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Spring Feature Image

This week we asked our Instagram followers to share photos that surround the theme “spring.” Check out a few of our favorite shots from around the state below! Be sure to follow us on Instagram for upcoming weekly challenges. Share your best photos with us by tagging #EnjoyIllinois and your photo could be featured.

For more unique Illinois destinations, events and attractions check out EnjoyIllinois.com.

kickoff post - (at) xchriswilsonx

To kick off our “spring” challenge this week, with we shared this awesome photo taken at Pilcher Park Nature Center in Joliet by @xchriswilsonx.

Lincoln Home National Historic Site - (at) azmangums

Wow, we love this beautiful shot captured at the Lincoln Home National Historic Site. Thanks for sharing @azmangums!

Third Lake - (at) irishvikingdesigns

Beautiful photo of the sun setting over Third Lake by @irishvikingdesigns!

Wrigley Field - (at) nick_ulivieri

Is there a better representation of spring than the Chicago Cubs’ home opener at Wrigley Field? Great photo @nick_ulivieri!

Baha'i House of Worship - (at) ionu_t_z

What a beautiful photo of the Bahá’í House of Worship in Wilmette by @ionu_t_z! It fits our theme “spring” perfectly!

East Peoria Riverfront - (at) kjackson1991

Gorgeous close up of these spring blooms taken at East Peoria RiverFront by @kjackson1991!

Historic Rose Hotel - (at) lisacrashtestdummy62

The view at the historic Rose Hotel in Elizabethtown is nothing short of amazing. Great photo @lisacrashtestdummy62!

Pastel flowers - (at) photographicartbyaz

Loving the colors in this photo! Thanks for sharing @photographicartbyaz.

Maggie Daley Park - (at)memofilms

Maggie Daley Park is a great place to spend time all year round. Great photo @memofilms!

DeKalb - (at) allthingznew

We love when the sun is shining! Great photo taken in DeKalb by @allthingznew.

Edinburg - (at) renaissancemotleyman

Beautiful capture in Edinburg @renaissancemotleyman!

Apple River - (at) stoned_art_studio

Loving this shot of Apple River in the spring time! (Photo by @stoned_art_studio)

-Illinois Office of Tourism

Indoor Activities for Adults Feature Image

Spring is finally here, which means April showers are on the way. But what should you do on those rainy spring days? We have just the thing. We’ve got a great list of fun activities to keep in mind while the weather is still warming up.

Hit the Mall

While the Magnificent Mile remains the most widely known retail mecca of the Midwest, there are plenty of other shopping locations in Illinois for you to find the retail therapy – and new spring wardrobe – you’ve been searching for. Find even more shopping experiences around the state in the new exclusive digital content from Travel Illinois Magazine, linked here.

  • With more than 200 manufacturer and retail outlet stores offering up to 70 percent off, serious shoppers can’t go wrong at Gurnee Mills. Located in Gurnee, this shopping center even has activities for the non-shopper to enjoy, like laser tag, arcade games and a movie theatre.
  • And, not to be outdone, the Woodfield Mall in Schaumburg boasts nearly 300 stores, restaurants and specialty shops – all under one roof.
  • Chicago is also home to multiple indoor shopping centers that can help protect you from the elements, including the 900 North Michigan Shops that offer a taste of luxury and the famous Water Tower Place, which presents shoppers with a unique, high-energy urban shopping experience like no other.
Grand Court facing Nordstrom

Even window shopping can be fun at Woodfield Mall’s multi-level shopping center located just west of Chicago.

Take in a Show

No matter what you’re in the mood for, Illinois has no shortage of entertainment opportunities. Here are a few tips that we recommend for finding that perfect way to unwind with a laugh, a little music or both.  

  • For laughs, there’s no place like the world famous Second City in Chicago. With shows each night of the week ranging from improve to stand up to full productions, the Second City has a 50 year reputation for producing comedy stars like Dan Aykroyd and Tina Fey.
  • Experience the blues like you’ve never heard them before at Blue Chicago. Located close to Ontario Street’s restaurant row, this blues club is the perfect way to spice up a night out.
  • Treat yourself to the Broadway experience at one of Chicago’s many fabulous theatres. Home to the hottest shows direct from Broadway and world premieres, these venues are sure to create lasting memories.
Bank of America Theatre

The lush Bank of American Theatre is classic venue to see the latest and greatest on Broadway.

Indoor Sports

Shake off that winter snooze with some adventure. Illinois is home to all kinds of exciting indoor adventures that can send you to new heights. Embrace your inner child with one of these three fun activities:

  • Feel the simulation of true free fall conditions in a vertical wind tunnel at iFLY in Naperville, Chicago or Rosemont (then suit up for the real thing this summer).
  • Strap in for a unique challenge that combines basketball, lacrosse and hockey with bumper cars at WhirlyBall Chicago. If it sounds silly, that’s because it is.
  • Take it down a notch and lace up for a classic game of bowling or bocce at Pinstripes in Chicago or one of the three suburban locations.

For more ideas, visit EnjoyIllinois.com.

-Illinois Office of Tourism

Feature Image

Illinois rocks. And this year, we mean that literally. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame may just be music’s highest honor. This year, the Hall of Fame is inducting two of Illinois’ own. Cheap Trick and Chicago, two bands with Illinois roots and international appeal, are being honored as influential leaders in the music industry. Check out how you can take part in celebrating their music and accomplishments right here in Illinois.

Cheap Trick

Hailing from Rockford, Cheap Trick was formed in the early 1970s by Rick Nielsen, Tom Petersson, Bun E. Carlos and Robin Zander. Releasing their first studio album in 1977, their success has remained consistent over the past 40 years. With albums like “In Color,” “Heaven Tonight,” “Dream Police,” and “Lap of Luxury,” and singles including “The Flame,” “Don’t Be Cruel,” and “I Want You to Want Me,” it is easy to see why they’re still selling out shows. Illinois has even stepped up to recognize Cheap Trick’s influence on the music industry, officially declaring April 1 as Cheap Trick Day in the state.

To celebrate the hometown heroes’ Hall of Fame induction, Rockford has planned a full “Cheap Trick” takeover for the city, renaming itself “Trickford” complete with a newly adopted website GoTrickford.com. And the celebrations don’t stop there! Rockford is also naming the four founding members’ boyhood streets after them and establishing “Cheap Trick Fan Trail” tours around the city to allow visitors to experience the band’s Rockford roots for themselves. To top it off, Rockford is planning a two-day celebratory music festival for the early fall. Be sure to sign up for festival updates at GoTrickford.com so that you don’t miss out on this sure to be amazing event!

If you aren’t able to partake in the festivities, don’t worry, you still have the chance to see Cheap Trick perform live in Chicago, Tuesday, July 19 at the FirstMerit Bank Pavilion at Northerly Island.

Cheap Trick- Use this one

Cheap Trick has been a part of the rock community for over 40 years! (Image Courtesy of Rockford Area Convention and Visitors Bureau)

Chicago

If you haven’t guessed already, the rock band Chicago is from Chicago! Formed in 1967, Chicago is one of the most successful and longest-running American bands, with five consecutive Number One albums and hit singles including “If You Leave Me Now” and “Hard to say I’m Sorry”. These hometown rock stars even have a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and a total of 47 gold and platinum awards.

Chicago is still touring to this day, and will be performing in Moline, IL on April 16 at iWireless Center with Earth, Wind, and Fire and in Rockford, IL at the Coronado Performing Arts Center on August 15.

Chicago - screenshot from website

Chicago is from Chicago, of course! (Image courtesy of chicagotheband.com)

If you’re looking for even more chances to catch some live music, check out one of these other bands that call Illinois home.

The Smashing Pumpkins

Formed in the early 90s in Chicago, The Smashing Pumpkins was one of the most successful alternative bands of the decade. Fun Fact: Although The Smashing Pumpkins went their separate ways in 2000, they reunited in 2007 after an announcement by band leader Billy Corgan through a full-page ad in the Chicago Tribune saying he wanted to revive the band.

The Smashing Pumpkins is performing in Chicago at the Civic Opera House on Thursday, April 14.

Smashing Pumpkins

The Smashing Pumpkins are returning to Chicago this spring! (Image courtesy of smashingpumpkinsnexus.com)

REO Speedwagon

REO Speedwagon was formed on the University of Illinois’ campus in Champaign during the late 1960s. Named after a REO Speed Wagon, a flatbed truck band member Neal Doughty studied in transportation history class, this band produced classic singles such as “Keep on Loving You” and “Can’t Fight This Feeling.”

Listen to their popular 1970s and 80s hits when they come to the Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre in Tinley Park on Saturday, July 2.

Speedwagon - from website

REO Speedwagon got together on the U of I campus in Champaign. (Image courtesy of REOSpeedwagon.com)

Styx

One of the top bands in the 70s and 80s, Styx originated from Chicago and had five consecutive platinum albums, including “Kilroy Was Here,” which went triple platinum in addition to being #1 on US charts. Their top songs include “Babe” and “Mr. Roboto.”

MACON, GA - OCTOBER 04: Rock Group STYX L/R: Chuck Panozzo, Ricky Phillips, Todd Sucherman, Tommy Shaw, James "J.Y." Young and Lawrence Gowan. Portrait shoot at Macon City Auditorium on October 4, 2014 in Macon, Georgia. (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images for STYX)

Styx was one of the top bands in the 70s and 80s. (Image courtesy of styxworld.com)

Don’t miss Styx who will be playing in Rockford at Coronado Performing Arts Center on Tuesday, June 21 and in Joliet at the 2016 Taste of Joliet on Friday, June 24.

-Illinois Office of Tourism

Feature Image

This week we asked our Instagram followers to share photos that surround the theme “adventure.” Check out a few of our favorite shots from around the state below! Be sure to follow us on Instagram for upcoming weekly challenges. Share your best photos with us by tagging #EnjoyIllinois and your photo could be featured.

For more unique Illinois destinations, events and attractions check out EnjoyIllinois.com.

North Branch Chicago River - (at)nwmyers

This week, we kicked off our “adventure” challenge with this awesome photo taken at North Branch Chicago River by @nwmyers.

Waterfall Glen Forest Preserve - (at) nirvdave

This trail at Waterfall Glen Forest Preserve definitely makes us want to go for a hike. Taken by @nirvdave, it fits our theme “adventure” perfectly!

Matthiessen State Park - (at) sherri_sahara

We love the perspective of this shot taken at Matthiessen State Park by @sherri_sahara!

Starved Rock State Park - (at) thechispy

The waterfalls at Starved Rock State Park are always a sight to see. Great capture @thechispy!

Giant City State Park - (at) geo_andrea

Talk about an adventure! Great photo taken at Giant City State Park by @geo_andrea.

Piney Creek Ravine Nature Preserve - (at) midwest__adventurer

This photo has us dreaming of spring weather. (Taken at Piney Creek Ravine Nature Preserve by @midwest_adventurer)

Chicago - (at) ashtaylaf

Love this photo by @ashtaylaf. It’s always an adventure in Chicago!

Starved Rock - (at) danielle_2889

Great photo taken at Starved Rock State Park by @danielle_2889!

-Illinois Office of Tourism

FEATURE IMAGE

This week we asked our Instagram followers to share photos that fit the theme “geometric.” Check out a few of our favorite shots from around the state below! Be sure to follow us on Instagram for upcoming weekly challenges. Share your best photos with us by tagging #EnjoyIllinois and your photo could be featured.

For more unique Illinois destinations, events and attractions check out EnjoyIllinois.com.

O'hare airport - (at) misseswray

This week, we kicked off our “geometric” challenge with this beautiful photo taken at O’Hare International Airport by @misseswray.

Interstate 24 Ohio River Bridge- (at) thephillawson

We love this shot of the Interstate 24 Ohio River Bridge by @thephillawson! It fits our theme “geometric” perfectly.

Lincoln Park Zoo - (at) artistviejo

Beautiful capture at the Lincoln Park Zoo by @artistviejo!

M2A Farms - (at) sauk_it_to_me

Great find at M2A Farms in Dwight by @sauk_it_to_me!

North Ave Pedestrian Bridge - (at) summaiyahj

The colors and silhouette in this photo are amazing. Great capture of the North Ave. Pedestrian Bridge @summaiyahj!

Quad cities - (at) mj_kehoe

We’re in love with this sunset captured in the Quad Cities! (Photo by mj_kehoe)

Raven Stone Castle - (at) sarasnowwhite

Did you know we have a castle in Harvard? Great photo @sarasnowwhite of the Raven Stone Castle!

The Morton Arboretum - (at) yoga.gal

Loving the detail in this photo! Great find by @yoga.gal at The Morton Arboretum.

Thompson Center - (at) cyndydehmer

The shapes and designs that make up the Thompson Center are nothing short of amazing. (photo by @cyndydehmer)

Wright in Kankakee - (at) josh.lundmark

Great photo of the B. Harley Bradley house in Kankakee by @josh.lundmark!

-Illinois Office of Tourism