Illinois State Capitol Dome, with welcoming statue
For those of you in Illinois with some long weekends on the horizon, may I suggest Springfield? It's very kid-friendly, teaches them about their civic duties, and most of it is being paid for by your tax dollars. Might as well go see what they are doing for us.
On the way down, assuming you start in Chicago, you can hit Pontiac, IL. Cute Route 66 museum (free!) and a good diner called Baby Bull's.
In Springfield, visit:
- Illinois State Capitol (free tours!) See portraits of all the former Illinois governors, both currently jailed and dead.
- Old State Capitol (free tours!)
- Lincoln Museum Come for the history, but stay for the bizarre future-o-rama theater productions.
- Lincoln’s home (free tours!) Be amazed by the air conditioning! Part of a whole Colonial Williamsburg-like neighborhood.
- Illinois State Museum (also freeeeee!)
- Prairie Archives Old books piled high to the ceiling. Right around the corner from the Feed Store, which is across from the Old State Capital building.
- The Feed Store for lunch (soup even in July!).
- Charlie Parker’s for breakfast – home of the 16” pancake.
- Washington Park and its playground. It was 105 degrees when we were there, but we played anyway. Truly a sign of a good playground.
The portrait of John Peter Altgeld, best known for being Illinois only governor with any moral fiber
Nea telling John Wilkes Booth that he's a bad, bad man