7 Ways to Spend a Fun Weekend in Downers Grove, IL
Although Chicago is usually the star of the show, the village suburb of Downers Grove, Illinois, is a lovely destination for history and relaxation. Featuring beautiful outdoor locations to enjoy nature, tons of unique eateries, and an array of Victorian-era architecture, Downers Grove is located just 30 minutes outside of Chicago between I-88 and I-55. This historic village was founded in 1832 and has a current population of 50,000 people. One of its earliest homes was a stop on the Underground Railroad and is open to tourists to visit and explore.
Whether you’re visiting for an evening or a weekend, we want to highlight some of the best ways to spend time outside the big city in our lovely village of Downers Grove. In addition to our store, where we buy your gold, jewelry, and collectibles for cash, we’ll also present some of our favorite places to eat, shop, and explore in the village after your visit with us at Americash.
Shop and Dine at the Locally Owned Businesses and Boutiques Downtown
A stroll through Downtown Downers Grove will have you discovering a huge variety of local boutiques, shops, and eateries. Full of plazas, fountains, and decorated sidewalks, we highly doubt that you’ll be able to find yourself bored. There are tons of eye-catching and unique businesses, such as Pinecone Cottage Tea House, which regularly hosts European-themed food and tea events, Fair Game, a geek’s paradise that hosts regular Magic the Gathering sessions, and Two Way Street Coffee House, which hosts live folk music every Friday night. Plus, there’s always a packed calendar with even more local events to participate in.
Discover Nature on the Trails at Hidden Lake Forest Preserve
The beautiful forest preserve at Hidden Lake is made up of 390 acres of natural land and offers opportunities to fish, paddle, picnic, hike, or boat. It’s the home of King’s Grove, a woodland of red, white, and bur oaks, Round Meadow Lake, and Eagle Lake. You’ll also find two miles of trails, dozens of picnic tables, and a 50-person picnic shelter that can be reserved for family reunions or parties. This beautiful preserve is open daily to explorers from one hour after sunrise to one hour after sunset.
Visit the Museum to Learn the History of Downers Grove
Downers Grove Museum, part of Wandschneider Park, is a perfect place to spend a rainy afternoon. Nestled inside two houses dating from 1846 and 1892, the museum offers plenty of materials and exhibits to engage Downers Grove locals and visitors alike. Visit a one-room log cabin believed to have served as a stop for people fleeing slavery on the Underground Railroad during the Civil War, or take your time strolling through a sprawling Victorian home with period styling. Also featured on the museum grounds is the lovely Wildflower Walk pathway, a heritage vegetable garden, and a gazebo. Be sure to take advantage of the picnic tables and natural areas to relax in after your tour of the grounds.
Grab a Bite of Ultra-Fresh Seafood at Parkers’ Restaurant & Bar
There are plenty of places to eat a tasty meal in Downers Grove, but one of our favorites is Parkers’ Restaurant & Bar. For some gourmet comfort, visit this cozy restaurant housed inside of a New England-style freestanding building on Highland Avenue. There is a mosaic-tiled open kitchen adjacent to a cozy 150-seat dining room, a lovely bar with high wooden ceilings, and a comfortable cocktail lounge with live piano entertainment in the evenings. Offering fresh seafood dishes (so fresh that, sometimes, your meal is caught after you order) and locally sourced ingredients, Parkers’ Restaurant & Bar is a must-visit.
Attend Trivia Nights and Craft Beer Yoga at Alter Brewing Company
Alter Brewing Company is not your mother’s brewery. With a constantly rotating schedule of pop-up restaurants and unique activities, the taproom location in Downers Grove has no shortage of fun things to do any day of the week. They offer a wide variety of taster or full pour beers, ciders, and snacks from local companies, such as Boombox Pretzels and Coleen’s Breadsticks. On Tuesdays, join in on Alter’s trivia night, and watch for occasions where you can catch pop-up markets, food trucks, beer yoga, or live music.
Watch a Movie and Hear the Pipe Organ at the Historic Tivoli Theatre
The Tivoli Theatre is a family-owned, fully restored cinema with two screens and plenty of historical ambience. You can catch the latest film, get free refills of popcorn and fountain drinks, drink cocktails at the bar, and even enjoy live music from a Wurlitzer pipe organ before every Friday evening screening. Both screening rooms offer 7.1 surround sound and 4K projection, and the second auditorium features luxurious heated reclining seats. Plus, if by 30 minutes in you don’t like the movie you’re watching, you can get a full refund.
Stay Overnight at Sybaris Pool Suites
Voted the Best Romantic Getaway in the U.S. by the International Hospitality Rating Bureau, Sybaris Pool Suites is a unique escape where every cottage suite features its own private whirlpool hot tub, and sometimes, an additional private swimming pool. Rates start at just $79 per night, with the most luxurious suite, the Chalet Swimming Pool, featuring a 5′ x 7′ whirlpool hot tub, a steam room, a fireplace, a massage chair, and a 19′ swimming pool with a waterfall and a slide. This one-of-a-kind getaway is certainly worth checking out.
Visit Us at Americash in Downers Grove, Illinois
So, there you have it. Downers Grove offers so many activities for people of all ages that we simply had to share our favorites with you. Will you be trying out any of our recommendations on your next visit to this historic Chicago suburb? Let us know what you’re especially looking forward to seeing in the village.
If you’re looking to make some cash, we at Americash buy gold, jewelry, coins, and other collectibles at top prices. Every visitor receives a free appraisal on the item(s) they wish to sell, and every sale results in immediate cash in hand. We hope you enjoy your time in Downers Grove, and we look forward to meeting you here at Americash.