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Mercer County Fair
The Mercer County Fair has been running strong since its first fair in 1853. Today, over 160 years later, the fair is still brings the county and visitors together each July. Enjoy their exhibitions that include livestock, hobbies, antiques, photography, culinary arts, flowers and vegetables. Great family fun!
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 Giant Pumpkin Festival
Jack O’Lantern meets Jack and the Beanstalk! Like Jack’s plant, a pumpkin can grow, and grow, and GROW – until it becomes one of the stars of the annual Giant Pumpkin Festival! See pumpkins weighing over 500 pounds. Most are for sale, so–give yourself the ultimate challenge and wrestle a giant out in our 20-acre pumpkin patch–or just point at one that’s been pre-picked at the farmstand. We’ll help with the wrestling, weighing and toting. Fall fun park, hayrack rides, corn cannons, our famous “Cow Train” barrel train, “Mining for Gems” ,bounce house, and Kids’ Corn Maze. Free admission, ample parking, nominal charge for events. Fall Fun Park open: 10:30am to 6pm.
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.
Rendleman Orchards Farm Market
Tree ripened peaches & nectarines from July - August, and apples from September - December. This farm market is open 7 days a week with seasonal produce, preserves, pickles and other specialty food items and gifts.
Dawg Daze of Summer at Alto Vineyards
What’s summer in Southern Illinois without festivities! Join Alto Vineyards in celebrating the summer with music, food and canine friends. Local art and wines; along with food and games, to support local animal shelters. From noon to 7pm
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.
Melvin Price Locks & Dam
Get the best view of Alton and the Mississippi River from eight stories in the air atop the Melvin Price Locks & Dam. Take a free guided tour and see towboats and barges as they push their way through this incredible structure. It's also a great spot to eagle watch in the winter.
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.
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 diphtheria 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.
Hayner Genealogy & Local History Library
The Hayner Public Library District provides a variety of genealogy-related services to support research efforts. Information from various states in addition to Illinois and other countries is available. The digitized newspaper collection is a wonderful resource of The Hayner Public Library District for genealogy research. The collection includes the Alton Telegraph Archives dating as far back as 1836 and access NEWSPAPER ARCHIVE to locate newspaper articles in other parts of the country.
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.
More Fun on 81 – 180th Andover Anniversary Celebration
Civil war reenactment will line Lake Andover offering a glimpse into the past. An antique and lawn and farm tractor show will be held at the museum grounds. Gather for the concerts and grab a bite to eat from one of the many food vendors to choose from. Artisans and craft vendors will be featured throughout the grounds. Kids will enjoy the fishing derby. Remember our veterans and participate in a Salute to Veterans.
Arlington Heights Historical Museum
The Coach House, a replica Log Cabin, the 1882 home of F.W. Muller and the 1908 Banta House tell the story of Arlington Heights over the last 150 years. Tour guides introduce you to the life of early residents. Tours: Sat. & Sun. 2pm & 3pm Heritage Gallery & Gift Shop: Fri.-Sun. 1:30pm-4:30pm
Illinois Amish Country
The town of Arthur is located in the heart of Amish country, home to more than 2,000 Amish residents and hundreds of charming countryside businesses, Illinois' Amish Country offers shopping, dining, special events and guided educational tours (some of which feature meals in actual Amish homes).
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.
Hennepin Canal Parkway State Park
The Hennepin Canal State Park, a 104-mile linear park, is a rustic, historic, educational, and recreational jewel spanning five counties and includes the entire width of Henry County with access points in Annawan, Atkinson, Geneseo, and Colona. It offers an up-close look at a fascinating piece of transportation history. It is popular with bicyclists who ride from town to town exploring the history, dining, lodging, and entertainment possibilities as they travel. The canal multi-purpose recreational trail is a portion of the American Discovery Trail, a 6,800-mile coast-to-coast trail devoted to non-motorized use. It is also part of the Grand Illinois Trail, a 535-mile loop through northern Illinois. The tree-lined park is a refuge with prairie restorations and wetlands slicing through corn and soybean farmland. Home to diverse flora and fauna, it has become a favorite for bird watchers and prairie enthusiasts. It offers numerous year-round opportunities to boat, hike, bike, fish, ride horseback, snowmobile, ice skate, and cross-country ski. Explore Henry County’s jewel – the Hennepin Canal. In wintertime experience the longest snowmobile trail in the state -- 91 miles on the tow path. You can use the ice at your own risk, but pay heed to the locks, bridges and culverts where the ice likely is thinner than the rest of the canal. Bring your blades, skating along the canal is free! Keep in mind the rule is there must be 4" of snow and 6" of frost on canal for route to be open. Call the Visitor Center for automated message.
Atlanta's Abraham Lincoln Interpretation Site
The site of an early political rally during Abraham Lincoln's campaign for President, now showcasing an interpretive sign explaining the historic significance.
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.
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 Regional Fire Museum
This museum features vintage firefighting equipment, memorabilia from the 1871 Chicago Fire, photographs and a gift shop.
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.
Fermi is the site of the world's most powerful particle accelerator, where particles circle the four-mile ring 57,000 times each second. Restored prairie grass areas, historic barns and a buffalo herd are also on display.