100 Family Day Trips | Driving Distance of the Quad Cities

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We’ve got a lot to offer in the Quad Cities area, but sometimes you just want a change of scenery! We’ve compiled a fantastic list of day trips within driving distance of the Quad Cities. These are organized in order of distance (closest to furthest) ranging from 10 miles to 128 miles, which makes them all doable for a day’s adventure!

Last Updated: 1/10/2024

family day trips driving

Eldridge, IA (10 miles)

The Fun Station Quad Cities

The Fun Station is an absolute favorite when it comes to indoor fun including attractions like trampolines, a warrior course, a play maze, climbing walls, and so much more!

Walnut Grove Pioneer Village

Walnut Grove, a crossroads settlement and stagecoach stop in Scott County during the 1860s, is now a village featuring 22 historic buildings, with some of them transported from rural areas of Scott County.

Scott County Park

Over 1,000 acres of multi-use trails plus playground, swimming pool, equestrian & camping areas.

Lost Grove Lake

Fishing, canoeing, kayaking or just walking on a few trails in this open prairie-type area. In July there are fields of sunflowers!

Miss Effie’s Country Garden

At Iowa’s first pick-your-own flowers farm, you can make an incredible bouquet inexpensively. Besides seeing all of Miss Effie’s beautiful posies, you can pet her cats and see her chickens and ducks. You could even plan brunch with your pals and rent tables in the Corn Zebo.

Coal Valley, IL (12 miles)

Niabi Zoo

More than 40 acres housing a diverse collection of over 140 exotic and indigenous animal species, accompanied by a carousel and concession facilities.

Hampton, IL (12 miles)

Illiniwek Forest Preserve

Nature Spiral, outlined images of native birds, fish, insects, animals, and plants cut into the surface of many of the stones were made by local artists.

Heritage Park Interpretive Center

The central facility features informative exhibits crafted to enlighten and educate visitors about the Mississippi River ecosystem and its significance in the founding and heritage of Hampton.

Stone’s Apple Barn

Stone’s Apple Barn is a fourth-generation apple orchard boasting over 55 apple varieties. Whether you prefer picking your apples or selecting from a range of options in the store, you can enjoy apples, pears, honey, preserves, apple cider, and more.

Great River Trail

As trail users follow the meandering Great River Trail through riverside towns and rural landscapes, they will be treated to stunning vistas of the Mississippi River, encounters with diverse wildlife, and chances to explore shopping and dining options.

Brettun & Black Museum

The foundation of a significant site in Hampton, Illinois, lies in its distinctive past. Once a 169-year-old mercantile business, the building has transformed into a museum.

Walcott, IA (13 miles)

I-80 Truckstop

Expansive freeway rest area featuring a cozy restaurant with homestyle cuisine and various fast-food chains.

Iowa 80 Trucking Museum

A museum showcasing the history of trucking, featuring antique models, vintage memorabilia, and a gift shop, all with free admission.

LeClaire, IA (18 miles)

Buffalo Bill Museum

All about a government scout and Wild West showman, the museum is so interesting and inspiring that if you’re not careful, you may end up with a cowboy and buffalo lover who now begs you to take him to Wyoming to see where Buffalo Bill retired.

Shameless Chocaholic

If you have a sweet tooth for chocolate, there’s bound to be something to tantalize your taste buds.

The Crane and Pelican

A locally sourced menu and delicious food in an adorable riverboat captain’s mansion make this one of LeClaire’s top restaurants.

Skate Park

Located across the street from North Scott High School this skatepark offers a variety of equipment including ramps, rails, and more that skaters of all ages can enjoy!

Riverboat Twilight

Stylish river vessel featuring three decks, ideal for day trips, overnight excursions, and scenic sightseeing cruises with onboard dining options.

Princeton, IA (23 miles)

The Buffalo Bill Cody Homestead

The boyhood home of Buffalo Bill Cody, replete with buffalo on site. The old-fashioned house is fun to browse through no matter if you care about Buffalo Bill or not. Typical of the time of Little House on the Prairie kids will love to see how our ancestors lived.

Dewitt, IA (23 miles)

Clinton County Fair

Each July you’ll find all kinds of things to love at this perfectly sized fair. Live music and carnival rides are a given, and watching the rodeo is not to be missed.

TYCOGA Winery

A selection encompassing more than 20 distinct wine varieties, ranging from dry to sweet, predominantly composed of estate-produced wines, presenting a diverse array of options appealing to both novice and seasoned wine enthusiasts alike.

Smilee’s Ice Cream

Owned by a local family, enjoy pulled pork sandwiches and sample of one of the 32 flavors of ice creams.

Malone Park

This 30-acre park includes a 9-acre lake for fishing and swimming, perfect for a quiet afternoon of enjoying the water, but shallow and small so you aren’t as anxious about watching the kids.

Dixon, IA (23 miles)

Wapsi River Environmental Education Center

The Wapsi River Environmental Education Center occupies the banks of the Wapsipinicon River, encompassing 225 acres of upland and bottomland forests, grasslands, and wetlands. Together with Sherman Park on the opposite bank, this 432-acre complex offers diverse opportunities for various activities.

Clinton, IA (25 miles)

Eagle Point Park Castle

The tower features a winding stone staircase spiraling around its structure, leading to an observation deck at the summit. The tower is particularly cherished by children for imaginative fairy tale play.

Bulger’s Hollow Recreation Area

Bulger’s Hollow Recreation Area, nestled along the banks of the Mississippi River, is a well-kept secret. Whether your preferences lean towards camping, fishing, boating, or simply immersing yourself in the beauty of nature, this destination is ideal.

Coney Island at Cattail Slough

This secluded little spot is nestled along the river with a small sandy beach and an area for fishing.

Mississippi River Eco Tourism Center

You’ll find a huge aquarium here boasting local species of fish. Whether you want to rent a kayak or get a ride with a naturalist for a guided tour, you’ll likely find what you’re looking for with this little stop-off.

Sawmill Museum

The Sawmill Museum is dedicated to safeguarding, gathering, interpreting, and delving into the rich history of the sawmill, lumber, and forestry sectors in America.

Clinton Area Showboat Theater

Seasonal performances of musicals and children’s shows take place on a showboat with a picturesque view of the Mississippi River.

Clinton County Historical Society and Museum

Home to one of only three manually powered engines in the world.

Felix Adler Children’s Discovery Center

An uplifting space where families can explore the world through interactive and educational exhibits that showcase arts, culture, and science.

Bickelhaupt Arboretum

The 14-acre outdoor museum, acknowledged at the national level, showcases an impressive variety of labeled trees, shrubs, ground covers, perennials, and colorful annual flowers. Experience the splendor of one of the nation’s finest garden conifer collections, boasting over 600 cultivars.

Wide River Winery

With roots dating back to ’97, it’s not just a winery; it’s a vineyard playground where Dorothy and her squad turn grapes into parental survival juice.

River Arts Center

The River Arts Center features an art gallery complemented by a gift shop, providing a diverse range of offerings. Our services include art classes, Rainbow Pottery, a permanent art collection, an artisan gift shop, art exhibits, a clay studio, and art classes suitable for all age groups.

Cordova, IL (25 miles)

Cordova International Raceway

A riverside car and truck raceway spanning 190 acres, featuring a quarter-mile strip, spectator stands, and convenient on-site camping facilities.

Colona, IL (26 miles)

Lavender Crest Winery

Lavender Crest Winery includes facilities for wine crafting, a tasting room, a daily lunch-serving café, and a gift shop.

Hennepin Canal Parkway State Park

The Hennepin Canal State Trail is an ideal destination for a relaxing day of picnicking, hiking, biking, fishing and old fashioned family fun. There are plenty of picnic tables along the 104.5-mile linear park spanning five Illinois counties (Rock Island, Bureau, Henry, Lee and Whiteside).

Green Rock Memorial Bike Path

Along the Hennepin Canal, this is a picturesque hike, walk, or bike ride.

Fort Obie Rendezvous and Living History Encampment

During the second weekend in October, experience living history in the time of the mountain men, offering many demonstrations, some in which kids can participate.

Colona’s Scott Family Park

This is where you’ll find activities for everyone, including a swimming pool, miniature golf, arcade, paddle boats, a stocked fishing pond, and more.

Muscatine, IA (28 miles)

Discovery Park

Nestled within Muscatine, this expansive 100-acre park seamlessly blends natural beauty with an urban setting. With its walking trails, fishing ponds, and the welcoming Environmental Learning Center, individuals of all ages are encouraged to discover and enjoy the wonders of nature.

World’s Largest Watermelon Sculpture

Erected in the autumn of 2023 along the riverfront in Muscatine, this structure measures 40 feet in length, 16 feet in height, reaches a towering 26 feet, and boasts a weight of 16,000 pounds!

Muscatine Art Center

Discover artworks created by globally renowned artists, intriguing artifacts linked to Muscatine’s history, exquisitely crafted decorative arts, delightful period rooms, and a Japanese Garden established nearly a century ago. Individuals of all ages can ignite their inquisitiveness through rotating exhibits, educational classes, and engaging events.

Weed Park

A 72-acre park featuring an aquatic center, a scenic lagoon, ten illuminated tennis courts, enchanting rose gardens, and expansive playing fields.

Muscatine Arboretum

Referred to as a “living tree museum,” this 13-acre section within Discovery Park presents a diverse collection of native and ornamental trees and shrubs. The arboretum includes demonstration gardens featuring hostas and ornamental grasses and encircles a reconstructed prairie wetland.

The National Pearl Button Museum

Producing over 1.5 billion mother-of-pearl buttons annually, the town’s prominence was a result of immigrant entrepreneurs, laborers, and the mussels that played a pivotal role. The National Pearl Button Museum narrates the tale of these key elements that contributed to putting Muscatine on the global map.

Wildcat Den State Park

Hiking trails adorned with bluffs and creeks, a grist mill with historical significance, as well as picnic shelters and basic campgrounds.

Aledo, IL (30 miles)

Deja Brew Coffee House & Bakery

Unique coffee shop with an attached to a clothing boutique.

Rhubarb Festival

In early June, Aledo is home to the Rhubarb Festival.

Mercer County Fair

In mid-July, the Mercer County Fair has carnival rides, animal shows, and pageantry you can also enter your baby into the decorated diaper contest wander through the Pumpkin House, or have your small set enter the pedal tractor pull.

Wilton, IA (30 miles)

Wilton Candy Kitchen

The owners are Wilton natives who just love all of their customers. Dating back to 1860, it’s an old-fashioned soda fountain, and the oldest in the country, right here in Iowa! You can sit right in front of the counter and watch them mix your drinks/ice cream.

Geneseo, IL (32 miles)

Arcadia Family Fun Center

Arcadia Family Fun Center stands as Geneseo’s top destination for food, entertainment, and enjoyment suitable for all age groups. Featuring a 14-lane bowling alley, 16 laser taggers, a two-story laser tag arena, arcade games, and our restaurant offering American Pub food, pizza, and a fully stocked bar.

Indian Creek Mini Golf

Indian Creek Mini Golf welcomes families to enjoy its 18-hole mini golf course, which is available for play in the warmer months.

Maquoketa, IA (47 miles)

Maquoketa Caves

With more caves than any state park, Maquoketa Caves also has enormous bluffs that tower throughout the park.

Iowa Grape Vines Winery

Family-operated vineyard crafting a range of internationally acclaimed wines, spanning from dry to sweet varieties. In addition to award-winning wines, also offered are delightful wine jellies, cashew brittle, gift certificates, gift baskets, and various other locally sourced items.

Hurstville Interpretative Center

The Hurstville Interpretive Center is a fantastic place for individuals and families to immerse themselves in the beauty of nature, learn about the environment, and appreciate the importance of conservation efforts in preserving the region’s natural resources.

Hurstville Lime Kilns

Learn more about limestone mortar.  The kilns were once part of the company town Hurstville.

61 Drive-In

Outdoor movie theater – one of the only in the area.

Bluff Lake

A restaurant built by hand in the 1960s, it’s been family-owned its entire existence. Everyone who’s eaten there exclaims over the deliciousness of the food and the casualness of the owners.

Monmouth, IL (48 miles)

LeSuer Nature Preserve

You can take a walk among several different habitats, such as prairie before the people moved in, forest, and water.

Wyatt Earp Birthplace

Depicted by many actors, including Kevin Costner and Kurt Russell, and fodder for many Westerns, it all started here, in humble Monmouth IL.

Bishop Hill, IL (50 miles)

Bishop Hill National Landmark

A historical township with Swedish heritage; you’ll find reenactors here when you visit during a special event. The buildings are open for a self-guided tour on Wednesdays through Sundays. Much more than a historical learning opportunity, you’ll find something for everyone from sweet little restaurants where kids are welcome and cherished to boutiques for mom, all with the picturesque feel of days gone by.

Iowa City, IA (52 miles)

Old Capitol Museum

Distinguished structure and former seat of government showcasing a gilded dome and displays highlighting the history of the local area.

University of Iowa: Museum of Natural History

It is a huge place with all kinds of animals, birds, and more. Anyone would find this an enjoyable outing. Perfect for a rainy day.

The Iowa Children’s Museum

Located inside Coral Ridge Mall, this vibrant museum is designed to educate children about their surroundings through enjoyable activities and play.

Hickory Hill

A picturesque wooded park spanning 185 acres, offering numerous hiking and jogging trails, as well as picnic tables and grilling areas.

University of Iowa: Athletics Hall of Fame

This is the mecca for the sports fans in the family.

Devonian Fossil Gorge

You can see a dried-out riverbed that has all kinds of fossils to learn about.

Macbride State Park near Solon, IA

A raptor center where you can see all kinds of raptors that are there for various reasons such as injury have been imprinted on humans, etc, like owls, hawks, kestrels, and eagles. Additionally, there’s a bird blind where you can watch all kinds of birds come to their feeders.

Herbert Hoover National Historic Site

Spanning 187 acres, this historic site showcases President Hoover’s place of birth, his final resting place, and various other significant attractions.

World’s Largest Wooden Nickel

Constructed from Southern Yellow Pine, the World’s Largest Wooden Nickel boasts a diameter of 16 feet. Jim Glasgow erected this colossal structure in 2006 amidst local protests against the widening and redevelopment of the adjacent highway.

Antique Car Museum of Iowa

Exhibit showcasing transportation displays and classic cars spanning from the 1890s to the 1970s.

Columbus Junction, IA (53 miles)

Swinging Bridge Park

Constructed to offer a shortcut from Fourth Street to Third, eliminating the need to navigate around the 80-foot ravine on foot.

Chinkapin Bluffs Park

Explore the Chinkapin Park throughout the year by hiking, biking, enjoying a picnic, and taking a moment to appreciate the scenic view of the Iowa River valley from the overlook.

Galesburg, IL (56 miles)

Discovery Depot Children’s Museum

A diverse array of activities and displays foster critical thinking and interactive learning.

Galesburg Railroad Museum

The Galesburg Railroad Museum, a non-profit organization, was founded to advance the study, investigation, and revelation of the railroad industry’s history within the context of Galesburg and Western Illinois.

Carl Sandburg State Historical Site

The Carl Sandburg State Historic Site is open on Thursdays through Sundays, April through November, and for special events such as festivals, meetings, concerts, and lectures. Browse the garden or meditate at Remembrance Rock when the site is not open.

Coney Island

Charming eatery featuring vintage ambiance, serving classic New York-style hot dogs and assorted comfort food since 1921.

National Railroad Hall of Fame

The National Railroad Hall of Fame pays tribute to individuals in American railroading, including visionaries, leaders, trendsetters, and everyday individuals who have made remarkable contributions.

Galesburg Selfie Museum

Galesburg’s premier Selfie Museum and event space is crafted to host a variety of occasions, including birthdays, weddings, and corporate events. With a capacity ranging from 50 to 70 individuals, our venue is open Wednesday through Sunday, from 1 pm to 7 pm.

Galesburg Community Arts Center

The Galesburg Community Arts Center persists in fostering a connection between the community and the arts by organizing exhibitions and performances. Additionally, it provides art-making opportunities suitable for all ages and abilities, along with hosting various community events, the Studios Midwest Artist Residency, and other special occasions throughout the year.

Riverside, IA (57 miles)

The Voyage Home Museum

The Voyage Home History Center presents Riverside’s history, present, and future through a fusion of exhibits featuring the city’s past and a collection of Star Trek memorabilia.

Riverside Casino & Golf Resort

A premier entertainment destination offering a diverse range of amenities.

Sabula, IA (58 miles)

Great River Road National Scenic Byway

Exceptional panoramas, delightful river communities, stunning limestone bluffs, and many other enchanting features.

Jackson County Welcome Center

You’ll never exhaust the array of marvels to discover in the simply beautiful Jackson County.

Island City Harbor

Scenic river vistas, direct access to the lakefront, sandy shores for relaxation, and a diverse array of gift items await you at our Harbor Store.

Havencrest Castle

Havencrest Castle stands as the imaginative manifestation of the collaborative efforts of Mr. and Mrs. Alan St. George. Over their 31-year journey together, they meticulously crafted every significant and subtle element without relying on the expertise of an architect or designer.

Burlington, IA (58 miles)

FunCity Resort

FunCity Resort stands out as the ultimate entertainment destination in the Midwest, providing an ideal escape. Whether you prefer suites or family rooms, exceptional dining, an on-site spa, thrilling gambling options, a water park, an arcade, a bowling alley, and beyond, we guarantee there’s something for everyone to savor!

Snake Alley

A street located in Burlington, Iowa, which was built in 1894. In 2017, Ripley’s Believe It or Not! recognized the street as “Unbelievably Crooked” and the #1 Odd Spot in their Odd Spots Across America Campaign.

Catfish Bend Casino & Resort

Experience a diverse selection of table games such as blackjack and craps. Explore over 643 interactive slot machines, or enjoy placing a bet while sipping on a drink at our Points Bet Sportsbook.

Crapo Park

A city park with arboretum and botanical garden, alongside the Mississippi River.

Dankwardt Park

Multiple leisure options are available, such as a disc golf course, a swimming pool, tennis courts, shelter houses, a skate park, and various other amenities.

Mosquito Park

It stands as one of Burlington’s longstanding parks and provides picturesque vistas of the Mississippi River. In winter, eagle enthusiasts gather to observe these majestic birds soaring above the park.

Starr’s Cave Nature Center

The region offers a pair of miles of picturesque hiking paths, including a stretch of the Flint River Trail, and is imbued with a wealth of natural and cultural history.

Rock Falls/Sterling, IL (62 miles)

Crystal Lake

A sandy shoreline encircles a lake, and the term “crystal” aptly characterizes the water’s remarkable clarity. Beyond serving as a venue for swimming and sunbathing, our lake provides an array of toys designed to cater to the interests of every member in the family.

Dillon Home Museum

Brimming with historical riches and virtually unaltered by the passage of time, this residence is a must-visit destination for those eager to explore the local history.

Hennepin Canal Trail

A lovely trail most of which is shady. Perfect if you’re walking, biking, or even pushing a stroller.

Sinnissippi Mounds Historic Site

Sinnissippi Park houses the Hopewellian Indian Mounds, a site listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Mt Vernon, IA (65 miles)

American Gothic Barn

If you’re not familiar with the painting by Cedar Rapids native “American Gothic”, you need to GET familiar with it. Someone duplicated this famous artwork on the entire side of the barn! In the middle of nowhere, it’s a startling beauty!

Palisades-Kepler State Park

Scenic park featuring a variety of recreational activities, along with a historic lodge available for event bookings.

Dubuque, IA (72 miles)

Union Park Shot Tower

The Shot Tower is comprised of a tapered square-cut masonry hollow column design, with the entire structure rising to a height of 120 feet and 5 inches above the existing ground level. The first seven stories are constructed with Galena Dolemite stone, while the top three stories are made of soft red brick.

Crystal Lake Cave

Pathways and illumination enhance the ease and safety of cave exploration for tourists. Through guided tours, visitors can delve into the cave’s history, geology, and the diverse formations it harbors. Crystal Lake Cave stands not just as a natural marvel but also as a significant historical landmark.

The National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium

Coffee shop, aquatic environment, shipyard, movie theater, and displays delving into the ecosystem in and around the riverways of America.

Grand Harbor Resort and Water Park

The Grand Harbor Resort and Waterpark stands out as the top choice in the Midwest for meetings, group events, and family vacations, offering a triumphant blend of service, amenities, and entertainment.

Dubuque Museum of Art

A cozy museum featuring American art from the 20th century, with a focus on the Midwest area.

Creative Adventure Lab

Creative Adventure Lab provides immersive play-based activities that foster creativity and empower the upcoming generation of innovators, troubleshooters, and agents of change.

Cedar Rapids, IA (80 miles)

African American Museum of Iowa

A museum across the entire state committed to safeguarding, showcasing, and educating about the African American history of Iowa.

Ushers Ferry Historic Village

Reconstructed town dating back to the period between 1890 and 1910, featuring over 20 buildings that are open seasonally for tours and educational programs.

Wickiup Hill Learning Center

Features hands-on exhibits for kids, educational programming, history, and live animal displays. The huge outdoor area includes interpretive trails, Native American mounds, and a playscape.

The Cedar Rapids Museum of Art

More than 7,000 pieces were showcased, highlighting 20th-century American art, along with classes catering to all age groups.

The Fun Station – Cedar Rapids

An indoor playground spanning three stories, specifically crafted for children aged 12 and under, featuring concessions and customizable birthday packages.

Bever Park

Spacious park equipped with amenities for tennis and softball, as well as featuring an ice rink and swimming pool.

Amana, IA (80 miles)

Amana Colonies

Region encompassing seven historic German villages featuring traditional shops, dining establishments, and artisan workshops.

Dixon, IL (86 miles)

Reagan Boyhood Home

Follow in the footsteps of Ronald Reagan, explore a presidential narrative that shares a similar beginning to your own, and uncover the virtues and principles that can guide you toward becoming an inspirational leader, just like Ronald Reagan.

Railroad Street Arches

Constructed in 1855, there are stone arches to discover both above the street and beneath the arch itself.

Wooden Wonderland Park & Water Wonderland Splash Pad

Expansive wooden play area and a 490-square-foot splash pad equipped with 23 water features, along with restroom facilities, shaded areas, and shelters. Located next to Wooden Wonderland Park.

Galena, IL (86 miles)

Alpine Slide

Experience the thrill of hurtling down a specially crafted 2,050-foot track on a sled, reaching the banks of the Mississippi for the ride of a lifetime. The captivating view is as much of a draw as the exhilarating downhill rush.

Long Hollow Canopy Tours

Experience the excitement of ziplining and exploring an aerial adventure park amidst the picturesque wooded hills of Galena!

Segway Tours

Embark on a unique summer adventure by exploring the uncharted wonders of Chestnut Mountain Resort. Immerse yourself in the breathtaking natural beauty of over 220 acres of mountain terrain through an exhilarating three-mile Segway Tour.

Mississippi Explorer Cruises

The River Cruise has a duration of approximately 1-1/2 hours. Ensure you complete the experience in time for dinner and drinks, and be sure not to overlook the Sunset Grille.

Apple River Fort State Historic Site

The Apple River Fort, accessible throughout the year, serves as a family-friendly historic destination. Its interpretive center boasts informed staff, diverse exhibits, and presentations.

The Winston Tunnel

A railroad tunnel located 9 miles west of Elizabeth, Illinois. The tunnel was completed in 1888 for the Minnesota and Northwestern Railroad, a predecessor to the Chicago Great Western Railway.

Tapely Woods State Natural Area

A serene and wooded area nestled between Elizabeth and Galena, this expansive 260-acre forested property offers public hunting grounds, hiking trails, and opportunities for observing nature.

West Street Sculpture Park

Spanning across 2 acres of natural surroundings, this outdoor park showcases a variety of whimsical steel sculptures.

Long Hollow Scenic Overlook

This picturesque vantage point features picnic tables, shelters, and restroom facilities, making it an ideal spot for capturing images of the expansive and undulating countryside of Galena Country.

Chicago Great Western Railway Depot Museum

The museum is situated within a former Chicago Great Western Railway station, now known as The Depot, and highlights the railroads of Northwest Illinois. The collection boasts thousands of railroad artifacts, including the opportunity to explore the interior of a full-size Milwaukee Road caboose.

Dyersville, IA (89 miles)

Field of Dreams

Field of Dreams was released in 1989 and has inspired millions and became an Academy Award nominee for “Best Picture of the Year.” The movie set, the home, the farm, the baseball field… a little piece of heaven on earth. It’s a place where reality mixes with fantasy and dreams can come true!

National Farm Toy Museum

This museum dedicated to agriculture features an extensive collection of toys, exhibits, and displays showcasing the rich history of farming.

Peoria, IL (90 miles)

The Peoria PlayHouse

Vibrant children’s museum showcasing engaging displays and play zones centered around art, science, and music.

Peoria Zoo

A park of historical significance showcasing over 100 global species, including some endangered ones, featuring giraffe feeding and African-themed installations.

Peoria Riverfront Museum

A versatile museum showcasing both art and science, featuring a sculpture garden, a large-screen theater, and a planetarium.

Luthy Botanical Gardens

A vast expanse of public green space spanning 5 acres, adorned with themed sections, a conservatory, musical performances, and a souvenir shop.

Forest Park Nature Center

A sprawling nature preserve spanning more than 500 acres, offering trails, a museum showcasing natural history, and a bird observatory.

Sculpture Walk

A broad range of exquisite and modern artworks.

Kartville

At Kartville, you’ll find a variety of enjoyable activities such as dune buggies, bumper boats, mini-golf, and batting cages, ensuring a great time for your entire group or family!

ROC Ice Cream & Mini Golf

Offering the renowned Chocolate Shoppe Ice Cream alongside an 18-hole miniature golf course. (Open during warm months only)

Caterpillar Visitors Center

Explore interactive exhibits featuring Caterpillar diggers, tractors, and trucks spanning from vintage to modern models.

Grandview Drive

Grandview Drive is a scenic route and park where you can enjoy picturesque views of the Illinois River while strolling, biking, or hiking along its numerous beautiful trails.

Wildlife Prairie Park

Wildlife Prairie Park stands out as a distinctive gem in the Midwest, surpassing other parks and recreational facilities in uniqueness. It presents engaging nature-focused educational and recreational activities, offering transformative experiences that inspire a commitment to the conservation of the great outdoors.

Oglesby, IL (95 miles)

Starved Rock State Park

Starved Rock State Park is a wilderness area on the Illinois River and is known for its steep sandstone canyons formed by glacial meltwater. A wooded trail leads to Lover’s Leap Overlook, with views of the river and Starved Rock Dam. Park wildlife includes white-tailed deer, bald eagles, and migratory birds.

Matthessien State Park

Expansive woodland park and gorge featuring meadows, natural springs, diverse wildlife, camping facilities, and equestrian trails.

Starved Rock Entertainment Indoor Playland & Escape Rooms

Play areas indoors are suitable for all age groups, along with escape rooms.

McGregor, IA (128 miles)

Effigy Mounds National Monument

Archaeological site featuring 14 miles of trails, exhibits, and ranger-led talks, dedicated to Native American history.

Pikes Peak State Park

Scenic landmarks, trails for hiking and biking, and well-equipped campgrounds with views of the Mississippi River.

Yellow River State Forest

Wooded region featuring streams ideal for fishing, a campsite, and opportunities for hiking, horseback riding, as well as snowmobile trails.

McGregor Historical Museum

The McGregor Historical Museum is dedicated to valuing and safeguarding the vibrant history of McGregor, portraying frontier life as it unfolded in northeast Iowa.

River Junction Trade Co.

Vintage store offering Victorian and Western apparel and accessories.

Spook Cave & Campground

Savor the mornings on the enchanting porch, sipping coffee and witnessing the sunrise above the trout stream. Unwind in the seclusion of your backyard, toasting marshmallows for a serene experience.


Looking for a weekend getaway? Check out some of our favorite spots!

Mount Horeb, WI (140 miles)

Mount Horeb is known as The Troll Capital of the World! The beautiful 115-acre Dane County Park showcases the geographic features typical to the Driftless area, providing steep hills, green valleys, and beautiful views.

Madison, WI (163 miles)

Madison, WI is only about two hours north of the Quad Cities area and offers so much to families looking for fun getaways! We put together 30+ things to do during your visit to Madison.

Decorah, IA (168 miles)

Decorah, IA features spectacular waterfalls surrounded by caves and trails as well as wonderful shopping and eateries!

Chicago, IL (175 miles)

Chicago, IL is a weekend getaway favorite featuring children’s museums, art centers, aquariums, parks, zoos, and so much more!

Milwaukee, WI (217 miles)

Milwaukee, WI is one of the most underrated US cities. Full of fun, culture, adventure, and beautiful scenery!

St. Louis, MO (266 miles)

St. Louis, MO has become a popular destination for QCA families! It is about a doable drive from the QC area and offers so much for families looking for a vacation, road trip, or weekend getaway!

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