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Things to do in Elgin Illinois

Ranking number one in new home starts in the Chicagoland area is Elgin 35 miles north of the city. Much like Chicago, a river also runs through Elgin. The downtown area has also been undergoing significant urban renovations within the last 30 years, which saw a growth in residents and entertainment destinations. Several Chicago residents make the drive up to Elgin for their arts and recreation more than anything else. Here are some of the most popular things to do and see when in Elgin, IL.

Santa’s Village

Several of Glen Holland’s original Santa’s Village theme parks went defunct a couple of years after his death in 2005. However, the East Dundee, IL location would reopen under new management in 2011 with a new focus on not just rides but also zoo exhibits –hence their new name, Santa’s Village AZoosment Park. Rides include small roller coasters, whirligigs, merry-go-rounds, and so much more. Some attractions are made by well-known ride developers, and some come from the long-closed Kiddieland. Paintball Explosion is also open within the park with a real-life Nuketown map from Call of Duty. There is always something for children and adults at Santa’s Village.

Santa’s Village 601 Dundee Ave East Dundee, IL 60118

Less Than than five miles from Elgin, IL.

Fox River Trolley Museum

This railway museum is located in South Elgin along where else but the Fox River. Unlike bigger railway museums, Fox River Trolley Museum is dedicated to lines and electric trolleys that played a role in both their and Chicago’s history. The collection includes 30 railways engines and cars, some of which give rides on their Heritage railroad. Go on a trolley excursion to the past along the banks of the Fox River.

Fox River Trolley Museum 365 South LaFox Street South Elgin, IL 60177

Grand Victoria Casino

The city of Elgin’s main attraction is the Grand Victoria Riverboat Casino. In fact, it’s one of the largest employers and revenue sources in the area. Operated by Ceasar’s, this riverboat was permanently docked in the Fox River and had over 1,000 machines and several game tables. The Grand Victoria remains one of the most profitable casinos in Illinois while also donating a share of its earnings to the county. It has a nice set of restaurants, including a burger bar, deli, buffet, and a fine dining place.

Grand Victoria Casino 250 South Grove Avenue Elgin, IL 60120

Villa Olivia

Villa Olivia is open all year round with golfing when it’s warm out and skiing when it’s cold. The club tends to pop off during the winter when everyone gets their skis, snowboards, and tubing as the clubhouse becomes a hot chocolate lodge. Holiday events are particularly well hosted in their banquet hall. They also book weddings and other events as well. A house favorite is their fish fry.

Villa Olivia 1401 W Lake Street Bartlett, IL 60103

Less than seven miles from Elgin.

Elgin Public Museum

Elgin’s public museum has a specialty for natural history and anthropology from the ice age to the modern era. They also have seminars on such topics along with ecology, geology, and paleontology. See fossils of extinct animals while your kids enjoy the interactive Discovery Room. They also have living animals with their elk and bison.

Elgin Public Museum 225 Grand Boulevard Elgin, IL 60120

Fox River Trail

Of course, you can learn and immerse yourself in nature the old fashion way with a hike through the Fox River Trail. This trail along the river runs along it for 32 miles through downtown Elgin and into the countryside. Bike it, hike it, or cross country ski it in the winter from Aurora to Algonquin.

Elgin, IL

Great Western Trail

Paved over the old railway line of the Chicago Great Western Railroad, the Great Western Trail stretches 17 miles from St. Charles, IL to Sycamore, IL. This is another trail that can be cross-country skied in the winter. Sometimes, people race along with snowmobiles. Destinations along the trail include the Sycamore Speedway, the Sycamore golf course, and several restaurant stops along the way.

Elgin, IL

Randall Oaks Park

Randall Oaks is Dundee township’s largest park and a nice place to go to unwind without having a destination or hassle. While they do have a trail or two, shelters and picnic areas make it easy for visitors to be lethargic while their children use the playground. They also boast a lot of field space with frisbee golf and volleyball. Hayrides are also available seasonally.

Randall Oaks Park 750 S Randall Rd West Dundee, IL 60118

Less than five miles from Elgin, IL.

Lords Park

Located right by the Elgin Public Museum is Lords Park. You’d be able to knock out both on the same day since they are pretty much on the same grounds. In addition to their park and playground, Lords Park has basketball courts, baseball diamonds, shelters, picnic areas, sand volleyball, and nature trails. Their swimming pool operates seasonally.

Lords Park 100 Oakwood Blvd Elgin, IL 60120