Go on an Illinois Adventure With Your Squad

December 09, 2018

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Your squad. Your tribe. Your peeps. Your crew. Your gang. Whatever you call your group of besties and BFFs, one of the best ways to spend time together is on a weekend adventure.

But where to start? We’ve put our heads together and come up with these eight adventures, perfect for making fun, for making memories, and for making a good Instagram grid.

Wander the wndr Museum

Kusama Infinity Mirror Room at wndrWander room after room of fantastic, dream-like installations to dazzle the senses—and your camera. wndr is an experiential museum designed to immerse you in a whole new world. Explore 19 experiences, each from a different artist, including a “zero gravity” ball pit, light displays, optical illusions and a Yayoi Kusama Infinity Mirror Room. Check it out on Instagram and feel inspired.

Embrace the Great Outdoors

Have fun, get fit AND get inspired. Escape for a weekend away in an Illinois State Park or National Forest. Highlights include Starved Rock, Garden of the Gods, Buffalo Rock State Park and Shawnee National Forest. You’ll find all sorts of activities and cozy cabins to suit your weekend needs.

Illinois Made

Galena Cellars Tasting RoomGet an authentic, one-of-a-kind experience from an Illinois Made maker. These craftspeople, artists, family-owned businesses, small-batch breweries, distilleries, foodies, and farmers create amazing things you won’t find anywhere else. Get a close-up look at what they do and learn the secrets of how they do it.

Dine at the Nutella Café

Whether you’re a Nutella fanatic or a first timer, you’ll want to make a pilgrimage to Chicago’s Nutella Café. You’ll find Nutella crepes, Nutella gelato, Nutella croissants, Nutella oats, Nutella granola, Nutella cookies, Nutella pancakes and Nutella Nutella (otherwise known simply as “Nutella”). But you don’t all need to feel the Nutella love—the menu has a few Nutella-free options, so any non-Nutella fans won’t feel too left out.

Visit America’s Most Haunted Small Town, Alton

alton hauntings smallLove a good ghost story? Want to prove how brave you are? Hope to catch a paranormal photo and go viral? You need to visit Alton, Illinois, which has been called “America’s most haunted small town.” There are a whole lot of spooky attractions to explore, including McPike Mansion, purported to be the town’s most haunted house. Visitors report spotting orbs, balls of light and ghostly figures in photos taken at the site. Take a Haunted Tour to experience all the infamous spots.

Hang Out on a Rooftop Bar or Patio

LONDONHOUSE CHICAGO 7.3You’ve probably got a favorite bar or two—but sometimes all it takes is a change of scenery to give you a whole different kind of experience. Get outside and try a rooftop bar or patio – even in the winter.

See the Big Attractions of Casey

Casey Giant Rocking ChairCasey is a small town with big attractions—literally. It boasts giant-sized replicas of everyday objects, several of which are recognized by Guinness World Records as the largest in the world. You’ll see the world’s largest:

There’s also the former record holders of world’s largest knitting needle and crochet hook, and a giant pencil, ruler, bird cage, spinning top and… Minion.

Cruise Route 66

Route 66 by @ashnonas on Instagram

Kickin’ in the front seat, sittin’ in the back seat—gotta make your mind up, which seat will you take? Yes, those are the lyrics to Rebecca Black’s internet sensation “Friday,” but they also apply to a Route 66 road trip. Cruise 300 miles of kitsch, cool, quirk and pure Americana. You don’t need a convertible—but it helps.

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