25 Best & Fun Things to Do in St. Charles (IL)

St. Charles city is in Kane and DuPage counties in Illinois, United States. The city’s population was 33,009 in 2021.

There are quite some fun things to do in St. Charles, IL, which is renowned as the world’s water garden capital.

St Charles is situated on the Fox River and is an ideal destination to dive into history and the beautiful nature surrounding it; The city is about 35 miles west of Chicago.

This city turned into a popular destination for tourists and the people of Chicago after the arrival of the Chicago Great Western Railway in the late 19th century.

The downtown area of St. Charles is famous for its dining, entertainment, and arts, together with numerous bars, restaurants, and locations for live performances, such as the Arcada Theater.

The St. Charles Park District protects the riverside parks and other attractions, such as the nature centre, a working farm, and the Otter Cove Aquatic Park. 

Are you planning an exploration of St. Charles? Here are the best things to do in St. Charles, IL.

Things to Do in St. Charles, IL

1. Delnor Woods Park

Delnor Woods Park
Credits: Nejdet Duzen / Shutterstock
Delnor Woods Park

One common feature of Saint Charles is that it is filled with many natural and green areas to explore and have a good time with nature, and one such place is Delnor Woods Park.

It is the perfect destination to visit if you wish to have some relaxing and peaceful moments with yourself; you can do this by walking through these greenery spaces.

You can bring picnic goodies to eat at their pavilion or on the grass. It also has a playground area for children to play and have a good time. 

Furthermore, there are multiple trails, an accessible river, and many fishing sites that you can explore. You can have a beautiful afternoon with your family at Delnor Woods Park, so make sure to visit.

Address: St. Charles, IL 60175, United States

2. Norris Woods Nature Preserve

Another significant nature destination for nature enthusiasts to check out during their stay in St. Charles is the Norris Woods Nature Preserve. 

You will see nature in all its beauty when you visit, as there are numerous spring flowers and old-growth trees.

The Preserve is situated close to the river, offering beautiful vistas. The many old-growth trees here are so beautiful to behold as the mature Preserve contains white and red oils that are believed to be about 100 and 150 years old.

You will also see multiple woodland plants with more than 40 species of birds, American toads, squirrels, and more.

Address: St. Charles, IL 60174, USA

3. 19th Century at Beith House Museum

19th Century at Beith House Museum
Credits: Teemu008 / Flickr
19th Century at Beith House Museum

The 19th Century at Beith House Museum is a historical marker in St. Charles, IL. 

The Museum is located near the shores of Fox River. The building was constructed using Greek revival style architecture. Also, it is part of the very few developed river stone buildings in this area.

The structure was previously the property of William Beith, who was also a stonemason. He built the house in 1850. You will be able to see temporary and permanent exhibits on display on the building’s first floor when you visit.

Make sure to be part of the many events and tours available here.

Address: 8 Indiana St, St. Charles, IL 60174, United States

4. Hickory Knolls Discovery Center

Hickory Knolls Discovery Center
Credits: Kenneth Cole Schneider / Flickr
Hickory Knolls Discovery Center

Ensure you stop by the Hickory Knolls Discovery Center when you visit. Children can improve their skills by learning through the numerous exhibits showcased here.

One of these exhibits includes the display of a reptile. There are many other spaces where your kids can interact closely with these creatures.

The children will be able to learn about the Ice Age and see interactive murals with which they can interact. Trails are also easily accessible and filled with beautiful animals and flowers.

Make sure to stop by the Hickory Knolls Discovery Center, as it is an ideal place to have a great time with family members. 

Address: 3795 Campton Hills Dr, St. Charles, IL 60175, United States

5. Pottawatomie Park

Pottawatomie Park
Credits: Dane Vandeputte / Flickr
Pottawatomie Park

If you are searching for a place to hang out with family and friends in St. Charles, one ideal place to look out for is Pottawatomie Park. You can find this beautiful Park close to the Fox River, and you’re sure to enjoy lots of great activities when you visit.

For visitors who would like to have a fun time on the river, you can do this by riding and fishing in a canoe. If you want to enjoy splashing, then visit the swimming pool in the Park.

The Park comprises a playground area where children can play, picnic sites for the entire family, and sports facilities for people who want more activity. 

There are many paved trails for you to run or walk through, together with a golf course if you choose to play golf. Therefore, exploring this Park is worth a spot on your list of fun things to do in St. Charles, IL.

Address: 8 North Ave, St. Charles, IL 60174, United States

6. Downtown St. Charles

Downtown St. Charles
Credits: Rick Seidel / Flickr
Downtown St. Charles

One of the best things to do in St Charles, IL, is to explore the Downtown area of St. Charles to check out fascinating attractions. 

The downtown area of this famous city is filled with exceptional venues, parks, restaurants, historic buildings, and shops.

Main Street comprises old-fashioned street lamps, flower vases in various areas of the sidewalk, and luxuriant trees.

You can also have a fun time by walking through the streets of this beautiful city and exploring the many outstanding famous structures.

Some of these structures include the St. Charles Municipal Building and Hotel Baker. A walk through the city is a splendid way to have a lovely afternoon in St. Charles.

Address: St.Charles, United States

7. Durant House Museum

Durant House Museum
Credits: Smallbones / Public Domain
Durant House Museum

The Durant House Museum is an 1843 prairie farmhouse that has undergone proper renovation. It has costume interpreters helping guests understand how the scenario was way back in the mid-1800s.

The Beith House Museum displays home decor related to those periods and various memorable items linked to the building. 

It also organizes various unique programs that allow you to witness how the people back then lived in St. Charles. 

The Museum is also famous for providing guests with an exceptional historical experience.

Address: 37W700 Dean St, St. Charles, IL 60175,

8. St. Charles Paddlewheel Riverboats

St. Charles Paddlewheel Riverboats
Credits: Maridav / Shutterstock

One of the fun things to do in St. Charles, IL, is to go on a boat cruise with the St. Charles Paddlewheel Riverboats. It promises to be fun and exciting.

It features riverboat cruises beside the Fox River, which has been a significant activity for visitors in St Charles since the 1940s.

The St. Charles Paddlewheel Riverboats’ has two boats: St. Charles Belle II and Fox River Queen. Visitors can go on a boat ride on two paddle-wheelers in the summertime. 

Make sure to join in on the riverboat and experience how people have cruised the waters for many years. Don’t hesitate to cruise with your friends and family.

Address: 8 North Ave, St. Charles, IL 60174, United States

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9. Primrose Farm

Primrose Farm
Credits: Primrose Farm, St. Charles Park District / Facebook
Primrose Farm

When you visit St. Charles, stop by Primrose Farm and have a great time with the stunning creatures that have made this place their home.

Besides having a close-up experience with these animals, you can tour the entire property for a great time.

You can also get involved with multiple activities that promise to be fun, such as feeding these animals, picking fresh eggs, and mating goats. Don’t hesitate to bring the kids along.

Address: 5N726 Crane Rd, St. Charles, IL 60175, United States

10. Kane County Fair

Kane County Fair
Credits: Phebe Khalil / Shutterstock

An activity that has to be on your list of what to do in St. Charles, IL, is attending Kane County Fair.

This Fair is Fox Valley’s most awaited annual summer event in mid-July across five days; the event is held at the Lane County Fairway.

The Kane County Fair has tons of exciting stuff planned out for you, such as carnivals, magic shows, a car show, wine tasting, live music, professional bull riding, a petting zoo. and a demolition derby.

In addition, the Kane County Fair features the 4-H program, which is at the centre of the event; there are different varieties of food to choose from, which vendors sell.

Address: 525 S Randall Rd, St. Charles, IL 60174, United States

11. St. Charles History Museum

St. Charles History Museum
Credits: St. Charles History Museum / Facebook
St. Charles History Museum

If you are a historian or history enthusiast, one of the top things to do in St. Charles, IL, is to check out the St. Charles History Museum.

The Museum is devoted to collecting, preserving, and disseminating the exciting history of this city to the general public.

It showcases rotating and permanent exhibits, all geared towards showcasing the history of St. Charles. You can visit their research room and archives with their collection, which features more than 15,000 collectibles and 10,000 photos.

Besides maintaining these artifacts and displaying them for exhibition, the St. Charles History Museum organizes many events throughout the year. This event ranges from fascinating scavenger hunts to educational programs. 

Address: 215 E Main St, St. Charles, IL 60174, United States

12. Steel Beam Theater

Steel Beam Theater
Credits: BigPixel Photo / Shutterstock

Artistic performances enhance community togetherness, enabling people to develop and showcase their talents to the public.

When you visit St. Charles, do well to see a live performance at the Steel Beam Theater. This Theater features outstanding, entertaining, and mind-blowing art performances.

These productions are for everyone to enjoy, ranging from children’s plays to adult shows. Besides the quality shows offered here, visitors can also be part of the acting classes and workshops on art performances.

Here is an ideal place to enjoy beautiful art performances and improve their creativity. So make sure not to miss out on checking out this place when you are in Saint Charles.

Address: 111 W Main St, St. Charles, IL 60174, United States

13. Town House Books

Town House Books
Credits: Creative Content Creator / Shutterstock

If you love reading books, check out the Town House Books. This place was established in 1974 by Marilou Kelly.

The Town House Book, over the years, has played a vital role in this neighborhood by providing books to different kinds of readers.

They have an excellent staff that will guide you and offers you all the help you need to get any book. The environment is something every book lover would love.

There is an adult book available at the Town House Books, and these groups gather in the bookshop every second Sunday of the month. The bookshop is open from Mondays till Saturday, 9 am and 4 pm respectively.

Address: 105 N 2nd Ave, St. Charles, IL 60174, United States

14. Kane County Flea Market

Kane County Flea Market
Credits: Rishiken / Shutterstock

The Kane County Flea Market is open on each first Sunday of the month. It is one of the best places to visit in St. Charles, IL.

The Flea Market is situated at the Kane County Fairground. This Market has been functioning since 1967, with more than 600 dealers bringing their merchandise to sell.

The shops here are in the form of outdoor and indoor stalls. You can shop for unique collectibles or unusual souvenirs in this Market.

The items sold here include antiques, vinyl records and collectibles, vintage signs, and more. There are also locally crafted products that are suitable for home decor.

Address: 525 S Randall Rd, St. Charles, IL 60174, United States

15. Ferson Creek Forest Preserve

Ferson Creek Forest Preserve
Credits: soft_light / Shutterstock

Ferson Creek Forest Preserve is one of the best places to visit in St. Charles, IL, especially for nature enthusiasts.

You will be able to find the wet floodplain forests near the sedge meadows. Multiple plant species are restricted to the kind of habitat that is here.

You will see numerous animals that have made this Preserve their habitat. It is also an excellent site for bird-watching as you will spot many species of birds living here or the ones migrating. 

Most birds seen at this nature preserve include blue-grey gnatcatchers, swamp sparrows, and prothonotary.

Address: Burr Rd, Bolcum Rd, St. Charles, IL 60174, USA

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16. Otter Cove Aquatic Center

Otter Cove Aquatic Center
Credits: Billion Photos / Shutterstock

Otter Cove Aquatic Center is a famous family fan destination in St. Charles. When you visit, make sure to have a fun time with your family members.

The Aquatic Center comprises many pools, a lazy river, and waterslides. It also has a diving board for visitors who would love to engage in an adrenaline-pumping activity.

Besides the facilities in the waterpark, the Aquatic Center also organizes many events that the entire family can be part of.

If you want to create fun memories with your family that you will not forget in a hurry, then make sure to stop by the Otter Cove Aquatic Center.

Address: 3615 Campton Hills Dr, St. Charles, IL 60175, United States

17. La Zaza Trattoria

La Zaza Trattoria
Credits: La Za’Za’ Trattoria / Facebook
La Zaza Trattoria

Zaza Trattoria is a privately owned establishment in St. Charles. It is an authentic restaurant with catering services, takeout, and dine-in options.

It comprises a beverage bar, a private dining room, a lounge, and a cab to host semi-private events. La Zaza Trattoria has exciting options for many people.

Furthermore, explore the seasonally available terrace, enjoy a nice cocktail, great food, or something light for lunch, and have a family-friendly get-together at the La Zaza Trattoria.

Address: 5 S 1st St, St. Charles, IL 60174, United States

18. Historic Arcada Theater

Historic Arcada Theater
Credits: artistmac / Flickr
Historic Arcada Theater

No trip to St Charles is complete without checking out the famous Arcada Theater. The Arcada Theater was officially available to the entire public in 1926. The Theater can house about 1,009 people.

The Theater was previously a location for the popular Vaudeville, but currently, it hosts several unique events.

The Theater underwent some restorations in the early 2000s, as there was a need to update the lighting, sound system, and stage. When you visit, you can check out the pipe organ that has been functional since this place started operations.

The types of shows held here are live music performances and comedy acts. After witnessing their fantastic shows, you can check out the Onesto’s Club, a restaurant where you can have dinner and drinks.

Address: 3795 Campton Hills Dr, St. Charles, IL 60175, United States

19. Q Center

Q Center
Credits: Taweesak Jaroensin / Shutterstock

One of the top things to do in St. Charles, IL, is to check out the Q Center, the most significant functional service conference facility in the Midwest.

The Center features a state-of-the-art 95-acre facility that offers recreational activities and unmatched group training opportunities. 

It has a 40-mile Fox River Trail that is ideal for jogging, strolling, cross-country skiing, and biking. You can also play a game of basketball, beach volleyball, and softball here.

They have several conference rooms and top-notch event services for your parties no matter the size, and even an expert chef who prepares recent dishes, professional meeting organizers, and global audio and visual technicians.

You can have a relaxing time at any of their 1,043 guest rooms, which are equipped with every amenity you need to have a lovely and comfortable day.

Address: 1405 N 5th Ave, St. Charles, IL 60174, United States

20. Portillo’s Hot Dogs

Portillo's Hot Dogs
Credits: Brent Hofacker / Shutterstock
Chicago-style hot dogs

If you are searching for a place to eat authentic American food staples, stop by Chicago-grown Portillo’s Hot Dogs.

It has a location in St. Charles, which is easily accessible from anywhere so that you can get your share of the best foods in the state.

Portillo’s Hot Dogs is well known for its Chicago-style hot dogs, Italian beef sandwiches, cheese fries, and others. The foods here are delicious and just what you will need while in town, so make sure to stop by during your visit.

Address: 3895 E Main St, St. Charles, IL 60174, United States

21. Fine Line Creative Arts Center

Fine Line Creative Arts Center
Credits: Fine Line Creative Arts Center / Facebook
Fine Line Creative Arts Center

The Fine Line Creative Arts Center can assist artists and the community in general via education, display of unique and top-class crafts and artworks, and research.

The Fine Line Creative Arts Center’s gorgeous and nature-inspiring environment is the driving force to achieve its tremendous goal.

The Center is open to everyone who loves arts and offers people the opportunity to learn, motivate themselves, and innovate. 

They also offer group activities, seminars, art programs, and more, including their adult art programs. In addition, you can be part of their classes in weaving, photography, sketching, ceramics, sewing, and blacksmithing. 

Address: 37W570 Bolcum Rd, St. Charles, IL 60175, United States

22. Penrose Brewing Company

Penrose Brewing Company
Credits: Wirestock Creators / Shutterstock

Penrose Brewing Company is a small brew house in Geneva, not more than five minutes from the downtown area of St. Charles. The Penrose Brewing Company features wild and sourced fermentations and fresh hoppy flavors. It has rotating beers on tap, available from Tuesday to Sunday.

The five main beers to find here are the Taproom IPA, Dryft (Mosaic IPA), Goofy Boots (Juicy Midwest IPA), Pilsner, and Session Sour.

These core lineups are complemented by an impressive display of seasonal and mini-batch releases with more Sours and IPAs. There is no kitchen in the brewery, so visitors are advised to bring their food or buy food from any food trucks usually parked outside the premises at the weekend. 

Address: 509 Stevens St, Geneva, IL 60134, United States

23. Sage Healing Collective

Sage Healing Collective
Credits: Pixel-Shot / Shutterstock

After long hours of touring St. Charles, you will be worn out and need a place to give your body a nice treat; such a place is the Sage Healing Collective.

This Spa features eleven separate healing rooms, a partner’s massage room, a nail salon, a shopping shop, an apothecary, and yoga classes,

Their experts are devoted to providing therapeutic or relaxing massage, yoga and stretch treatments, manicures and pedicures, conventional and cosmetic acupuncture, natural and outcome-driven skincare, hands-on healthcare, aerial yoga, and other healing techniques.

Older healing techniques employed by the center include bodywork and massage, which improve the mental and physical state.

Sage Healing Collective combines traditional healing techniques, modern treatments, and devices to foster healing and relaxation.

Address: 525 S Tyler Rd Suite S, St. Charles, IL 60174, United States

24. Mount St. Mary Park

Mount St. Mary Park
Credits: Stock-Asso / Shutterstock

You can enjoy some break time by walking and sightseeing at Mount. St. Mary Park.

The Park features an arboretum, where you can see varieties of plants. There are also many picnic sites for visitors to sit at and have great fun.

If you want to go for some adrenaline rush activity, do well to go skateboard riding at their skate park. In addition, the Park is river accessible and has a boat launch, where guests can go boating or canoeing.

You can also go fishing when you visit, as the river is filled with many aquatic lives for you to catch.

Address: St. Charles, IL 60174, United States

25. Healing koi pond and Japanese Garden

ealing koi pond and Japanese Garden
Credits: SAHACHATZ / Shutterstock

If you are searching for what to do in St Charles, IL, to have some relaxation and peaceful time, visit the Healing koi pond and Japanese garden.

The Healing koi pond and Japanese Garden occupy a land mass of two acres and is located in Fox River.

The founder of this place built a sanctuary together with classic gardens to create a zen space and give the koi fish habitat.

You can have a close-up experience with this koi fish, seeing their colors and movements. There are more than 50 koi fish in ten ponds; some were brought from Japan, and others were rescued.

The pond is available for tourist purposes throughout the year. It is an excellent spot to visit and have a relaxing time.

Address: 6N779 Il Route 31, Saint Charles, IL, United States

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Plan Your Trip to St. Charles

Due to this city’s fascinating cultural environment, incredible history, and beautiful nature, it has become a well-known tourist destination for travelers.

It is a fantastic place to visit, especially if you plan a getaway experience with family and friends.          

Have a fun trip!