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2 days in Springfield

Chicago
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17 posts
35 reviews
2 days in Springfield

Spending 2 days in Springfield with children (7,7 and8). What are must hits? They love Abraham Lincoln and are great in museums. Thinking his tomb and what else should we do? We have about 2 full days, one night. Coming in May so ok with outdoor activities. Thank you.

13 replies to this topic
Illinois
Destination Expert
for Chicago, Illinois
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57,706 posts
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1. Re: 2 days in Springfield

Start here http://www.visitspringfieldillinois.com/

Chicago
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8,343 posts
1 review
2. Re: 2 days in Springfield

Check out Abraham Lincoln's home, the Presidential Library and Museum, and New Salem State Park, which recreates New Salem at the time Lincoln lived there.

Chicago, Illinois
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1,853 posts
178 reviews
3. Re: 2 days in Springfield

Not Lincoln-related but I strongly encourage a visit to Frank Lloyd Wright’s Dana-Thoma House. It is wonderful (even if you’ve visited th FLW’s in Chicago, Oak Park, etc), http://www.dana-thomas.org

Chicago
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8,343 posts
1 review
4. Re: 2 days in Springfield

i've been there and enjoyed it, but I wonder if kids would.

Chicago, Illinois
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1,853 posts
178 reviews
5. Re: 2 days in Springfield

Warrior Jan, are you asking whether kids would enjoy the DT House? I visited it with my son when he was 11 and he was wowed. — but this is a kid who adored Monet from age 5, and visited a lot of cultural spots from that age on.

Chicago
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8,343 posts
1 review
6. Re: 2 days in Springfield

Yes, I was wondering if kids would enjoy the DT House, looks like the OP's kids are 7 and 8.

Illinois
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2,243 posts
179 reviews
7. Re: 2 days in Springfield

You can also tour the capitol (the old one and current one); we see kids on these tours all the time, although I think the old capitol tour is too long for younger ones. Sometimes there's free events going on at the state fairgrounds such as horse shows, dog agility, etc. Skip the zoo because it's become fairly pitiful the last few years.

For outdoor fun, Knights Action Park, south edge of town.

Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
1,853 posts
178 reviews
8. Re: 2 days in Springfield

Warriorjan, I read the OP too quickly and missed that he was traveling with 7 & 8 y.o. children. Yes, I agree that they are probably too young to appreciate the Dana Thomas House.

Chicago
Level Contributor
8,343 posts
1 review
9. Re: 2 days in Springfield

I believe the Ilinois State Museum is open again (it was closed during one of the budget battles), and has a kid's area as well as the regular exhibits.

If they love Abraham Lincoln then do visit the old State Capitol building. It is where his body lay in state and where he served as a legislator and argued cases as a lawyer. In addition, Barack Obama announced his candidacy for president from there.

One of the TA reviews pointed out that the Donner Party set out from the area around the old State Capitol building. Not Lincoln-related, but people don't generally know that many members of the Donner Party, including the Donners, were from the general area around Springfield.

Destination Expert
for New Orleans
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9,976 posts
147 reviews
10. Re: 2 days in Springfield

The Abraham Lincoln Museum is a must-do. Absolutely fabulous museum, one of the best I have ever been to, and your kids will enjoy it, too. Be sure to see Ghosts in the Library in the Museum, and try to figure out if the narrator in the show is a real person, or holograms. I still haven't figured it out. You can walk to Lincoln's home from the museum, just a couple of blocks. Allow 3 - 4 hours for the Museum.... If the weather is nice, take a 20 mile drive to Lincoln's New Salem, where he served as a postmaster when he was young (and dated Ann Rutledge), and hike some trails. You can also walk through the recreated village.

I love the Dana Thomas house but don't think young kids would be too interested.

I don't know if Knights Recreation Park would be open in May. We do have a drive-in theater which your kids might enjoy if they have never been to one.

If you are looking for a unique place for breakfast or lunch (they close at 2 p.m.), go to Charlie Parker's. They were featured on Diners and Dives a few years ago, and last year won the national contest for best breakfast sandwich. They are in an old Quanset hut from the 1940s.

Have fun!!

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