Autumn attractions galore happening near the Pekin Insurance Home Office.
Changing careers can be a scary thing to do if you’ve been established with the same company for quite some time. Changing where you live, on the other hand, can be even scarier. It’s not an easy decision to pack up your belongings and move to another city, state, or even country. The process of choosing where to move involves many questions. Where is a safe area to relocate to? Are the school districts good? Are there things to do in the area? What is the weather like year-round?
When choosing where to move, people will often consider large metropolitan cities as more attractive locations. Have you ever thought about relocating to a smaller area, though? Say, Central Illinois?
The Land of Lincoln is often known for two things: Chicago and cornfields. But Central Illinois has so much to offer to a large group of people. The “larger” cities in Central Illinois of Peoria, Bloomington, and Normal have a combined population of over 240,000. Plus, they’re right in the middle of Illinois and just a short drive from larger cities such as Chicago, St. Louis, and Indianapolis.
So, you may be asking yourself what’s so great about Central Illinois. As summer comes to an end and we enter the upcoming cooler months, you may find yourself looking for fun things to do in the area that might be enjoyable for adults and kids. Below are just a few of the local attractions that offer great fall fun.
- Mackinaw Valley Vineyard
One of my very favorite summer and fall attractions, Mackinaw Winery (as locals refer to it), has a great atmosphere and friendly staff at every visit! There are over 20 wines to taste and a gorgeous view from their tasting room that overlooks the valley and farms below. During the summer, family and friends gather to listen to a variety of live music on the weekends. When it turns a little cooler outside, they offer many different activities that you can attend, such as masterpiece painting classes and murder mystery dinners. The winery offers a family-friendly environment so that you can be comfortable taking your kids there with you, enjoying a night out with friends, or even having date night.
- Rader Family Farms
This local pumpkin patch is located in Normal and offers a variety of activities that keep families coming back every year. With the farm focused on agricultural education offerings and kid-friendly games and activities, this is sure to be a fun time for all! Choose from the pumpkin patch, corn maze, duck races, apple blasters, school house, tram rides, and many more activities. Make sure you try a pumpkin donut while you’re there, but also feel free to stop by the Pumpkin Blossom Café, Barnyard Grill, Harvest Brew Coffee, Sidekick Grill, or Popcorn Shack. Each has a wide selection of snacks and lunch options that you won’t want to pass up.
- Tanners Orchard
Located about 30 minutes outside of Peoria, Tanners is a local apple orchard that has been around for over seven decades. Whether you are looking for a fun family activity or just have a craving for some homemade apple cider, you have found the right place. Tanners has become a great family destination with a bakery, large country farm market, wagon rides to the orchard where you can pick your own apples and pumpkins, a corn maze, and farm animals. Don’t leave without stopping by the farm market for some homemade apple butter, and then head over to the bakery for some apple cider donuts. I promise you won’t regret it!
- Wildlife Prairie Park
With the fall season quickly approaching, Wildlife Prairie Park is a great place for families to gather and learn a little bit about Illinois. It is located just outside of Peoria and is the home to over 150 animals that are native to the prairie state. The park is designed to allow animals to live in the most natural habitat possible. They also offer many other avenues of recreation such as hiking, biking, fishing, lodging, and even a train ride. Watch for different events that they might be hosting, such as Wildlife Scary Park, which takes place the last two weeks in October.
So, have I convinced you to take a chance on Central Illinois yet? Those were just a few of my favorites, but there are plenty of options to choose from around here. Central Illinois truly has something to do for everyone. There is nothing better than finding an outdoor activity where you can enjoy the fall weather and changing seasons this time of year, so get out there and have some fun!