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15 Fun Things To do in Grafton (illinois) Family Attractions

Grafton, on the Illinois side of the Mississippi River, is a picture-perfect community that makes for a fantastic vacation spot. 

Grafton’s charming downtown streets, tiny independent businesses, friendly inhabitants, and unusual restaurants make it a popular destination for visitors seeking a really authentic Midwestern experience.​

Take in the stunning scenery of the town’s natural surroundings, complete with turquoise streams, towering cliffs, and winding pathways. 

Grafton has a vibrant art and music scene, in addition to museums and galleries that showcase interesting and unusual collections.

Live performances abound, and there are even vintage movie theaters and horse-drawn carriages for getting around town.​​​

Everyone can find something in Grafton, the town offers a variety of activities, from exploring the city’s culture and history to enjoying the natural surrounds.​​

If you’re looking for fun things to do in Grafton, Illinois, then you’ve come to the right place!

Things To Do In Grafton:

1. Pere Marquette State Park

@Pere Marquette Lodge & Conference Center

Address: 13112 Visitor Center Lane, Grafton, IL 62037, United States

Pere Marquette State Park is a fantastic destination for nature lovers and outdoor adventurers. Heron, pileated woodpecker, deer, and eagle are just few of the native Illinois animals that can be seen by visitors to this 8,000-acre park.

In addition to the three sandy beaches perfect for swimming and sunbathing, the park also features various hiking and bike paths, as well as a 203-site campsite.​

Four freshwater lakes provide an abundance of fishing options, teeming with bass, sunfish, catfish, and panfish.

Larger game fish like walleye, northern pike, and even the feared Asian carp can be caught by casting a line in the Mississippi River.

There are 13 boat launches where you can launch your boat, and several of them rent out motors and petrol cans.​

Visitors can get a deeper understanding of the local flora and fauna through the park’s many educational programs and guided walks.

The park also features multiple picnic sites, perfect for cookouts and reunions with loved ones.

In October, locals and tourists alike can ride seven miles of the Great River Road Bikeway as part of the annual “Rails to Trails” event.​

2. Pere Marquette Stables

@Pere Marquette Stables

Address: 15780 IL-100, Grafton, IL 62037, United States

Pere Marquette Stables is a picture-perfect spot to admire nature.

Visitors to the stables can embark on a one-of-a-kind outdoor adventure by taking a guided horseback ride along the stunning cliffs that line the Mississippi River.​

Guided horseback excursions through the bluffs are a great way for riders of all skill levels to appreciate the majestic grandeur of the Illinois environment, You can trust that the knowledgeable staff at the stable will ensure your safety and comfort.​

The horses who call these stables home are beautiful and well-mannered thanks to their extensive training.

Galena Trail and Sam Dale Trail are just two examples of the many possible routes you might take on your bike trip.​

Cattle drives are also available through the stables for individuals with a higher tolerance for risk.

Spend two or three hours riding through the scenic countryside near Grafton, Illinois, herding cattle.​

Pere Marquette is a wonderful escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life.

The area is home to unparalleled natural beauty, and the stables offer a wide variety of outdoor activities to enjoy it.

3. Raging Rivers

@Raging Rivers Waterpark

Address: 100 Palisades Pkwy, Grafton, IL 62037, United States

Raging Rivers is a water park featuring eight kilometers of slides and rapids and eleven rides.​

Fans love the Big Thunder Raft Ride. This exhilarating ride over raging rapids blasts water everywhere.

Speeding down water slides gives you the same adrenaline sensation as rapids. After your ride, relax on the beach or try a water sport.​

Courageous people should visit the Aqualoop.

An exhilarating journey down this high-speed curved slide awaits you at the bottom.

Enjoy the wave pool there. Surf, slide, and relax under the enormous waterfall here. Turn-style river tubes are great for relaxing on the waterpark lazy river.​

Fishing, swimming, and boardwalk walking are more relaxing options.

Two kid-friendly zones with slides and games make even the youngest customers happy.​

The park appeals to all ages and abilities, it is the finest vacation destination since it includes exhilarating attractions, a large range of enjoyable activities, and loads of downtime.​​

A Season Pass is great for maximizing your visit. All rides and attractions are included with the Season Pass.

The Gold Pass gives diehard fans early entrance and discounts.​

4. Grafton zipline

@Grafton Zipline

Address: 14 W Main St, Grafton, IL 62037, United States

The Grafton Zipline is one of the top things to do in Grafton, offering a unique and thrilling experience, found on the Illinois River’s banks, unlike any other zipline adventure you’ve ever had.

Awe-inspiring vistas of the landscape below await passengers, and we supply everything they’ll need before they embark.

Zipliners will have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see the stunning bluffs and wooded areas from above as they glide through the air.​ 

Many well-trained and experienced guides watch out for the safety of guests and they are there to answer any queries and ensure the safety of all visitors. 

Not only that, but people of all ages are welcome to join in on the excitement.

The zipline has a selection of games and other activities meant to test and amuse visitors.

Guests can partake in a variety of games and activities, including disc golf, pedal vehicle racing, and even a backwards zipline ride!

The zipline is the perfect place for an exciting day trip or a relaxed family outing. 

5. Aerie’s Resort

@Aerie’s Resort & Winery

Address: 14 W Main St, Grafton, IL 62037, United States

Aerie’s Resort is a tranquil retreat located on 100 wooded and prairie acres with views of Grafton, Illinois’s 500-acre Pere Marquette State Park. It’s ideal for large groups, be it a family reunion, corporate outing, or romantic weekend. 

The hotel has more than 200 rooms and a wide variety of amenities.

All of the rooms feature private bathrooms, king- or queen-sized mattresses, and flat-screen TVs for your entertainment.​ 

paddle around the lake in a canoe, go for a ride on the bike routes, or watch wildlife from the observation center.

Take in the breathtaking scenery from the zipline or one of the rope bridges if you’re feeling daring.​ 

Try out a yoga session, sign up for a fitness course right here at the hotel, or unwind in the sauna after a long day.​

The resort offers a wide variety of family-friendly activities.

Visit the pool, the interactive playground, and the multi-sport court while rest assured in the knowledge that your children are being watched over by trained lifeguards.​ 

The resort’s family camp features a variety of activities, from archery to guided nature excursions, while the teen lounge provides regular gaming and movies.​ 

Miniature golf, paintball, golf, and tennis are some of the other activities available.

There are a range of dining options available to you, from the breakfast and lunch buffet to full-service restaurants for a more romantic experience or casual meals at outdoor grills.​ 

6. The scenic aerial-lift

@River Sand Routes

Address: 3 W Clinton, Grafton, IL 62037, United States

The magnificent aerial lift in Grafton is the best method to see the city and its sights at the same time.

Scenic Hill offers spectacular sunrise and sunset views of the Mississippi River and its pristine waters, while Raging Rivers Water Park offers a more rustic experience.​ 

You can see the river and the farmland coexisting peacefully from above.

All four seasons bring their own unique beauty to this vista, from the golden leaves of fall to the luscious greens of summer.

The town’s picturesque setting also makes it ideal for the many celebrations and holidays celebrated there.​

In this picturesque riverside village, riding the aerial lift is an experience like no other.

Many of Grafton’s landmarks and tourist destinations may be reached using this lift, which travels along a winding route around the city.

You’ll gain new perspectives and witness sights you never would have seen otherwise on this excursion to the area’s wineries and historic sites.​ 

You can get off the aerial lift halfway down the hill to conduct some exploring.

Explore the town’s many restaurants, shops, and other points of interest.

Stop for a moment and enjoy the scenery by taking a stroll around the little lake or through the nearby forests.​​​​​​​​​​​

7. Grafton Harbor

@Grafton Harbor

Address: 215 West Water St, Grafton, IL 62037, United States

Situated on the banks of the Mississippi River, Grafton Harbor is a popular vacation spot thanks to its proximity to a variety of recreational opportunities, historical landmarks, and Rock Island Trail State Park.

It is an ideal spot to spend a day of sightseeing, an exciting evening of fishing, or a thrilling weekend of camping.​

The harbor is a great place to go boating, fishing, waterskiing, jet skiing, or renting a pontoon boat.

Spot replacements in the harbor facilitate the landing of large catches for recreational anglers.

Make the most of your fishing excursion with the help of experienced local guides and boats stocked with top-notch equipment.

The harbor’s Trophy Club hosts interesting contests with big prizes for more seasoned anglers.​

It offers a variety of watercraft, including pontoon boats, ski boats, and wave runners, for rent to people interested in taking a relaxing cruise on the lake.

The best time to rent from the harbor is from April through October. 

In addition to a rental fleet, the harbor also provides a variety of guided adventure tours so that visitors can learn more about the area around the gorgeous river.

8. Eckert’s farm

@Play Stlouis

Address: 20995 Eckert Orchard Rd, Grafton, IL 62037, United States

If  you’re looking for fun things to do in Grafton with family, fun and excitement await you at Eckert’s Farm

You may select your own fruits and veggies at this lovely farm, as well as go on blackberry and pumpkin picking excursions, take hay rides, and enjoy special events all year long.

In addition, the farm has two eateries where visitors can enjoy comfort food like fried chicken, burgers, pizza, and even ice cream cooked from scratch.​

The harvest is available in the fall, but visitors can enjoy the pick-your-own fields all year long.

Families can enjoy a wagon trip through the pumpkin patch and pick their own pumpkins to take home. Blackberries and raspberries are available for picking in the summer and fall.

While you’re out taking in the sights, cool off with a honey ice cream cone or an apple cider slushie cooked right on the premises.​

The farm also plays host to a number of annual events and activities.

In September and October, Grab-a-Straw is an exciting and novel way for kids to find the ideal pumpkin.

Create your own scarecrow and partake in other arts and crafts at Hansel & Gretel’s Scarecrow Festival, another enjoyable and cheerful autumn event. 

More family-friendly events take place on the farm for special occasions like the Fourth of July, Easter, and Mother’s Day.​

9. The Loading Dock

@The Loading Dock Bar & Grill

Address: 401 Front St, Grafton, IL 62037, United States

Visit the Loading Dock after a day of sight-seeing in Grafton, Illinois, to unwind and refuel. 

It’s a laid-back spot suitable for families, serving up great American fare with a creative spin. Traditional American fare such as hefty burgers and tasty sandwiches may be found on the menu.

There is a nice and welcoming vibe, and the service is excellent.​ 

Beer-baked pretzels, smoked wings, and supreme nachos are just a few of the tasty appetizers available. 

The restaurant serves a range of handcrafted pastas, as well as heartier options including steak and ale pie and house-smoked brisket. 

Salads, wraps, and burgers galore all satisfy your craving for something lighter fare.​

In addition to tasty food, it also offers a selection of refreshing drinks.

Sit back and relax with a refreshing beer, glass of wine, or specialty cocktail on the patio while taking in the scenery. 

On Thursday nights, local live bands perform, adding to the relaxed atmosphere.

It’s ideal for social gatherings of all kinds, day or night.​​

10. Grafton Ghost Tours

@Atlas Obscura

Explore the town’s haunting past by walking down its historic cobblestone streets and listening to its strange echoes.

Experience the ghost stories of Grafton firsthand by following knowledgeable guides through the town’s spooky alleys and graveyards.​

Grafton’s high and scenic cliffs offer a breathtaking vantage point over the ethereal Illinois River, making for a once-in-a-lifetime sightseeing opportunity.

There is a wealth of history to be discovered in the narrow alleys and old cemeteries of this riverside village. 

Get away from the crowds and learn more about the history of Grafton on one of the Ghosted Tours.​

Grafton Ghosted Tours is renowned for its intimate group excursions, allowing you to go at your own pace.

You’ll get a headlamp to help you see in the dark and a guide who knows all about the history of the area to tell you all about it.

You can safely investigate haunted locations, such as cemeteries and old mansions with tales of weird happenings.​

The tours have all you adventurous souls looking for something truly exciting and unforgettable.

Hop on board for a nighttime tour of the city and an excursion you won’t forget in a hurry.​​​​​​

11. The Grafton Visitors Center

@Saratog Aassociates

Address: 950 E Main St, Grafton, IL 62037, United States

One of the best ways to start a day in Grafton is by visiting the Grafton Visitors Center.

The Center provides excellent service and a wide variety of amenities to its guests, it is a must-stop for anybody planning to explore this charming town, as it houses useful resources such as maps and guides, as well as information on the town’s major attractions.​

The wealth of resources available ensures that a trip there will be one you’ll never forget.

The friendly personnel at the Visitors Center can answer any questions tourists may have about the area, including where to find restaurants, shops, and hotels.

Summertime activities like art festivals and parades typically draw large people to the visitors’ center and the center’s gift shop has plenty of fantastic memento options even when it’s not the busy season.​

The Center also houses a wealth of historical items and images for those curious in the town’s past.

The history of the village and the people that made it what it is today can be explored by tourists.

Moreover, visitors can take part in a selection of walking excursions while exploring the hamlet and its attractions on their own time.​​​

12. Grafton Fudge & Ice Cream

@Grafton Fudge and ICE CREAM

Address: 321 E Main St, Grafton, IL 62037, United States

Grafton Fudge & Ice Cream is the best ice cream in town, and it’s the perfect way to end the day.

The proprietors of this quaint ice cream parlor take great pride in serving up tasty delicacies and helpful assistance to locals and tourists alike.​ 

It is a terrific spot to stop by for a sweet treat in the morning or as a way to cap off the day.

Choose from traditional flavors like vanilla, strawberry, and chocolate, or try something new like Monkey Business or Berry Nutella Swirl. Various holiday-themed flavors, such as Peppermint Bark and Salted Caramel, are also available.​

Grafton Fudge & Ice Cream is proud to use only the finest, freshest ingredients available.

The ice cream in each serving is produced from scratch without the use of any artificial flavors or preservatives.

The parlor is well-known not only for its ice cream, but also for its homemade fudge, which comes in a variety of flavors. Vanilla and chocolate are always safe bets, but if you’re looking for something a little more adventurous, try the Raspberry Cheesecake or the Almond Joy.​

The shop’s mission is to make everyone’s time in the area memorable and exciting.

It’s likely to please everyone in the family with its many tasty options, fresh fudge, and helpful staff.​​​​​​​​​​

13. Grafton Ferry

@Rivers And Routes

Address: Water St, Grafton, IL 62037, United States

One of the best things to do in Grafton is taking the Grafton Ferry over the Illinois River.​

It’s a quick trip, with boats leaving every hour for six days a week, its reasonable cost and beautiful views, it’s a great way to explore the Riverbend Region.​ 

The stunning blue waters of the river provide a tranquil backdrop for the short voyage.​

You can take in incredible views while crossing the river, and during the summer months it can be especially beautiful.​

The ferry boats are safe and reliable, and the ride itself is both entertaining and educational.​ 

The cost of the ferry service is quite reasonable, with low fares for both adults and children.​

You can also enjoy a discount with a special family pass if you are taking a group of four or more.​

You can bring bicycles or cars on the ferry as well, and the trip to the other side of the river usually takes about five minutes.​ 

Once you make it to the other side, you can explore Grafton even more.​

The town has a number of sights, attractions, and activities.​

Enjoy a walk on the boardwalk, visit the historical Brick House Museum and visitors center or sample some delicious food.​

Make sure to take some time and enjoy the picturesque views of the bluffs and the river.​ 

14. Knotty By Nature

@Knotty by Nature

Address: 15 E Main St, Grafton, IL 62037, United States

The store’s assortment of high-quality goods made of largely natural fabrics and materials makes for a novel shopping experience for customers.​

You can always find the ideal present to take home a memento from this hidden gem of a store to show how much your loved ones back home mean to you. Knotty By Nature promises to have something unique in their wares, whether it be apparel, jewelry, or home decor.​

Don’t just buy gifts; pick up a few items for yourself as well.

You’re bound to find something that strikes your fancy.​

You can’t miss the eye-catching storefront, and once inside, you’ll discover that it’s much more than meets the eye.

Everything about this store is geared around the customer’s shopping experience, from the knowledgeable personnel who are happy to answer any queries to the handpicked assortment of goods.​

15. The Wood artisan


Address: 22 E Main St UNIT 5, Grafton, IL 62037, United States

If you’re in the market for unique, handcrafted items, go no farther than The Wood Artisan.

Shop patrons have a front-row seat to the natural and recycled materials-based creations of local artists.

The shop sells handmade wooden artifacts of different shapes and sizes, including furniture and decorative items.

All of the items they sell are created with meticulous craftsmanship and a focus on long-term durability.

Woodworking tools, books, and materials are also available for those looking to expand their collections or learn the foundations of the craft.​

Woodworking and other forms of handicraft are taught in basic and advanced classes. 

Visitors can observe master craftspeople at work and gain insight into the processes involved in making heirloom-quality works of art.

Instructors in these courses are experts in their fields and may provide insight and guidance to students.

I believe you know what I’m going to say, Don’t forget to enjoy your time with family 🙂 life is short