11 Best Family Vacations in Illinois

Are you having trouble organizing a family vacation in Illinois?

Are you looking for exciting ideas for a family trip in the Prairie State?

We can help you select the perfect places in Illinois that appeal to your family’s taste and wanderlust.

We’ve compiled a list of the top family vacations in Illinois, including trips to a famous city and scenic retreats.

Professional pointers are also included to make organizing your trip simple and easy.

  1. Chicago

Chicago provides an intriguing variety of attractions and experiences for every family member, from instructive museums to majestic skyscrapers.

Who should vacation here

Chicago offers a wide range of attractions to please every family member.

Visit Navy Pier to begin your family’s vacation in Chicago; it is well-known for its family-friendly attractions, which include a giant Ferris wheel, a mini golf course, and a kids’ museum.

Visit some of the city’s award-winning educational museums afterward, such as the Adler Planetarium and the Museum of Science and Industry.

Moms and dads will undoubtedly appreciate exploring the city’s stunning skyscrapers, notably the Willis Tower.

Did we also mention that it has beautiful beaches and some of the top family hotels in Illinois?

Expert tip

You should arrange outdoor and indoor activities with a flexible timetable or schedule because Chicago’s weather may be somewhat erratic.

Therefore, you may go inside to see a gallery or a museum when it starts to rain or get cold outside.

  1. Springfield

Springfield is undoubtedly one of Illinois’s most fun and instructive family vacation destinations because of its abundance of historical monuments.

Who should vacation here

Families with school-aged children and history enthusiasts should visit Springfield.

Springfield’s cultural and historic attractions may keep your family occupied for days while teaching them about the area’s past.

Visit Lincoln’s Tomb, the Illinois State Capitol, and the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum for an unforgettable trip.

Expert tip

Visit the Boulder Creek Fun Park to take a break from exploring the city’s cultural attractions.

This park offers active entertainment for families with its batting cages, basketball courts, and miniature golf course.

The Henson Robinson Zoo is an excellent place for those who enjoy the outdoors.

  1. Lake County

Are you looking for a ton of great family activities in Illinois?

Lake County provides fantastic family entertainment with a thrilling theme park and lovely state parks.

Who should vacation here

Families typically travel to Lake County to ride Six Flags Great America’s thrill rides.

But Lake County is home to more than just one well-known theme park.

The country’s most extensive public exhibition of venomous animals, including rattlesnakes, is at the Wildlife Discovery Center.

The Rink Side Family Entertainment Center, Jelly Belly Factory, and Volo Auto Museum are a few additional notable family-friendly attractions in this area.

Expert tip

Remember to visit Illinois Beat, State Park.

Families can picnic on the state park’s beach that overlooks Lake Michigan.

You can swim in the lake or hike on a long, beautiful track in the summer.

  1. Chestnut Mountain Resort

Chestnut offers a delightful vacation by fusing luxury, outdoor activities, and family enjoyment.

Who should vacation here

Chestnut Mountain resort provides a wide range of year-round activities for families enjoying the fun.

There is a heated pool, a game room, a golf course, zip lines, and nature tours.

Additionally, it provides Segway excursions for families looking for a distinctive experience.

Expert tip

Traveling with young children or a baby?

Families with young children are welcome to request a free cot at this resort if they are four years old or younger.

  1. Quincy

Quincy is unquestionably one of the most overlooked family-friendly destinations in Illinois.

Who should vacation here

Quincy, often known as the “Gem City,” provides families with many playgrounds, nature parks, and museums.

John Wood Mansion and Quincy Museum are a haven for history buffs.

Active kids will enjoy visiting Scotties Fun Spot and The Kroc Center’s activities.

In addition, the city has access to several family getaways close to Illinois.

Expert tip

Visit Fat Back’s Smokin’ Racks today.

It not only serves delicious meals but also provides a calm, welcoming atmosphere.

Our faves at this restaurant are the tender ribs, smoked chicken, pulled pork sandwiches, and famed BBQ sauce.

  1. Rockford

You can find attractions and places modeled after Chicago can be located in Rockford for much less.

Therefore, this location is a perfect option if planning a family weekend getaway in Illinois.

Who should vacation here

A family trip to Rockford is affordable and full of fun activities for both children and adults.

For instance, the Burpee Museum of Natural History dazzles visitors with its life-size Native American structures and interactive exhibits.

Children will also enjoy the interactive displays at the Discovery Center Museum and the Midway Village Museum.

Expert tip

Don’t miss the chance to check out the stunning Anderson Japanese Garden.

This attraction is a beautiful masterpiece with its exquisite details and gorgeous landscapes.

  1. Decatur

Decatur has many family-friendly attractions, including a zoo, an adventure park, and a few museums.

Who should vacation here

Decatur is brimming with family-friendly attractions that will please the whole gang.

Numerous species are housed at the Decatur Scovill Zoo, which hosts programs for people of all ages.

The city also offers a children’s museum where kids can participate in various interactive activities.

Expert tip

Visitors with children who are in Decatur absolutely must make a pit stop at the Overlook Adventure Park.

The thrilling family activities at this adventure park range from rope courses to mini golf.

  1. Great Wolf Lodge Chicago/Gurnee

Are you looking for exciting family resorts in Illinois that have waterparks?

You’ll enjoy every second of your stay at Great Wolf Lodge, and I can assure you of that.

Who should vacation here

Families can have a ton of fun at the Great Wolf Lodge.

The resort features a sizable water park in addition to a bowling alley, an arcade, and an indoor rock climbing wall.

At this resort, there are eight on-site dining establishments.

Expert tip

Bringing picky eaters on a trip?

Fear not – the resort has a kid-friendly buffet.

Additionally, they provide special meals for children with dietary restrictions and food allergies.

  1. Starved Rock State Park

You must include Starved Rock State Park on any list of Illinois’ top family-friendly weekend destinations.

It’s the ideal resort for anyone looking to get away from the daily grind of the city with its breathtaking natural sights and outdoor adventures.

Who should vacation here

For those who enjoy the outdoors and being in nature, Starved Rock State Park is a paradise.

The park has miles of hiking trails, 18 natural canyons, and several options for adventure.

Furthermore, being less than two hours from Chicago, it seems like you have entered a different planet.

Expert tip

Late December and March is the best time to explore the state park.

The park has become a top destination for watching migratory bald eagles during these months.

  1. Galena

Families can have one of the most excellent and most enjoyable family vacations in Illinois in Galena because of its historic charm and kid-friendly attractions.

Who should vacation here

Despite its modest size, Galena has much to see and do for families.

Galena’s old houses and charming inns alone are worth a trip.

Take a trolley tour or the Mississippi Explorer Cruise to understand the city better.

In addition, you can play gold or go kayaking here.

Expert tip

You can have the ultimate skiing experience at Chestnut Mountain Resort.

This 220-acre facility will satisfy the winter adventure needs of intrepid families with a wide variety of snow-based activities.

Playgrounds and other kid-friendly features are also present.

  1. Peoria

Peoria is full of exciting activities and goodies that appeal to your family.

Who should vacation here

With kids, Peoria is a fantastic metropolitan destination in Illinois.

The Peoria Playhouse Children’s Museum, Caterpillar Visitors Center, and Peoria Zoo are just a few educational attractions you can find in this area.

Teenagers will also enjoy the basketball games and concerts at the Peoria Civic Center.

Expert tip

When it comes to snacks and meals, Peoria has a wide selection that is kid-friendly.

The morning burrito with Verde sauce from Cafe 401 is our favorite.

The wood-fired pizza at Sugar Wood-Fired Bistro is a fantastic alternative.

Choose your Reaction!