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Travel Articles : Midwest : Illinois Last Updated: Apr 28, 2007 - 6:30:02 AM

Things To Do in Illinois
Apr 27, 2007 - 9:37:18 PM

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Illinois has a varied landscape with great urban communities and cultural activities in Chicago to the cornfields of southern Illinois to winter ski resorts in Northern Illinois.  


Stay warm in the Chicago History Museum and discover the crossroads of America.   The museum features a Children’s Gallery that allows children to learn about the various bridges, skyscrapers, and other interesting facts such as the toys that were in vented in the city.   The museum also features dioramas and permanent exhibits that chronicle events such as the Great Fire, the city’s changing economy, the neighborhoods, the innovations and other cultural scenes of the city.   They even tell you about the renowned rivalry between the Chicago Cubs and the Boston Red Sox.  


The Morton Arboretum in Chicagoland features several February activities including Children’s Garden Winter Walks with hot cocoa, a children’s Ice Age Adventure Trail and walk, and free guided walks. The area also features a café and restaurant to warm up in before hitting the Children’s Garden and Maze Garden.


In Rantoul, you have to stop by Hardy’s Reindeer Ranch.   This is a most unusual attraction with a herd of Alaskan reindeer.   The ranch rebuilt their 100-year-old barns and planted 5000 Christmas trees for a beautiful winter wonderland setting.   The reindeer are kid friendly and love the attention.   The reindeer were flown in to Illinois from Alaska.   You are able to take the Reindeer Tour as well as feed them.   The kids will also love the twelve-acre corn maze.   The maze is designed like a large treasure hunt.   There are six checkpoints and your mission is to find 6 hole punches to get out of the maze.   It can take anywhere from 1 to 3 hours.   The maze can also be done at night with flashlights for added difficulty.   There are also hayrides, pedal racecars and cookouts by reservation.


Experience the production of maple syrup at Mason Hollow Maple Syrup Demonstrations.   As long as the sap is running the sap is collected and cooked down to syrup.   This is the only public maple sugarbrush in the Riverbend area.   Open every weekend during the month of February weather permitting.   Located at Maple Hollow Sugarbrush in Grafton.


Eagle Meet and Greet Sundays are held during the first two weekends of February each year.   In Alton you will find the National Great Rivers Museum and several live bald eagles.   Demonstrations are held to educate the public on the species and their wintering habitats off the Mississippi River.


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