ALTON â€” Take a trip along the Sweet Treat Trail or enjoy awesome Outdoor Adventures during the Great Rivers & Routes Tourism Bureauâ€™s fifth annual Kidâ€™Cation, July 26 through Aug. 4.
For 10 days throughout Madison, Jersey, Montgomery and Macoupin counties in Illinois, families can enjoy free and special priced activities and events. The Great Rivers & Routes Tourism Bureau is once again hosting Kidâ€™Cation, a family-friendly getaway designed to bring families to the area with kid-friendly activities. Visit the St. Louis Regional Airport and get up close and personal with pilots and their planes and then chow down on pizza at an adjoining restaurant. Channel your inner pirate on a Mississippi River Cruise. Discover the secrets of trains at the Amtrak Train Day event. Those are just a few of the activities offered by more than 40 different businesses throughout the region.
â€œWe know families are looking for ways to celebrate the last few weeks of summer before school starts up and Kidâ€™Cation gives them family-friendly vacation options,â€ Brett Stawar, President and CEO of the Great Rivers & Routes Tourism Bureau said. â€œKidâ€™Cation is designed to give families vacation or stay-cation options in the region. It also attracts visitors who are looking for day trips or inexpensive overnight getaways.â€
Sweet surprises are in store on the â€œSweet Treat Trail,â€ where kids and their parents can visit participating candy, popcorn, bakeries and ice cream shops throughout the region and have the chance to win prizes donated by local businesses. Sweet Treat Trail maps will be available at the Alton Visitor Center, 200 Piasa St., Alton, or online at VisitAlton.com/Kidcation. Kids who visit six out of the 12 participating Sweet Treat businesses and make a small purchase will receive a signed note on their map. Once six stamps are collected, kids can turn the maps in to the Visitor Center for a prize.
Take your pick of great outdoor fun during Kidâ€™Cation and travel our Outdoor Adventure Trail. Visit at least three of the participating parks and recreation centers, take a selfie at each, and post your photo on social media using the #kidcation2019. Then come to the Alton Visitor Center, 200 Piasa St., Alton to pick up a special Outdoor Adventure Trail gift!
Kidâ€˜Cation kicks off Friday, July 26 with multiple events and activities, including Bird Bingo at The Audubon Center at Riverlands, waterfall hikes along at The Nature Institute and Alton Little Theatreâ€™s production of the classic, â€˜The Wizard of Oz.â€™
Celebrate the 139th birthday of Lucy Haskell at Haskell Park on Monday, July 29 at 6:30 p.m. A favorite Kidâ€™Cation event, this annual celebration features pony rides, free ice cream, cake and cupcakes, lemonade, music by a member of the Alton High Orchestra and Victorian games.
Ride the rails into Alton for Train Day at the Alton Regional Multimodal Transportation Center on July 30. Train Day will feature model trains, giveaways, train safety representatives and a special visit by an Abraham Lincoln re-enactor courtesy of Looking for Lincoln. Kids can make a special Train Day craft from Party on Broadway, an art studio in Alton that specializes in creative group crafting projects.
Walk the plank or climb aboard the Hakuna Matata for an hour-long pirate cruise down the Illinois and Mississippi Rivers. Two cruises, one on July 27 and Aug. 3, will take place during Kidâ€™Cation at 4 p.m. Adult tickets are $18, senior tickets are $16 and tickets for kids ages 3 to 17 are $9. Tickets for kids ages 2 and under are $4.50. Call (618) 786-7678 for more information.
Kidâ€™Cation also comes with big savings, such as 10 percent off a mini session or monthly tuition at Heavenly Rhythm Dance Studio and 50 percent off Twisted Key Escape Room, both in Collinsville. In Edwardsville, kids get $2 off all-access passes at Edisonâ€™s Entertainment Complex. Kids can swim at Raging Rivers free all week. Find a complete list of deals and specials at www.RiversandRoutes.com/Kidcation.
Kid â€˜Cation is sponsored by Looking for Lincoln, Phillips 66, OSF Healthcare Saint Anthonyâ€™s, Liberty Bank, and Alton Memorial Hospital. Go to www.RiversandRoutes.com/Kidcation or call the Alton Visitorâ€™s Center at 618-465-6676 for more information and a list of all events, deals and specials.