Decatur is well known throughout the United States for its first-rate recreational facilities. The Decatur Park District Covers over 200 acres, with 42 parks, three golf course, more than 40 tennis courts, public zoo, swimming and sailing facilities. With year-round programs there is something for everyone. Lake Decatur is a beautiful, five-basin lake that provides picturesque beaches for walking, cycling, jogging and hiking for all ages.
Abraham Lincoln came to Decatur from Indiana in 1830, and later gave his first political speech at the corner of Main and Main (now known as Lincoln Square). In 1860, Decatur hosted the Illinois Republican Convention (known as “The Wigwam”) where Lincoln received the Presidential nomination and was dubbed “The Railsplitter Candidate” by John Hanks and Richard Oglesby.
On the bluffs overlooking the Sangamon River, six rolling acres form a living herbal bouquet. Garden and gift shop are open to the public for viewing and buying 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mon. – Sat. and noon to 5 p.m. Sun. Group tours, programs, classes and lunch in the Tea Room are by reservation only.
Hands-on exhibits focusing on people and cultures, the arts, physics, physical science, humanities, the ecosystem and health sciences. Open 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tuesday – Friday; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday; and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Closed Mondays and major holidays, but open on school holidays.
Experience cultural events at their finest with the Decatur Area Art Council, Kirkland Fine Arts, and Theater 7 offering a variety of exciting programs.
Did you know that Decatur is home to one of the first automobiles? Come discover the story of the genius who imported this auto and learn about his family’s inventions. At the new Hieronymus Mueller Museum, the history of the family, the company they built, and their town are woven into exhibits displaying their Victorian and Edwardian lifestyles. For more information, please call 217/425-7461.
3939 Nearing Lane. Operated by Macon County Conservation District, the 1,343 acre center puts visitors in touch with the environment. Living history programs are offered in the Homestead Prairie Farm, a restored 19th century farmstead. Open year-round; hiking trails and bicycle trail open daily 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mon. – Sat., 1 – 4 p.m. Sunday. Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s Day and Easter. Homestead Prairie Farm open 1 – 4 p.m. Sat. – Sun., June – October.
Animals from around the world live as they would in the wild. Petting zoo. Season opens in mid-April and ends mid-October. Admission charged. Hours vary by season.