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Stroll through four acres and view 1,200 varieties of fragrant, uniquely landscaped herb, perennial and ornamental gardens. Alwerdt's offers a gift shop and garden center.
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.
Amboy Marsh Wildlife Sanctuary
The Amboy Marsh Wildlife Sanctuary is 272 acre of wetlands offering a rare and fragile ecosystem, which includes endangered turtles, many birds and unique plant life. It is located near the intersection of U.S. Route 52 and Mormon Road about 3 miles south of Amboy. Open to the public 7 days a week for walking and bird-watching. No dogs are allowed due to sensitive plant and wildlife.
Apple River Canyon State Park
Apple River Canyon State Park is in the hilly northwest corner of Illinois in Jo Daviess County near the Wisconsin border. Limestone bluffs, deep ravines, springs, streams and wildlife characterize this area. Once a part of a vast sea bottom that stretched from the Alleghenies to the Rockies, the scenic canyon area was formed by the action of the winding waters of the Apple River. The park offers hiking, day use, camping and fishing, plus Millville, a National Historic Register site.
CITY: Apple River
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.
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.
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.
Famous Fossil Vineyard & Winery
Taste soft reds, crisp whites and luscious fruit wines all make at the winery using the best of Illinois grapes. Watch wine being made and then relax and enjoy a glass of wine in the tasting room or on the deck overlooking the vineyard. The Sweet & Savory Plate of meats, cheeses, fruits and chocolate is available daily for a light lunch or snack. Special events are held throughout the year including vineyard tours, festivals and wine & food pairings and a small private room is available for showers, parties & meetings. To learn more about Famous Fossil wines or upcoming events, visit our website. Open: June thru December: daily: 11 am - 6 pm; January thru May: Wednesday thru Saturday: 11 am - 6 pm; Sunday: Noon - 5 pm.
Pekara Bakery & Bistro
Pekara Bakery & Bistro is a clean label artisan bakery in downtown Champaign serving the community since 2005. We pride ourselves on delicious handmade pastries, cakes, and breads in which all natural ingredients are used. From omlettes made from local, organic eggs, breakfast sandwiches and bagesls, to savory sandwiches on our artisan breads, salads, crêpes, and hearty soups, to sweet pastries, pies, and cookies, you can find most anything you'd like at Pekara. Our well-trained baristas serve up superb coffee that has been responsibly sourced and harversted from Abakundakawa, the certified Fair Trade cooperative in Rwanda where the heart of our house blend is grown. We even help you stay ahead for that special event, baking pastries, baklava, breads, and other treats for those special occasions.
Prairie Fruits Farm
Prairie Fruit farms is a farm-to-table experience located in Champaign, IL that celebrates eating locally and sustainably. Working with Culinary Institute of America trained chefs they create multi-course meals using only the freshest local ingredients. Many of the vegetables and fruits come from the farm, as well as the milk, eggs and cheeses. You can even take farm tours and learn how they harvest the crops and milk their large herd of sheep for the creation of cheeses and milk. Perfect for kids of all ages.
Big Grove Tavern
Big Grove Tavern is a Farm-to-Table restaurant in downtown Champaign featuring seasonal comfort food. Almost everything we serve at Big Grove Tavern is made from scratch, in house, using seasonal ingredients, sourced locally whenever possible. We source locally, not only to create delicious dishes, but to help support our neighbors.
Hatch: A Creative-Reuse Art Festival
Hatch: A Creative-Reuse Art Festival opens February 28, 2014 and runs through March 15, 2014. The I.D.E.A. Store is proud to produce a juried artists’ festival focusing on high quality, repurposed craft and fine art from artists all over the Midwest right here in Champaign County, IL.
Residence Inn by Marriott Champaign-Urbana
The new Residence Inn by Marriott® Champaign is located just off I-74 and just minutes from the University of Illinois. Our residential-style hotel offers boutique inspired elegance in the heart of Champaign-Urbana. The spacious suites feature separate sleeping and living areas, a fully-equipped kitchen with refrigerator, and 37-inch HD flat panel televisions. Our luxury bedding includes crisp linens, comfy mattresses, custom comforters, and fluffy pillows, guaranteeing a blissful nights rest. Upon waking, join us in the Gatehouse for a complimentary, full-American breakfast buffet offering hot and cold favorites. Business and extended stay travelers will appreciate complimentary wired, wireless Internet access and dual-line phone system. Whether you are here to work or play, the Residence Inn by Marriott® Champaign warmly invites you to make yourself at home.
84 rooms 16 suites High-Speed internet access, iron, dryer, coffeemaker, one restaurant. Lounge, valet/laundry, business center, exercise facilities, room service, concierge desk. Free chilled purified water. located near Magnificent Mile, Theatre District, Millennium Park, Navy Pier and Marina City.
Chicago Flower & Garden Show
Sights and scents of beautiful springtime flowers fill the air when the Chicago Flower & Garden Show presents 20 featured gardens from top designers, 34 celebrity Chicago chefs showing how to make sumptuous dishes from garden fare, a shopper's paradise with more than 100 vendors, a children's play area, and illustrated presentations to inspire, educate, and motivate. This nationally-renowned show, drawing tens of thousands each year, returns March 15-23, 2014 at Chicago's Navy Pier. Tickets and info at www.chicagoflower.com
Aloft Chicago City Center
Urban cool accommodations, located in the heart of River North, Chicago's most exciting neighborhood for dining & nightlife. Blocks from the Magnificent Mile and many other Chicago top spots.
Kennekuk County Park
The 3000 acre park includes a seven mile backpack trail among its 15 miles of trail system. Boats and canoes are available for rental in season, and seven lakes are available for fishing. Hunting of pheasant, rabbit, squirrel, dove, waterfowl, goose, mushrooms, turkey, and deer is permitted (Illinois and Vermilion County Conservation District regulations apply).
Phases of the Moon Music & Art Festival
The inaugural Phases of the Moon Music & Art Festival is set to take place September 11-14, 2014 at the beautiful 3.000 acre Kennekuk County Park. Phases of the Moon is a four-day music, arts and camping event thoughtfully tailored to provide a unique festival experience. It boasts four outdoor stages: two main stages that alternate following each set and two smaller stages. Along with amazing music, attendees will have access to farm-to-table food, craft beer, a farmer's market and a mall of diverse craft vendors featuring an array of original items. Large interactive sculptures, live art, and works from renowned national and local artists will be on display.
Hobnob Spring Market
A laughter filled gathering with the feel of a festive village fair. Browse creatively displayed mini shops for vintage antiques and handmade goodies from 50+ of the best vendors around. You'll be amazed by the funky/shabby/cool vintage finds plus the handmade jewelry, art and imaginative home accessories. Enjoy some live music, lunch & sweets, a cash bar and raffle prizes.
Vermilion River Fall Festival
Arts and crafts, live entertainment, concessions, and one of the area's largest car shows will be held at beautiful Ellsworth Park.
NIU Convocation Center
Northern Illinois University's 10,000 seat Convocation Center is a $36 million multipurpose facility that hosts a variety of events such as concerts, family shows, theatrical productions, commencement ceremonies, job fairs, trade shows and NIU Huskie Division I athletic events (basketball, volleyball, track, gymnastics and wrestling). The NIU Convocation Center hosted a total of 200+ events per year.
Sculpture on the Avenue
Come explore the sculptures that have transformed the City of Effingham's avenues into an art gallery! Over 40 sculptures created by some of the Midwest's best known and unknown sculptors bring life to the streets of Effingham through this outdoor exhibition. The Sculpture on the Avenues program is a self-guided walking tour that begins at City Hall in downtown Effingham. From there, the exhibition winds in and out of downtown Effingham. An informative guide, which facilitates a walking tour, is available at Effingham hotels, downtown businesses, the Effingham Visitor Center (Tourism Office) and City Hall.
Come out to Camp Lakewood and enjoy the views of Lake Pauline plus all the creature comforts. Camp Lakewood is an RV campground. The sites include cable, WiFi, 30/50 AMP. They also offer a one and two bedroom cabin that is fully furnished and self contained. The newest cabin sleeps five and includes Cable TV. They do offer tent sites as well for those who want to be a little closer to nature.
Anthony Acres Resort
Anthony Acres Resort has picturesque views of Lake Sara. The resort is only five minutes from Effingham, so you can come into town and enjoy some food or shop.
Enjoy a relaxing retreat at Sara's Sanctuary. Every retreat offers a different health and wellness experience, which includes therapeutic massage, aromatherapy, yoga or meditation, reflexology and Reiki. Each session has a limit of eight participants and four sleeping rooms.
TREC Recreation Trails
The TREC trail system is a public trail designed to create recreational opportunities. The trails provide a great place for visitors to exercise, whether its walking, riding bikes, or roller blading. The mission is to develop a countrywide, multi-use trail system, educate the communities on the benefits of the trails, and promote an active lifestyle by providing recreational activities.
Effingham Park District
Effingham has four community parks. All offer baseball diamonds, play grounds, basketball courts and great areas for family picnics.
Blind Faith Cafe
Chicago's premier, certified-green, vegetarian restaurant. For over 30 years guests have been enjoying the award winning food. Dedicated to offering beautifully prepared wholesome natural foods that nourish the body and contribute to a healthier and more sustainable environment. Their extensive menu is prepared with only the highest quality ingredients, complimented by a superb selection of beer and wine and finished with a delicious assortment of homemade desserts.
Ludwig Farmstead Creamery
Guests can tour the farm, watch how several types of cheese are made and sample some of Ludwig's products for just $5.00. Tours can be scheduled for groups of 10 or more throughout the week or on Saturdays for groups of less than ten or individuals. The Creamery sits on Feathercreek Farm, a 150-acre, fifth-generation family farm originally settled in 1866. The Ludwig family's primary business is the care and breeding of high pedigree, purebred Holstein dairy cattle.
Experienced birder, knowledgeable about a variety of birding habitats in the Galena/Jo Daviess County Area, offers guided field trips on selected Saturdays. Private trips available by appointment.
2014 Bald Eagle Bus Tours
Guided, four-hour tours of bald eagle, wintering communities. View and learn about the bald eagle's habits, life history, preservation efforts and threats to its future. Reservations required. Bus departs from Stoney Creek Inn.
Alpine Slide at Chestnut Mountain Resort
Fun for all ages. Ride your own sled down 2,050 feet of terrain-tailored track to the banks of the Mississippi.
Chestnut Mountain Resort
Ski along scenic slopes at Galena's Chestnut Mountain Resort, perched high above the Mississippi River. Rated by Ski Magazine as one of the top ski resorts in the Midwest, Chestnut Mountain goes all out with a snowboarding park and night skiing. Stay at the rustic 120-room lodge, which has three restaurants, including the fine-dining Sunset Grille. There are fun non-skiing activities in the summer as well, including boat cruises on the Mississippi Explorer and the exhilarating Alpine Slide, which speeds 2,000 feet down a hillside. Or try the new Segway Mountain Adventure Tours, a three-mile guided ride through rolling terrain.
Crowne Plaza Lombard Downers Grove
Our Crowne Plaza brand promise: "A better meetings experience for meeting planners and a better night sleep for meeting attendees & all guests," coupled with the Crowne Plaza Sleep Advantage program, will ensure your stay is unforgettable.
CITY: Glen Ellyn
Wildlife Prairie Park
A unique, 2,000-acre zoological park which is home to wolves, bison, waterfowl, black bear, elk, cougar, otter, and others. You will enjoy the park's spectacular natural settings, butterfly garden, wildflowers, lakes and restored prairies.
CITY: Hanna City
Homer Lake Forest Preserve
Homer Lake Forest Preserve contains 892 acres for fishing, boating, hiking picnicking, cross-country skiing and sledding. Also available is an exciting Homer Lake Interpretive Center, which hosts thousands every year through programs like "Homer Lake Take Me Fishing" and the unique Natural Playscape.
Shoal Creek Nature Preserve
This 260-acre site offers nature trails for visitors to explore wetlands, prairie openings, and sandstone bluffs and ledges. The preserve is home to more than 700 plants and 70 bird species, including bald eagles during the winter months.
Lake of the Woods Forest Preserve
Lake of the Woods County Park is a 900-acre preserve that features an 18-hole regulation golf course, a 9-hole par 3 course and practice range, fishing, boating, hiking, picnicking, cross-country skiing, sledding the Hi-Tower bell carillon and observation area, a 3.3 mile bicycle/pedestrian path, the Museum of the Grand Prairie, Mabery Gelvin Botanical Gardens, building rentals and various programs.
River Bend Forest Preserve
The 275-acre River Bend Forest Preserve south of Mahomet contains approximately 130 acres of clear water in two lakes, one of which is the largest public lake in Champaign County, and includes 2.5 miles of forest along the Sangamon River.
Makanda Inn B&B
Nestled in the Shawnee National Forest this new inn is located just 1/2 mile south of the Makanda Boardwalk, adjacent to the Giant City State Park and only 15 minutes south of Southern Illinois University. Featuring four guest rooms, each designed for privacy & comfort. This eco-friendly lodging establishment features peaceful settings with modern touches ideal for business travel, romance, adventure seekers, wine lovers, and SIU Alumni, parents and visitors.
Shawnee Bluffs Canopy Tour
Shawnee Bluffs Canopy Tour consists of eight zip lines, the longest stretching more than 1,100 feet, which will zig-zag across the property’s bluffs and through the valley. The tour also includes 11 platforms high in the trees, three aerial suspension bridges, the longest stretching 180 feet, and two short ground hikes. A canopy tour is an exciting way to experience the flora, fauna, geology and history of the outdoors by safely traversing an established route of ziplines and aerial bridges between platforms built in the trees, and they are just plain fun!
Country Inn & Suites by Carlson - Naperville
143 tasteful guest rooms situated in Naperville's high tech corridor, offering comfort and convenience. Meeting space available. Full service restaurant, lounge, and room service.
Mendota Hills Wind Farm
The largest commercial wind farm in Illinois features 63 towering windmills that are an awesome sight to see, and generate an alternative source of electric power.
CITY: Paw Paw
Historic 4th at Clayville
In 1842 the Broadwell family hosted a 4th of July celebration at Clayville with artillery, bands, speeches, food and refreshments. Over 300 people came from Springfield alone! Come and help recreate this historic event. Mr. Lincoln himself may be there!
CITY: Pleasant Plains
Clayville Fall Festival
Pioneer artisan and craftsman demonstrations, historic building tours, kids activities, craft vendors, food and refreshments. The 10th Illinois Volunteer Calvary Regiment demonstrations and musical entertainment.
CITY: Pleasant Plains
Prairie Dreams-The Story of Clayville and Its People
This play is set and performed at the 1824 Clayville Stagecoach Stop. Featuring stories of the people who built and traveled through Clayville, includiing Peter Cartwright and Abraham Lincoln.
CITY: Pleasant Plains
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.
Central Illinois lake with over 11,000 water acres and 172 miles of shoreline. Lake Shelbyville has 5 federal campgrounds, and 2 state campgrounds with over 1,000 campsites from tent camping up to full hookup. There are several recreational areas with picnic areas and pavilions and 2 wildlife management areas. Three public beaches are available for swimming on the lake. The lake also hosts many launching ramps that are available for boats, and 3 marinas on the lake. Many hiking trails also encompass the lake such as the General Dacey which also includes fitness stations, the Chief Illini trail and others.
114th Infantry Regiment Flag Lowering Ceremony
The Regiment, in authentic Civil War uniforms, demonstrates drill movements and performs a beautiful flag-lowering ceremony in front of the Lincoln Tomb. The flag is presented to a member of the audience. Ceremony every Tuesday evening.
International Lincoln Presidential Half Marathon
This marathon has become an international favorite! Run 13.1 miles where Lincoln walked. Proceeds from the race support the shipment of medical supplies to developing nations by Hospital Sisters Mission Outreach.
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.
47th Annual Willow Folk Festival
Amateur and professional bluegrass, country and spiritual singers perform with acoustic musicians from a hay wagon or on a country church lawn. Homecooked food is available.
Apple River Canyon State Park - Thompson/Salem Units
This 1,150 acre area allows hunting, fishing; no boating/biking. See postings/fact sheets at registration. Sign in/out at lots #1 or #2. The vegetative cover at the site is a mixture of steep timbered slopes and bluffs with grassland, row crops and hay fields predominate on ridge tops. The topography can be severe especially bordering the Apple River.
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.