Spotlight: Springfield, Illinois
Abraham Lincoln National Historic Site
We love history! If there’s an opportunity to see/visit something historical, we will almost always do it. One of the great things for families is that the Lincoln Home National Historic Site is free. However, if you plan on going during the summer months, I highly suggest you arrive early to reserve tickets for the home tour. The last tour begins at 4:30 pm. Walking around the site is free and the tour is headed by someone from the NPS.
We thoroughly enjoyed the house tour as there were people of all ages in our group. There’s something about being somewhere that Abraham Lincoln walked and lived. Our guide was engaging, knowledgeable and you could tell he really enjoyed giving these tours.
There is a four-block area around Lincoln’s home including 12 buildings that date back to Lincoln’s time which has been restored to their 1860 appearance. It is a self-guided tour with several outdoor exhibits.
There are foreign language tour booklets available. If needed, an individual or group can request a sign language interpreter ( a two-week advance notice is required for this and there is a request form online).
Lincoln Tomb National Historic Site
After visiting the site, we headed over to the Lincoln Tomb National Historic Site located in Oak Ridge Cemetery which I would also recommend. This is also good for families since it is also free. It is full of tall, beautiful oak trees. You walk inside the 117-foot tomb and see where Lincoln is buried. Fun fact: The centograph to mark his burial location was made from Arkansas red granite. With the exception of Robert, the entire Lincoln family is buried here. A fun tradition is to rub Lincoln’s nose at the Lincoln statuary and our boys really liked that!
The Abraham Lincoln Library & Museum is well worth a visit. 🚗
If you think your kids may not like going to a museum, this is the place that will change their minds. The ghosts of the library use really neat magical special effects and your kids will love it!
There is a recreation of Lincoln’s log cabin, kids can try on period clothes and even perform chores of the time. Maybe your kids won’t think to unload the dishwasher is so bad after going here?! 🙂
Through the illusion, corridor faces appear between the columns shouting their advice to President Lincoln. A very nice recreation of the President’s box at Ford’s Theater is riveting.
The treasures gallery has tons of items belonging to the Lincoln Family. While they rotate out the items shown, we saw an original hand-written copy of the Gettysburg Address and the evening gloves in Lincoln’s pocket the night he was assassinated.
It is such an engaging museum that families will really enjoy.
The Museum is open 9-5 daily. They are closed Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.
Children 5-16 $6
Under 4- no charge
There are even more great places to stop and places to stay, go to Visit Springfield for more suggestions.
Have you visited the Lincoln home site? What did you think?