Named after the Illinois River, this state is set apart by lavish woodlands, rolling hills, and beautiful wetlands. Popularly known as the Land of Lincoln, the Prairie State is home to world-class museums and libraries. From visiting historic sites in Springfield to embarking on free tours in Chicago, there are heaps of fun things to do in Illinois.
Visit Lincoln Historic Sites in Springfield
In plain view at the Presidential Library and Museum are things from Lincoln period including genuine looking Lincoln family wax statues, gift, home décor, toys, games, apparel, stationery, jewelry, books, and media to name a few. Lincoln enthusiasts can also visit the Museum Store to take home something special. Won’t it be just fun to see where Abraham Lincoln nurtured his belief in democracy and freedom and began his pursuit of the American hopes and dreams! Everything began at the house at Eighth and Jackson Streets and eventually took him to the White House and the pages of history.
You can stroll up and around the excellent stone works and bronze sculptures at the huge 117-foot-tall Lincoln Tomb and rub the bronze Lincoln’s nose for some good fortunes. The tour of Lincoln’s home and tomb are fun and free.
Tips: Usually closed on New Year Day, Thanksgiving Day, and December 25th.
Free Museums and Neighborhood Tours in Chicago
Wouldn’t it be great to know how to detect counterfeit bills? You can learn the history of U.S currency and get the chance to see a cube produced using $1 million at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago Money Museum. The Oriental Institute, University of Chicago is home to artifacts from places like Egypt, Syria, Persia, and Nubia. On display are towering statues of King Tut and a child’s pull toy from 2350 BC.
National Museum of Mexican Art is the largest certified Latino art museum in the country. Great works by Latino, Mexican, and Chicano artists tell the story of their influence on the Chicago’s identity. There are free walking tours of the Chicago neighborhood that covers interests like fashion, public art, history, and film. You can likewise visit the Chicago Cultural Center where you can attend concerts, performances, films and art exhibitions.
Some Outdoor Activities in Illinois
The Rock Springs Nature Center in Decatur, IL is a fun destination for nature lovers. Guests can participate in hiking and paved bike trails, visit the museum and the restored farmhouse, or partake in other exciting outdoor activities. Do you love apples and pumpkins? The Curtis Orchard and Pumpkin Patch in Champaign, IL is an incredible place for specialty food items and fresh apple cider. Also available are a free playground and petting zoo as well as a paid fun obstacle course, corn maze, giant slide and horse rides.
For a fun family weekend, the Amish Country Cheese Festival in Arthur, IL offer top-notch corn dog, free cheese, tractor pull show, parade, music, Amish farm shops, and much more; or you can attend the Apple and Pork Festival in Clinton, IL to enjoy some mouth-watering apple and pork treats, live amusement, several crafters, and take something home from the flea market.
“Shop! Shop!! Shop!!!”
For travel shoppers, this is one fun thing to do in Illinois. Visit the more than 100 stores and restaurants at the Market Place Shopping Center in Champaign; get some great deals during sales at the Tanger Outlet Center in Tuscola or even make your own particular toy at the White Oaks Mall in Springfield.