20 Things to do in Lincoln, Illinois...

I have many, many clients who travel to my studio from all over the Central Illinois area for their photo session! Whether you are looking for something to do after your session or are trying to entertain siblings during a newborn session, I have compiled this list of things to do in Lincoln while you are here, better yet, MOST are within walking distance from my studio! 

1.) Parks: Lincoln has many parks but there are 2 parks and 2 school playgrounds within walking distance of my studio. (1) Scully Park: located right off the square this park has swings, a structure playset built like a firetruck, a play firehouse, and a BEAUTIFUL fountain, (2) Latham Park: located off the square right across the street from the Lincoln Public Library. This park has swings, a wooden structure playset, and a giant cement tunnel for littles to crawl through, (3) Central Elementary School Playground, (4) Carrol Catholic School Playground

2.) The Square: The square is just a short 2 minute walk away from my studio. It is home to many restaurants, shops, our beautiful, historic courthouse, a beautifully rebuilt theater, as well as many other attractions. There are historical markers located in many spots for you to educate yourself on Downtown Lincoln's rich history. 

3.) Guest House Coffee & Pastries: This coffee house is new to Lincoln and is a great spot to go with the entire family. They have delicious locally-roasted coffee as well as some of their own roasted beans! Don't like coffee? No problem! They have a WIDE selection of gourmet treats baked fresh daily that will not disappoint. Plus, they provide a variety of games that you and your family can enjoy while enjoying your yummy treats. To Find out more, visit their website HERE

4.) Lincoln Public Library: If you aren't a resident of Lincoln, you wont be able to check out the books, but there is still plenty for you to enjoy here! Located right off the square the Lincoln Public Library has a designated kids building that holds, toys, felt boards, books, coloring pages, puzzles, computer games, and many other activities for you to enjoy. Check out more information HERE. 

5.) Train Station: located right off the square this historical site right off the square has a rich history. In 1853 Abraham Lincoln used watermelon juice to christen the town of Lincoln, Illinois, near this very site. It thus became the first town named after Abraham Lincoln before he was famous. This station is also used for Amtrak trains! Find out more about that train depots rich history, HERE

6.) Thrifting & Antiquing: as a photographer, thrifting is one of my favorite hobbies. I am constantly on the lookout for unique props that I can use for photoshoots. There are 5 amazing shops I love to visit right on the square (1) Witz End Boutique, (2) Pink Shutter Thrift Shop, (3) Copper Penny, (4) ReNew, and (5) Cherished Memories

7.) Lincoln Grand 8 Theater: This beautifully redone theater is located right off the square and 2 minutes from the studio. They provide a wide selection of snacks and movies and the building is beautiful! Find out more information & Showtimes, HERE. 

8.) Food: I love me some local restaurants and this is a list of places everyone should try! All but 1 are within walking distance of my studio. Here they are: (1) Guzzardos Italian Villa, (2) Sorrento's Pizzeria, (3) Peggy's Place Bakery, (4) Flossie and Delzena's Gourmet Grind & Gift, (5) El Mazatlán Mexican Restaurant, (6) Chi, (7) Deep Roots Bakery & Café, (8) The Mama's Arcade Café, and (9) Bluedog Inn.

9) Russell Stover Candies: I love me some yummy treats! Make sure you stop in at this Russell Stover Candy Store to get homemade fudge, old fashioned ice cream, traditional Russell Stover candy, gourmet caramel apples and more. More information and hours can be found HERE. 

10.) Cindy's Cottage: Although Cindy's Cottage isn't within walking distance of my store, it is worth visiting while you are here. This shop is home to boutique clothing and jewelry, bath salts/bombs, candles, vintage and farmhouse furniture & décor and much more. There is something for everyone! More information HERE

11.) Lincoln Park District Rec. Center (Summer Only): If you are here in the summer and you love to swim, check out Lincoln Park District's Recreation Center. Their outdoor swimming area is clean and fun! It has a great toddler/childrens area with new play equipment, and water spouts. They also have a regular sized pool with a slide that older kids will enjoy! More information HERE. 

12.) World's Largest Covered Wagon: This roadside attraction isn't walking distance from the studio but it is certainly worth seeing. This 24' tall covered wagon is being driven by a 12' tall Abe! More information HERE.

13.) Lincoln Heritage Museum: This museum is located on the campus of Lincoln College. It shares the life, legacy and character of Abraham Lincoln in engaging and entertaining ways and is home to a vast collection of historical 19th century artifacts. The first floor showcases more than one hundred rare and original historic pieces relating to Lincoln and the Civil War, complete with stimulating visuals and story-telling which complement the pieces and provide historical context. Upstairs through object reproductions, attractive graphics, and realistic 19th-century room recreations, it is an excellent opportunity for you to engage with history and feel like you are stepping into the past. For more information, click HERE

14.) Wildlife Parks: Edward Madigan State Fish & Wildlife Park, is a 974 acre conservation area that houses multiple covered picnic areas, a playground, trails, hunting, a beautiful river, and wildlife viewing.  Kickapoo Creek State Park, is a beautiful 160-acre wooded park. It has over 10 miles of trails, covered picnic areas, canoeing, fishing, and a beautiful wooden bridge. 

15.) Sir Renna Tea: Sir Renna Tea is located on the square of downtown Lincoln and historic route 66 and only a short walk away from the studio. Come here to enjoy delicious bubble tea, snacks, and shop unique gift items including Route 66 souvenirs. 

17.) Abes Caramelcorn Shoppe: Newly renovated, Abe's  offers a unique retail shopping experience, merging the nostalgic small town feel, with a cutting edge selection of merchandise. Make sure you stop in to get some of their famous caramel corn, cheesecorn, and mix corn! el corn, cheesecorn, and mix corn! 

18.) Small Town Creations: This little studio located on the square provides a twist on the traditional paint night parties. Host a vinyl workshop and take your work of art home the same evening. Custom work available too! More details, HERE. 

19.) Mel-O-Cream Donuts: This donut shop has been family owned and operated since 1964 and will not disappoint with their delicious treats! More information HERE. 

20.) Lincoln's Loft: If you are looking for a place to stay, Lincoln's loft is a beautifully renovated loft apartment in downtown Lincoln, IL. just completed in June of 2018! Featuring the original hardwood floors, and exposed brick walls, this fully equipped loft preserves the historical feel but with modern amenities! This loft is located on the square in downtown Lincoln and just a short walk away to everything you might need, including my studio! Stay for 1 night or 10 in this beautiful place! 

While this isn't everything Lincoln has to offer, these are some of my favorites. :) Enjoy! 

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