Family-Friendly Adventures

Discover Pekin, IL

Whether you’re a local looking for a fun day out with the family or are simply exploring the heart of Illinois, Pekin has something for everyone! From scenic parks and waterslides to boutique shops and delicious eats, here’s a day-trip adventure you won’t forget.

Soak Up the Sun at Mineral Springs Park

Start your day out enjoying the fresh air and sunshine at Mineral Springs Park, nestled in the heart of Pekin. If you have kids, head over to the sprawling playground and let them climb, swing and slide to their heart’s content.

From there, hop across the street for a leisurely stroll around the Pekin Lagoon. It’s about a quarter-mile walk around, but you’ll likely make multiple laps without even knowing it. The resident ducks, geese, turtles, and fish are fun to watch and snapshot-worthy. Be sure to carve out some time for paddle boats on the Lagoon, too! The fountains are always memorable for kids – especially if you can snag the dragon boat.

Move On to Local Flavors & Shopping

No day trip is complete without indulging in some delicious local cuisine, and Pekin has plenty to offer in the food department. Head to one of the charming eateries downtown for a taste of authentic Midwestern fare. You’ll want to try some of our specialty food offerings, too, like the famous horseshoe sandwich at Maquet’s Rail House, record-size tenderloins at Asher’s, and artisan tacos at Whiskey Taco.

After refueling, take some time to explore Pekin’s boutique shops and specialty stores. From trendy clothing boutiques to quaint antique shops, Pekin’s shopping scene is filled with unique finds and hidden gems.

Pekin is also home to specialty shops like Steger’s Furniture and Hamm’s Furniture. Whether you’re in the market for a new sofa or just browsing for inspiration, both stores impress with their wide selection and friendly staff.

Fill the Afternoon with Action-Packed Adventures

Kick things up a notch in the afternoon with a visit to DragonLand Water Park and Magic Dragon Mini-Golf. DragonLand is home to two thrilling water slides, a sand volleyball pit, splash pads, and spacious swimming pools with zero-depth entry points. Magic Dragon Mini-Golf features fun waterfalls, multi-level holes, and the infamous Hole #4, which leads you straight inside a real train caboose!

But if swimming and mini-golf aren’t your thing, there’s still more for you to explore. Head out to McNaughton Park for 850 acres of fun, including an 18-hole professional disc golf course! The park also contains two lakes, a waterfall, several teepee shelters, a horse stable and horseback trails, and it’s home to deer, foxes, muskrats, beavers, red hawks, eagles, cardinals, and more. So, wildlife sightings are typically guaranteed!

Grab Dinner & Refreshing Sweet Treat

Wind down your day by grabbing some more local cuisine (here’s your chance to try the other specialty food you had your eye on), then head over to one of our local ice cream shops for a sweet treat.

Double D’s Ice Creme is well known for its dairy-free Dole ice cream options, amazing Arctic Swirls with just about every flavor you can imagine, and generous scoops of Uncle Bob’s Homemade Hand Dipped Ice Cream. 8th Street Sweet Spot is another popular choice with specialty chillers, hand-dipped cones, lemon ice cream, and shakes.

End Your Day Savoring the Memories

As your day comes to a close, take a moment to reflect on your adventure and the memories you’ve made. There’s a great spot to watch the sunset overlooking the Illinois River downtown. You might even see a boat or a barge drift by!

Plan your day trip to Pekin, IL, and experience the best that our charming city has to offer. From family-friendly activities to delicious eats and boutique shopping, Pekin promises a day of fun and adventure for all ages.