No need to spend a lot of money and travel outside of the state to find family friendly destinations. Illinois State Travel Director, Jen Hoelzle reviews some unique winter getaway ideas outdoor and indoor that is just a short drive away from Chicago. Also, be sure to download the 2013 Travel Guide online or download a version for your iPad.
-- Eagle Watching ? we're at the peak of eagle watching season now. Visit Starved Rock State Park for Bald Eagle Watch Weekend -Jan 26-27 or head down south to Alton to see the bald eagles fly over the Mississippi with bird watching experts
-- Skiing ? there's great skiing in Illinois and one of the best places to go is near Galena at the Chestnut Mountain Resort. There are 19 ski trails and a total vertical drop of 475 feet. They are having a great weekend special this weekend for the long Martin Luther King weekend
-- Groundhog Day Festival ? From Jan 27-Feb 3 the town of Woodstock celebrates both the holiday and the filming of the movie "Groundhog Day" with a film screening, location tours, and of course the Groundhog Prognosticiation on Feb 2nd to see if Woodstock Willie will see his shadow. Great idea for a weekend roadtrip with the family.
-- With all of the Oscar buzz around Lincoln, it's a great time to go to Springfield and walk in his footsteps. There's the Abraham Lincoln Library and Museum, Lincoln's Home and the Old State Capitol where he served as a Senator.
-- Rick's Picks ? now through April, you can head over to the Burpee History Museum in Rockford and check out all of the cool rock n' roll memorabilia from Cheap Trick's guitarist, Rick Nielsen. From guitars and gold records to onstage outfits and his 1955 Thunderbird ? there's something for everyone to see.
-- Waterparks ? Key Lime Cove in Gurnee is just a short drive north of Chicago and this long weekend would be an ideal time to treat the kids
Vist www.enjoyillinois.com for more information.