Illinois: Breaking into Spring

From waterparks to waterfalls, there are plenty of ways to make the most of spring break in Illinois.


There are 70 state parks and recreation areas, 2,900 lakes and seven scenic byways from which to choose, not to exclude the Mother Road of Route 66. With mile after mile of open road, Illinois is a great place to take a road trip during your weekend getaway. Plan a camping trip,  Journey through the scenic Great River Road, or discover some quirky roadside attractions.

Outdoor Activities

The outdoors of Illinois offer endless opportunities for adventures this spring. Go rappelling or horseback riding through Giant City State Park, or kick it up a notch by ziplining through the Shawnee Bluffs Canopy. Illinois has miles of scenic hiking trails — over 400 miles in Shawnee National Forest, home to Garden of the Gods. More trails await at Starved Rock State Park, along with scenic waterfalls and incredible local natural beauty.

A mid-week getaway is the perfect time to explore Matthiessen State Park in Oglesby, where you can discover hiking paths that wind through tall trees, wildflower meadows, and even past waterfalls for the kids to spot. Stop at the overlooks along the Illinois River, and don’t forget to remind the kids to look up—you might see a bald eagle flying overhead. Stay at Grizzly Jack’s Grand Bear Resort in Utica offering an indoor water park for kids to play while you unwind.

See the wildlife from around the world in our own backyard at the Brookfield Zoo. For some kid-friendly climbing, try the rope courses and climbing walls at the exciting Forge at the Lemont Quarries. Witness a maple syrup festival and learn how the sap is collected to make into the delicious sweet stuff poured over pancakes.

Indoor Activities

SPRINGFIELD – There are always musical concerts scheduled in this city. Casey Donahew comes to the Boondocks April 5. A tribute to the Eagles will be at the Lincoln Square Theater April 12 called “Heartache Tonight. Celtic Woman will bring its 20th Anniversary Tour to the UIS Performing Arts Center on April 20. These are just a few listed on the calendar soon. History also comes alive this May with an annual student Gettysburg speech contest and held on the Old State Capitol. Witness various reenactments of former President Abraham Lincoln. Visit the Lincoln Home Historic Site. Experience live cooking demonstrations by local chefs of dishes that were popular throughout the past 100 years. Take a ride downtown on a historic site trolley. It is air-conditioned for comfort and a great way to get around to the major attractions.

Chicago – A Shopping trip getaway just can’t be beat in this city.  Get a little retail therapy in the diverse shopping destricts throughout the neighborhoods with one-of-a-kind boutiques, high-end designers, outlet malls and one of the most famous shopping streets in the World. And don’t forget the various farmers markets set up through the summer months. See more at

Places in Illinois: Breaking into Spring

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