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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.
In the early 1800s, Alton became a safe haven for slaves escaping from the bonds of slavery. Because of the area's neighboring slave state of Missouri, runaways found refuge in the free land surrounding Alton. The tunnels of the Underground Railroad run deep beneath the streets along the "Alton Route." The area was a major stop along the Underground Railroad, hiding slaves in caves, barns and basements throughout Alton, Otterville and Jerseyville. Hear the slave's tales, feel their fear and learn about Alton's remarkable past on an Underground Railroad Tour. Tours available by appointment only.
Vigneto del Bino Winery is a boutique winery specializing in “Wines grown from local Vines.” The winery sits on one acre of a 10 acre property surrounded by 2,300 grapevines. Vigneto del Bino specializes in producing unique wines from grapevines that grow here in Illinois. The winery building encompasses the manufacturing of the wines, a tasting room and gift shop. Relax and shop for gift items; while sampling our crisp and refreshing wine selection.
Lighted pumpkin House - October 25-31 Downtown Arthur - This house is decorated with over 300 pumpkins that are carved by school children, businesses, Arthur community volunteers and surrounding communities. The pumpkin come from Arthur's very own, The Great Pumpkin Patch
A kinetic water sculpture fountain sculpted by internationally acclaimed artist Christian Tobin Isaac(squared) brings Aurora the most mysterious essence of both science and art. Here the hydrostatic force of water unleashing the kinetic energy of stone creates a work of compelling vitality inviting us to look and linger, talk and even dream. These four massive granite obelisks - 12 feet in height, weighing 4000 pounds each- feature top-stone segments, rhythmically rocking and swiveling, balanced on cushions of water. Each time a top-stone centers itself on the middle of its tower and is restored to equilibrium, the power of gravity is once more proclaimed: each turn of a stone replying to the center of the earth. The elemental effect of the force of water through each of these commanding rock pillars cascading onto the pedestrian walk below brings us together with the laws of nature and the transformational power of art.
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. In the Discovery Barn see chickens, sheep, piglets, baby goats and more.
The 30-acre park was designed in a way that would serve many purposes. From the canoe/kayak launch and natural landscaping to the VIP Rooftop Deck and 10-acre music venue, this is the new recreation and entertainment destination of the suburbs. Bring your kids and fly a kite. Enjoy a local band in the music pavilion with friends. Spread out a blanket and watch fireworks with the family on the 4th of July. RiverEdge Park is your backyard away from home.
Pumpkin Weekends bring the spectacular fall season to life with autumn festivities amid the spectacular fall colors. Enjoy seasonal craft-making, harvest decor and pumpkin stories galore! Kids can roll around in the giant corn crib and enjoy unlimited rides on the train, ponies, hay wagon and carousel. Experience a pumpkin paddle, trick-or-treating and a costume contest. It’s all the best of autumn in one place! Weekends in October and Columbus Day (Oct. 10), 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day.
Shop Aurora's Farmers Market for seasonal favorites! Join neighbors and enjoy the familiar flavors and weekly surprises. Illinois' oldest continually-running market, proudly celebrating area history and heritage. Each week with their Healthy Growing Initiative, your shopping experience includes a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables as well as the opportunity to discover unique handcrafts, homemade breads and pastries, specialty meats, artisan cheeses, and beautiful flowers. Pick up your farm fresh produce for the week - and plan to spend some time savoring the sweetness of locally-made baked goods, snacking on fresh popcorn, or tasting delicious hot donuts! The City of Aurora Farmers Markets are more than a place to get your vegetables. An excellent way to kick off your Saturday morning with a mini-festival of socializing, food, music and much more. Held Saturday mornings, June through October.
Celebrate Fall at Abbey Farms Pumpkin Daze! This old-fashioned farm boasts a variety of activities and events for all ages. Who is ready for the Human Hamster Ball Experience? New attractions abound at Abbey Farms Pumpkin Daze this year! Just a few of the fun activities included with the price of admission are tractor hay rides and log balancing beams, a pirate ship imagination adventure and two 200’ foot long zip lines, the all ages jumping pillow and adult pedal go-karts and Kane County’s largest corn maze! New for 2016 (additional cost): Strap yourself into the air-filled Human Hamster Ball experience, take aim with the corn cannon challenge, run a lap on the new bouncing cow train ride and grab a craft beer and or pumpkin from the pumpkin patch! Lastly, be sure to visit our new Pine Tree Café & country store & bakery for a dozen of our famous Apple Cider donuts on your way out!
Chicago Premium Outlets is the largest outlet center in the Chicago market and ninth largest outdoor outlet mall in North America. With more than 140 designer and top brand-name outlets, the newly-expanded Chicago Premium Outlets® is being pegged by many as the market’s must-shop destination this holiday season. Holiday shoppers at Chicago Premium Outlets will find seasonal delights at every turn, from the showpiece ice skating pond and Dickens-inspired carolers, to cozy warming lounges serving complimentary hot cocoa on select days and look for Santa to be strolling the promenades handing out goodies to children. Weekend Shopper Shuttle service from Union Station to Chicago Premium Outlets available. (Check their web site for more details.)
This forest preserve has miles of wooded trails and a quarry lake suitable for hiking and horseback. Fishing, canoeing and kayaking permitted in season.
The holiday festivities in Bishop Hill begin with Julmarknad, or Christmas Market. This event is based on Scandinavian customs dating back to the Middle Ages when farmers and artisans would gather in the village squares to sell their wares. Bishop Hill businesses will be offering unique gifts, handmade wares, antiques, quilts, collectibles, baked goods, delicious foods, and Swedish imports. Businesses will be open from 10-5pm. Scandinavian foods such as herring, lutfisk, and rye bread are also in abundance. Select from a large array of delicious holiday cookies, homemade by community bakers on Friday and Saturday.
Anju Above promises to make Farm to Table dining more accessible by offering seasonally sensitive, locally grown cuisine in a fast and casual setting. Anju Above's menu features classic Neapolitan pizzas, sushi specifically created for the Midwestern palate, Asian dumplings, and a modern and interactive bar. Our purpose is to blend internationally inspired small dishes with socially responsible farming techniques to create a fast and fun, farm fresh experience for our guests.
Illinois' only indoor/outdoor aquatic park features seven water slides, a lazy river, two zero-depth entry pools, a spray play area, diving well, sand playground and two concession stands.
Scuba dive in a 12-acre, spring-fed quarry and see several varieties of fish, along with underwater attractions that include a 33-foot cabin cruiser, a marine dump truck and an amphibious vehicle. Rental equipment, air-fills and dive instruction are available.
Little ghost and goblins of all ages are sure to have a howlin' good time! Our not-so-scary and fun-filled event has something for the entire family to enjoy, from the "Crazy Maize" corn maze, to a spin on the "Creepy Cowboy Carousel", to professional pumpkin carving, and more.
The Byron Museum Complex consists of a large Exhibit Hall and the historic Lucius Read House, which was on the Underground Railroad and is a listed site on the National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom. The Read House features a permanent exhibit entitled, ‘From Shackles to Freedom: The Underground Railroad’ which shines a spotlight on Byron’s participation in the Underground Railroad. We are happy to accommodate group tours outside regular hours. Tours are free and are self-guided or a docent can be arranged. We also have ample meeting space available.
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.
This annual event features over 100 original, handmade arts and crafts, great food, free admission, and free parking. For more information call 1-800-851-4720, extension 8287.
Open seasonally throughout the year (Spring, Summer, and few Autumn days; nice cool days), this MUST STOP is the place everyone local or visiting must experience. Serving everything from custard to milk shakes, there's no question why Jarling's is a local favorite!
October brings pumpkins, hayrides, corn maze, train rides, farm animals, and fun. Also come see our Civil war reenactment the third weekend in October. Warrior Dash Midwest in June. On site gift shop.
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.
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.