Bolingbrook, IL


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Bolingbrook, Illinois, is a well-established village, despite its comparatively short age as city histories go. The Village of Bolingbrook incorporated in 1965, and community spirit has blossomed along with the population. Throughout the city of 74,000, innovative recreational venues provide dozens of family-friendly things to do. With varied shopping, dining and entertainment opportunities centered in an open-air, Main Street-style mall, Bolingbrook invites visitors to discover just how much fun a village vacation can be.

A main Bolingbrook attraction is Illinois’ only indoor/outdoor water park. Pelican Harbor Aquatic Park, on the west side of town, offers a place to float, splash, soak and swim all year long, regardless of inclement weather. Outdoor highlights feature a lazy river, seven water slides, a diving board, zero-depth entry pool and even beach volleyball. Inside, watery fun is found at the beach-entry pool, three slides, lap pool and hot tub.

Water is also the big attraction at Bolingbrook’s Hidden Lakes Historic Trout Farm, a serene, 15-acre wildlife sanctuary. Anglers of all ages will be reeling from four lakes stocked year-round for sport fishing. Located off West Boughton Road, Hidden Lakes features fishing piers, a grassy picnic area and a biking/jogging path. Stop by the Tackle Box Bait Shop for fishing licenses and permits, live bait, tackle and snacks.

After fishing, visit Hidden Oaks Nature Center, also West Boughton Road. Nearly 80 acres of trails connect to Hidden Lakes and feature activity stations and outdoor exhibits, including a full-size wooly mammoth sculpted from reclaimed steel. Park-goers can investigate the 7,000-square-foot educational facility, built to resemble a tree stump on a grand scale. Kids will love the interactive nature displays and two-story rooftop garden, where families can picnic at café tables.

Central Park is a draw, especially if your good times roll on bikes, skateboards or rollerblades. Just southeast of Hidden Lakes, Central Park boasts one of the Midwest’s premier skate parks, Central Park Skate Plaza—about one-third of an acre’s worth of poured-concrete challenges—and admission is free. Bolingbrook visitors can find more rolling thrills at another local hangout, Indian Boundary Skate Park, in a sports park just west of Hidden Lakes.

If rolling hills are more your speed, check out Boughton Ridge Golf Course, an executive-length, nine-hole public course off East Boughton Road. The par-32 course is suited for families but still challenges seasoned golfers. Spanning 45 scenic acres, Boughton Ridge fairways guide golfers along Lily Cache Creek and a tranquil lake.

For the challenges that only shopping can provide, head to Promenade Bolingbrook. Anchored by Macy’s and Bass Pro Shops, the pedestrian-friendly mall has more than 75 major retailers, specialty shops and restaurants. A quick walk away are dining and shopping options such as IKEA and Bed Bath and Beyond. The center is easily accessible from Boughton Road and I-355.

Getting the right mix of tourist attractions, recreational opportunities, outdoor fun and indoor entertainment can be challenging when planning your family’s next vacation destination. Sometimes, though, the answer is a village like Bolingbrook.