Chicago Suburban Family

Things To Do

Best Day Trips

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Open For Summer…School’s out, the weather is warm. It’s time to get back to doing the things you love. We’ve rounded up a bunch of great places to explore before the end of the season. Plan ahead and make the most of every day!

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All the Best of Naperville on Water Street
Water Street is your spot to shop, dine, spa, stay and celebrate! Anchored by the beautiful Hotel Indigo and nestled along Naperville’s famed Downtown Riverwalk, Water Street invites you to discover fabulous restaurants offering everything from sushi to tacos to ice cream, Mediterranean to wine-pairings and cocktails with the best-ever sunset view.  Escape to an award-winning experiential spa and salon, discover gift and apparel shopping for men and women or plan your dream wedding or event here! www.waterstreetnaperville.com
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Lizzadro Museum of Lapidary Art
People of all ages enjoy this exceptional Museum dedicated to sharing the beauty of cut and polished stone, promoting lapidary artists and understanding rocks and minerals. Featuring a world-class collection of Chinese jade and hard stone carvings from around the world. Exhibits include stone mosaics, cameos, animal dioramas, mineral specimens, gemstones, fossils, meteorites and hands-on displays. Unique Museum Shop, ADA accessible and open year-round. 1220 Kensington Road, Oak Brook, IL  60523. Ph. 630-833-1616, info@lizzadromuseum.org. www.lizzadromuseum.org
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Ottawa, Illinois The Middle of Everywhere
Ottawa, Illinois is a vibrant tourist destination located 80 miles outside of downtown Chicago. It is often considered to be “In the Middle of Everywhere,” located in the heart of the state, central to several major Illinois cities and drive markets, and within a stone’s throw of many diverse activities–from lush and natural outdoor areas to renowned cultural and historic attractions. Those who visit Ottawa, Illinois take note of its friendly and neighborly, hometown feel. Ottawa Visitors Center. pickusottawail.com. 815-434-2737
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Visit Lake County
Let the Ride Take You this summer to Lake County, Illinois. It’s that rush of excitement of something new. Or, that great feeling of revisiting a favorite—a best burger, thrilling coaster, outdoor concert, a sunset on a lake. It’s about having the time of your life for an afternoon or weekend. Take to the road and see where it leads. The places you can discover here will leave lasting memories and have you coming back. Let’s go! visitlakecounty.org.
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Summerfield Farm & Zoo
An up close and personal animal experience for kids of all ages!  Plenty of things to do and amazing animals!  See our animals from A (alligators) to Z (zebra). Free animal shows daily with admission (check online schedule).  Kids can have fun feeding bottles to baby goats and feeding the petting zoo animals. Free parking.  Unique gift shop and snack shop.  Just minutes from I-90 in Belvidere.   www.summerfieldfarmandzoo.com
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Visit Kenosha
Find fun in the Kenosha Area with personalized service, directions, coupons, maps, and more at our I-94/Hwy 165 Visitor Information Center. Learn more about museums, art galleries, lighthouses, parks, Lake Michigan beaches, fishing, festivals, restaurants, shops, attractions, and so much more. Our team is ready to help you plan the perfect day trip or weekend getaway. Go to www.VisitKenosha.com or 262-654-7307 for more information, stop in at 10519 120th Avenue, Pleasant Prairie, WI 53158.
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Go Ape!
Go Ape Chicago is an unparalleled outdoor adventure experience. Located at Bemis Woods, part of the Forest Preserves of Cook County, you’ll tackle dangling obstacles, explore the trees from a new perspective and fly around on multiple ziplines from exciting heights. Their Treetop Adventure & Treetop Journey courses are guaranteed to deliver laughter, smiles and a sense of accomplishment. Go Ape also introduced two new activities in 2021:  Treetop Nets and Axe Throwing. Go Ape, Live Life Adventurously! Go Ape Chicago is located at 1100 Ogden Avenue, Western Springs, IL 60558. Visit www.goape.com to learn more or book your adventure.
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Summer in Naperville
Welcome back to summer in Naperville! The downtown is “sailing into summer” with decorated sailboats mixing with Century Walk for art throughout the area. Dining is open with many expanded outdoor venues, along with indoor seating.   With all of the fun activities in Naperville, a staycation is a perfect choice for your summertime family adventures. Book a room at one of Naperville’s fabulous hotels, enjoy indoor swimming, and venture outdoors to enjoy the Riverwalk, Centennial Beach, Naper Settlement as well as paddleboats or kayaking at the Quarry. To make Naperville your staycation destination, contact www.VisitNaperville.com.
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Reed’s Canoe Trips
Reed’s Canoe and Kayak Trips are an ideal recreational activity for groups of any size, from a family adventure to large church, school, or park district outing with an adventure close to home. The three trips we offer range in length from approximately 2 hours to a full 6 hours on the water, and are suitable for either new or experienced canoeists. Since the Kankakee River is located only an hour south of Chicagoland, even our longest trip will fit into a one-day outing! 907 N. Indiana Ave, Rt. 50, Kankakee, IL. Call for information or reservations: (815) WE CANOE or visit: www.reedscanoetrips.com
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Rockin’ Summer Concert Series
Oak Brook Park District
The Oak Brook Park District Rockin’ Summer Concert Series at Central Park is back! Concert dates are July 1st, 8th, 15th, 22nd and 29th. All concerts begin at 6:30pm. Register for your own socially distant circle for up to 6 people for a flat fee. Front rows cost $30 and back rows $20. Please bring chairs, blankets and your own food and beverage. Visit www.obparks.org for more information and registration!
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Maxson’s Restaurant & Riverboat
Maxson’s Restaurant has been in business in Oregon, Illinois since 1952.  Plan your visit now and enjoy the summer season. It offer’s glass enclosed dining with stunning views of the Rock River. The Pride of Oregon Paddleboat takes guests on a scenic 15 mile round trip lunch and dinner cruises. Maxson’s can host events up to 260 people in the restaurant, 200 on the sprawling deck, and 80-100 on the Riverboat. 1469 IL Rt. 2, Oregon, Illinois 61061. Perfect setting for a day trip or your next special event. For more information call 1-815-732-6761 or visit www.Maxsons.net
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Primrose Farm
Experience farm life! Explore restored farm buildings, visit with farm animals and agricultural interpreters, or enjoy a stroll through 100+ acres of historic and modern rural landscapes. Exciting and educational activities await you in the farmyard! Grounds open dawn to dusk. Animal Adventure programs offered Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, featuring hand-milking a Jersey cow, gathering eggs from the chicken coop, grooming a draft horse or feeding the animals. A facility of the St. Charles Park District. 5N726 Crane Road, St. Charles, IL 60175. 630-513-4370. www.primrosefarm.org
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Paddlewheel Riverboats
It’s hard to deny the beauty of the Fox River from any point along the shore whether you’re biking the trail, fishing on Boy Scout Island or looking out from the historic tower at Pottawatomie Park. Nothing compares to experiencing the Fox River during a paddlewheel riverboat cruise on the waterway itself. Enjoy travel from the era of Mark Twain through a green corridor of scenic beauty. Both boats have open-air upper decks for unobstructed sightseeing and the lower decks have windows that can be closed in cool or rainy weather. Public tours are reasonably prices from May to October. Private charters available, too.  A facility of the St. Charles Park District 8 North Avenue, St. Charles, IL 60174. 630-584-2334. www.stcriverboats.com
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Free Movies, Live Music in Downtown Aurora
Enjoy summer fun in downtown Aurora. Visit family-friendly attractions and enjoy free events. Outdoor movies for all ages are Thursdays in July starting July 8 at Aurora Regional Fire Museum. Wednesdays at the Plaza features live music beginning July 14. On August 6, experience art, music, and more at First Fridays with more than two dozen venues open to explore plus a Food Truck Court. Follow us on Facebook at Aurora Downtown. www.auroradowntown.org
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Spend the Day in Downtown Lemont
Lemont has the most picturesque terrain in Chicago and the best outdoor activities in the Midwest. Bike along the canal to The Forge to zipline through their world-class aerial courses. Grab a beer from Pollyanna, indulge in a pizza from Wooden Paddle, or stop by one of the taverns or shops housed in iconic limestone buildings. No matter where you find yourself in Downtown, you’ll experience Lemont Real. Learn more at www.lemontdowntown.com.
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Air Classics Museums of Aviation
Explore up close the history of military aviation from the 1930’s to the present.  Our outdoor airpark is the home to eleven aircraft including veterans of Vietnam and the Gulf War, The indoor exhibits include aviation memorabilia including aircraft engines, historical displays, and a full size mockup of a Boeing 737 cockpit. A gift shop is on the premises, The museum is open Saturday & Sunday from 10:00AM to 3:00PM. For more information, please call 630 466 0888 or visit airclassicsmuseum.org.     Air Classics Museum of Aviation 44W546 W. US Rt. 30  Sugar Grove, Illinois , just west of the Aurora Airport entrance.
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Kohl Children’s Museum
We spark curiosity and inspire a love of learning for children ages birth to 8. For Summer 2021, choose your visit: learn and play indoors in our 16 interactive exhibits, including special exhibit “Nature Cat: Backyard and Beyond,” or stay 100% outdoors with our SummerBurst special event: butterfly tent, trike track, bug hunt, and more. Located at 2100 Patriot Blvd., Glenview, IL. For tickets and more information, call 847-832-6600 or visit www.kcmgc.org.
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WhirlyBall
Whether you’re planning your next date night, work outing or family gathering, WhirlyBall Naperville has you covered for non-stop fun! In addition to WhirlyBall, there’s eight bowling lanes, a four-lane bowling suite, HyperBowling and a multilevel laser tag area. Offering a relaxed yet elevated dining experience featuring fresh takes on classic American fare, an expansive collection of 24 rotating craft beer selections and refreshing signature cocktails. Reserve your space today! WHIRLYBALL NAPERVILLE, 3103 ODYSSEY CT, 630-932-4800 www.whirlyball.com.
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Naper Nights
Rock out with the family at Naper Nights Community Concert Series at Naper Settlement on July 16-17, August 13-14, and September 17-18 from 5-10PM. Naper Nights explores major historical milestones and their effect on pop culture with themed musical tribute concerts. Rock out with your community as you eat, drink, dance, and hear the area’s best tribute bands perform your favorite rock, pop, country, and soul hits! This year’s line-up includes tributes to James Brown, Dave Matthews Band, Rolling Stones, Beach Boys and more. For more information and tickets, please visit: www.NaperNights.org
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Congregation Etz Chaim – Judaism that inspires!
Welcome young families and Prospective members. Come and see our vibrant, multi-generational community and join us as we

Kick off the Jewish High Holidays Festival “Selichotapalooza” on Saturday August 28th from 5-8pm. Kid friendly games and activities, wagon rides, free food, wine and scotch tasting. Meet the Rabbis and congregation.

Begin the High Holidays with us! Selichot service at 7:30pm. Shofar Blast at 8:00pm. 1710 S. Highland Ave Lombard, IL. RSVP – cec.officeasst@congetzchaim.org. www.congetzchaim.org
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Midwest Pond & Koi Society
The Midwest Pond & Koi Society, MPKS, are families with a common hobby: koi ponds, garden ponds, koi keeping, and plants. MPKS members range from the novice to experienced water gardener. The club has monthly meetings with topics about plants, ponds, and fish. Other activities include; auctions, road trips, and a pond tour. You do not have to be a member to attend a meeting. Visit our web site www.mpks.org for more information.
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“Camp Local” with the Forest
Preserve District of Kane County!
Looking for a nearby escape (and a return to outdoor, family fun)? Camp Local with us! Paul Wolff Campground in Elgin and Big Rock Campground in Big Rock offer tent and RV camping with electric and water hook-ups. Take a hike. Catch a fish. Enjoy time away, under the stars. Camp sites range from $15 to $35 per day. Campgrounds are open May through late October. Call 630-444-1200 or visit kaneforest.com for details.
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Mid-Continent Railway Museum
All aboard! Located near Wisconsin Dells, Mid-Continent Railway Museum welcomes visitors for a 55-minute ride aboard antique passenger train cars and to explore the museum’s railyard filled with dozens of beautifully restored trains from the late 1800s and early 1900s. Open Saturdays and Sundays thru Oct. 17. Info at www.MidContinent.org or call 800-930-1385. E8948 Museum Rd., North Freedom, WI.
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Abbey Farms
Abbey Farms’ Summer Ramble is Chicagoland’s best day trip for 2021!  Enjoy live music under an umbrella on a cozy patio, along with Marmion Abbey beer or wine and our small-bites cafe menu. Plan a picnic on the lawn, explore antique tractors on a walk around the farm, or shop our seasonal farm store with vintage-style housewares, specialty food items, home-grown produce, oven-fresh bakery items and more! We’re dog friendly – bring ‘em along! It’s a great destination for a quick summer retreat that’s close by, at Abbey Farms! Located at 2855 Hart Rd., Aurora, IL. Visit www.SummerRamble.com.
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Funway Entertainment
Funway Entertainment is where you want to be this summer! Join us in the Backyard Park for a fun filled day of go karting, bumper boats, batting cages, mini golf, water wars and jump shot basketball. The Junior Go Kart Pack is for the beginner drivers, ages 7-9, while the Eagle Pack is for drivers 10 and up. Both of these races are located on the Family Go Kart Track.  Are you interested in racing on the Fast Track? Then the Falcon Pack is for you! The Go Kart Summer Fun Packs make it easy to plan your trip and make summer memories you won’t forget! Come out and play! 1335 S. River St. Batavia. 630-879-8717 Visit: funway.com
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Fleetwood Roller Rink
Fleetwood Roller Rink Fleetwood Roller Rink is a family-owned business. Our venue hosts public skating, birthday parties (our specialty) private parties and fundraisers. We promote family fun for all ages. For “health sake, roller skate.” Come visit us and join in our fun. Skating lessons available every Saturday at 1 p.m.  Located at 7231 W Archer Ave, Summit, IL 60501. Call 708-458-0300. Check for our ongoing specials and public skating times at www.fleetwoodrollerrink.com Like us at facebook.com/FleetwoodRollerRink
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SAFARI LAND – Villa Park
Safari Land is the ultimate, INDOOR entertainment center, plus home of the largest year-round indoor roller coaster in Illinois. Open seven days a week, offering eight amusement rides, over 100 arcade games and 12 lanes of bowling. Ride wristband includes: Tilt-A-Whirl, Bumper Cars, Merry-Go-Round, Monkey Jump, Soft Play Area, Max Flight Simulator, Roller Coaster & Kiddie Go-Karts. Free parking and a perfect spot for birthday parties!  For more information visit www.safarilandfun.com or call 630-530-4649.
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