Why Is Naperville Worth Visiting?
Before we go through all the things to do in Naperville, let’s get to know it a bit. Naperville is a city in DuPage and Will counties in Illinois. It was established in 1831, making it one of the oldest communities in the state. It’s named after its founder, Joseph Naper, and it was originally called Naper’s Settlement. In 1839, it became the county seat of DuPage County.
Today, it is an affluent community known for its quality of life and strong economy. It was ranked the second-best place to live in the United States by Money magazine in 2006, and it has consistently been ranked as one of the safest cities in America. It is also home to numerous corporate headquarters, including Nicor, OfficeMax, and Calamos Investments.
Naperville is a great place to visit whether you’re looking for things to do outdoors, or things to do with the family. There are plenty of things to see and do in this vibrant city.
Things to Do in Naperville – Visit the Original Naper Settlement
The Naper Settlement is located in downtown Naperville and features historical buildings from the 1800s that were relocated from other towns in Illinois. This is a great place to visit if you want to learn about how life was like during the 1800s in Illinois. The museum also hosts events such as Civil War reenactments and Oktoberfest celebrations. General admission is $12 for adults and $8 for children under 12.
Other Things to Do in Downtown Naperville
Downtown Naperville is also home to the Riverwalk, a two-mile path along the DuPage River. The Riverwalk is a great place to take a walk, go for a run, or just relax and enjoy the fountains and scenery. Nearby, you’ll find Centennial Park (home to Centennial Beach), which is perfect for a picnic lunch, skating or playing in the playground.
One of the best ways of experiencing the city is taking a Naperville Trolley tour. The tour takes you through the downtown area and to all the major attractions. Or, rent a boat from the Paddleboat Quarry and take in the breathtaking views from the water.
If you’re looking for things to do in Naperville with kids, the DuPage Children’s Museum is a great option. They can explore hands-on exhibits, participate in educational programs, and even take part in a mock archaeological dig.
If you’re looking for things to do at night, downtown Naperville has a variety of bars and restaurants to choose from. For an upscale experience, check out Sullivan’s Steakhouse. Or, if you’re looking for a more laid-back atmosphere, try Jackson Avenue Pub or Solemn Oath Brewery.
Outdoor Things to Do in Naperville
If you’re looking for outdoor activities, there are plenty of options in Naperville. For nature lovers, the Springbrook Prairie Forest Preserve is a great place to explore. The preserve has more than seven miles of trails, and it’s a great place to see wildlife such as deer, coyotes, and birds.
For a peaceful walk, McDowell Grove offers scenic views. Other parks worth strolling through in Naperville include:
- Wildflower Park;
- Pioneer Park;
- Gartner Park;
- Country Lakes Park;
- Weigand Riverfront Park.
Knoch Knolls Nature Center is also a great place to visit if you’re looking for things to do with kids. They can explore the nature center, go on a hike, or take part in one of the many educational programs offered.
If you’re feeling adventurous, try kayaking or canoeing down the DuPage River. And if you’re looking for things to do in Naperville in the winter, sledding and ice skating at Millennium Carillon are popular activities.
You can’t forget about Naperville’s famous RibFest, which takes place every June. It’s an event that features live music, food vendors, and a carnival. It’s the perfect place to spend a summer day with family and friends.
Other Fun Activities and Places in Naperville
There are a few other things to do in Naperville that are worth mentioning. If the attractions mentioned earlier haven’t filled up your itinerary, here are a few more ideas.
- Tour the Moser Tower and Millennium Carillon.
- Visit the DuPage Art League Gallery.
- Attend a show at the Pfeiffer Hall or Wentz Concert Hall (located in North Central College).
- Test your wits at Hidden Key Escapes Rooms of Naperville.
- Take the kids to the Ball Factory Playground.
- Catch a game at Benedetti-Wehrli Stadium.
Whatever you decide to do with your time in Naperville, you’ll enjoy yourself, for sure!
The Best Attractions a Short Drive From Naperville
If you’re looking for things to do outside of Naperville, there are plenty of options nearby. Of course, downtown Chicago is waiting if you haven’t visited it yet. But if you’re looking for something closer to Naperville, you can visit the following attractions just a short drive away.
The Morton Arboretum in Lisle
The Morton Arboretum is a beautiful green space that’s home to more than 4,100 tree species and varieties and more than 200,000 cataloged plants. There’s also a 4-acre interactive children’s garden and a 1-acre maze if you’re looking for some family fun!
The Brookfield Zoo
The Brookfield Zoo is one of the largest zoos in the country, with over 450 species of animals from around the world. It’s also home to several endangered species, including Siberian tigers and red pandas. The zoo has a lot of fun activities for families too, including a splash pad and an interactive children’s garden.
Cantigny Park and the First Division Museum in Wheaton
Cantigny Park is one of the best parks near Chicago because it offers so many activities for adults and kids alike – including a golf course, athletic fields, playgrounds and nature trails. The park also hosts special events throughout the year like concerts, festivals and holiday celebrations.
In addition, the park is home to the First Division Museum, which is dedicated to preserving the history of the U.S. Army’s First Division. The museum has interactive exhibits, a library and a research center.
Herrick Lake Forest Preserve in Wheaton
This fantastic park has a water trail that winds through some beautiful scenery and offers opportunities for swimming and fishing. If you prefer dry land activities, there are plenty of hiking trails with varying degrees of difficulty.
The preserve also has an arboretum with over 200 different species of trees from all over the world. Take a picnic lunch or go out for dinner at one of the many nearby restaurants before heading home.
Odyssey Fun World in Tinley Park
Odyssey Fun World is an indoor amusement park that’s perfect for a day of family fun. The park has rides, arcade games, laser tag and a soft play area for younger kids. You can also enjoy a meal at one of the on-site restaurants.
Plan Your Trip to Naperville Today!
Now that you know all the things to do in Naperville, it’s time to start planning your trip! This lovely city has something for everyone, so you’re sure to have a great time no matter what you do. Book your hotel today and get ready for an unforgettable vacation.
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