Downers’ Grove is a bustling Chicago suburb that offers a small town vibe near the big city. Bursting with unique boutiques and eateries, it’s also a haven for outdoor enthusiasts, with plenty of parks and hiking trails. While there’s plenty to do here all year long, as the weather warms up during the spring, many older adults are ready to hit the road and explore all the surrounding area has to offer.
As you plan your spring getaway, here are some suggestions on perfect day trips for seniors in the Downers Grove area.
1. Chicago Botanic Garden
The Chicago Botanic Garden is an unexpected way to enjoy the Windy City. Featuring 27 astonishing gardens across 385 acres and nine islands, this living plant museum offers year-round exhibits. However, spring is an especially exciting time to explore all the gardens have to offer. The Forest Preserve District of Cook County manages the site, which also provides educational classes and even degree programs in addition to its expansive agronomic displays. Best of all, it’s only 45 minutes from Downers Grove by car, and is easily accessible via Metra commuter rail.
2. Village of Oak Park
If you want an even breezier day trip, the Village of Oak Park is also connected to Downers Grove by Metra rail, and the two suburbs lie only about twenty minutes apart. Oak Park boasts a rich architectural history. Frank Lloyd Wright settled in Oak Park in 1889 and built many homes here, as well as the Unity Temple. The area’s quaint boutiques, eclectic breweries and unique historical tours offer a little something for everyone. Take the day and explore the Oak Park Conservatory, take a Frank Lloyd Wright architectural tour, see the Ernest Hemingway Birthplace Museum or take in a film at the Classic Cinemas Lake Theater.
3. Six Flags Great America
Popular with people of all ages (but also a great day trip when family comes to visit) the Six Flags Great America is about an hour’s drive from Downers Grove in Gurnee, Illinois. The park spans 304 acres and offers a mix of thrill rides and family-friendly activities. It also hosts unique events and shows in the spring, so be sure to check their event calendar. On-site restaurants are a mix of snack shacks and fast-casual venues, but there are a few more classic dining options in the surrounding area.
4. Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Milwaukee is about 90 minutes away from Downers Grove by car, and offers a change of pace for those used to spending much of their time in Chicagoland. This is a town that loves its beer, motorcycles and festivals. Home to the Harley-Davidson museum and numerous boutique breweries, there are also numerous parks to explore. Shop for locally made treasures at the Milwaukee Public Market, take a stroll along the Milwaukee RiverWalk or practice your swing at one of the city’s seventy-five golf courses.
5. Kettle Moraine State Forest
A bit further afield, the Kettle Moraine State Forest is a two hour drive from Downers’ Grove, about 45 minutes north of Milwaukee. Spring is the perfect season to take a day and explore some of the forest’s 30,000 acres of rolling hills, shimmering lakes and towering woodlands. Start your journey at the forest’s Henry S. Reuss Ice Age Visitor Center, where you can pick up a map and get tips from the locals about some of the area’s hidden gems.
Celebrate The Spring at Oak Trace
As a premier senior living community in Downers Grove, Illinois, Oak Trace curates vibrant and sophisticated lifestyles that promote healthy aging in every season. Award-winning chefs select in-season produce to create classic tasty springtime fare. Outdoor fitness classes and springtime activities and celebrations take advantage of the shifting season, giving residents numerous opportunities to enjoy all that this time of year has to offer.
Curious about what living at Oak Trace is really like? Schedule a tour to learn more, or complete the form below, and we’ll be in touch.