Memorial Day weekend is almost here, and if you don't already have your summer fun to-do list completed yet, you need to get on it ASAP!

Summer Fun Ideas
Cristiano Ribeiro, ThinkStock

My kids only have a few days of school left before summer break, and the other night we were talking about all the things they want to do before over the next few months. Their list contained typical things like swim, go to the lake, roast s'mores, have playdates with school friends and go to fairs, but then they threw a couple curve balls at me; go horesback riding and camping in a tent.

Now, I love horses and it's been far too long since since I hopped in a saddle, so I'm all in for that , but the 'go camping in a tent' part is not really my jam. Since my husband and I will really do anything for our kids, I guess we'll be sleeping in tents at some point this summer.


Best Camping Spots in Illinois

If I must go tent camping this summer, it has to be someplace fun and pretty close to home, because I am still not fully convinced my girls will be down with the sleeping in tents part either.

I recently came across an article from Parked In Paradise that listed the best places to go camping in Illinois, but I want to zero in on the best places to go in Northern Illinois. According to Parked In Paradise's list, these are the 5 most popular camping spots in Northern Illinois:

1. Chain O' Lakes State Park in Antioch, Illinois

The Illinois Department of Natural Resource's website says this park borders three lakes and the Fox River, so it offers plenty of water fun whether that be fishing, kayaking, swimming and more. It also has over 230 campsites, seven picnic areas and 4 trail systems, so there will be plenty of ways to keep our girls entertained.

2. Illinois Beach State Park in Zion, Illinois

This park stretches more than 6 miles along the shoreline of Lake Michicago and has camping sites available right near the beach for all your water pleasure! (I think I'm sold on this one already).

3. Kankakee River State Park in Bourbonnais, Illinois

IDNR's website says this park has many prehistoric documented sites within its borders, has a rich Illini and Miami Indian history to share, and sits on over 4,000 acres of beautiful scenery to explore.

4. Rock Cut State Park in Loves Park, Illinois

I have often walked trails along Rock Cut State Park, but I have never gone camping here. Rock Cut is also a great place to fish, kayak, or just hike and witness some beautiful wildlife.

5. Starved Rock State Park in Utica, Illinois

Starved Rock State Park might be most well known for its waterfalls, but any family will love exploring the park's 13 miles of trails and 18 different canyons. Swimming and rock climbing is not allowerd within Starved Rock State Park, but don't worry, there is still a TON of cool things to see and do.

Need more summer fun inspiration? Check these out...

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