Things to do in STERLING with kids

Illinois is a state seeped in history, excitement and adventure. It was also the state that Abraham Lincoln chose to call home, so that makes it pretty special! (You can even visit his home at the Lincoln Home National Historic Site!) 

The Prairie State has thrills and spills ahoy with Pirates Cove Children’s Theme Park, and that classic Six Flags Great America!  There are animals a-plenty with attractions like Brookfield Zoo, Summerfield Zoo and Wildlife Prairie Park, and great adventures perfect for those little kids with Safariland!

Museums are never far away featuring an incredible range of exhibits from the Geology Museum and the Chanute Aerospace Museum, to the Monticello Railway Museum and the historic Tinker Swiss Cottage Museum.

Active kids - you will have a field day with attractions such as American Obstacle adventure park, and the very exciting K1 Speed racing!

Illinois has small towns with charm, and big cities with excitement.  It’s the heart of America with endless places to visit with kids. Enjoy it, and don’t forget to get your kicks because Illinois is the start of Route 66!

Showing results 1 - 35 of 91

  • Firehouse Ministries Fire Museum

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    (1 miles) Rock Falls

    Firehouse Ministries Fire Museum takes a look into the history of Rock Falls firefighting. It is located in the former Rock Falls Fire Station. Local memorabilia, firefighting tools, pictures, and ...

  • Midway Drive In Theatre

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    (5 miles) Sterling

    Sterling, Illinois brings you that classic retro “spaceship” ticket booth, a playground for the little ones, and full service concession stand - have a 1950s movie experience with the family!

  • Lil Mississippi Golf Hampton

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    (40 miles) Hampton

    A fun and challenging mini golf for the whole family, with elevations, ponds and waterfalls. Geared towards kids but just as fun for adults!

  • Klehm Arboretum and Botanic Garden

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    (43 miles) Rockford

    Come and get back to nature by exploring a beautiful botanical garden at Klehm Arboretum.

  • Family Museum of Arts and Science

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    (45 miles) Bettendorf

    he Mission of the Family Museum is to inspire life-long learning in children through interactive arts and science activities and exhibits. One of the many fun family places to go if you're looking ...

  • Tinker Swiss Cottage Museum

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    (45 miles) Rockford

    A step back in time at one of only a handful of Swiss-style homes remaining in the USA from the 1800s. Filled with Victorian Era furnishings and artifacts, it also has a fascinating Indian Burial ...

  • Niabi Zoo

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    (45 miles) Coal Valley

    900 animals representing 160 species on 40 acres. Includes children's zoo, carousel, playground and miniature train. Animal fun in Illinois!

  • Monkey Joes

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    (46 miles) Davenport

    offers a large facility filled with inflatable adventure from giant slides and obstacle courses to classic bounce houses and beyond.

  • Messy Palette Art Studio

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    (46 miles) Rockford

    Fun and creative art classes for kids aged 18 months all the way to 13 years, as well as kids birthday parties and kids gallery nights!

  • Discovery Center Museum

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    (46 miles) Rockford

    The amazing Discovery Center Museum is full of over 250 exciting hands-on exhibits spread over a two-floor area. Out in the museum's backyard, visitors can explore Rock River Discovery Park, a giant, ...

  • Burpee Museum of Natural History

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    (46 miles) Rockford

    Welcome! Burpee Museum is a natural history museum specializing in paleontology, geology, biology, and Native American life. We have three floors of exhibits.

  • Grizzly Jacks Grand Bear Resort

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    (48 miles) Utica

    Great indoor water fun at this resort, with day passes available. 24,000 square feet of play zones, slides and lazy rivers! Great Illinois water fun all year round!

  • Lil Mississippi Golf Davenport

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    (49 miles) Davenport

    18 hole championship mini-golf with fun obstacles geared towards kids, but still perfect for the whole family!

  • Magic Waters Waterpark

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    (49 miles) Cherry Valley

    Cool off in summer at this family water park, with great attractions for the whole family including slides, rivers, and the largest wave pool in Illinois!

  • Midway Village Museum

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    (50 miles) Rockford

    Interpreters in authentic period clothing bring Northern Illinois history to life in authentic Midway Village and engage students through a variety of hands-on activities--from rope making to ...

  • Putnam Museum of History and Natural Science and Imax Theatre

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    (50 miles) Davenport

    Founded in 1867, the Putnam is home to over 150,000 artifacts and specimens, the Putnam Museum of History and Natural Science offers permanent and changing exhibits,and houses Iowa's only 3D IMAX ...

  • CoCo Key Indoor Water Park

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    (50 miles) Rockford

    CoCo Key is Northern Illinois' ONLY all indoor water park! Splash-tastic attractions, a fun arcade with redemption prizes, birthday party rooms, private cabanas, snack bars…get ready to cool down!

  • Summerfield Zoo

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    (52 miles) Belvidere

    From the Alligators to the Zebra, this sweet Illinois zoo and farm has family fun, education, and entertainment! Great for those personal animal experiences!

  • Palace Campgrounds

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    (59 miles) Galena

    Camping fun in the oldest campground in Illinois, with 50 acres set for all campers and tents!

  • Raging Waves

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    (65 miles) Yorkville

    7 major slides, wave pool, lazy river, 2 shallow interactive play areas for kids, giant sandbox, family shows PLUS zip line adventure course and Outback Road Rally!

  • Crystal Lake Cave

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    (65 miles) Dubuque

    A living natural cave. You are invited to visit and witness the ongoing miracle that created this natural masterpiece of underground panorama. One of the many fun family places to visit if you're ...

  • Donleys Wild West Town

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    (66 miles) Union

    The excitement and charm of the Old West come alive at Donley's Wild West Town in Union, Illinois. Here you can experience life in the style of the Wild West where gunslingers have showdowns, and a ...

  • Wheels O Time

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    (66 miles) Peoria

    In 1979, two guys had many antique and collector autos stored in various places in the Peoria, Illinois area. They started thinking about storing them in one place, such as a building on the north ...

  • Illinois Railway Museum

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    (67 miles) Union

    The Illinois Railway Museum, as you see it today, is the result of decades of effort by a dynamic group of dedicated volunteers. All of the buildings, track, locomotives and cars were assembled here ...

  • Blackberry Farm

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    (67 miles) Aurora

    A surprisingly entertaining historical attraction including museums and exhibits but also rides, traditional craft demonstrations and a great deal of scenic open space to run about in.

  • Discovery Depot Children's Museum

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    (68 miles) Galesburg

    Visit the museum for a story and related activity. FREE programming designed for 3-8 year olds and their adult companions. On RIF days, as part of the Reading Is Fundamental Program, children will ...

  • Grand Harbor Resort and Waterpark

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    (69 miles) Dubuque

    25,000 square feet of indoor waterpark in Iowa, with daily admission, and tons of water fun to be had!

  • National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium

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    (69 miles) Dubuque

    Fun and learning flow together along the Mississippi River! Hands-on features and interactive exhibits ready for kids to explore in both indoor and outdoor spaces!

  • All Seasons Pumpkin Patch Corn Maze

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    (70 miles) Woodstock

    Farm fun with pick your own apples and pumpkins, with seasonal fun including a corn maze, petting zoo and farm market!

  • Clarion Amana Colonies & Wasserbahn Resort

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    (70 miles) Williamsburg

    Get soaked and stoked on our frontier-themed custom rides and attractions! Make The Wasserbahn your personal family playground!

  • Bicycle Safety Town

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    (71 miles) Peoria

    4,000 feet of simulated street-life for kids to practice the rules of the road on, plus toddler playground. You bring your own equipment.

  • Never Grow Up Play Place

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    (71 miles) South Elgin

    From indoor play to art classes, this fun and creative space in Illinois is perfect for kids to use their imagination and play until their heart's content! A great way to spend the day learning, ...

  • SciTech Museum

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    (71 miles) Aurora

    SciTech "hands-on" museum boasts over 200 interative exhibits, daily shows, special events and activities. Hours of fun for kids in Aurora!

  • Funway

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    (72 miles) Batavia

    Indoor and outdoor fun for the whole family with 5 acres of games and activities!

  • Steel Beam Childrens Theatre

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    (72 miles) St Charles

    Daily children's and main stage shows, plus participation theatre in the form of classes, summer camps, workshops and audition-based theatrical productions for children ages 6 to 16.