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Free Things to Do in Springfield, IL

There are plenty of free entertainment options in Springfield, IL. From historical sites related to Abraham Lincoln to beautiful public parks, you are sure to find a great way to spend your free time. Learn more about some great, free local attractions below.

TOP 7 THINGS TO DO IN SPRINGFIELD, IL

You can find six miles of pathways, footbridges, a pond, and eight stone council rings at this 100-acre complex. This garden was designed to depict to Midwest environment that Abraham Lincoln called home: Kentucky, Indiana, and Illinois. Make sure that you check out the wooden carved benches. These seats were carved by Jens Jensen, a globally renown landscape architect, and feature thousands of quotes from Abraham Lincoln.

 Lincoln Memorial Garden is free and open to the public, except during special events. Thousands of visitors a year come to learn about nature, enjoy wildflowers, and watch wildlife.


 2301 E Lake Shore Dr, Springfield, IL 62712

The Lincoln home was the first, and only, home that Abraham Lincoln ever owned. President Lincoln and his family lived in this house from 1844 to 1861. This house saw many momentous moments for the Lincoln family including the birth of three of the Lincoln children (Eddie, Willie, and Tad) and President Lincoln’s election to both the House of Representative in 1846 and to the presidency in 1860.  

In 1971, the residence and surrounding district were designated as a national historic site and restored. The home itself stands today with much of the original structure, including walls and fountain, remaining. The historic site includes the home, a tourist center, and 4 block surrounding the house.

During your visit, you can enjoy a free house tour, explore the park’s indoor & outdoor exhibits, and watch living history demonstrations. Visit the Lincoln Home’s website for more information and to plan your trip.


 413 S 8th St, Springfield, IL 62701

Washington Park is a 15-acre public park in Springfield. The park is characterized by rolling landscapes, enormous trees, steep ravines, and two man-man lagoons. Most designs and features of the park date back to the original development in 1901, and the park was named after George Washington. 

There are plenty of activities available at the park including 12 tennis courts, paddle tennis courts, a large playground, and a large enclosed pavilion for parties. In addition to recreational activities, Washington Park also has a duck pond, rose garden, and carillion (a musical instrument made of at least 23 bells that is often housed in a clock tower). With so many options, Washington Park is a great place to spend a relaxing afternoon.


 1501 S Grand Ave W, Springfield, IL 62704

The Old State Capitol is a reconstruction of the Illinois statehouse from 1840 to 1871. During its operational years, the Old State Capitol was the site of President Lincoln’s famous “House Divided” speech and his presidential candidacy announcement in 1858.

The reconstructed building is open daily from 9:00AM – 5:00PM. Both guided tours and self-guided walk throughs are available free of charge. The grounds of the building are also open to the public with strolling paths, perennial gardens, and plenty of room for picnics. Dogs are welcome on the grounds, but only registered service animals are allowed inside.


 526 E Adams St, Springfield, IL 62701

The Lincoln Tomb is the final resting place of Abraham Lincoln, his wife, and three of their children. The tomb was built with donations from across the country to honor the late president. This historic site is located in the Oak Ridge Cemetery and is open to the public for tours daily from 9:00AM to 5:00PM. Visit the website below to learn more information and to view an educational video about the tomb site.


 1500 Monument Ave, Springfield, IL 62702

The Illinois State Capitol building replaced the Old State Capitol in 1877. This is the 6th capitol building that Illinois has had and the second capitol building that has been located in Springfield. The building is topped with a 405-foot dome and was built in Renaissance Revival and Second Empire styles. Visitors can enjoy free tours and have the opportunity to see Illinois politics in action from a balcony-level seat.


  401 S 2nd St, Springfield, IL 62701

The park contains several statues of Lincoln that illustrate how the public perceives him and his legacy in many different ways. Along with statues, there are benches and gazebos available for contemplation and comfort. Union Square Park is dog friendly, but all dogs must be on a leash.


  500 E Madison St, Springfield, IL 62701

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