Subzero temperatures are no excuse to hunker down at home waiting for warmer months. Cure your cabin fever with a trip to these fun attractions and cozy hideaways throughout the state.
Winter months are arguably the toughest for kids, so recapture the fun of summertime at this resort, where the indoor water park maintains a humid 84-degree year-round temperature. Tube slides, a lazy river and a wave pool are only a fraction of the family fun, and when adults need some chill time, cabanas are available for rent. Water-free activities at the lodge like mini golf, a climbing wall, a ropes course and a bustling arcade can also fill afternoons and evenings, along with eight bars and restaurants.
Seven European-inspired cottages and suites with wood-burning fireplaces and soaking tubs (for two) make for the ideal romantic getaway in the snow-covered countryside. Enhance your stay with a couple’s massage; custom floral arrangements; hand-painted chocolates; and a wine, cheese and charcuterie tray delivered to your door.
Enjoy a relaxing winter getaway at one of five bed-and-breakfast suites against the backdrop of the Shawnee National Forest along the Shawnee Hills Wine Trail. The romantic Chateau Suite, inspired by the winery’s Chateau Red, offers a king-size bed, Jacuzzi tub, gas fireplace and complimentary bottle of wine. On weekends, the on-site Grill and Pub is the perfect spot for homemade comfort food, such as tender German Beef Brisket or Toasted Ravioli.
The grounds may be frozen, but you’ll barely notice thanks to the balmy temps within the 50-foot glass-dome conservatory. Here, more than 150 diverse plant species from around the world thrive. The garden also features an indoor greenhouse. Make it an overnight trip with a stay at the Inn at 835, where most rooms have jetted tubs.
Experience the thrill of skydiving with none of the risk at the indoor skydiving facility at Parkway Bank Park. Guests don flight suits, helmets and goggles before floating over a controlled wind tunnel that simulates the feeling of skydiving—all without jumping out of a perfectly good airplane! Afterward, enjoy seasonal iceskating at Chicago Wolves Ice Rink and a sweet treat at Sugar Factory. Make it a getaway at nearby Embassy Suites, perfect for families with its two-room suites, free breakfast and indoor pool.
The nearly 6,500-square-foot Tropical Sun Garden features lush plants, a 14-foot waterfall, a stream and a Japanese koi pond. Sunlight pours through the 70-foot skylight to nurture the collection of fruit-bearing plants, including coconut, banana, vanilla, coffee and cocoa trees. (Sorry, no snacking allowed!) Stay the night in 1920s Art Deco luxury at The Axis Hotel Moline, a 10-minute drive from the garden.