Here are some fabulous ideas that will cost a family of four around $40 for a day of fun. And you thought there was nothing to do around Springfield!
- Strike Up Some Family Time. Bowl them over with a trip to Strike n' Spare Lanes, 2660 W. Lawrence Ave. in Springfield. On a weekend, expect to pay around $35 for four people to bowl one game, including shoe rental.
- Into The Wild. Make a family trek over to Henson Robinson Zoo in Springfield.
- Super Skating. Slide on over to The Nelson Center at 1601 N. 5th Street in Springfield. They offer public skates most weekdays and weekends. Adults skate for $4.25, and admission for kids 13 and under is $3.50. Skate rental is $2.50.
- Make it A Museum. Why not spend a morning or afternoon wandering through the Illinois State Museum, 502 S. Spring Street in Springfield, taking in the topographical history of our state. Admission is free (though donations in any amount are requested at a box in the lobby). Then walk downtown and visit Del's Popcorn Shop or Cafe Moxo for a cookie or cupcake.
- History buffs might prefer the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum, 212 N. Sixth Street in Springfield. Be sure to visit Mrs. Lincoln's Attic with the younger kids.
- For more savings, visit our Kids Eat Free Dining Guide.
- How about a short drive? Pack lunch for the family and head down to Beaver Dam State Park, which is located south of Carlinville (about an hour's drive from Springfield). In addition to offering picnic spots, there's a playground, fishing spots as well as eight miles of trails circling the dam. There is also a concession stand open from April to October. If your family is feeling adventurous, there are also campsites available. While you're on the way home, stop in Girard at Doc's Soda Fountain, located on the square. Doc's was originally home to a drug store and has a collection of items dating all the way back to 1884! The restaurant serves regular food, but do not miss their ice cream treats which are reasonably priced.
- Looking for Lincoln: Why not spend the day at New Salem? Located about 30 minutes from Springfield, there are many things to see and do in the Petersburg area. Be sure to check the New Salem State Historic Site website for hours of operation. Pack a lunch for the family and head over to New Salem. After you enjoy the sights, head towards Petersburg and stop by the river. If the river is low, you can find shells there! When you head into Petersburg. Several quaint shops are located on the square.
Submitted by Springfield Moms Advisory Board member Amy McFadden with updates from contributor Kari Thevenot.