Your Ultimate Summer Bucket List in Illinois!

The summer season is here, and Illinois is bursting at the seams with fun, family-friendly activities! On top of building fabulous homes, the Gerstad Builders team has the inside scoop on this season’s sizzling activities to pack your summer months with never-ending fun.

Check out the Gerstad Builders-approved list of Illinois’s top summer destinations:

Destination 1: Chicago, Illinois |

A Vibrant Urban Playground

 The Windy City is a vibrant metropolis with diverse attractions for all ages. Whether you’re a culture enthusiast, nature lover or thrill seeker, Chicago has something for everyone!

  • Millennium Park and Navy Pier: It isn’t a visit to Chicago without a stop at Millennium Park! Home to iconic landmarks such as “The Bean” and breathtaking gardens, this a must-see for visitors and locals alive. Afterward, stroll over to Navy Pier to immerse yourself in a bustling entertainment hub with captivating boat tours, thrilling rides, firework displays and more!
  • The Field Museum and Shedd Aquarium: For an educational and awe-inspiring experience, delve into the wonders of natural history at The Field Museum. Marvel at dinosaur skeletons, explore ancient civilizations and discover interactive exhibits in this incredible find for natural history lovers! Take advantage of the opportunity to visit the Shedd Aquarium, where you can immerse yourself in underwater marvels and get close to fascinating marine creatures at the city’s heart.
  • Grant Park and the Chicago Riverwalk: Searching for a green space to unwind? Embrace the outdoors at Grant Park, a sprawling outdoor space that hosts various festivals and events throughout the summer. Remember to take a leisurely stroll along the picturesque Chicago Riverwalk, lined with trendy cafes, shops and scenic views of the city’s architectural wonders to complete the ideal Chicago visit.

Destination 2: Local State Parks |

Nature’s Playground

Glacial Park, Photo Credit: CheepShot

Immerse yourself in the natural beauty of Illinois by exploring the wonders of Chain O’ Lakes State Park, Glacial Park and Moraine Hills State Park. These state parks offer an array of outdoor activities that will keep your family entertained throughout the summer.

  • Chain O’ Lakes State Park: Embark on a boating adventure or cast a line for bass, catfish or muskie in the tranquil lakes of Chain O’ Lakes State Park. Locals love to lace up their hiking boots and wander through the scenic trails that wind through forests, wetlands and lakeshores. This beautiful example of Illinois’s natural beauty also features breathtaking landscapes best enjoyed with a picnic or a refreshing dip in designated swimming areas. 
  • Glacial Park: Discover the diverse landscapes of Glacial Park by hiking through its extensive trail system! Take in the rich prairies, woodlands and wetlands that surround you, or pack a picnic lunch and savor it at one of the park’s designated areas. You can even rent a canoe or kayak and paddle along the peaceful Nippersink Creek, enjoying the stunning natural scenery.
  • Moraine Hills State Park: If you’re curious about Illinois’s famous lakes and wetlands, grab a bike and head to Moraine Hills State Park to experience serene views and serenity along paved trails. Bring your fishing gear and picnic basket to cast your line into the lakes to try catching bass, crappie or bluegill and finish the day with a relaxing bite to eat surrounded by rolling hills, winding trails and local wildlife. Bring your own kayak or canoe, or rent one for a water adventure to explore the park’s lakes and waterways.

Destination 3: Six Flags Great America |

Thrills and Delights

Photo Credit: Jeremy Thomspon

Get ready for a day of adrenaline-pumping excitement at Six Flags Great America, a premier amusement park in Illinois! With a wide range of thrilling roller coasters and refreshing water rides, it’s the ultimate destination for thrill-seekers of all ages. The amusement park regularly hosts live entertainment shows and parades for visitors! Remember to explore the dedicated kids’ areas with age-appropriate rides and activities, ensuring endless fun for the entire family.

Destination 4: Milwaukee |

Cultural Enclave

Immerse yourself in Milwaukee, a vibrant cultural enclave on Lake Michigan. Enjoy the blend of historical and modern architecture while exploring world-class museums like the Milwaukee Art Museum and the interactive exhibits at the Milwaukee Public Museum. Indulge in a thriving culinary scene with local breweries and eclectic eateries and celebrate music and festivals, including Summerfest, Jazz in the Park and ethnic showcases. Visit Milwaukee’s revitalized Riverwalk and the arts district of Historic Third Ward or immerse yourself in the city’s sports culture, and cheer on the Brewers and Bucks. This captivating Midwest destination seamlessly blends history with contemporary charm.

Destination 5: Lake Geneva |

Scenic Retreat

Located in the heart of Wisconsin, Lake Geneva invites you to discover its haven of picturesque beauty. Prepare to be awestruck as you gaze upon the crystal-clear waters, reflecting the sun’s golden rays. Take your time exploring the enchanting lakeside villages, each with its own unique character and secrets waiting to be uncovered. Get ready to immerse yourself in the great outdoors, with activities like boating, fishing, hiking and biking, surrounded by breathtaking landscapes. Dive into the region’s fascinating history, visiting historical landmarks and museums that tell the story of its Native American heritage and its transformation into a beloved vacation destination for Chicago’s elite. And remember to treat your taste buds to a culinary symphony of flavors, as Lake Geneva boasts a diverse array of restaurants and cafes with panoramic lake views. Whether you crave tranquility or adventure, Lake Geneva promises an unforgettable experience filled with opulent mansions, warm hospitality and cherished memories that will last a lifetime.

Are you searching for the perfect home nearby these fantastic destinations in McHenry, Poplar Grove, Richmond, Illinois, or Williams Bay, Wisconsin? Gerstad Builders has the perfect home for your family! Contact our team to find your dream Gerstad home this summer! 

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