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Shedd Aquarium
Family outside walking on a sunny day.

A Family Getaway to the Elgin Area

From Local Experts

3 Days 22 Miles


Bartlett, Elgin, West Dundee, East Dundee

From the local experts at Elgin Area Convention and Visitors Bureau

Summer is a great time to escape with the family.

Elgin area businesses and attractions have continued to implement strong health and safety standards to ensure the peace of mind for you and your family. Visit to relax, have fun, unwind and enjoy the season with your loved ones. We’ve already done the planning and research, all you have to do is hop in the car!

Day 1:

Bartlett & Elgin

  • Bikers on a path during summer in Elgin.

A great way to get the kids excited for the family trip is to first stop at 2 Toots Train Whistle Grill on your way into town. This is a restaurant kids will love. Sit down for classic American fare and have your meal brought out to you on top of a model train!

Once you’ve finished grabbing a bite to eat, continue into town and check into Elgin’s Holiday Inn. After time in the car, the kids may need to get out and expel some energy. Take a quick drive into South Elgin to visit SEBA Park. This park features playground equipment and large spaces for kids to run and play. Then as a family you can hop onto the Fox River Trail that runs through SEBA Park and enjoy nature and beautiful scenic views. Or visit Epic Air Trampoline Park nearby to enjoy the 30,000 square foot facility created for the joy of families with multiple places to jump, foam pits and play equipment.

Day 2:


  • White museum interior

Begin the day with breakfast at Alexander’s Cafe, a local favorite eatery for breakfast and lunch. Alexander’s has a large menu where even the pickiest eater can find something delicious to order.

Next is the Elgin History Museum, a local museum with interactive exhibits that engage kids in history in a fun way. Then leave the museum and head to Lord’s Park for another place to play and relax outdoors. There’s also a zoo that houses bison that’s fun to visit. But the last stop in Lord’s Park is the Elgin Public Museum. This is the only natural history museum in the Fox River Valley area and houses 15,000 specimens of natural history with newly expanded family focused hands-on exhibits. For another museum experience option, there’s Elgin Fire Barn No. 5, an old fire house that now houses a collection of fire fighting related artifacts that include fire trucks!

End the day by checking into the Sonesta Select in West Dundee to relax and prepare for tomorrow.

Day 3:

West Dundee & East Dundee

  • A waterpark

After checking out of the hotel there are a few spots that are perfect for families in the Dundee area. First there’s Randall Oaks Zoo, a barn-based family venue with kid-friendly animals for petting and feeding, plus games and pony rides. This zoo features animals that are native to the area. Kids may have seen them before in the wild, but now they can see them up close in a safe, educational environment.

Another kid favorite spot is Santa’s Village Azoosment and Water Park in East Dundee. This amusement park is full of entertainment for the family with a number of rides fit for a wide range of ages, a zoo, games, dining opportunities, shops and the newly added water park Santa’s Springs. At Santa’s Springs there are cabana rentals, slides and shallow playing areas for younger kids.

Before hitting the road to go back home, there are two restaurants in the Dundee area that kids absolutely love. Van’s Frozen Custard and Burgers is a local favorite for both their burgers and custard options. Walking distance from the Dundee riverwalk, this location makes for a great place to stretch and walk before getting back into the car. Another top spot is Woodfire Dundee, which serves mouth-watering classic woodfired pizza (which kids love), but also features wine on tap (which may be of interest to parents).

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