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It's Memorial Day Weekend in Illinois

May 01, 2020 Activities

People at the beach

The recent Illinois summer warmth has paved the way for the unofficial start of the season: Memorial Day Weekend (May 27-29).

This upcoming Memorial Day Weekend, Illinois truly can put you in the Middle of Everything. From events and activities like festivals, fireworks, exhibits and reopened beaches, residents and visitors from all across the state have plenty of choices when it comes to celebrating the long weekend ahead - family-orientated or otherwise! 

Here are the top events and activities happening Memorial Day Weekend 2023 across Illinois:

Sign for Shawnee Hills Wine Trail

Trails to Adventure

  • Shawnee National Forest Wine Trail: Celebrate the long weekend with 11 award-winning wineries located along a 35-mile scenic drive along highway 127 and highway 51 and make sure to stop by Blue Sky VineyardAlto Vineyards and StarView Vineyards, specifically, for live musical performances. 
  • Rainbow Ranch Zoo: This isn't your typical petting zoo! Rainbow Ranch gives visitors the opportunity to get up close and personal with camels, zebras, kangaroos and more and an exotic petting zoo may be the perfect family outing for the long Memorial Day weekend. 
  • Carbondale Super Splash Park: Take the whole family to Carbondale's super fun water park, which is set to reopen Memorial Day weekend (May 29). 
  • Market Days Flea Market & Vendor Fair: Check out Mt. Vernon’s ever-growing Market Days Flea Market & Vendor Fair where you can find antiques, collectables, handmade items, jewelry, baked goods, kettle corn, concessions and more!
Kids at on the lazy river at Splash Kingdom

Land of Lincoln

  • Henson Robinson Zoo: Home to over 90 different native and exotic species from Australia, Africa, Asia, North & South America, Henson Robinson Zoo is a signature Central Illinois destination for the traveling family on-to-go. 
  • Dinosaurs: Land of Fire and Ice - The beloved Kidzeum in Springfield is opening a brand new exhibit Memorial Day weekend where families will be transported back to the Cretaceous Period and be face-to-face with the prehistoric world. 
  • Splash Kingdom Park - Opening Memorial Day Weekend, the Splash Kingdom at Knight's Action Park is Central Illinois' largest water park and is a splash-tastic way to spend the long holiday weekend. 
  • Finders Market: Decatur’s Finders Market is an indoor and outdoor marketplace filled with vintage handmade goods, boutique apparel, repurposed and reclaimed items, home & garden decor, handcrafted furniture and more!
Hispanic musicians at Mercado on 5th

Great Rivers County

  • Live concerts at Galena Cellars: Catch live performances at the Galena Cellars in the Wine Tasting Room downtown to kick off the holiday weekend. 
  • Memorial Day Weekend Fireworks in Collinsville: Kick off summer with a bang at Collinsville's Fireworks Festival with live music, children's activities, vendors, food trucks, and fireworks!
  • Mercado on Fifth: Come celebrate Hispanic culture with entertainment from local musicians, dance groups, artists, food trucks, drinks, craft and retail vendors, and family-friendly activities at East Moline’s Mercado on Fifth.
Fireworks at Navy Pier


  • Memorial Day Veterans Wreath Laying Ceremony & Parade: The City of Chicago and the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events will be honoring our fallen heroes as always with its annual wreath laying ceremony and parade. 
  • Mayfestiversary - Ravenswood Corridor neighbors Dovetail and Begyle are returning this year for the annual Memorial Day weekend street fest on Malt Row where attendees can taste a variety of beers and catch live music. 
  • Suenos Music Festival: Taking over Grant Park will be Chicago's first annual Reggaeton fest with an amazing lineup of Latin singers and performers. 
  • Mole de Mayo Festival: Chicago’s Mole de Mayo Festival, a one-of-a kind outdoor mole cook-off event celebrating Latino culture and Mexican cuisine, will feature over 20 participating local restaurants and popular food vendors. Contestants will face off for top awards, such as “Best Mole” and “People’s Choice.”
  • Navy Pier Fireworks: Visit the iconic Chicago attraction, where you’ll find no shortage of fun activities, from live music and dance performances to an artisan market and everybody's favorite seasonal fireworks show begins Memorial Day weekend.
  • Citywide: All 22 of Chicago’s public beaches will be open starting Memorial Day Weekend!
  • Downtown: Escape into Lurie Garden within Millennium Park for a moment of zen amongst the city.
Ganymedes Vintage base ball team

Beyond Chicago

  • Prairie Fine Arts Festival: The 34th annual Prairie Fine Arts Festival in Schaumburg returns outdoors to showcase 120 painters, sculptors, photographers, jewelers, and potters. Plus, you’ll find live entertainment on three stages, food trucks and children's art activities.
  • St. Charles Fine Art Show: The 24th Annual St. Charles Fine Art Show showcases the original works of fine artists in mediums like clay, ceramics, digital art, drawing, jewelry, photography, mixed media, painting, sculpture and more.
  • Pembroke Rodeo & Picnic: Giddy up towards the Pembroke Rodeo & Picnic for live entertainment the whole family will enjoy this Memorial Day Weekend in Pembroke Township.
  • Oregon Ganymedes Vintage Baseball Games: The Oregon Ganymedes Vintage Base Ball Club starts their 18th season this summer. The team plays by the early rules of 1858 through 1867 base ball (it was two words then!) and plays against other vintage teams representing historic small towns and museums all over Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, Missouri and beyond.
  • The Journey Back: A VR Experience at the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center: In Skokie, experience the first-in-the-world virtual reality exhibition, The Journey Back, which applies 360 degree cutting-edge technology to visitors on a journey as they walk through concentration camps with Holocaust Survivors who experienced them.
  • Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie: In Wilmington, get some fresh air and check out roaming bison at the largest open space in northeastern Illinois.

Looking to book a last-minute overnight stay or multi-day trip? Browse some of Illinois' top places to stay.

Parade on Memorial Day weekend

Parades & Memorial Services

Looking for local parades and memorial services to show your support and honor the men and women who served our country? Since Illinois is the Middle of Everything, our fair state has you covered. Discover Memorial Day 2023 services near you below. 

Trails to Adventure

  • Fallen Soldier Veterans Memorial: This statue and memorial wall, adorned with the names of local fallen heroes, reminds us of the sacrifice made by many soldiers during times of war. A Memorial Day celebration is held at Fallen Soldier Veterans Memorial in Johnston City every year.

Land of Lincoln

  • Effingham County Veterans Memorial: Dedicated to the men and women who served from all five branches of the armed forces, the Effingham County Veterans Memorial is an ongoing memorial that honors names from both past and present. 

Great Rivers 


Beyond Chicago 

  • Memorial Day Parade: The City of Aurora will continue its annual Memorial Day Parade on May 29 to honor our fallen heroes. The parade route will begin at the intersection of Benton and River. 

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