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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.
Illinois Iron Furnace
Step back to Civil War days when "pig iron" was smelted at this, the first coal-fired iron furnace in Illinois, now on the National Register of Historic Places. Restored structure is in a beautiful park with fishing, hiking, and picnicking available.
Old Fire Engine Museum
Learn how firemen fought fires throughout history. See all of the antique firefighting memorabilia.
Lincoln Christening Site/Watermelon Statue
A life-size statue of a watermelon commemorates the day the City of Lincoln was christened by Abraham Lincoln on August 27, 1853. The town's founders, John D. Gillett, Virgil HIckox and Robert B. Latham, were all personal friends of Lincoln.
Illinois Fire Museum
The museum is home to one of the nation's largest collections of firefighter patches, as well as antique fire service memorabilia, art works, equipment and sculptures.
On Any Sunday Motorcycle Museum
See 40 motorcycles on display, including European bikes built from 1942-1978.
Chevrolet Hall of Fame Museum
A collection of Chevrolet automobiles combing various race cars, Indy 50 Pace Cars, and original unrestored vehicles, including Chevrolet memorabilia. Includes Dreamers Diner where the cars can be partially viewed while you eat a fantastic breakfast or lunch.
1876 Banwarth House and Museum
A fascinating, hands-on experience awaits! Join period interpreters on a journey through the fine Victorian home of Charles Banwarth.
Litchfield Museum and Route 66 Welcome Center
Designed to reflect the Route 66 era, the museum houses exhibits which focus on the roles the railroads, Route 66, businesses, agriculture, and the military have played in Litchfield's history.
Dozin' with the Dinosaurs at the Field Museum
The lights dim as you explore the rituals of ancient Egyptian culture, guided by the light of your flashlight. Next, you prowl an African savannah with giraffes, hippos, and man-eating lions. Take a break by playing games from around the world or touching giant bugs from right in your backyard. Cap your night of exploration and adventure with cozy bedtime stories, before drifting off to dreamland in one of the amazing exhibits. Bring your family and friends for a night at the museum you’ll never forget!
Center For American Archeology
Located in Kampsville, the Center for American Archeology Museum is housed in the historic Kamp Store, offering a variety of exhibits focusing on the 10,000 year pre-history of the lower Illinois River Valley, the archeological history of Illinois and the history of the Kamp Store. Guided tours of the facility and excavation sites are available for groups of ten or more.
Abraham Lincoln Long Nine Museum
Has electronic audio narrated dioramas that depict Abe the railsplitter, the self-taught scholar, the story teller, the lawyer and the politician.
Cuneo Mansion and Gardens
The opulent Cuneo Museum and Gardens, located on 75 acres and dotted with formal gardens and statuary was the perfect setting for the wedding scenes in "My Best Friend's Wedding." The gazebo where the best friends were caught kissing was built specifically for the film, but Cuneo's owners liked it so much they decided to keep it permanently. Take a guided tour through the historic Mediterranean-style Cuneo mansion to see Renaissance artworks and lavish European furnishings.
Colonel Davenport House
Located on the historic Rock Island Arsenal island -- an active military munitions base -- the home offers guided tours that highlight the famous people who have visited this historic home, the history of the island through various wars, and the events that took place when the Davenport family lived in this home. Learn about the river bandits that broke into the home during the 4th of July and what happened to Colonel Davenport. IMPORTANT: Because this is an active U.S. Army facility, a current ID is required for age 16 or older to enter the island. International visitors must register one week ahead by calling 309-782-2686 Monday through Friday between the hours of 6 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. Central Time.
International Walldog Mural and Sign Art Exhibit
Exhibit featuring the history of outdoor sign and mural art. Videos, drawings, and artifacts tell the story of advertising art. Art work for sale. The International Walldog Mural & Sign Art Exhibit is dedicated to the preservation and appreciation of the outdoor wall advertising signs painted in the days before electronic mass media. The painters who created those early signs called themselves "Walldogs." The displays which are found at the museum tell the history of the early sign painters who created their art on the sides of brick buildings, barns, and other structures. Examples of those early signs can still be seen throughout the Midwest and, though faded, peeling, and sometimes barely readable, these "ghost signs" remain an important part of our collective cultural and commercial history.
Joseph Smith Historic Site
The Joseph Smith Historic Site retells the story of the Latter Day Saint movement in Nauvoo during the early 1840s. Within the Visitor Center, guests will find original paintings of Nauvoo by David Hyrum Smith as well as other artifacts and information about the city and its people. Guided walking tours begin at the Visitors Center, starting with a short film and continuing through the Smith family's homes.
Steve's Segway Tours
Explore Chicago's lakefront, museums and Millennium Park on a three-hour Segway tour led by guides all year round.
Elmhurst Historical Museum
DuPage County, Chicago’s Western Suburbs - This prize-winning museum features changing interpretive exhibits on Elmhurst history as well as national touring exhibits. Programs for children, families and adults throughout the year. The Elmhurst Historical Museum is located in a historically significant structure known as the Glos Mansion, which is the former home of Elmhurst's first village president, Henry L. Glos, and his wife, Lucy.
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.
Little Brick House
Listed on the National Register, it has six restored rooms with china, furniture, engravings, and books that belonged to the settlers when Lincoln attended the legislature.
Funk Prairie Home Gem & Mineral Museum
Located at the Funk Prairie Home, this museum houses the largest single-owner display of rare gems, minerals, fossils and lapidary art in the state. Also view the agriculture exhibit, along with several antique sleighs and carriages.
Macon County History Museum
Imagine Abraham Lincoln, the 6'4" lawyer, ducking to avoid bumping his head on the entrance of Macon Country's first courthouse built in 1829, which was the only log courthouse where Lincoln practiced law. This and other period buildings, located in the Macon County History Museum, allow visitors to travel back to different historical periods of the county. The prairie village on the museum grounds is home to such historical buildings as the log court house where Abraham Lincoln practiced in the 1830s.
Curtis House Museum
Built in 1870 by Major Elijah P Curtis after the Civil War. The woodwork and other features of the home are unusual.
University of Illinois Champaign Urbana
The University of Illinois is a world leader in research, teaching and public engagement. It's distinguished by the breadth of their programs, broad academic excellence and internationally renowned faculty. This Big Ten school offers rich experiences beyond the classroom from the best in performing arts to world-class sports. Discover the scenic campus through tours of the historic buildings and those that are pushing the envelope in technology.
Alton Museum of History and Art
Winged monsters, explorers, riverboats and a gentle giant. The Alton Museum of History & Art shows the crossroads of American history in Alton. The museum is located in the historic Loomis Hall across from the Wadlow statue. Loomis Hall is the oldest building in the state of Illinois continuously utilized for education. One of the most popular rooms, the Wadlow Room, pays tribute to Alton's "Gentle Giant" and the World's Tallest Man. The Pioneer Room explores the history of Alton from the Lewis & Clark Expedition to the Civil War with exhibits on Elijah Lovejoy, the Lincoln-Douglas Debates and the "Alton Route" on the Underground Railroad. Hours: Wednesday - Saturday 10 a.m. - 4 p.m., Sunday 1 - 4 p.m.
Chicagoland Sports Hall of Fame
Sports memorablia; interactive video; photos of all inductees.
DuPage Children's Museum
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.
Cedarhurst Center for the Arts & Mitchell Museum
Exhibitions, a children's gallery, a permanent collection and special events. Grounds include 85 acres sculpture park, nature trails and bird sanctuary. Hosts annual Cedarhurst Craft Fair.
Korean War National Museum
Treasured artifacts, historial papers, and mementos tell the story of the Korean War through interactive exhibits. The first phase of the museum, The Denis J. Healy Freedom Center, is open to the public. The Center houses 3D-interactive exhibits, the Freedom Hall Theater, a canteen, and a center for Veterans and their families to record their personal experiences.
Monticello Railway Museum
View various pieces of steam and electric railroad equipment. Offers vintage train rides on Sat. and Sun. May through Oct., as well as a number of special events throughout the year.
Louis Latzer Homestead
Louis Latzer, the founder of the Pet Milk Company, built this homestead for his wife and family in 1901. The home had many modern features of the day, including running water pumped by hand to a holding tank in the attic, a manufactured gas light system, speaking tubes between many of the rooms and one of the first telephones in the community.
Illinois Executive Mansion
Home of the Illinois Governor, the mansion is the third-oldest, continuously occupied governor's home in the nation. Filled with antiques and historic artifacts. Built in 1855 the mansion contains 16 elegantly appointed rooms open for viewing, including the state dining room, a library and the Lincoln bedroom.
Spring Valley Nature Center/ Volkening Heritage Farm
135 acres, natural history museum, handicapped-accessible trails, 1880's living history farm and pioneer cooking demos. Cost for some programs.
Children's Discovery Museum
Come experience three floors of unique, hands-on, larger-than-life exhibits! This museum is designed to create a sense of wonder that excites the love of learning in children of all ages. Be sure to discover the new Children's Discovery Museum.
YOU! The Experience
More than just a body, you are a complex blend of your choices, your personality, and your environment. Who you are depends on how you care for yourself and enjoy your life. YOU! The Experience brings these elements together into an interactive exhibit examining and celebrating the experience of life itself. It is one of the first and largest exhibitions to showcase the connection between the human mind, body and spirit in the 21st century. Start exploring the exhibit's fun and fascinating opportunities to explore what it is to be … YOU!
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.
Bishop Hill State Historic Site
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.
Chicago Cultural Center
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.
Bea Gurler was nine years old when her father George moved his family into the house in 1893. Her cousins, the children of her father’s brother Henry, had been living since 1888 in the Ellwood Mansion. Everyone said it was magnificent. Bea’s parents George and Zillah, evidently shared a taste in homes that favored the elegance of simplicity. It was the unimposing yet dignified structure on Pine Street–where the back door was always open. George and Henry Gurler were both prominent businessmen, and joint owners of a number of dairies. They quickly became world-famous and respected by many dairy farmers. Bea eventually made it a goal of hers to renovate The Gurler House to be the home that she once new and loved. The Gurler House hosts an annual Folk Music Festival every summer, where people are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and blankets to enjoy the music. While you are at The Gurler House, make sure to take a walk through their beautiful garden.
Joliet Area Historical Museum
Travel through time and space! Walk through a replica of the I & M Canal, window shop on a turn-of-the-century street, take a virtual ride on a replica trolley, live the legend of Route 66, land on the moon in a walk-in simulator, and experience space exploration and the Apollo missions. Temporary exhibits change often in our Special Exhibition Gallery. There's always family fun in our discovery room, and remember your visit with a souvenir from our Gift Shop.
Route 66 Heritage Wayside Exhibits
Five wayside story boards that highlight the history of Route 66 in Pontiac. Pick up a map at the Route 66 Museum.
The African American Museum of Southern Illinois
Permanent exhibits here include African art collections and slave artifacts. Rotating displays have included Underground Railroad message quilts and local artwork. The museum's changing exhibits seek to portray the outstanding achievements of African American citizens.
Abraham Lincoln's original account ledger with the Springfield Marine and Fire Insurance Company is on display at Chase Bank during banking hours.
Illinois Aviation Museum at Bolingbrook
Providing the nation with access to the rich history of aviation in Illinois, the Illinois Aviation Museum at Bolingbrook focuses on technology, research, education and community service.
Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center
This new center is a 65,000 square-foot building designed by renowned architect Stanley Tigerman. The Museum is dedicated to preserving the legacy of the Holocaust by honoring the memories of those who were lost and by teaching the universal lessons that combat hatred, prejudice and indifference. The museum features an authentic early 20th century German rail car, an inspiring Hall of Remembrance for contemplation and reflection, a permanent exhibition chronicling life before, during and after the Holocaust, a youth exhibit for 9-11 year olds highlighting lessons of the Holocaust and a 225 seat auditorium.
Donley's Wild West Town
See a Wild West show and museum of Western memorabilia, then dine at Donley's Old West Steakhouse.
Lizzadro Museum of Lapidary Art
DuPage County, Chicago’s Western Suburbs - This one-of-a-kind museum features displays of Chinese jade and other hard stone carvings, dioramas, minerals, gemstones, earth science, hands-on exhibits, and a unique gift shop. Group tours are available with reservations, and educational programs are offered.
Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum
The urban gateway to nature and science. The Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum is a place where city dwellers can reconnect with the wonder of the natural world. From a hands-on water lab to a wilderness walk to the only international, year-round butterfly haven, science comes alive.
Waking the T. Rex - The Story of Sue in 3-D
No dinosaur in the world compares to SUE—the largest, most complete, and best preserved Tyrannosaurus Rex ever discovered. Get the inside scoop on SUE and the science behind the world's most famous T. Rex. Terror has a new appetite! Come celebrate the 10th anniversary of SUE and experience the T. Rex in a brand new way.
Chicago Architecture Foundation/ ArchiCenter
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.
Springfield & Central Illinois African American History Museum
Gathers, interpretes, and exhibits featuring the history and culture of African Americans living in the Springfield and Central Illinois area durin the 19th and 20th centuries. Open only Saturdays 9am-5pm until February 23, 2012. Tours and lectures available other times by request.
My Garage Museum Collection
Showcasing classic and one-of-a-kind Corvettes and memorabilia, My Garage Museum is a must-see attraction for any car enthusiast. Corvettes on display include Indy pace cars, racing machines, the last C-4 and the first 21st century model.
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.
Naper Settlement -- Outdoor History Museum
Chicagoland's only 19th Century Village with historic homes, shops, a chapel, fort and one-room schoolhouse in a 13-acre park-like setting with costumed villagers, exhibits and more.
Fort Lamotte is a construction of a civilian style early 19th century American fort, featuring a two story block house and small log cabin. Construction began in spring of 2007 with all volunteer labor, donations of materials by various people and businesses. The block house is mainly constructed of popular logs as is the cabin. Local hickory was used for the cantilever logs, between 1st and 2nd stories with a puncheon 2nd story floor and persimmon trusses. The stockade walls are of locally grown hedge and black locust. This is the third fort to bear the name Lamotte.
An eclectic district filled with dining and multi-cultural attractions, Midtown Champaign, with the beautiful Boneyard Creek flowing, connects Downtown and Campustown Champaign.
Riverfront Museum Park
Arts and humanities complex housing Discovery Center Museum, Rockford Art Museum, Rockford Dance Company office and studies, Northern Illinois Public Radio offices and Rockford Symphony Orchestra offices.
Chicago Great Western Railway Depot Museum
Experience railroading during its glory days at a former link for the Chicago Great Western Railway from Chicago, Illinois to Oelwein, Iowa by taking a tour through our extensive collection of railway memorabilia. See a full-size caboose, both G-scale and HO-scale operating model railroads and artifacts of northwestern Illinois railroads.
Chanute Air Museum
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.
American Fluorite Museum
The American Fluorite museum is located on the site of the Rosiclare Fluorspar and Mining Co., which was once the largest fluorspar mining company in the U.S. It features photographs, ore specimens, mining paraphernalia and colorful dioramas.
Mt. Vernon Market
Mt. Vernon Market is located at the former armory building in downtown Mt. Vernon and features farmers markets, flea markets, vendor fairs, trade shows, entertainment, and other events throughout the year.
Americana Hollywood Museum
An amazing tribute to America's most famous Hollywood icons, features life-size figures, wardrobes, costumes, movie props, posters, dolls, statues and celebrity collectibles from around the world. Americana Hollywood is a museum dedicated to Hollywood of yesterday and today. Located 2 blocks from Harrah’s Casino you will find collections from Elvis Presley, Marilyn Monroe, James Dean, Pamela Anderson and Angelina Jolie, just to name a few. Come stroll through the outdoor statues and have your picture taken with the Blues Brothers or on the set of a Western ghost town. There is so much to see and do at this museum!
Ewing Cultural Center
Located on the wooded Sunset Hill estate of the late Hazle Buck Ewing, the Ewing Cultural Center encompasses the open-air Theatre at Ewing (summer home of the Illinois Shakespeare Festival), the elegant Ewing Manor (which is open for tours) and the beautiful Genevieve Green Gardens.
Lincoln: History to Hollywood
“Lincoln: History to Hollywood,” an exhibition of sets, costumes and props from the Steven Spielberg’s Academy Award-winning film “Lincoln,” has opened at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum complex, located in downtown Springfield, Illinois. Items of note in the exhibit include Lincoln’s office set, a vignette of Mary Lincoln’s bedroom, Lincoln’s gloves, Tad Lincoln’s tin soldiers, and the rocking chair where President Lincoln sat with Tad. Most of the furniture pieces in the exhibit are antiques from the Civil War era, not reproductions. The exhibits are on long-term loan from Spielberg and DreamWorks Studio. The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum features more than 40,000 square feet of galleries, theatres and historic displays that takes visitors on a journey from Lincoln’s humble beginnings through his Presidency. The “Lincoln: History to Hollywood” exhibit will be located in Union Station, across the street from the presidential museum.
Route 66 Association of Illinois Hall of Fame and Museum
See the finest collection of memorabilia from the historic Mother Road in Illinois. The free-admission Hall of Fame features nostalgic photos and displays, plus attractions that include Route 66 artist and icon Bob Waldmire's bus and van, and the world's largest Route 66 shield.
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.
Old Illinois Passenger Depot Railroad Museum
Built in 1903 by the Illinois Central Railroad, the Old Railroad Passenger Depot has since been restored and now serves as home to the Carbondale Train Museum. Filled with information, artifacts and souveniers, the museum contains significant facts relating to Carbondale's history. Ring the bell of an original train car from the Illinois Central Railroad, which still sits on the track!
Looking for Lincoln Exhibits
Pontiac’s historic connections to Abraham Lincoln date back to Lincoln’s early days as a young lawyer traveling the 8th Judicial District. Lincoln visited Pontiac many times, represented a number of local citizens in legal actions, and made connections here that helped him to rise to prominence in state and national politics. Nine outdoor story boards help tell the stories associated with Lincoln's many visits to Pontiac. Pick up a map at the Visitor Center.
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.
Illinois Railway Museum
The award winning Illinois Railway Museum (IRM), open from April through October, celebrates railway preservation with electric cars, steam trains, diesel trains, trolley buses and motor buses operating throughout the grounds. This museum was the film location for all of the scenes on the train and at the railroad depot in A League of Their Own.
Historic Swinging Bridges
Three bridges which cross the Vermillion River. Built as early as 1898 and one of the most popular attractions in Pontiac. Bridge 1 connects Riverview Drive and Play Park. It was built in July 1898 by Joliet Bridge Company with an iron structure, 190 feet long and 4 feet wide and supported by cables swung from masonry piers. The current bridge is a wooden structure. Bridge 2 connects the Play Park and Chautauqua Park - Eden M. Johnson Memorial circa 1926. Bridge 3 connects the south side and Riverside-Humiston Park. It was built in connection with the adjoining park, circa 1978: Illinois Contractors, Inc.
Pontiac-Oakland Automobile Museum & Resource Center
The history of the Oakland and Pontiac car brands as seen through 15 classic cars, dealer artifacts, a complete print library and memorabilia. Free admission-open year round.
Discovery Center Museum
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.
University of Illinois Arboretum
The University of Illinois Arboretum is a living laboratory, including plant collections and facilities that support the teaching, research and public service programs of several units throughout campus. Central to the Arboretum was the development of the "All American Selection Trial Gardens" established by a bequest from Miles C. Hartley in the early 90s. Other highlights of the Arboretum include the Welcome Garden, Hosta Garden, Kari Walkway and native ponds plantings, the Idea Garden, sponsored by Champaign County Master Gardeners, and the Japanese Tea and Dry Gardens at the Japan House.
Krannert Art Museum and Kinkead Pavilion
Located on the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign campus, Krannert Art Museum is the second-largest fine art museum in Illinois—placing it among the top tier of university art museums nationwide. The museum’s diverse permanent collection contains over 10,000 works of art, and represents the cultures of African, Asia, Europe and the Americas. In addition to its permanent collection, the museum features outstanding temporary exhibitions throughout the year.
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's own Chinatown features beautiful Chinese-style buildings, as well as exotic dining and shopping experiences that have made the neighborhood a popular destination for visitors and locals alike.
Peoria Riverfront Museum
Opened in October 2012, this brand new 80,000 square-foot building is a world-class facility located on Peoria’s downtown riverfront. The museum features a 3D giant screen theater and digital planetarium, as well as history, science, art and achievement exhibits for all ages.
Stroll downtown Springfield and check out shops that carry everything from Lincoln souvenirs to one-of-a-kind jewelry and fresh-made fudge. Downtown is also host to many events and festivals throughout the year.
Proudly referred to as Chicago's "Front yard," Grant Park is a public park, 319 acres located in Chicago’s central business district in the Loop Community area. Grant Park’s most notable features include Millennium Park, Buckingham Fountain, The Art Institute of Chicago and the Museum Campus. Named for United States President and Civil War General, Ulysses S. Grant, Grant Park was developed as one of Chicago's first parks and expanded through land reclamation.
Midway Village Museum
The museum campus consists of a Victorian village with 26 historical buildings filled with artifacts of the era as well as several beautiful 19th century gardens that depict life in northern Illinois from 1890 to 1910. Interpreters in authentic period dress are available seasonally for guided tours. The main museum building holds large group meeting rooms and exhibit space with a number of permanent exhibits reflecting Rockford's history and culture. Special events throughout the year include a World War II re-enatment, Sock Monkey and Scarecrow Harvest Festivals, and more. Free recreational path located on property.
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.
Tinker Swiss Cottage Museum and Gardens
Tinker Swiss Cottage is a historic house museum located in the heart of Rockford, Illinois. The museum complex contains the historic house museum, barn, and carriage house from the Tinker family. In addition, the property is the home of the founding site of Rockford and contains a Pre-Columbian Native American conical mound. Robert surrounded his Swiss Cottage with over 27 acres of trees, vines, winding pathways, flowerbeds, and gardens. A three-story Swiss inspired barn was added to the property which housed cows, chickens, and horses. On the side of the Cottage, Robert constructed a suspension bridge crossing the Kent Creek. At the end of Robert's suspension bridge, he planted elaborate gardens deemed the Railroad Gardens where passengers could stroll as they waited for the train.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This 500-acre park offers vast formal gardens, picnic grounds, a top-ranked public golf course and two museums: Robert R. McCormick Museum and First Division Museum. Enjoy a wide variety of programs and events throughout the year, such as festivals, lectures, concerts and workshops.
Here I Have Lived Exhibits
View over 40 outdoor interpretive exhibits placed throughout the downtown area to experience Springfield as Abraham Lincoln knew it. Each exhibit is intended to capture a moment in time for Lincoln and how he was affected by the people, places and events he encountered in his hometown. Each story is accompanied by graphics or photographs and a medallion that is symbolic of that particular story. Visitors are encouraged to collect rubbings of each medallion.
Adler Planetarium and Astronomy Museum
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.
Black Hawk State Historic Site
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.
Volo Auto Museum
The most under priced attraction in the area! 36 acres of family fun. See 300 classic, antique and muscle cars, including the country's largest display of Hollywood TV and movie cars! Experience the Military Combat Zone, a life-like battle scene with rare military vehicles and weapons. Shop 5 Antique Malls. Take a Haunted Trolley Tour. Enjoy great food in a Betty Boop themed diner and more. All in one location!
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.
John Deere Pavilion & Store
Experience innovations of the present and the future while appreciating the heritage of the past at the free attraction in downtown Moline, Illinois. See vintage machines and climb aboard new ones, operate a simulated excavator or dozer, explore exhibits on how technology helps people shape and care for the land and enjoy interactive ways for kids to learn about farming and infrastructure. The John Deere Store stocks a large collection of genuine John Deere merchandise.