Living in South Barrington means you have access to plenty of fun excursions and relaxing spots for the whole family. However, getting away to another town or state for a quick day trip can be just the adventure you need. Explore someplace totally new and recharge your mind with one of these awesome day trips from the South Barrington, Illinois, area.
If you’re not looking to drive for more than an hour, then Naperville, Illinois, is the perfect destination. Located about 35 miles south of South Barrington, Naperville offers so many places for relaxing strolls and parks with lots of nature to explore.
Looking to commune with the great outdoors? Try the Naperville Riverwalk, a 2-mile park near downtown with fantastic views of the DuPage River and the hauntingly beautiful sight and sounds of the Millennium Carillon bell tower. Other awesome outdoor sites include Centennial Beach, on the other side of the Riverwalk, Herrick Lake Forest Preserve with its hiking trails and cross-country skiing, as well as Springbrook Prairie Nature Preserve and Knoch Knolls Park with playgrounds, picnic areas, and disc golf.
You can also head a few blocks away from the Riverwalk to the Naper Settlement, which is a 12-acre, open-air museum with 30+ historical buildings, a kid-friendly learning center and splash pad, and amazing seasonal events like Oktoberfest.
Six Flags Great America in Gurnee, Illinois
Need some high-flying thrills instead of relaxing strolls in the park? Then head about 40 miles northeast of South Barrington to Gurnee and its crowing jewel: Six Flags Great America! This amusement park is great for families and parents looking to spend some time with the kids because it has some of the best roller coasters in the Midwest and easygoing rides for kids of all ages.
If you’re headed there with the kids, make sure to ride the classic Krazy Kups, fly around in the airplane-themed Red Baron, and get on the junior coaster called the Little Dipper. There’s also the log flume, Logger’s Run, the River Rocket, a high-swinging ship in the sky, and many more family-friendly rides. Older, taller kids can enjoy their favorite superhero-themed rides like Superman and Batman, too.
But if it’s just a trip for the parents, get ready for some serious thrills on the classic wooden coaster, the American Eagle, the Giant Drop, which is exactly what it sounds, and steel coasters galore, like Viper, Raging Bull, and Maxx Force.
Enjoy some small-town charm in Rockford, Illinois, located about 65 miles northwest of South Barrington. This “City of Gardens” is a fantastic place to breathe in some fresh air and gaze at the beautiful splendor of the Anderson Japanese Gardens, the Nicholas Conservatory and Gardens, and the Klehm Arboretum and Botanic Garden, all of which host amazing special events throughout the year in addition to spectacular landscapes.
Museum and art lovers rejoice for the many historical sites, museums, and artsy locations, including Tinker Swiss Cottage Museum, the Erlander Home Museum, the World War II themed Midway Village Museum, the Burpee Museum of Natural History, and the gorgeous Rockford Art Museum. You can also catch a show at the historic Coronado Performing Arts Center, which hosts Broadway tour performances and local artists.
You can also head a few minutes away to nearby Loves Park, where you can hike, bike, and ride horses in Rock Cut State Park or get your thrills at Volcano Falls Adventure Park, home to mini golf, laser tag, go-karts, batting cages, and more family-friendly fun.
Lake Geneva, Wisconsin
One of the best parts about living in the South Barrington area is that another Midwestern state’s splendor is just a short drive away. And one such location is Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, which takes just over an hour to get to. Here, you’ll find a stunning lakefront community bustling with small-town activities and events.
Spend the day out in the water by visiting one of the beaches, rent a boat or watersports equipment, go fishing, or catch a cruise on the lake. Or, you can stroll down the Geneva Lake Shore Path and take in the sites. The whole family can also go on adventures like zip lining in the forest, soaring above the town in a hot air balloon, competing in a paintball tournament, or skiing over the hills in the powdery snow. You’ll also find local farms hosting visitors to pick their own produce and have fun at local events.
Parents looking for a day or weekend away from home can make it a special trip by renting a classic car to cruise around town in, imbibe in local wines and brews at one of the many local wineries, distilleries, and breweries, and have a relaxing time at a local spa.
Holland, Michigan, is known for its Dutch-inspired charm, including the many windmills, fields of blooming flowers, and fantastic cultural festivals. Take the whole family on a three-hour trip around the base of Lake Michigan to this magical Midwestern town for a fun and unique weekend getaway. Consider making the annual Tulip Festival a family tradition, or visit any of their other festivals and events, such as the Winter Market, St. Patrick’s Day, the “Remember When” Vintage Car Show, or the Macatawa Water Festival.
You can also spend time at the Holland State Park, which features beaches, fishing piers, a campground, and the Big Red Lighthouse landmark, among many other facilities. Stroll through the flowers and windmills at Windmill Island Gardens, a perfect spot for a family photo, or brush up on your history at the Holland Museum, where you can view exhibits, art, and artifacts of Midwestern and European Dutch history. And for the parents, get some time alone to enjoy a tour and tasting at a local winery, brewery, or distillery or have a romantic dinner at a beachfront restaurant.That’s our list of fun and relaxing day trips from South Barrington. Did we miss any of your favorite day trips outside the area? Let Crème de la Crème of South Barrington know, and we’ll be sure to add it to our list!