Welcome to Morton, Illinois! This friendly community has been nationally recognized as one of the best places in the United States for families to live. Now that you’re here, what should you do first? Read on to find out some of the Central Illinois attractions that Morton residents should be sure to visit.
Make a splash at the community pool, located in Idlewood Park. The swimming pool is open from late May through early August each year. There’s a zero-entry kiddie pool with a splash zone play area. The swimming pool also has two waterslides that add to the fun of a hot summer day. When you need a break from swimming, relax in the shade and take advantage of the aquatic center’s free Wi-Fi. Season passes to the pool are available.
This is a once-a-year event, and it’s not to be missed! The Village of Morton said, “The Morton Pumpkin Festival, held annually in the fall, is known throughout Central Illinois for its jam-packed lineup of pumpkin-themed activities for the whole family.” There are live music performances, recipe contests, pumpkin games, food booths, and children’s pageants. Other activities include a lip sync contest, a competitive run, a craft fair, a carnival, and more. Of course, there’s no shortage of pumpkin theming throughout this four-day festival. They don’t call this town the Pumpkin Capital of the World for nothing!
From Morton, it’s just a short drive to the larger community of Peoria, Illinois. There you’ll find the Peoria Riverfront Museum. In addition to housing an assortment of permanent displays, such as the Duryea Motor Trap and the Illinois River Encounter, the museum rotates in a number of traveling exhibitions throughout the year. The museum’s Giant Screen Theater is a 5-story-high movie screen with a digital sound system. The theater shows state-of-the-art 3D films, many of which are educational. There is also a planetarium on site. A visit to this facility will give you a close-up, educational look at the arrangement of the night sky. The Peoria Riverfront Museum has a regular schedule of interesting programming for people of all ages.
Morton Community Bikeway
Pedaling down Morton’s bike trail is a great way to get some exercise and explore this lovely community. The paved trail is 2.5 miles long. It begins near the intersection of Jefferson, Decatur, and Jackson Streets and travels west from there. For even more bicycle adventuring, the end of the trail connects to the Fon du Lac Park District’s River Trail in East Peoria. Plus, the Morton Community Bikeway has a one-mile extension trail, ending at Westwood Park, that runs north along Veterans Road. Dogs are welcome on the trail, so bring along your leashed pup!
Children’s Discovery Museum
It’s an easy drive from Morton to the nearby community of Bloomington-Normal, Illinois. This is the home of the three-story Children’s Discovery Museum. Kids of all ages–and kids at heart–will enjoy the hands-on learning opportunities that fill this facility. There are pretend grocery and pizza shops, agricultural exhibits, a water play area, giant musical instruments that really work, and a climbing structure. An art center will appeal to the creative types in your group, and a baby and toddler area will keep the littlest visitors entertained. A full line-up of interactive programming enhances the museum experience.
Disc Golf Course
The Morton Park District operates a nationally rated disc golf facility at Northwood Park. Playing a round of disc golf offers both exercise and entertainment, and the rules are easy for anyone to learn. Northwood Park is a 108-acre facility that also includes sledding hills, a playground, and nature trails. A picnic shelter and restrooms make this a good place for the whole family to spend a leisurely day.
Prepare to become a Minor League Baseball fan! The Peoria Chiefs play at Dozer Park, and watching this Midwest League team play is a popular summer pastime in Central Illinois. Affordable tickets and manageable crowds make Chiefs games a good family activity. The stadium even has a Kids Zone for children who need to stretch their legs during a game, and the concession stands are a great place to grab a mid-game snack or drink.