For many of you, we've nearly reached the midpoint of spring break. Are you or your kids going stir-crazy? Here are five suggestions for fun daytrips you can do from the Fox Valley, and we didn't even get near Chicago!
*Starved Rock State Park: The park features 13 miles of trails, waterfalls active in the spring and amazing views. The park is open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Both the park and its parking lots are free. It is located about 60 miles from Geneva.
*Kohl Children's Museum: We love the DuPage Children's Museum in Naperville, but if you're looking for something different, head on up to Glenview for an outing that's all about imaginative play. The museumis located in a gorgeous newer facility on land that used to be occupied by the Naval Air Station Glenview. It's best for children up to 6 or 7 years of age. The museum is about 40 miles from Geneva.
*Burpee Museum of Natural History: This museum is located in Rockford, about 50 miles from Elgin. It is home to Jane, an unusually complete skeleton of a juvenile Tyrannosaurus rex. And while Jane was just 11 when she died, her fossilized skeleton is 21 feet long. The Burpee is right next to the Discovery Center Museum, a hands-on science museum.
*Discovery Zone Park at Deicke Park: This park in Huntley was the one that kicked off the Go West "Great Parks!" series, and I'm not sure it will ever be topped. The Discovery Zone is a play village for toddlers and preschoolers. And while it looks like a junior amusement park, it's all free and part of the Huntley Park District. Huntley is about 23 miles north of St. Charles. Make sure to pack a picnic lunch!
*The Illinois and Michigan Canal: This one has been on my list to explore for a long time, and I hope to finally get there this summer. The canal, which runs along the Illinois and Des Plaines rivers, helped provide the first complete water route from the East Coast to the Gulf of Mexico. It's now used for recreation and features miles of trails, state parks, restored historical sites, wildlife and beautiful landscapes. The canal runs from Channahon west to Seneca. Morris, a town which is located along the trail, is about 32 miles south of Aurora. The LaSalle Canal Boat begins its season in May and runs into October, so this is also a good addition to your summer plans.
Go West readers: Do you have any favorite daytrips that are do-able from the Fox Valley? What are your favorite spots in Chicago for a special outing?