Bloomington / Normal Day Trip

Bloomington-Normal Convention & Visitors Bureau
1-800-433-8226 Call to request a Visitor Guide

Children’s Discovery Museum  CDM Paint wall[1]

101 E. Beaufort, Downtown Normal  309-433-3444 This is a quick drive (50-60 minutes) from the Springfield area, and an outstanding museum for kids of all ages. For younger kids the museum has a wonderful water play area, climbing play area and a fun grocery store. There are several permanent and rotating hands-on exhibits for older kids.

How to get there:

  • Drive (just 50-60 minutes from the Springfield Area)
  • You can also take the Amtrak train which drops you off just behind the CDM! Bring your own snacks or enjoy several eating spots within walking distance. Don’t miss the ice cream/coffee shop next door or dine at several restaurants nearby. The CDM also is a great place for end of year school parties, field trips, birthday parties and special events.

Miller Park Zoo

1020 South Morris Avenue, Bloomington

This is a nice-sized zoo with inhabitants including a Sumatran tiger, river otter, Galapagos tortoise, Amur leopard, reindeer, sea lion, red pandas, lemurs, bald eagles, and red wolves. The Zoo features many large exhibits such as a Wallaby WalkAbout, ZooLab, Children’s Zoo, Animals of Asia, and the Katthoefer Animal Building.

Eyestone School Museum

Here’s your chance to show the kids a one-room, old-fashioned school house that offers wooden desks, McGuffey Readers, slates, and a coal stove. Call ahead to make a reservation to visit this museum. 108 N. Adelaide Street, Normal, IL.

Funk Prairie Home and Gem & Mineral Museum

On the way home, or on the way, stop in Shirley, Illinois for a FREE guided tour of our historic 1864 Family Home, Gem & Mineral Collection, and 1860’s Machinery & Barn. The home is the restored 1864 residence of Illinois State Senator, co-founder and director of Chicago’s Union Stockyards, and cattle-king of Illinois, Lafayette Funk. It includes historic memorabilia and antiques of the Funk Family. Hear an original working Victrola, or see the first-ever electric kitchen island. The Gem & Mineral Museum features the Hall of Gems & Minerals with its dazzling display of many rare and beautiful stones, and an artifact room with early examples of Native American culture. Reservations required. 10875 Prairie Home Lane, Shirley, IL.


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