The holiday celebrations may have ended, but that doesn’t mean saying goodbye to fun until summer. Although it’s time to buckle down and get back to work during the week, there are plenty of weekend events going on all over Illinois to keep the winter blues at bay. So plan some weekend breaks, and embrace winter and all it has to offer. Here are a few ideas for January getaways:
Alton-Audubon Eagle Festival
The Alton Convention & Visitors Bureau kicks off American Bald Eagle watching season on Saturday, January 5, as hundreds of migrating eagles return to their nests along the Mississippi River. Downtown Alton will host an Ice Block Party, with ice carvings and an ice putt-putt event. Visit the Audubon Center at Riverlands for a live eagle meet-and-greet, eagle viewing walks and more. Admission is free; festival activities will run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Alton is about a four-and-a-half hour drive southwest of Chicago, near St. Louis.
Monee Reservoir Musher Mania
Fun awaits the entire family as the Will County Forest Preserve District teams with the Siberian Husky Club of Greater Chicago to sponsor Monee Reservoir’s 19th annual Musher Mania on Saturday, January 12, from noon to 4 p.m. See demonstrations of dog sled training techniques and learn about the Iditarod. Participate in showshoe races, pull a dogsled in a human mushing activity and listen to stories around a campfire as you toast marshmallows. If there is no snow, the show will go on using wheeled sleds. Admission is free; hot food and beverage concessions will be available. The Monee Reservoir is 40 miles south of Chicago off of I-57.
Quad Cities: Be a Tourist in Your Own Backyard
You’ll need a long weekend to do all that’s available during the Quad Cities’ four-day “Be a Tourist in Your Own Backyard Weekend,” January 18-21. Over 45 area attractions, restaurants, and hotels are offering specials during the event. See a show, try your luck at three casinos, tour a factory, visit museums, go skiing, or attend a hockey game. Dine at a different local restaurant each meal, sip some wine and break your New Year’s diet resolution with locally made ice cream. The Quad Cities, comprised of five cities (yes, five: Rock Island, Moline and East Moline in Illinois; Bettendorf and Davenport in Iowa) and surrounding areas along the Mississippi River is less than three hours west of Chicago off of I-80.
Chicago Travel & Adventure Show
Are you looking for ideas for your next vacation? Attend the Chicago Travel & Adventure Show January 26-27 at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, Illinois. With more than 150 exhibitors, including convention and visitors bureaus from throughout the United States and abroad, tour companies, transportation companies and more, you’re bound to find lots of travel inspiration. Enter drawings for free trips or other prizes. Attend seminars with speakers like Rick Steves and Pauline Frommer, who will give you great tips on planning your travel adventures, and Ralph Velasco with tips on developing your photography skills. Rosemont is about 20 miles northwest of Chicago.
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