest
60 acres of Northwoods themed accommodations near Starved Rock. Lodge rooms, villas & cabin, indoor water and amusement parks, dining, banquet & conference center.
In the heart of the city you’ll find a state-of-the-art park designed for the new millennium. Discover the reflective Cloud Gate sculpture, the multimedia Crown Fountain and the Frank Gehry-designed Jay Pritzker Pavilion, all with Chicago’s stunning architecture as a backdrop. The park is also host to many free cultural programs, concerts and family activities. Plus, there's alfresco dining in the summer and an ice skating rink in the winter.
Wildlife Prairie State Park
Wildlife Prairie State Park is home to over 150 animals that are native to Illinois, including wolves, bison, black bear, elk and cougars. Experience the Adventure Trek Tour, which includes a trip through the bison and elk pasture. Unique overnight lodging located in the park includes authentic train cabooses and a cabin nestled in the woods. The park also offers biking enthusiasts 5 miles of singletrack intermediate level terrain with good technical trails and rocky terrain it will feel like you’re biking in the mountains.
CITY: Hanna City
KeyLime Cove Indoor Waterpark Resort
KeyLime Cove, the official resort of nearby Six Flags Great America, offers a year round tropical resort experience. The massive indoor water park features a wave pool, body and tube slides, a lazy river, waterfalls and whirlpools. Besides the splashy fun, KeyLime Cove offers a variety of restaurants and entertainment options geared to both kids and parents. Grab a little "me" time and indulge in the luxurious Paradise Mist Spa, or pamper your princess at The Enchanted Lagoon Kids Spa.
Museum of Science and Industry
A world of discovery awaits at the largest science museum in the Western Hemisphere. Explore more than 800 exhibits, including the legendary U-505, a German submarine captured on the high seas during World War II; take off on a Boeing 727 airplane for a simulated cross-country flight; descend down a mineshaft for a tour of a realistic coal mine; and witness robots at work in a toy factory. Take a seat at the museum’s Omnimax Theater and watch awesome 3D flicks on a giant screen.
The Midwest’s number-one attraction is the place in Chicago for lakefront fun. Take an exhilarating ride on the sky-high Ferris wheel, board a sightseeing or dinner cruise boat, and see a live performance at the outdoor Skyline Stage or acclaimed Chicago Shakespeare Theater. Dine at one of Navy Pier’s many boardwalk restaurants and browse the unique shops and stands (a great place to pick up a souvenir).
Starved Rock State Park
Seasonal waterfalls, awe-inspiring bluffs and rugged canyons dominate the storied landscape at Starved Rock. Rich with history and beauty, Starved Rock’s hiking trails meander through towering trees and scenic overlooks along the Illinois River. Outdoor activities include hiking, canoeing, paddleboat cruises, cross-country skiing, trolley rides, fishing and picnicking. Visitors can stay at the historic Starved Rock Lodge or in one of its cozy cabins.