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The New Salem

8 Fun, Cool and Unique Things To Do When In Illinois (2023)

Have you ever thought of choosing the path that is popular but a little offbeat? If yes, then Illinois is the one fine tourism State for you. When most people plan to explore Illinois, they often choose well-known attractions. But, often referred to as the ‘State of Firsts’, Illinois have bucketloads of fun things to do as well. It can be the usual affairs, the offbeat roads, or the weirdest attractions of Illinois, but every experience here holds something new for the travellers.

If you are looking for some unusual, peculiar, yet critically acclaimed location in Illinois, you have come to the right place. This article is all about claiming a lifetime kind of experience and memories from the trip to the State of Lincoln. To know more, go through our choicest pick for the top-rated and popular unique things to do when in Illinois.

8 Fun, Cool and Unique Things To Do When In Illinois

Here’s the list of top-rated and popular things to do in Illinois. Have a look:

1. Take Your Group to the Escape Artistry- The Railcar

If you are in Illinois with your group of friends, you cannot afford to miss a game of Escape Artistry. It is basically a social game based on a 2010 video game. Escape Artistry is Chicago’s original escape game where participants are tucked inside the maze of art. Participants are paired in groups of three to ten with one hour in hand to escape the room (here to stop the train). Team members have to find clues, crack encrypted codes and solve puzzles in order to stop the train. Escape games are all about patience, teamwork, tolerance but overall fun. When in Chicago, you can reach the Flatiron Arts Building for the ultimate escape game fun.

2. Relive Lincoln’s Time at the New Salem

New Salem is a recreated village in Petersburg, a city of Illinois. It is a historic site also known as Lincoln’s New Salem that takes you back to 150 years. The fantastic reconstruction here had made sure to maintain the space as it looked when Abraham Lincoln was young. The village includes a theatre, an exhibit, a schoolhouse, a blacksmith shop, and several other periodic buildings. As you walk through the streets of New Salem, you will meet costumed characters who lived here 150 years ago. To experience the unique side of Illinois, make sure you visit New Salem at least once.

3. Stand on the Ledge of Skydeck Chicago

Climbing up the ledge of Skydeck Chicago is once in a lifetime experience and the most fun thing to do when in Illinois. It is a 103-story observation deck and the highest observation deck in the western hemisphere. The deck is basically an enclosed glass ledge at 1353-feet on the Willis Tower. From here you can capture a spectacular view of 4 U.S. states. The glass ledge extends four feet outside the 103rd floor and allows visitors to grab a bird’s eye view of the city. If you are a Braveheart and fine with heights, book yourself tickets and observe urban America from 1353 feet.

4. Timber Ridge Outpost and Cabins

If your long-time treehouse dream is still alive, then do visit the Timber Ridge Outpost and Cabins in Elizabethtown. It is located in the Illinois Ozarks region and is the first and the only treehouse resort in Illinois. Guests get a chance to live in a fantastically designed treehouse amidst the woodland of Shawnee Hills. This luxurious experience is worth all the buzz created around. Apart from the treehouse experience, there are several other things to do nearby. Guests can go kayaking, hiking, mountain climbing and numerous outdoor activities.

5. Visit Dave’s Down to Earth Rock Shop

Dave’s Down to Earth is a gemstone shop, a family-owned business for 40 years in Evanston. They sell jewellery, crystals, gemstones, minerals, fossils and even books. The rock shop also specializes in several strange geological and archaeological delights. You can purchase unique, hard-to-find fossils and semiprecious stones to build your own gemstone collection. There’s also a dinosaur museum in the basement for kids, which is a delight to explore. To reach there, take the Purple Line El or Metra and reach the Main Street Evanston stop. Further, walk north and west a half block to ultimately reach the shop.

6. Walkthrough the Graceland Cemetery

If you are Braveheart and want to experience something weird and extraordinary, do visit the Graceland Cemetery. This large historic garden cemetery is home to the Statue of Death, also known as the Dexter Graves Monument. It is home to several interesting sights, including famous Gravestones, fantastic statues, and ghost legends. Amongst the 121 acres, you can find numerous places to explore, like a certified arboretum of more than 2,000 trees, a naturalistic reflecting lake and winding pathways. While the weather outside is pleasant, you can plan an afternoon or evening to walk through the pathways of Graceland Cemetery.

7. Go and See the Largest T-Rex Skeleton in the World

If you haven’t visited the Field Museum of natural history in Chicago, you are missing a global wonder. It is one of the biggest museums of its kind and is known for its both temporary and permanent exhibits. However, the highlight here is the largest T-Rex skeleton in the world. The skeleton is 48 feet long and is notedly 67 million years or even more old. It is a dinosaur skeleton and the most complete skeleton ever found in history. Even if you have a slight bit of interest in Natural science, make sure you pay a quick visit to the Field Museum.

8. Dive Deep Down To Explore the Underwater Zoo in Belknap Village

Though scuba diving isn’t a unique experience today, if you want to see a totally unique world, visit Mermet Springs. It is a full-scale scuba diving location that offers a quirky underwater diving experience. Deep inside the water, you will encounter totally surprising elements. It may include the U.S. Marshals movie’s submerged aeroplane, weird debris and an Underwater Zoo. At Mermet Springs, they also give beginners learning classes, hence even if you are new to the art, you can enjoy the experience.

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