• Katie Nork

Local Summer Shenanigans

Summer is finally upon us here in Illinois. Most of us are probably looking to make some memories this summer but without the cost. The Joliet-area has some great places to do just that. Here are some places to have some fun this summer without a huge price tag.

The Joliet Area Historical Museum

Photo courtesy of curioustraveler66.com

The Joliet Area Historical Museum is a fun way to learn about the history of Joliet. The museum features many interactive exhibits, audio-visual presentations and more to teach visitors about the rich history of this city. The museum is open Monday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is just $7, $6 if you have a valid student ID. There are two free days coming up this summer if you really don’t want to spend the money; Saturday, June 4 and Wednesday, July 20. The museum is located at 204 Ottawa St in Downtown Joliet. You could even visit some great restaurants in Downtown Joliet for lunch! I personally recommend Chicago Street Pub, The Blue Taco or Juliet’s Tavern.

Forest Preserve Parks

Photo courtesy of illinoistocht.com

Visit any of the Forest Preserve District of Will County’s many parks in Joliet. The Lower Rock Run Preserve I&M Canal Access is a great park that you can visit to hike, bike or even rollerblade. The park has a 9.93-mile paved trail perfect for biking and rollerblading and access to the 61.5-mile, crushed limestone I&M Canal State Trail. Pack a picnic basket and spread out a blanket to enjoy lunch in the outdoors. The Lower Rock Run Preserve is located off Houbolt Road in Joliet. You can visit the Joliet Iron Works Historic Site too if you’re a history buff. There are many other parks in Will County that you can visit if you’d like to get out of Joliet for a day! The Forest Preserve has dog parks too if you have a furry friend. Dog parks require a permit though, so check out the Will County Forest Preserve website for more information.

Splash Station Water Park

Photo courtesy of Williams-Archiects.com

Did you know that Joliet has their own little water park? Well you do now! The water park has tube slides, a lazy river and more. The park even has a café if you get hungry. If you are a Joliet resident tickets are only $9 and if you aren’t a Joliet resident that’s ok because a non-resident is still only $13! The park is open Sunday through Thursday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Friday and Saturday 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. If you want to go for even cheaper you can go during twilight hours and get a special rate! Twilight hours are Sunday through Thursday 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. and Friday and Saturday 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Twilight rates are $5 for residents and $7 for non-residents.

Haunted Trails

Photo courtesy of hauntedtrailsjoliet.com

Haunted Trails is a great place for people of all ages to go. I still love going there! There are so many different things that you can do. From mini golf, go-karts, the game room and so much more, you’re sure to find something that you like! All of the activities have a separate cost which can add up but if you do only a few things it’s pretty affordable.

Naper Settlement

Photo courtesy of napersettlement.org

This one is a little bit of a haul from Joliet, but if you have a day to spend here I highly recommend it. Like the name states, Naper Setttlement is located in Naperville. Naper Settlement is a 19th century settlement that visitors can walk through and go into the buildings. There is a blacksmith shop, a schoolhouse, a print shop and many more 19th century buildings that you can look through to make you feel like you lived in the 1800s. This is one of the coolest places that I have ever been to. It only costs $12 to get in and it is open Monday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sundays 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. I highly recommend taking the day off and spending time walking through all of the buildings.

I hope that you can make some great memories this summer by visiting these places! Make the most of this summer with your family and friends without breaking the bank.

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