Category Archives: Things to Do

Our Halloween Spooktacular: Tricks and Treats at the Beach 

Are you ready for a spine-tingling, hair-raising, and bone-chilling Halloween experience? Well, you’re in for a real treat, because Illinois Beach Hotel is brewing up something spooktacular just for you! Get ready to don your scariest (or most fun) costume, embrace the Halloween spirit, and join us for an unforgettable night of thrills and chills at our very first Spooktacular Halloween Party!

A Ghoulish Gathering Like Never Before 

Located right within our beautiful hotel, this hauntingly exciting event promises to be one for the books. We’ve been brewing up some enchanting surprises and eerie delights to ensure that this Halloween bash will leave you with memories that will haunt your dreams—in the best way possible!

Frighteningly Fun Activities

At the Spooktacular Halloween Party, you can expect an exciting lineup of activities that are as sweet as a full-sized candy bar. Here’s a sneak peek of what we have in store:

Costume Contest

This is your chance to unleash your inner ghoul, ghost, or Barbie, if that’s more your speed! Dress up in your most creative, spooky, or just plain fun costumes, and you might just win a prize for your effort!

Raffle Extravaganza

 Feeling lucky? Purchase raffle tickets for a chance to win some fantastic prizes. Who knows, the luck of the undead might be on your side!

Delectable Delights

No Halloween party is complete without delicious treats. Our culinary team is conjuring up a bewitching menu that will satisfy your taste buds and keep you energized for a night of frights. The best part- this scarily scrumptious meal, as well as two drink tickets, are included with your ticket!

Act Fast – Before it Vanishes Into Thin Air!

Now, we don’t want to scare you, but the truth is, spots for this otherworldly event can vanish faster than a ghost in the night. So, if you want to be part of the most spooktacular Halloween party of the year, don’t delay! Secure your tickets now before they disappear into the ether. 

Foliage, Festivities, and Fun: Fall at Illinois Beach 

While the rays of summer may have begun to fade, Illinois Beach Hotel is here to meet guest needs well into the colder months. Here are a few of the many fun things you can do near Illinois Beach in the fall (aside from enjoying the lakeview with a pumpkin spice latte in hand): 

First things first- if you want a specialty beverage to start your day off right, here are two places we cannot recommend enough: 

It’s All Good Coffee

What can we say- it’s all good! From bagel sandwiches to iced chai, smoothies and more, this family-owned coffeehouse located in the heart of Zion is a great bet for your fall beverage fix.

CJ’s Coffee House

Conveniently located 8 minutes away from the hotel, CJ’s Coffee House is a local Zion favorite. Not only do they serve amazing coffee, but they also have the best donuts and muffins in town! 


Kick things off with the annual Northern Illinois Airshow in Waukegan.

What better way to salute the end of summer than with an airshow? This annual tradition, held on Sep 9th, is a favorite among locals and a fun treat for the whole family. 

Fall at Six Flags Great America

Running from Sep 16th  to October 29th , Six Flags Great America is holding several spectacular events during the day and night, namelyOktoberfest, Boo Fest, and Fright Fest. 


As the name would imply, this ongoing event is a German craft beverage and food festival right in the middle of the park! Guests may enjoy a variety of experiences, from live music to Dunkel brew, Weiner Schnitzel to Apple Strudel. 

Kid’s Boo Fest 

Held during the day, Kid’s Boo Fest is a series of activities and events that focus on the “thrill” of Halloween rather than the “fright”. 

Fright Fest

Dubbed “Chicago’s Scariest Halloween Event” Six Flag’s Fright Fest is no laughing matter. From haunted houses to rides in the dark, goosebumps are guaranteed.

Family Fun at Kroll’s Fall Harvest Farm

Just a quick drive from the hotel, Kroll’s Fall Harvest Farm is a family-run pumpkin patch, petting zoo, and corn maze extravaganza.

Dungeon of Doom Haunted House

Pitched a few miles north of the hotel, the Dungeon of Doom Haunted House is a spooky experience unlike any other. 

Ghost Wauk Tours at Genesse Theatre

First opened in 1927, the Genesse Theatre has been the host of many strange and at times, frightening events. This immersive tour has been known to leave visitors with their hair standing up.  

A Potential Itinerary 

Mid-September (sunset approx. 7:00pm)  


  • 5:30 (p.m.): Arrive at Illinois Beach, check-in and get familiar with your accommodations 
  • 6:30: Go for a quick walk on the beach (remember to bring a light jacket!)  
  • 7:15: Dinner and Cocktails at Nolan’s 
  • 8:30: Settle in, watch a movie, and get ready for the fun that awaits!  


  • 6:30 (a.m.) Grab some coffee from the hotel lobby and watch the beautiful sunrise over Lake Michigan 
  • 8:00 (a.m.) Head out to one of our favorite coffee shops for a sweet treat and get a taste of local faire!  
  • 8:40 Embark on a walk on one of Illinois Beach’s famous trails!  
  • 10:00 Load up the car and head to Six Flags for Oktoberfest and Boo Fest!  
  • 6:00 (p.m) Depart Six Flags before things get too spooky 
  • 6:30 Enjoy a light dinner in town- we highly recommend Jen G’s Pizza!  
  • 8:00 Ask one of the front desk staff for a board game before retiring for the evening 


  • 6:30 (a.m.) Grab some coffee from the hotel lobby and watch the beautiful sunrise over Lake Michigan 
  • 8:00 (a.m.) Enjoy a buffet-style breakfast at Nolans 
  • 9:00 Choose another trail at the beach and soak in the views!  
  • 11:00 Make your way back to the hotel to refresh and collect your things. 
  • 1:00 Check-Out, and wave goodbye to the lake, don’t forget to fuel up before you leave!  

Stay at the Illinois Beach Hotel While Having Your Cancer Treatment

Are you one of the 2 million Americans who have been diagnosed with cancer in the past year?

Attending the Cancer Treatment Centers of America, here in Zion IL, will ensure that you get the best possible treatment for your illness. People come from every corner of the country to undergo treatment, whether it’s radiation, chemo, or surgery.

If you’re one of the many that come from out of town, you don’t want your accommodations to be stressful – cancer treatment is stressful enough. The Illinois Beach Hotel is situated right next door and has everything you’ll need to have a comfortable stay during this uncomfortable time.

Keep reading and let us tell you more about the best hotel in Zion.

A Close Stay

The most important thing when you’re in treatment is to find a hotel close to the center. If you end up staying in Chicago, you could end up in traffic for hours during rush hour, which is the last thing you want after a surgery or long day of cancer treatment.

Our hotel is situated steps away from CTCA. As soon as you’re through with your treatment, you can be back in your room in a matter of minutes to relax, eat, or enjoy the local scenery.

Get a Room With a View

Our rooms all come with views of either Illinois Beach State Park or Lake Michigan. Having a peaceful, gorgeous view out of your hotel window makes it easy to relax and take your mind off of your treatment. 

With the beach and park situated close by, you can head out and go for a short hike or relax on the beach. Any loved ones that accompany you for treatment will also have plenty to see and do outdoors during times of day when you’re busy at the hospital.

Fine Dining at Nolan’s

Eating isn’t always the first thing on your mind during cancer treatment, but it’s important to have good food around when you want it. Our on-site restaurant, Nolan’s, is open from 11 am to 8 pm and has a great menu of comfort foods and local favorites that you can view here.

Activities Abound

Zion itself is a great town full of fun and exciting things to do to pass the time when you’re not at the hospital. If you’re here during the cold winter months, or you just don’t feel like spending time on the trails or beach, there are plenty of activities nearby.

Watch a movie at the Genesee Theatre, go shopping at Gurney Mills, educate yourself at the historic Shiloh House, or check out our local naval base. There are also two fantastic golf clubs nearby for yourself or loved ones who need a daytime activity.

Have a Relaxing Stay at Illinois Beach Hotel

As you fight this battle, it’s important to have a comfortable place to stay that feels like home. We look forward to accommodating you at the Illinois Beach Hotel for the duration of your treatment.

We have a plethora of modern and affordable single or double-bed rooms available to book here. If you’ve got any questions about our facilities or rooms, don’t hesitate to contact us for more info.

Why Take a Weekend Getaway to the Illinois Beach Hotel

We all need a weekend getaway once in a while. In fact, most Americans say that they are desperately in need of a getaway!

If you are in the Chicago area, you can easily hop on a train or into your car to go to the Illinois Beach Hotel. A trip to Zion is the perfect weekend plan if you’re in the area!

With so many great things to see and do, plus a stay at our beautiful hotel, you’ll end the weekend feeling refreshed and ready to go.

Read on for some tips for your Zion vacation. 

Proximity to Chicago 

The Illinois Beach Hotel is just a quick train ride away from Chicago. This makes the trip to Zion extremely easy to do! 

You’ll be out of the city and feel as if you are in a completely different area, yet you’re not spending hours getting there. This is the perfect place to go for a quick weekend if you don’t have a lot of time.

Spend Time at Illinois Beach State Park 

If you want to get away from the bustling city of Chicago, the Illinois Beach Hotel is right next to Illinois Beach State Park. This is a great place to get out and enjoy nature, refreshing water, and some sunshine. You can go swimming and even go fishing!

In addition to the beach at the state park, there are savannas, wetlands, dunes, and prairie land as well. With bike trails, over 6.5 miles of beach shoreline, and over 4,000 total acres, there is so much to see and do here.

Perfect for Fall Pumpkin Patches

Kroll’s Fall Harvest Farm is one of the best pumpkin patches in Illinois. 

During the fall months, this is a place that you do not want to miss going to. You can go to the corn maze, watch an outdoor movie, and so much more at this farm. It’s one of our favorite places to go around here!

The fall season begins in mid-September. 

Have Fun at the Amusement Park

If you are going to Illinois Beach Hotel, you will be close to Six Flags. This is a great entertainment park to go have some fun for the weekend!

After you enjoy a day of fun at the park, you can come back and enjoy our great restaurant, Nolan’s. We’re open until 8:00 pm so that you have plenty of time to get back to enjoy a delicious meal. 

Book the Illinois Beach Hotel 

Ready for your next vacation? We want to make it one of the best you’ve had in a long time!

If you are ready to take a trip to Zion, make your next stop at the Illinois Beach Hotel. Its proximity to Chicago and Lake Michigan makes it one of a kind.

Ready to book? You can browse through our room selections and book your trip today! Click here to get started.

The Top Things to Do on Lake Michigan for a Perfect Weekend Getaway

With over 1,600 miles of shoreline, Lake Michigan provides the adventurous traveler with a ton of sights to see and things to do. Crossing the lake takes two and a half hours by ferry so you can explore all the areas surrounding the  Great Lake. 

If you’re struggling for things to do on Lake Michigan, then this is the guide for you. Illinois Beach Hotel is based right on the lake and serves as the perfect home base for your activities on the lake

Take a Dip 

One of the most obvious attractions and the best place to start your vacation on Lake Michigan is the lake itself. In the summer months, when the Lake Michigan weather is fine, take the opportunity for a swim in the crystal-clear water or relax at a secluded spot on Mackinac Island.

Once winter begins and the weather turns, the lake takes on a completely different and magical character. Huge portions of the lake freeze and swimming is no longer advisable.

Grab Some Fine Craft Beer

American craft beer has seen a worldwide boom in recent years and Illinois is at its very core.

You can quite often visit local breweries to see how their delicious beer is made and bring home some mementos. These are the breweries that are at the forefront of the beer revolution that has been slowly growing in America for some time. Don’t miss out on trying some.

Visit the Harley Davidson Museum 

If you’re a lover of the iconic American motorbike company then a trip to this museum in Milwaukee will be well worth a visit for you.

The museum showcases (nearly) every Harley Davison model made in the company’s history. As you wander around the museum, see if you can spot amazing one-off customized models like the King Kong tandem Harley.

Take a Trip to Chicago 

The most famous city that lies on Lake Michigan’s coast is Chicago. Known the world over for its fascinating history, vibrant cultural scene, and breathtaking skyline. 

Spend a day or two exploring the Windy City and everything it has to offer. Walk The Loop and see central Chicago in all its glitzy hustle and bustle. Explore the history of the city and learn all about Al Capone, and walk the streets that gave us President Obama. 

Seek Out The Blues

The Blues are huge in Chicago and Illinois. There is a reason, after all, that there is a subgenre known as ‘Chicago Blues’. The Blues was brought north by African American musicians as they moved north from the Mississippi Delta.

Muddy Waters and ‘Howlin Wolf’ both made their homes in Chicago and went on to inspire a generation of musicians.

Want More Things to Do on Lake Michigan?

This list of things to do on Lake Michigan is by no means exhaustive, just some of our recommended highlights. The best way to come and explore this wonderful Great Lake is to come and see the place for yourself. 

Luckily, we’ve got you covered for somewhere to stay. Illinois Beach Hotel is the very best place to stay on your vacation on Lake Michigan. Book today to come and see the sights.