The Capitol City is known for its abundance of Abraham Lincoln memorabilia and historical buildings. Unfortunately this has little significance to my kids who are both under 5 years old and I’m sure you can relate. Luckily there is still plenty around to do while the kids are young! Here is a list off the top of my head of some of our favorite sites to see and places to go in Springfield, Illinois:
Henson-Robinson Zoo (see over 90 species of animals including bears and primates, ride the train!)
Downtown and the Capitol area (beautiful architecture, water fountains, tall buildings, and a taste of “city”)
Ergadoozy Creative Play Center (perfect for a rainy day)
Visit a Park
- Washington Park (large play ground, feed the ducks, go for a long walk)
- Lincoln Park (Nelson Center with ice skating and other activities, younger/smaller childrens’ outdoor play area, frisbee golf, go for a hike)
- Southwind Park (splash pad, two separate playgrounds, fishing pond, 2.5 miles of trails)
- and many more!
Knights Action Park (water park, outdoor putt-putt range, go-karts, outdoor ferris wheel)
Springfield Library (or one of the surrounding towns – Chatham has an awesome kids’ area!)
Scheels (huge aquarium, $1/person Ferris Wheel, cafeteria area with $1 cups of ice cream, bowling, kid’s play area, animatronic presidents, and the list goes on)
White Oaks Mall (children’s play area, carousel, indoor glow mini-golf)
Springfield Lake (parks, watch the boats, skip rocks)
Lincoln Memorial Gardens (6 miles of trails through wildflowers and wildlife)
Still need ideas?
Head inside Barnes and Noble on Veterans Parkway for a LEGO Duplo table, children’s books area, seats for reading, and a stage to perform on. Down the street towards the interstate, you’ll find a McDonalds with an indoor PlayPlace (and another one on south Sixth Street!)
Lowes has Build & Grow workshops for kids. You may have to check in store for a schedule.
The Illinois Products Farmer’s Market is Thursday evenings from May 12 – October 13th at the State Fairgrounds. On Wednesday/Saturday mornings May 13 – October 31, you can visit the Old Capitol Farmer’s Market. Farmer’s markets can be educational and fun for the kids!
In August the Illinois State Fair will run for two weeks with rides, fun foods, and lots of entertainment. It’s always a blast for the whole family! I recommend taking a stroller or a wagon if you have little ones though. All the walking in a hot day can really wear them out!
Do you have any other ideas? I’d love to hear about them! We love trying out new things!!!