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Country Corner - Grandparents Day Weekend/Customer Appreciation
Kids, visit Country Corner in Alpha with your Grandparents. Grandparents will be admitted free with a paying grandchild. Activities available include a Hayrack Ride, U-Pick Pumpkins, and Corn Maze. Special Discounts and Concessions in Timber Park. Hours: 9 am to 6 pm. Fall Fun Park Hours:10:30 am to 6 pm.
Country Corner Fall Flea Market
Enjoy a large Flea Market with over 20 vendors each day displaying their wares for sale from 10am to 5pm. Hayrack Rides, U-Pick Pumpkins, Corn Maze. Fall Fun Park Hours: 10:30am to 6pm.
Country Corner Pumpkin Cannon and Military Appreciation Weekend
Have you ever seen pumpkins fly at the speed of sound? Watch the Q-9 pumpkin cannon – always shooting for a world record, or pick and shoot your own pumpkin. Distance and accuracy competitions are held twice daily. Military weekend appreciation events too.
Allgauer's Restaurant features steak, chops, pasta and seafood. Join them for breakfast, lunch, dinner and their award winning champagne Sunday brunch.
Dr. Charles Wright House
Built in 1889 by Dr. C.M. Wright, this stately Renaissance Revival home holds three generations of Wright family furnishings, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Ballard Nature Center
Just minutes away from the city but a world away, Ballard Nature Center is home to dozens of species of birds and wildlife. Natural prairie, wetlands, butterfly and hummingbird gardens, ponds and creeks round out the outdoor experience.
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.
Super 8 Motel - Alton
Super 8 Alton hotel lets you make the most of your time on the road. Located on Illinois Highway 3 close to Route 67 and Interstates 55 and 270, our Alton, Illinois, hotel is just 30 miles from downtown St. Louis and convenient to popular area attractions, including the Meeting of the Great Rivers Scenic Byway.
Sam Vadalabene Bike Trail
Extending 20 miles from Alton to Pere Marquette State Park, the Sam Vadalabene Bike Trail runs parallel to the Meeting of the Great Rivers National Scenic Byway along IL Route 100, as well as the Mississippi and Illinois Rivers. The route is completely paved and takes cyclists through the towns of Elsah and Grafton. Comfort stations are available at Piasa Park, Clifton Terrace Park, Elsah, Grafton Visitors Center, Grafton Harbor public restroom and Pere Marquette State Park. This is a great ride for cyclist of all ages, including families looking for a free day of fun!
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.
Jacoby Arts Center
Jacoby Arts Center is dedicated to creating opportunities for individual artists in their pursuit of artistic excellence and economic success. The stunning gallery presents works of regional and national artists and the retail shop, known as The Artist Shop, showcases items in a variety of media while providing artists a retail outlet to their audiences.
Great River Road Run
It is time again for the Great River Road Run. Race your way to victory with the choice of a 2 mile route or a 10 mile route out and back on the Meeting of the Great Rivers National Scenic Byway, beginning in Alton. It's the most scenic run you'll ever make as you race to the finish along the Mississippi River and the majestic limestone bluffs.
This Queen Anne-style playhouse was built for Lucy J. Haskell, daughter of Dr. William A. & Florence H. Haskell. The playhouse was an exact replica of the family home. Lucy died at age nine of diptheria and the Haskell's gave the estate to the City of Alton for educational & recreational purposes. The playhouse is currently listed on the National Register of Historic Places and can be visited in Haskell Park.
Begin your holiday celebration escaping from the chaos of the season and experiencing the enchantment of Christmas at the "Christmas Wonderland" holiday light display. The "Grandpa Gang" has been at it again transforming Rock Springs Park in Alton, Illinois into a Winter Wonderland. Visitors can drive through the park to view more than 2 million lights, cascading waterfalls of lights, lighted trees and displays, and visit Santa Claus in the Enchanted Forest. Christmas Wonderland 2009 will be open from November 27th through December 27th. The suggested donation is $7 for cars and small vans or $1 per person for vehicles holding more than 10 people. Carriage rides will be available with advanced reservations by calling Greatting Horse Farm at 618-458-6986. For more information about Christmas Wonderland, call 1-866-465-7890.
Underground Railroad Shuttle Tours
Learn about local, Underground Railroad sites on a shuttle tour with J.E. Robinson Tours and the Alton Regional CVB on the last Saturday of each month (10 a.m. to noon). The two-hour guided shuttle tours will stop at some of the sites that were part of the Underground Railroad system including the Old Rock House, Rocky Fork Church and more. Alton’s riverfront location along the Mighty Mississippi played a vital role in helping slaves make connections to the freedom of the northern states. Buried beneath the streets of Alton and Godfrey, remnants of this period in history still exist. For more information on the Underground Railroad shuttle tours or to make advance registrations, please contact the Alton Regional Convention & Visitors Bureau at (800) 258-6645.
Spirit of Peoria Cruises
Enjoy the river by boarding the Spirit of Peoria sightseeing cruise. The cruise will travel the Mississippi River and people will have a chance to enjoy the scenic beauty found here. The boat will depart and return to Riverfront Park in Alton. There are sightseeing, lunch and dinner cruises. For more information or to reserve your ticket, call (800) 258-6645.
Dicken's Holiday Village
Olde England comes alive in Historic Downtown Antioch with lifelike figures representing scenes from the Dickens Era. Experience this public art exhibit while strolling among the delight streets of Antioch. Enjoy the charm of Dickens among the many boutiques, gift shops and eateries. Also enjoy special Saturday Dickens activities.
Arcola Broom Corn Festival
Arcola celebrates its heritage as the “Broom Corn Capital of the World” with this renowned festival held in downtown. Visitors can see broom activities, arts/crafts, great food, free entertainment, National Broom Sweeping Contest on Main Street and gigantic parade featuring the famous Lawn Rangers.
Laser Quest - Arlington Heights
Laser Quest is a family entertainment venue combining the classic games of hide-and-seek and tag with a high tech twist. Our multi-level arenas have specialty lighting, swirling fog and energetic music to add to the excitement for up to 30 or more players in each game.
CITY: Arlington Heights
The Great Pumpkin Patch
Open from mid-September through October 31, The Great Pumpkin Patch features 300 varieties of pumpkins, squash and gourds from around the world, all grown on the farm. The beautiful grounds feature various mazes and gardens, farm animals, a u-pick pumpkin patch and the Homestead Bakery, offering fresh-baked goods. Live entertainment is presented on fall weekends.
Central Illinois Braggin' Rights KCBS BBQ Competition
Some of the top KCBS and backyard BBQ teams in the Midwest compete for $14,000 in cash prizes. Featuring BBQ equipment and BBQ food vendors, kids activities, and close up looks at some of the big time BBQ teams you have seen on the Food Channel.
Arthur Amish Country Christmas Kickoff
The Christmas lighted parade steps off at 5:30pm and will showcase Santa & Mrs. Claus through downtown Arthur. Immediately following the parade, Santa will visit with children and parents in Knights Court downtown to start collecting those early Christmas requests. Complimentary hot chocolate and cookies will be served during his visit. Throughout the day, businesses in the downtown area as well as the countryside will feature early Christmas bargains and host Open Houses.
Route 66 Park & Tourism Center
This small park is right on Route 66, and it's a great place to check out the town of Atlanta. It is a great park, including flat area to run and playground for the kids to climb and run on, you and your family are sure to enjoy.
Phillips Park Zoo
Established in 1915, this free zoo is open daily, year round. Exhibits include bald eagles, wolves, mountain lions, foxes, otters, elk, goats, llamas, turkeys and peacocks.
Luigi's Pizza and Fun Center
Enjoy the fun here that includes laser tag, an arcade room and great pizza.
Vaughn Athletic Center and Indoor Water Park
The Vaughan Athletic Center is dedicated to fitness excellence with quality equipment and programs designed to offer members the best value for their fitness dollar. The newest facility in the Fox Valley Park District is the Vaughan Athletic Center located on Indian Trail near Orchard Road on the far west side of Aurora. The Vaughan Athletic Center features 225,000 square feet of athletic, fitness, and aquatic fun. The Vaughan Athletic Center is home to an aquatic center with three indoor pools. The aquatic center offers lap swimming, diving boards, warm water therapy, swim lessons, and aquatic fitness classes. In addition, there is an indoor water park featuring two water slides, a lazy river, and spray and play areas. In the Vaughan Athletic Center’s 10,000-square-foot, full-service fitness center, members can use a wide variety of equipment, attend the Fox Valley area’s best group exercise classes, and receive personalized, one-on-one help from certified trainers. This year-round indoor water park has tube slides, zero-depth entry and interactive water play.
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.
Aurora Skate Center
Skate to the sounds of Top 40 music. The skate center also features special live organ music dance sessions.
Ultimate Sports Dome
This sports spot features go-karts, batting cages, miniature golf and an indoor driving range.
Splash Country Water Park
This deluxe water park features tube slides, a simulated river, zero-depth pools and sand activity areas.
A fun and exciting play land offering 10 inflatable play structures, four party rooms and two age-appropriate play areas.
Phillips Park Aquatic Center
Deluxe water park with tube slides, simulated river, zero-depth pools and sand activity areas.
SciTech Hands-On Museum
Aurora's interactive science and technology center offers over 200 hands-on exhibits demonstrating the principles of electricity, weather, astronomy and nuclear energy.
Winter Lights Holiday Walk
Usher in the holiday season with a family event featuring the arrival of Santa and Mrs. Claus, Miss Merry Christmas and Jack Frost, music, lights, refreshments and the lighting of the City's official tree. Top it off with a Winter Holiday Market, parade and fireworks and you have an event to remember!
Aurora's Holiday Festival of Lights
Enjoy the sparkle, shimmer and shine of the 2014 Festival of Lights. One of the largest free outdoor holiday light displays in Northern Illinois. Dazzling displays that will delight both adults and children. A winter wonderland of animated visual arts, lighted tunnels, a forest full of lights and more! Open from 5 to 9 p.m. Sunday to Thursday; and 5 to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday starting Nov. 28 through Dec. 28, 2014. Donations accepted.
Paramount Theatrical Production: Cats
Prepare yourself to be immersed into a world like no other – the world of Jellicle Cats. It’s the most sacred night of the year for this tribe of felines as they prepare for the Jellicle Ball. Every member of the tribe tries to prove they’re worthy enough to be “the one” selected to be reborn in the afterlife and live for eternity in the glorious Heavy Side Layer. Winner of 7 Tony Awards, including Best Musical, Best Book and Best Score, CATS is one of the most popular and beloved theatrical productions on the planet. This dance-driven extravaganza is filled with lush orchestrations and heart-pounding numbers including the show-stopping “Memory.”
Paramount Theatrical Production: Mary Poppins
Enormous dance numbers on the ground and the roof tops. Statues coming to life, giant orchestrations for such iconic songs as “Spoon Full of Sugar,” “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” and “Chim Chim Cher-ee.” And of course, a few Mary Poppins magical moments that will leave you flying high. Celebrate the holidays with the ones you love at Paramount’s Mary Poppins! A Musical based on the stories of P.L. Travers & the Walt Disney Film. Rated G
Villa Olivia Country Club Ski Area
Skiwee for kids 4-9 years old, snow tubing, ski, dining, golf, lessons, snowboarding, sleigh rides.
A 32-acre park built in cooperation with Batavia Park District, the city of Batavia and the Batavia Riverwalk Committee. Park your bikes by the Depot Museum and stroll the boardwalks through the wildflower garden.
Hall Quarry Beach
Hall Quarry features a zero-depth sand beach, two islands, a youth water slide, drop slide, and a diving tower with two- and four-meter platforms.
Funway Entertainment Center
Illinois' largest family entertainment center. Year round: bowling, bumper cars, roller skating, arcade, lazer tag and Rock-n-Roll mini golf. Seasonal: western trails miniature golf, go-karts, batting cages, soccer cages, jumpshot, Water Wars and bumper boats.
Beardstown Fall Fun Festival
Plenty of live music, food and fun, including a parade on Saturday morning, Little Miss/Mister contest, car & motorcycle show, garden tractor pull, and carnival rides. Featured act is country recording artist Chase Rice.
Plum Creek Nature Center
This center features local natural history exhibits, hands-on displays for children, and family programs that are offered throughout the year. Picnic facilities and camping are available by reservation.
Goodenow Grove Fall Fest
Celebrate autumn during the Forest Preserve District of Will County’s Goodenow Grove Fall Fest from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 13, at Plum Creek Nature Center in Beecher. This free event features a day of enjoyment for the entire family. Scheduled activities include: pumpkin painting, a petting zoo, hayrack rides, live music, a climbing wall, an inflatable obstacle challenge, an 80-foot fun slide, a wind jammer swing ride and a berry-go-round ride. Also available will be America's Children's Museum on Wheels: StoryBus. Visit the creatures at Plum Creek Nature Center or check out the vendors selling fresh produce, flowers, green cleaning products, recycled garden art and more. Food also will be available for purchase, including sandwiches, popcorn and roasted nuts. No registration is required for this event. Goodenow Grove and Plum Creek Nature Center are located along Dutton Road, north of Goodenow Road. For information, visit ReconnectWithNature.org.
Blackberries, peaches, apples, pumpkins, tomatoes, and eggplant are the specialties at this orchard.
Autumn Pioneer Festival
Travel back to the 1800’s and learn about the lifestyles and crafts of the day. Watch a blacksmith working at his forge, talk to voyageurs, settlers and buckskinners. Explore a wigwam in the Native American area, visit two authentic 1800’s log cabins, a one room schoolhouse and 5 ethnic gardens. Enjoy the sights as you tour the grounds on a horse drawn wagon. Learn to throw a tomahawk, use a cross cut saw and play old time games. Listen to live music throughout the day. Sample apple butter and bean soup cooked over an open fire. Food vendor offerings include prairie chicken, pioneer fries, buffalo stew, pie and ice cream, doughnuts, popcorn, old fashioned root beer and lemonade. These are just a few of the many fun activities offered at the festival.
Boone County Harvest Fest
Stroll along Scarecrow Row, where uniquely designed scarecrows line the path. The Scarecrow Contest is open to everyone! Unique bicycles will be on display on Kishwaukee Riverfront Path, guided tours of the Baltic Mill by a local historian, a children’s area where children can celebrate the harvest with the Build-Your-Own Scarecrow and Pick-A-Pumpkin Patch and much more.
Summerfield Farm & Zoo
Summerfield Zoo is home to a large variety of exotic animals, ranging from reindeer and monkeys to camels and mountain lions. We are proud to offer an up close and personal animal experience. While at the zoo, enjoy our education and fun animal encounter presentations. Summerfield Zoo is open selected weekends May through November.
Boone County Conservation District
The Boone County Conservation District manages over 3,00 acres of prairies, woodlands and wetlands in scenic Boone County, Illinois. Minimum impact recreational opportunities, special events and educational programs are offered to the public throughout the year.
The Bensenville Park District and the DuPage County Forest Preserve have been working to restore this property and land. Fischer Farm is believed to be one of the oldest remaining homesteads in the county. Explore the buildings, touch the artifacts, and connect with history.
Deck the Depot
Saunter over to Berwyn's Depot District for Deck the Depot, a brisk holiday walk through Berwyn's downtown Winter Wonderland complete with lights, live reindeer and a petting zoo at the Municipal Parking Facility. Let Santa know what's on your wish list and then get a complimentary photo with the Big Man in Red at Bounce Sports. Snuggle up on a horse-drawn sleigh ride or a hayride (Windsor & Grove Ave.). Relax to the sounds of Carolers. For those who prefer a traditional chauffeur, a heated trolley will also make stops at all of the Open Houses. Best of all, even the "naughty" will be treated like the "nice" as all of the event's aforementioned features are family-friendly and free. Opening Ceremony will take place at 5:15pm at the "Berwyn" Train Depot at Windsor & Grove. Pick up an event punch card and enter our event raffle by visiting Bounce Sports. Depot District merchants will stay open late to offer complimentary goodies, holiday specials and cheer to all who visit. Don't forget that holiday shopping list! As an extra incentive, the event will feature a special drawing for adults 21+ who spend $10 in the Depot District and have the event passport "punched" by all of the participating open houses for a chance to win a basket worth over $200!
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.
Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites
The Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites in Bloomington features a contemporary setting, a fresh, modern appearance and a convenient location near the Central Illinois Regional Airport (CIRA). The hotel offers the very best in accommodations and guests can enjoy complimentary shuttle services, over 5,000 square feet of flexible meeting space, a 24-hour business center and free high-speed, wired and wireless Internet access, indoor pool and whirlpool, a 24-hour fitness center, convenience store, Baxter's American Grill, game room and on-site laundry.
Fairfield Inn & Suites - Bloomington
The Fairfield Inn & Suites is conveniently located four miles from Illinois State University and three miles from Illinois Wesleyan University. It is a short drive away from all of the Bloomington-Normal State Farm Insurance offices, as well as the Ironwood Golf Course, Highland Park Golf Course, and The Den at Fox Creek Golf Course. Just minutes away from the property in Downtown Bloomington are numerous local restaurants, an exciting nightlife, and countless other attractions including the U.S. Cellular Coliseum and the Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts. The Fairfield Inn & Suites is conveniently accessible off of I-55, I-74, and near I-39.
DoubleTree by Hilton - Bloomington
The DoubleTree by Hilton, convenient to I-55, I-74 and I-39, is just minutes away from area corporations and some of the best golf in Illinois. The 185 warmly furnished guest rooms and 12 luxuriously appointed whirlpool suites feature exceptional comforts like Sweet Dreams beds, Wolfgang Puck Coffee, as well as modern must-haves like complimentary wireless high-speed Internet access throughout. For family fun, vacation, or a historical outing, this hotel is a great place to be.
The Chateau Hotel & Conference Center
Recreational options are plentiful at the Chateau Hotel & Conference Center. Guests can swim in the indoor pool, relax in the sauna or whirlpool, workout in the exercise room, jog on the twelve mile Constitution Trail that connects to the property, or visit the nearby Shoppes at College Hills outdoor mall. The property offers complimentary wireless high speed internet access, 7am-10pm complimentary transportation service, 24-hour airport shuttles, coffee makers, irons, ironing boards, hair dryers, electronic keyless entry door locks, banquet and conference facilities for up to 500 people and free parking.
Synergy Flight Center, LLC
Synergy Flight Center offers a number of recreational activities for visitors. They offer introductory flights, flight lessons and a flight simulator that visitors can rent by the hour.
Cruise-In at the David Davis Mansion
The David Davis Mansion is a beautiful venue as an array of classic vehicles park on Clover Lawn. There will be antique, classic and new cars trucks and motorcycles on site for visitors to admire! Live music, food concession and ice cream make this event fun for the whole family.
Pelican Harbor Indoor/Outdoor Aquatic Park
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.
Two mini golf courses, batting cages and an arcade are located at this family fun spot near Clow Airport.
H2O 5K Run & 1 Mile Fun Walk
Get your exercise in October! This fun fitness event features a USATF and CARA certified 5K Run and a non-competitive 1 Mile "Fun Walk" starting outside Bar Louie at the Promenade Bolingbrook mall. There will be music, vendors, awards, giveaways, and more! All proceeds benefit Heart Haven OutReach, which provides support and mentoring to local high school teens.
Comfort Inn & Suites
Luxury at a moderate price, the Comfort Inn is conveniently located in Bourbonnais off I-57, near Olivet Nazarene University, Legends Sportsplex and Northfield Mall. With 114 new guest rooms, complimentary hot breakfast, free WiFi and onsite meeting room facilities, this property is ideal for business guests and leisure travelers.
Exploration Station, A Childrens Museum
A hands-on exploration and discovery museum for children and their families. Tuesday & Thursday are donation afternoons, where after 2 p.m. a suggested donation of $1.00 per person is requested.
Aspen Ridge Miniature Golf
This fun family spot, open April-October, offers two miniature golf courses. This par 70 course exhibits excellent golfing conditions. The blue championship tees boast a 6191 yard layout; where as the white/silver/red tees cover 5833/5616/4946 yards respectively.
Witness the history of the universe from its fiery birth to the formation of our own solar system on a state-of-the-art digital projector that gives a multimedia and full-dome show. Open year round, there are several shows scheduled during the week.
This year-round facility offers five basketball courts, eight volleyball courts, two soccer fields, a video game arcade, bumper cars, two mini-golf courses, softball batting cages, a go-kart track, climbing wall and paintball field.
Polk-a-Dot Drive In
The Polk-a-Dot Drive In was 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.
The Patio Restaurant
Voted "Best BBQ Ribs in the Chicago Southland." This is now a 37-year casual dining, catering and carryout tradition in the Southwest and Western suburbs.
Chicago Fire Soccer Club
Come out and cheer on the Chicago Fire! Experience the fun and excitement of Major League Soccer at Toyota Park today!
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.
Holiday Magic at Brookfield Zoo
December 18th & 19th December 26th - 31st January 1st 4-9pm Start a new family tradition at Chicagoland's largest light festival featuring over 120 animated light displays and million twinkling lights. Come celebrate the holiday season with family and friends during Brookfield Zoos 29th annual Holiday Magic. Enjoy live entertainment, amazing animals, model trains and a train ride, special Dolphin Show, Sing to the Animals and professional ice carvers. Call or visit website for more info.
Zoo Run Run
Join us September 21st for the return of ZOO RUN RUN with courses entirely within the park! Begin in a forest under a canopy of 100-year-old oaks. Be inspired by rescued white pelicans from the Gulf. Dip past the Living Coast, Soar by the condors and bald eagles. Thunder by bison in Great Bear Wilderness, Gallop past giraffes, zebras and camels. Encounter endangered black rhino and pygmy hippos. Marvel at the big cats - lions, tigers, and snow leopards. Events begin at 8:30am and registration is up online.
Boo! at the Zoo
Saturdays and Sundays, October 18-19 and October 25-26 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: *Can you find your way out of the "Crazy Maize" corn maze? *Cheer for the pumpkin or cheer on the "Pumpkin Smasher" *Take a spin on the "Haunted Carousel" *Watch professional pumpkin carver create 1,000 pound hack-o'-lanterns *Hop on the "Haunted Hayride" and go behind the scenes for a hauntingly good time *At 1pm the popular Costume Parade commences on the North Mall, goes around Roosevelt Fountain and concludes on the East Mall. *Participate in the Costume Showcase at 1:30pm. Prizes for the best animal theme, scariest, most original and best group. *Build a scarecrow at the Hamill Family Play Zoo *Great photo ops at several pumpkin patches *Watch animals enjoy their very own pumpkins *Several not-so-scare Zoo Chats will be scheduled throughout the day
Holiday Magic at Brookfield Zoo
Saturdays and Sundays, December 6-7, 13-14, 20-21, Friday to Wednesday, December 26-31 (4-9pm) See the Lights. Feel the Magic. Continue the tradition. Chilcagoland's largest lights festival surrounds you in the cheer of over 1,000,000 twinkling lights, caroling to the animals, ice carving, light shows, Santa and Mrs. Claus. You're sure to feel the magic of the holidays! Many of our indoor exhibits will be open for viewing favorite animals, plus there will be Singing to the Animals and special Zoo Chats. In addition, the zoo restaurants and food stands will be open with full menus and holiday treats, and gift shops will have hundreds of unique items for those hard-to-shop-for loved ones. Enjoy a full schedule of nightly music and live entertainment inside the Pavilions. Also on the schedule, an amazing magic show, costumed characters, a model railroad display, and the 38 foot Talking Tree.
Zoo Year's Eve
Rock in the "Zoo Year 2015" with your friends at Brookfield Zoo! In the Holly Jolly Theater there will be live DJ music, games, party favors, prizes and an early countdown at 8pm. Also at the Hamill Family Play Zoo you can make your own noisemaker and enjoy an early kid-friendly countdown. This area is perfect for families with children ages 6 and under. This event is free with paid zoo admission.
Brunswick's Buffalo Grove
This 56,000-square-foot upscale bowling and entertainment center, offers a comfortable and lively atmosphere to enjoy the company of good friends. 32 lanes feature upgraded bowling equipment and plush sofa seating that encourages socialization and connection. A laser tag arena and arcade with multi-player games that are good for the competitive spirit. Food & beverage service is available laneside or in the in-house restaurant, Tavern ’45, featuring distinctive American pub fare, local craft beer and an outdoor patio.
CITY: Buffalo Grove
Trampolines on steriods!! This giant warehouse is filled with commercial grade trampolines that are connected together. Play trampoline basketball, trampoline dodgeball and land in a huge foam pit. Kids of all ages love the fun and completely forget that they are getting exercise. Check out this exciting concept online for more pictures and videos.
CITY: Buffalo Grove
Haunted Trails Family Entertainment Centers
Family entertainment center featuring hundreds of games, rides, award-winning miniature golf, Go Karts & Batting Cages, Restaurant/Party room featuring karaoke. October Haunted House (www.frightmarehauntedhouse.com). Birthday party and group packages available.
The Pumpkin Patch
An ideal family outing for fall! Explore two miles of trails, turns, deadends and U-turns at this newly designed six-acre corn maze (assistance available). Then stop by the Pumpkin Patch for a bite to eat at the Goblin Grill.
Angelic Organics Learning Center
We offer public and custom programs for children, adults, and families on our beautiful, organic farm to help build the local food system. Whether its a day camp or a cheese making workshop, participants gain hands-on experience preparing farm-fresh food, from field to table, while learning about organic agriculture and the whole farm system in the process. The Learning Center also offers farmer training and support to beginning farmers and facilitates youth-led urban agriculture projects in Chicago and Rockford.
Spoon River Valley Scenic Drive
Fulton County offers unusual beauty of the colors throughout the Spoon River Valley, which inspired founders to hold the first Fall Festival and to organize the Spoon River Valley Scenic Drive. The first weekend of the Scenic Drive brought large crowds and a second consecutive weekend was held in October 1968. The Scenic Drive's Fall Festival has since been held each year during the first two full weekends of October. Fulton County's Spoon River Valley country offers much to the visitor during the Fall Festival and during other seasons of the year. While there are many attractions a visitor may find interesting, a few highlights may include the lone dam on the Spoon River at Bernadotte, a public boat dock at London Mills, the historical Ellisville Opera House, and the breathtaking scenery along the entire route of the Spoon River. Foods have become a tradition during the Fall Festival such as apple butter made before your eyes at London Mills, baked potatoes and hot cider at Farmington, chicken and noodles at Smithfield's Red Brick School, funnel cakes in Lewistown, baked goods in Duncan Mills and the famed ham in Ellisville. Visitors to the area are welcome to join us on the highways and byways of Fulton County which sport the colors of the four seasons and are open to visitors year around with routes running through London Mills, Farmington, Fairview, Ellisville, Smithfield, Cuba, Canton, Avon, Lewistown, Bernadotte, Duncan Mills, Waterford Township, Ipava and Astoria. These routes cover more than 100 miles in Fulton County.
Little Grassy Lake
Little Grassy Lake Campground and Marina is located on Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge and is a destination stop for returning campers, boaters, and sportsmen. They offer full service camping, primitive camping, boat rentals, concessions, and a bait shop. Reservations accepted to reserve boats and campsites. Pontoon boats, fishing boats, and kayaks can be rented. You don't want to pass up the opportunities to explore the thirty miles of shoreline and embrace the solitude you will find on the lake. The 1200 acre lake is stocked with catfish, crappie, and bass, and offers plentiful oppourtunities for fishing, paddling, boating, and wildlife observation. Amenities include waterfront camping sites, remodeled bathrooms with hot showers, dump station, swimming, pets allowed, monthly educational programs and a renovated concession/bait shop which is stocked with minnows, crickets, camping supplies, cold beverages, food items, ice cream, firewood and ice.
Pagliai's Pizza & Pasta
This family-owned and operated restaurant has been successfully serving delicious Italian cuisine in Carbondale's downtown for more than 20 years. Known for both thin and thick crust, there's no question that "Pag's" has set the standard high for "Carbondale Style" pizza!
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!
Hot Wheels Skatium
Hot Wheels Skatium, a new state of the art skating rink, is located by the former Ike Auto Park location outside of Carbondale. We offer skating for those of all ages; skates for rent are available from a child's size 8 to an adult's size 15. We have numerous fun-filled family nights, and we can also accommodate your birthday parties or private parties.
Great Carbondale Pumpkin Race
The Great Carbondale Pumpkin Race is a simple concept---take a carved pumpkin, decorate it and insert two independent axles through it and attach wheels, then race your pumpkin down a hill to victory! This event is great family fun and a safe, enjoyable way to celebrate fall. Plus, if you craft a winning pumpkin you get to advance to the championship where you can win prizes!
The Science Center of Southern Illinois
The Science Center of Southern Illinois is the perfect way for kids to explore the beauty of science in a fun atmosphere. This hands-on children's museum has over 50 exhibits and sees nearly 15,000 annual visitors. Adults are also welcome, as many of the activities can be enjoyed by all.
We would be lying if we didn't say that Saluki Stadium is one of the best college stadiums in the Midwest. Constructed in 2010, this facility is home to the NCAA Division One SIU Football Team and can seat up to 15,000 fans. Enjoy the afternoon with sports, tailgating and more at the Saluki Stadium.
Charlotte West Stadium
Charlotte West is a Stadium built for champions. During its eight years of existance, the stadium has played host to three MVC Softball Championship and one NCAA Regional Championship. The SIU Softball Team alone is nationally ranked and an overall treat to watch. Not to mention the Stadium itself is recognized as being the best collegiate Softball Stadium in the Missouri Valley Conference.
32nd Annual Doc Spackman Triathlon
Come to southern Illinois and compete in one of the most long-standing triathlons in the world - the 32nd Doc Spackman Triathlon Festival. New this year are two triathlon distances to choose from- the ever popular Doc Spackman “Classic” Triathlon (350m. swim, 5 mile bike, 2 mile run) and the new Spackman Sprint Triathlon (700m. swim, 10 mile bike, and 4 mile run). The event also offers a Kids/Family .5 mi run/walk, followed by a Standup Paddle board timed race — perfect for kids of all ages.
Great Carbondale Pumpkin Race
Folks from all over literally take pumpkins and creatively engineer them into race cars. Participants race their pumpkins down the streets of downtown Carbondale, competing with one another, and hope theirs crosses the finish line first! Pumpkins race in a series of categories (largest, fastest, most creative, etc.), and must travel unassisted on wheels inserted onto axles that penetrate completely through the melon (no caster wheels and no support frame or chassis will be allowed). This family-friendly competition is both challenging and fun.
Blend Tea and Crepe Lounge
Through its delicious crepes, refreshing tea and unique atmosphere, Blend has made a name for itself as Carbondale's favorite hangout. Conveniently located close to the SIU Campus, Blend is the perfect spot for a quick lunch or long study session. With its sweet (or savory crepes) and a large selection of customizable drinks, perfect for everyone!
El Greco is a greasy spoon — said in the BEST way. This delicious joint makes some of the best gyros around. Locally-owned and operated, El Greco has become a staple in downtown Carbondale. Don't forget to try the fried mushrooms!
Cristaudo's Cafe & Bakery
Situated in one of downtown Carbondale's oldest buildings, Cristaudo's Cafe and Bakery is definitely worth a stop! Treat your taste buds to the sweet flavor of their famous sugar cookies, or enjoy a delicious sandwich during lunch. And, if you give them enough notice, Cristaudo's will prepare vegan and gluten-free baked goods to your liking!
For more than 50 years Italian Village Pizza & Pasta has been a social gathering place for great food and fun in Carbondale. Thousands of locals, Salukis and area visitors have provided their autographs and notable memories on the walls of their main dining rooms. Enjoy delicious pizza, complimentary ice cream, and a full salad bar, all in the presence of good company!
The Neighborhood Co-op
If there's one thing the Neighborhood Co-op is known for, it's good food. Between the grocery store and the deli area, this one-stop-shop has everything you need for the perfect meal. Enjoy the fresh taste of locally grown produce, shop the work of Carbondale's thriving art scene, and feast on a hearty sandwich, made with all-organic products.