Chicago, IL (WCIA) Visit and discover the best kid-friendly getaways around Illinois this year just in time for Spring Break and more itineraries unique to Illinois!

Giant City State Park in Makanda is an outdoor lover’s paradise with 8 different hiking trails -where you can also find horseback riding, fishing and even rappelling. You can stay at the Giant City Lodge- which dates back to the 1930s – and enjoy their famous all-you-can-eat Fried Chicken Dinner.

Shawnee Bluffs Canopy Tour is an exciting way to experience the Shawnee National Forest in southern Illinois by traversing through eight zip lines, three suspension bridges and three short hikes.

A few miles away in Makanda is the Rolling Oak Alpaca Ranch where you can interact with adorable alpacas. This mother and daughter owned ranch is part of Illinois Tourism’s Illinois Made program. You can take tours of the farm and they even offer educational classes to learn how to knit and make products with alpaca fiber.

There’s so much for the family to do in Springfield, including interactive museums like the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library & Museum – which has  a brand new exhibit to experience, called Here I Have Lived – Home in Illinois, telling the compelling stories of  important people who called Illinois home.

Don’t forget to visit Lincoln’s Tomb and be sure to rub his nose for good luck.

Kids will love spending the day learning while having fun at Springfield’s Kidzeum of Health and Science, which is dedicated to teaching children the importance of healthy habits, helping their communities, and making smart decisions to help the environment.

For even more presidential history – you can head to and check out our special road trip itinerary which features attractions in Springfield and journeys through Dixon, Galena and Chicago.

Grand Bear Resort, located near the Starved Rock State Park. Grand Bear Resort is an oasis of relaxation and adventure where water park fun meets natural wonder. The resort features a 24,000 square foot indoor waterpark with play zones, slides, wave pool, lazy river, and 15 person hot tub! They also offer vacation villas and luxury cabins that can accommodate up to 10 people.

Spring is the best time to visit Starved Rock State Park for seeing waterfalls. Popular waterfalls include:

LaSalle Canyon Falls is a 25-foot veil waterfall through its namesake canyon in LaSalle County. This waterfall is the most likely to have water right into summer, and visitors can walk behind the falls.

At 80 ft. tall, the St. Louis Canyon Waterfall is one of the highest in the park, it is spring fed which means it is more likely to have water than others.

One of the best ways to see Chicago is from the water.

Admire the skyline on a lakefront cruise, learn about the city’s iconic architecture on one of the many Chicago River cruises or enjoy dinner under the stars on a popular dinner cruise — the options are truly endless.

While you’re strolling on Lake Shore Drive, travel back in time at the Museum of Science & Industry. One of the largest science museums in the world is home to more than 400,000 square feet of hands-on exhibits designed to spark creativity and keep your kids fascinated. Right now you can check out the special Mold-A-Rama: Molded for the Future exhibit about the famous retro machines that produce plastic figurines. 

If you’re looking for an outdoor adventure in the Chicago area then The Forge Lemont Quarries in Lemont is the place for you! It’s the largest aerial adventure park in the Midwest and accessible to adventurers of all ages and abilities. Their Kids Adventure Zone is known as ‘jungle gym kids dream out.’ Spend the day ax throwing, playing laser tag and pumping around the Forge’s bike park. There’s plenty of activities for families that’ll keep you coming back for more.