It's Memorial Day Weekend in Illinois

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Summer warmth recently returned to Illinois, paving the way for the unofficial start to the season: Memorial Day weekend.

To say Illinoisans are eager to get out and about is an understatement. Luckily, residents have plenty of events and activities across the state to choose from this year — from outdoor festivals and parades to nature hikes and reopened beaches.

Read through this guide to see what’s happening in Chicagoland and Illinois’ other exciting regions.

  • Trails to Adventure

  • MurphysboroShawnee Cave Amphitheater is bringing back live music after a decade hiatus — enjoy performances at this magical venue within the Shawnee National Forest.
  • Cobden: Pack your lawn chairs, grab your friends and head out to Spring Jam 2021 at StarView Vineyards for a day of live music, drinks, delicious food.
  • Herrin: Celebrate Italian heritage at HerrinFesta Italiana, which offers fun for the whole family in the form of a carnival, food, contests, and even a bocce tournament.
  • Land of Lincoln

  • Great Rivers Country

  • Chicago

  • Citywide: Just in time! Chicago’s 22 public beaches along Lake Michigan will open for the first time since September 2019 on May 28.
  • Navy Pier: Visit the iconic Chicago attraction, where you’ll find no shortage of fun activities, from live music and dance performances to an artisan market.
  • Downtown: Wander around Lurie Garden in Millennium Park, a great escape from the hustle and bustle of the rest of downtown.
  • Wrigley Field and Guaranteed Rate Field: This doesn’t happen often, but the Cubs and Sox are both in town this weekend. Check out the neighborhood vibe on gameday or score tickets to a game.
  • Beyond Chicago

  • Starved Rock State Park: Work off your Memorial Day indulgences with a guided hike at this popular natural oasis.
  • Lisle: For tree lovers, it doesn’t get much better than Human+Nature at The Morton Arboretum, where you can interact with awe-inspiring tree-themed sculptures.
  • Byron: Get the blood pumping at the Front Line OCR Obstacle Course, which will challenge your strength and conditioning with 30 obstacles across six miles.
  • St.Charles: Peruse original, high-quality art at the 23rd Annual St. Charles Fine Art Show, which showcases paintings, sculptures, photography, jewelry and more.
  • McHenry: It’s opening weekend for Stade’s Farm Market, and they’re offering one of their famous apple cider donuts for free to each visitor.

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

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