Top Attractions for Youth Groups in Chicago Southland
By Kim Kislowski published September 14, 2017
Whether Chicago Southland is home to your group’s next big event or you are simply passing through our area, Chicago Southland has an abundance of learning opportunities and plenty of fun available for youth groups.
Here’s a look at some of the top activities available for youth groups within the Chicago Southland area.
Located on the campus of Governors State University, Nathan Manilow Sculpture Park has 29 large-scale contemporary sculptures placed throughout the 100 acres of prairie landscape. Admission is free, and guided tours are available at an additional cost and are customized for groups visiting.
The park’s Outdoors@theNATE program is a hands-on, interactive program designed for students to explore visual thinking and STEM principles.
Looking for an interactive teambuilding activity for your group? The Irons Oaks Environmental Learning Center features 38 acres of wooded areas with a team development course, two high ropes courses and a 40-foot climbing tower. With dedicated facilitators guiding participants, the program focuses on exploring teamwork, communication and leadership.
Groups are invited to take part in exploring the half-mile prayer trail at The Shrine of Christ’s Passion, open 365 days a year. This multimedia, interactive trail depicts the last days of Jesus Christ’s life with accompanying music and narration at each stop along the trail.
With ample bus parking available for groups, this attraction has a 10,000-sq.-ft. gift shop an self-service café. Boxed lunches may be ordered from nearby restaurants or guests may opt to bring their own lunches to enjoy on the property.
Step up to the plate and show your team how and where baseball bats are created when you schedule a visit to Homewood Bat Co. Sports teams can learn about wooden bats made from ash, yellow birch and maple. The company’s pro shop features a test-batting cage, where visitors can learn about the variety of styles and sizes from youth bats to professional bats.
For a bit of culture, experience the art of glass blowing at the Lotton Art Glass Gallery & Studio. This family-owned business offers tours of its studio and gallery to see how its handmade works of art have become collector’s pieces across the country.
The Lotton family recommends allowing at least one hour for a tour of the gallery, and visitors have the opportunity to meet the artists in their element. From vases to chandeliers to lamps and more, Lotton Art Glass is a one of a kind experience for groups visiting the Chicago Southland area.
If you’re looking for a performance venue or theatre workshop for your group, look no further than Freedom Hall. The 280-seat Nathan Manilow Theatre has a variety of live shows throughout the year including dance, music and children’s theatre. This venue is available for performances and venue rentals for groups visiting the area.
From a Chicago Fire soccer game at SeatGeek Stadium to the Windy City ThunderBolts playing at Standard Bank Stadium to an equestrian event at HITS Chicago-Balmoral Park, Chicago Southland has great performance opportunities available to groups visiting the area. Whether your group is singing the national anthem or cheering the home team to victory, your attendees will experience plenty of fun at one of the Chicago Southland’s sports events.
Ready to learn more about the activities available for groups in the Chicago Southland? Contact the Tobie Fitzpatrick, our Tour & Travel Market Manager, to learn how we can help you build an exciting itinerary for your group during their time in our area.