Welcome to DeKalb, Illinois. Situated in DeKalb County, this city is known for its rich history, vibrant culture, and diverse attractions. Whether you’re a local looking for something new to do or a tourist seeking an exciting adventure, there’s something here for everyone. From outdoor activities to educational experiences and everything in between, let’s explore some of the best things to do when visiting DeKalb.
Ellwood House Museum
The Ellwood House Museum is a historic landmark  located near downtown DeKalb. Built in 1879 by Isaac L. Ellwood, the museum is open to visitors from all over the world who come to learn about the history of this unique home and its many features. The Ellwood House offers guided tours, special events, and educational programs for all ages throughout the year.
The home was originally a 250-acre estate and includes a carriage house, barns, greenhouses, and other outbuildings. Today, the mansion houses a variety of collections including fine art, period furniture and decorative arts dating from the 17th to 19th centuries.
Downtown DeKalb is a bustling hub filled with interesting shops and restaurants that offer something for everyone. Whether you’re looking for vintage clothing or unique souvenirs, you can find it here. Plus, there are plenty of great bars and music venues to keep you entertained while exploring the area.
There are many popular restaurants with delicious food, local shops with unique apparel and gifts, as well as historic landmarks to explore. Downtown DeKalb is home to the historic Egyptian Theatre which hosts various performances throughout the year. The city also hosts several parades and festivals throughout the year such as the popular First Fridays event in August and September. Additionally, downtown DeKalb is home to Northern Illinois University, making it a great place for students to take part in some exciting activities.
The Egyptian Theatre in DeKalb, IL is home to productions from both community theatre groups and professional companies, as well as live music performances, special lectures, film screenings, and more. The Egyptian Theatre also offers educational programs for children and adults alike. The intimate atmosphere of the theatre creates an exciting experience for all guests who visit.
This iconic theatre hosts live performances from a variety of genres including comedy shows, musicals, plays, concerts and more. It’s a great place to enjoy an evening out with friends or family while discovering what this city has to offer.
Glidden Homestead is a historic house museum located in DeKalb, Illinois. It was built in 1856 by Joseph F. Glidden, the inventor of barbed wire. The house stands as a major part of DeKalb’s history and serves as a reminder of the important role that Glidden and his invention had in the development of the Midwest.
The homestead itself is now owned by the DeKalb County Historical Society and includes Glidden’s office, barn, smokehouse, blacksmith shop, and other outbuildings surrounding the main house. Visitors can tour these buildings to learn about 19th century life in rural Illinois and see artifacts from Glidden’s life. The site also hosts special events throughout the year, such as craft fairs and educational programs for school groups.
If you’re looking for outdoor activities during your visit to DeKalb then look no further than Glidden Homestead. This popular attraction features over 200 acres of beautiful woodlands with trails that are perfect for hiking or biking. You can also explore the site’s historical buildings which include an old barn and farmhouse dating back to 1837.
NIU Art Museum
For those interested in art and culture then be sure not miss out on visiting the NIU Art Museum. Here you will find a wide selection of artwork from many different periods including contemporary art as well as pieces from ancient cultures around the world. The museum also hosts various exhibitions throughout the year catering towards different interests so be sure to check their calendar online before visiting.
The NIU Art Museum in DeKalb, Illinois is a cultural center dedicated to showcasing the work of contemporary artists—both local and international—as well as providing educational resources and engaging programming for the community. The museum features five galleries which showcase works from a range of time periods and styles, including modern and contemporary art, Asian art, African-American art, photography, prints and drawings.
Pick Museum of Anthropology
Located on Northern Illinois University’s campus is Pick Museum of Anthropology which houses an impressive collection of artifacts from all across the globe. These range from Native American pottery and tools used by ancient civilizations up through modern gadgets used today – making it one of the most comprehensive collections available in any museum. Visitors can take guided tours throughout this incredible facility while learning more about anthropology and its impact on society today.
It features archaeological and ethnographic collections from around the world, including the Americas, Africa, Asia, and Europe. The museum also has an extensive library with over 10,000 books and journals related to anthropology. The museum is part of Northern Illinois University (NIU) and provides educational opportunities to students at all levels. The exhibit space includes interactive displays that allow visitors to explore different cultures through artifacts and multimedia presentations.
Whiskey Acres Distilling Co.
For those who appreciate craft drinks then be sure not miss out on stopping by Whiskey Acres Distilling Co., located just outside downtown DeKalb. This award-winning distillery produces some truly unique spirits such as bourbon whiskey aged in charred white oak barrels as well as vodka made from locally-grown corn that was harvested within miles of their facility – making each sip that much more enjoyable.
Whiskey Acres Distilling Co. is a family-owned and operated craft distillery located in DeKalb, IL. It was founded by Jim and Jaime Walz in 2012 with the goal of creating exceptional whiskey from locally sourced ingredients.
The distillery specializes in small batch whiskeys, such as its signature Straight Bourbon, Corn Whiskey, Rye Whiskey, and Single Malt Whiskey. In addition to these products, Whiskey Acres also produces other spirits including vodka, gin, moonshine, brandy and liqueurs.
Star Worlds Arcade
If you’re looking for some family fun then head over to Star Worlds Arcade located just north of downtown DeKalb for some classic gaming fun with friends or family members young and old alike. This arcade offers over 50 vintage games ranging from pinball machines (including some classic favorites) up through modern video games like Mario Kart – ensuring there’s something here everyone will enjoy playing together while spending quality time together away from screens at home.
The facility also features a state-of-the-art laser tag arena and an indoor playground. The staff at Star Worlds Arcade is friendly and helpful, providing assistance with game play and game selection. In addition to the gaming options, Star Worlds Arcade offers a variety of food choices including pizza, hot dogs, nachos, popcorn, candy, ice cream and other snacks. The arcade also hosts special events such as birthday parties and movie nights.
Prairie Park is a large public park located in DeKalb, Illinois. It offers a variety of activities for visitors to enjoy, including walking and biking trails, picnic areas, playgrounds, fishing ponds, and an observation tower. There is also a Frisbee golf course and disc golf course on the grounds. The park is surrounded by native prairie grasses, which creates a tranquil atmosphere.
Prairie Park provides is full of nature trails where they can explore all sorts of native species living within it such as birds, butterflies and other wildlife – perfect if you’re looking for an outdoor adventure during your visit. There are also picnic areas where families can relax after exploring this stunning park along with playground equipment suitable for children aged 2-12 years old so don’t forget your camera when visiting here too – there are so many beautiful picturesque moments waiting to be captured here at Prairie Park too.
River Heights Golf Course
Are you looking forward hitting some golf balls? Then River Heights Golf Course is just what you need during your visit to Dekalb IL – This championship 18-hole public golf course prides itself on offering players an unforgettable experience with its challenging yet fair layout balanced against stunning natural surroundings – perfect if you’re wanting a quick game without taking up too much time away from other attractions nearby too.
The course offers a scenic view of the Kishwaukee River, winding through the lush green fairways and rolling hills. The course is well maintained and offers a challenging yet enjoyable golf experience for all levels of players. The course features four sets of tees ranging from 4,938 to 6,564 yards that provide a unique challenge for players of all ages and skill levels. The fairways are lined with mature trees and the greens are fast and true. Facilities at River Heights include a pro shop, driving range, practice green, putting green, and snack bar.
If drinking craft beer is more your thing then don’t forget about Forge Brewhouse – Located within walking distance near Downtown Dekalb IL – This brewery source their ingredients locally whenever possible allowing them create truly unique flavors that will please even those most discerning drinkers amongst us.
The brewpub offers an extensive selection of beers brewed on site, as well as a full menu of signature dishes inspired by the Midwest region. The taproom features several flat-screen TVs, games and other entertainment options for guests to enjoy. Forge also hosts live music performances from local bands throughout the year. With its unique atmosphere and delicious beer and food selections, Forge Brewhouse is the perfect spot for friends to gather for an evening of fun.
Annie’s Woods provides visitors with rustic beauty within nature itself – Here visitors will find lush forests filled trees ranging anywhere between 10-30 feet tall providing ample opportunities hikers & birdwatchers alike getting up close personal view these magnificent creatures whilst enjoying peaceful setting surrounded by greenery & serenity. Plus there’s even BBQ pits & picnic tables scattered across park should visitors wish set up campfire meal after long days worth activity.
During the warmer months, wildflowers bloom throughout the area, creating an enchanting atmosphere. There are plenty of trails to explore, with winding paths leading you through the forest and along its many creeks and streams. Wildlife abounds here; it’s not uncommon to see deer or other animals while exploring the woods.
Katz Park offers visitors picturesque views situated along Kishwaukee River within heart Dekalbs bustling downtown area – Here guests can take leisurely strolls along paths winding through park whilst taking numerous photo opportunities abound thanks abundance wildlife living nearby too. There’s even playground equipment available kids ensuring whole family get benefit out trip here whilst parents relax knowing they’re safe hands.
The park also has an outdoor amphitheater for concerts and other events, as well as walking paths for visitors to enjoy the natural beauty of the park. There is also plenty of parking available. Katz Park is a great place to spend time outdoors with friends and family or just to take a stroll and enjoy nature.
Shabbona Lake State Park
Shabbona Lake State Park is a 622-acre park and is located on the shores of Shabbona Lake, which is a 220-acre man-made lake. Visitors to the park can enjoy camping, fishing, hunting, boating, and swimming. The park also offers trails for hiking and biking, picnic areas with grills and tables, playgrounds and more.
Winter activities include cross-country skiing and snowmobiling. The park has a campground with sites for both tents and RVs as well as cabins that can be rented. There’s also a restaurant in the park that serves breakfast and lunch.
Every summer corn fields near Dekalbs heart come alive thanks annual Corn Fest celebration held during August month every year and typically consists of a variety of activities such as carnival rides, live music, a parade, and of course plenty of delicious food.
The highlight of the festival is the “World’s Largest Corn Maze” which gives visitors a chance to explore the history and culture of DeKalb County. The maze usually features several acres of corn stalks that have been intricately carved into a giant design. Other attractions include tractor pulls, petting zoos, street performers, and more. Corn Fest has been part of the local community for over 25 years and continues to provide family fun for all ages.
Gurler House another historical landmark situated near downtown Dekalbs center built around mid 1800s serves reminder days gone past allowing guests travel back time learn how people lived eras gone by effortlessly. Plus guided tours available those wanting delve deeper into history house whilst getting peek into every nook cranny makes worthwhile visit place definitely worth checking out.
The two-story brick Greek Revival style house is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The house features a symmetrical five-bay façade, with a central entrance flanked by two two-story columns and topped with a triangular pediment. Inside, the home includes original wood trim, doors and windows. It also has six fireplaces, some of which are still intact. Outside, there is an original barn and smokehouse from the 19th century as well as several outbuildings from various periods in history.
Buena Vista Golf Course
Buena Vista Golf Course another great spot tee off during weekend offering challenging yet fair layout anyone golfers. Plus course features water hazards sand traps wooden bridges lots keeping players entertained round plus clubhouse restaurant providing meals snacks ensure no one goes hungry afterwards either.
Buena Vista Golf Course is a 9-hole, par-3 golf course. The course features rolling hills and tree-lined fairways with six par 3s and three par 4s. The short course measures 1,919 yards from the longest tees and has a USGA rating of 68.7 with a slope rating of 115. The course also includes a driving range and practice area with target greens, bunkers and two putting greens. Buena Vista also has an onsite pro shop offering everything needed for an enjoyable round of golf.
Another iconic theater located downtown Dekalbs center Egyptian Theater spectacular building currently hosts number live performances theatre music concerts standup comedy shows film screenings plus lot more ensuring everyone finds something watch enjoy night.
The theatre is an example of a classic movie palace, featuring a lobby and auditorium designed in an Egyptian Revival style. The theatre originally served as a vaudeville and silent movie house before becoming exclusively a movie theater. Today, the theatre continues to show films as well as host live performances and special events. With its grandiose auditorium and ornate decoration, the Egyptian Theatre is one of DeKalb’s most beloved cultural landmarks.
Rochelle Railroad Park
Rochelle Railroad Park ideal spot railway enthusiasts boasting number artifacts equipment steam locomotives trains cars even dining car allowing guests revisit days railroads were main form transportation throughout country. Plus museum containing vast array displays items related railway era make trip park worthwhile experience indeed.
Visitors can view vintage locomotives and rolling stock, explore a museum dedicated to local railroad history, and take part in educational events such as model train displays and railroad safety classes. The park also has playgrounds, picnic areas, a campground, trails for biking or walking, fishing areas, and an outdoor amphitheater.
As discussed above Dekalb IL packed full exciting activities attractions waiting explored whether visitor local resident alike whether seeking educational experiences outdoor adventures craft beer tasting sessions theme parks plenty pick choose suit individual tastes occasions. So why wait book tickets head down discover what city truly has offer today?