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Top 5 activities to do in Illinois during the summer

By Bella Punzio

Illinois seems like a very boring place to live, but there are many places to visit that make it interesting. Visiting Navy Pier in Chicago is a fun summer activity. If you enjoy being high up in the air and wanting to see the city from above, you should go on the Centennial Wheel. Fun fact, the Centennial Wheel was built to celebrate 100 years of Navy Pier. The wheel is about 200 feet into the sky. There are other activities at Navy Pier such as other carnival rides, shops, sightseeing, dining, and other events. 

Starved Rock State Park is also a cool place to visit. You can hike the trails and see great views, maybe a variety of different animals, and other parts of nature. There are also bike and kayaking tours through the park. Activities to do at the park are 1 of 3 most popular outdoor activities in Utica. 

Lincoln park zoo, located in Chicago, is also a cool place to visit if you love animals. There are a variety of different exhibits that hold different species of animals. If you love birds and reptiles, you can stop by their exhibit. If you love the big cats, stop by the “Big cats” section of the zoo. There are also dolphin shows they put on to show you all of the tricks the dolphins know! There are different gift shops located around the zoo for if you need a break from the heat or if you need a quick snack break. The zoo hosts multiple different events and has different fundraisers for different organizations.

Visiting the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago is a really good option for more of a rainy day activity or a pit stop from walking around the city all day. The Shedd Aquarium can bring you face to face with incredible animals from all over the world. The Shedd Aquarium has animals from the Philippines all the way to the vast Great Lakes. That’s a lot of different sea animals! The “Polar play zone” is always a fun part of the aquarium. Visitors get to waddle like a penguin while also learning about their nature. You can feel the cold temperatures of the water a sea star lives in. The “Touch pool” is a fun way to feel the different textures of different kinds of sea stars. You can also watch dolphins swim and see camouflage in action! Kids always enjoy this part of the aquarium. The “Wild reef” is also a cool part of the aquarium to visit. You can learn about the different noises each animal makes and how they communicate with each other. The Shedd Aquarium is a great place to bring kids or even just a trip alone to experience the fun! 

The last activity I have listed is visiting the Field Museum. The Field Museum offers over four and a half billion years of history. That is a lot! The museum recommends reserving four hours to walk through the whole museum and really take in and learn about all of the history that is there. The Griffin Halls of Evolving Planet is known to be the most intriguing for kids interested in dinosaurs. This part of the museum contains the world’s best preserved Tyrannosaurus rex! The museum also offers 3D movies that last about 20 minutes of your trip and gives you an opportunity to sit down and relax from a lot of walking. The nature walk is also pretty cool. There is an awesome game to play while you walk through. You can take part in challenging yourself to see how many creatures you can find, or just find yourself enjoying a walk through nice scenery. 

There are many more activities to pick from in Illinois during the summer. Illinois isn’t like somewhere like the beach, but it can definitely offer you other exciting activities to enjoy!

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