From museums and man-made marvels to the wonders of the natural world, Illinois has near-limitless opportunities for family fun. Check out this list for some of the top kid-friendly spots and activities in Illinois.

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uofiIllinois attracts students from all over the world. More global scholars choose to study at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign than any other American public university. The only university with more students from around the globe is the University of Southern California, a private institution.

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cyclingMuch of the original alignment of the legendary Mother Road, which carried cars from Chicago to California, has been designated as part of the Route 66 Trail and is just a small part of the thousands of miles of bike routes in Illinois.

Whether you are planning an epic bike tour of the state or just want a leisurely ride with family, Illinois is home to a route that will meet the needs of any bicyclist. This excellent map, put together by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, shows the breadth of the state’s bicycling infrastructure.

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Art in Illinois isn’t confined to cities or art museums, it is in our streets, parks, civic spaces and restaurants. Illinois artist Felicia Olin’s works in paint and mixed media include familiar faces and places in our state. Born in Marion County, Felicia studied art at Benedictine University and Illinois State University and lives in Springfield. See Felicia’s art and where it has appeared on her website.


ILI: How long have you been an artist or when did you start?
Olin: It is hard to say how long I have been an artist because I have been obsessed with making art since I was able to grab a crayon and scribble.

There was never a time in my memory where it wasn't important to me. If there was any particular moment where I became aware of the potential of art in my life, that moment was in 8th grade when my art teacher, Wanda Riseman, entered my work into the Scholastic Art Competition and I had one of my pieces sent to New York for their national judging. It was motivating to know that this thing I just did naturally had some merit.

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Illinois continues to be one of the top destinations in the United States for international visitors. In 2012, Illinois had more than 2 million visitors, which ranked 6th in the country. Chicago had 1.4 million visitors.

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