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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.
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.
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.
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.
Shawnee Hills Pottery Trail is a once a year shared pottery experience. Everyone is invited to spend some time exploring the Southern Illinois landscape and the diverse group of potters that make this area home. Each potter will be available for answering questions and of course, showing their work. Some potters will have studio tours, while others may have special activities or demonstrations planned. A family friendly event that promises to be a fun and pleasant time for all.
Alto Clay Work is the studio home of Stephen Grimmer. The pottery showroom is open Friday-Sunday, Noon to 5PM during Spring, Summer, and Autumn, and other times by appointment and by chance. Also offers ceramics classes for adults and children, resident artist studios, and a gallery for occasional exhibitions.
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. Open daily 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
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.
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.
Come see live eagle demonstrations 10 a.m. til 2 p.m. every Saturday in January at the Alton Visitor Center. See a live bald eagle up close and personal! Ask and learn about their species and habitats. Then, grab your official All Around Alton Eagle Watcher's Guide as you journey out along the Meeting of the Great Rivers National Scenic Byway to see eagles in their natural habitat. Free! For more information, call 1-800-ALTON-IL or go to www.VisitAlton.com.
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. 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.
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.
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
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).
Has electronic audio narrated dioramas that depict Abe the railsplitter, the self-taught scholar, the story teller, the lawyer and the politician.
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.
The site of an early political rally during Abraham Lincoln's campaign for President, now showcasing an interpretive sign explaining the historic significance.
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.
Built in 1878, this structure was originally built as a monument to Aurora's Civil War Veterans. The building is currently listed on the National Register of Historic Places and has more than 2,500 artifacts, photographs, scrapbooks, medals, flags and items dating from the Civil War through the Vietnam War. This historic treasure is now open for public viewing on an initial limited basis. Self-guided public tours available Saturdays 12 noon to 4 pm and 6 - 8 pm during each First Friday event through November. Group tours (by appointment only) Wednesdays through Fridays. Tours free and open to the public. For information 630-256-INFO. Watch a quick virtual preview and then come visit in person. See the Grand Army of the Republic Memorial Hall, Post 20: Virtual Museum and Research Center at https://www.aurora-il.org/gar/virtual_exhibit.php.
Nestled on 54 scenic acres, Blackberry Farm is a family-friendly destination that features unique play areas for all ages, live animals, amusement rides, and a living history museum that brings Aurora’s history to life through demonstrations, exhibits and extensive artifact collections. Blackberry Farm is fun for all ages and is a great choice for your wedding, company picnic, birthday party or family reunion. All attractions are included with daily admission. Enjoy unlimited rides on the train, hay wagon, pedal tractors, paddle boats, carousel and ponies. Ice skating rink in winter when weather permits.
The museum features a variety of interactive exhibits designed to educate and entertain children, families, and firefighters. Visitors can pass a leather fire bucket, marvel at a strange looking firemen’s smoke mask and explore the differences in fire hose nozzles. See and hear how fire engines clear the streets with sirens, horns, and devices that control traffic lights. Watch vintage firefighting films on five video touch-screens. All this, in addition to 5 pieces of fire apparatus on display in a fully restored fire station built in 1894. Experience the new Children’s Discovery Room for ages under 18. Our discovery room provides an opportunity for younger children to play and learn about fire safety. Admission $3 for children and $5 for adults.
Aurora's interactive science and technology center offers over 200 hands-on exhibits demonstrating the principles of electricity, weather, astronomy and nuclear energy.
Built in 1856, this Italianate building is home of the Aurora Historical Society and where you’ll find historic photos, books, documents and maps covering Aurora’s history from the 1830s to now. Tours of fully furnished home & exhibits offered by appointment. Season tours begin on Sun., April 10 and will be offered at 1, 2 and 3 pm every Wed. and Sun. through Sept. 28. They will be closed on July 3 to prepare for Independence Day. Tours are free; donations appreciated.