Even though the end of summer is fast approaching, there’s still time to get away before it’s too late. Experience an action-packed family weekend centered on America’s favorite pastime—baseball!
Illinois boasts seven Frontier League professional baseball teams. The teams’ ballparks are located throughout the state, making an Illinois baseball trip only a short drive away. Families can experience a night at the ballpark and visit a variety of Illinois attractions all in one memorable summer trip. Check out the list below for family-friendly baseball trip ideas across the Land of Lincoln!
Trails to Adventure
Southern Illinois Miners
Ballpark: Rent One Park
Root for the Miners in Southern Illinois!
17th Street Bar & Grill (2700 17th St., Marion) – World renowned family style barbeque featured in Bon Appetite and on the Food Network.
Quatro’s Deep Pan Pizza (218 W. Freeman St., Carbondale) – Established in 1975, the pizza joint is a Carbondale staple for locals and visitors.
Garden of the Gods Recreational Area (Shawnee National Forest) – The 3,000-acre wilderness is No. 10 in the U.S. for photographing sandstone rock formations and high vistas. Take in breathtaking views of Southern Illinois atop sandstone bluffs.
Crab Orchard Wildlife Refuge (8588 Highway 148, Marion) – Walking trails, wildlife viewing areas and fishing, perfect for an outdoor family adventure.
Extreme Kids (1109 North Railroad St., Marion) – Bounce off the walls at Extreme Kids on huge bouncers, in-ground trampolines and a jungle gym.
Great Rivers Country
Ballpark: GCS Ballpark
Watch the Gateway Grizzlies while relaxing in the ballpark’s hot tub!
Sawmill BBQ Restaurant (4060 Mississippi Ave., Cahokia) – Delicious barbeque that is smoked fresh daily. Patrons can choose their own tasty homemade sauce from a list that includes Sweet BBQ Sauce, Hot BBQ Sauce and Mustard Sauce.
Stingers Restaurant & Pizzeria (440 Falling Springs Rd., Cahokia) – The family style sit-down restaurant is a favorite spot in Cahokia for delicious pizza.
Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site (30 Ramey Dr., Cahokia) – Explore, visit and learn at the state historic site. Cahokia is the largest prehistoric Indian city north of Mexico. Visitors can climb Monk’s Mound and experience a life-sized village.
National Great Rivers Museum (2 Lock & Dam Way, Alton) – The museum is dedicated to telling the grand history, cultural significance and ecological importance of the Mississippi River. It features more than 20 interactive and computer animated exhibits. Visitors can steer a towboat using a simulator, measure water consumption and see river fish in the aquarium.
World’s Largest Catsup Bottle (800 S. Morrison, Collinsville) –Take a pit stop and see the 170 feet tall structure towering above Collinsville. The tower was built in 1949 for the G.S. Suppiger catsup bottling plant. It is a great photo opportunity to commemorate a Gateway Grizzlies trip!
Land of Lincoln
Ballpark: Corn Crib
Try a hot dog while cheering on the Normal CornBelters!
Destihl (318 S. Towanda Ave., Normal) – Enjoy comforting food with big flavor at the central Illinois gastrobrewpub. Destihl creatively fuses craft beer and full-flavored dishes using many local ingredients.
Maggie Miley’s (126 E. Beaufort St., Normal) – The Irish pub transports guests to Ireland. The owners commissioned a Dublin company to design the establishment and all millwork was crafted by Irish carpenters. Maggie Miley’s offers traditional Irish pub fare as well as American options.
Children’s Discovery Museum (101 E. Beaufort St., Normal) – The museum, dedicated to children’s learning, boasts three floors of unique, hands-on exhibits that are perfect for children of all ages.
Grady’s Family Fun Center (1501 Morrissey Dr., Bloomington) – Let loose at Grady’s Family Fun Center, featuring 18 holes of miniature golf, batting cages, bumper boats, go-karts and kiddie rides.
Historic Normal Theater (209 W. North St., Normal) – Catch a flick in a unique setting that transports moviegoers back to a time when going to the movies was a truly special event.
Chicago & Beyond
Ballpark: Silver Cross Field
Watch the Slammers hit a home run in Joliet!
Old Fashioned Pancake House Restaurant (2002 W. Jefferson St., Joliet) – The Joliet restaurant serves hearty breakfast, lunch and dinner. Try the pancake sandwich, a perfect combination of eggs and ham sandwiched between two creamy buttermilk pancakes.
Chicken-N-Spice (251 N. Chicago St., Joliet) – Founded in 1979, the downtown Joliet establishment serves friend chicken, Jo-Jo’s, spicy rice and buttermilk biscuits. The delicious comfort food joint is a must-visit in Joliet.
Joliet Historical Museum (204 N. Ottawa St., Joliet) – The renowned history museum boasts interactive exhibits featuring early settlers, Route 66 and a children’s discovery room.
Haunted Trails Restaurant and Entertainment Park (1423 N. Broadway St., Joliet) – Get in the game at the Entertainment Park, featuring batting cages, go-kart racing, laser tag and mini golf.
Location: Loves Park
Ballpark: Road Ranger Stadium
Good old-fashioned baseball with the Rockford Aviators is the perfect way to spend a summer evening.
Beef-A-Roo (3401 S. Alpine Rd., Rockford) – For over 40 years, Beef-A-Roo has been a favorite dining location for families in the Rockford area. The menu consists of mouthwatering sandwiches, burgers, fries and shakes.
Granite City Food & Brewery (7140 Harrison, Ave., Rockford) – Sip delicious craft beer and taste made-from-scratch cuisine at Granite City Food & Brewery. Excite your palate with fire roasted flatbread pizzas, signature steaks, fresh seafood or mouthwatering sandwiches.
Anderson Japanese Gardens (318 Spring Creek Rd., Rockford) – One of the most authentic gardens, outside of Japan, in the world is the Anderson Japanese Gardens, a serene escape ready for visitors to explore.
Forest City Queen Riverboat (324 N. Madison St., Rockford) – Discover the early history of Rockford aboard the Forest City Queen Riverboat.
Discovery Center Museum (711 N. Main, Rockford) – The children’s museum has more than 250 hands-on art and science exhibits, planetarium, TV studio, robotics lab, and other special events and traveling exhibits.
-Illinois Office of Tourism