Looking for things to do in Downers Grove? You won’t be disappointed. During the three years I lived downtown in this western Chicago suburb, I loved walking to the farmers market, checking out the parks, and catching shows at the Tivoli. So whether you live here or are hopping on a train to visit, check out our round-up of the best things to do in Downers Grove, IL.
Entertainment in Downers Grove
5201 Highland Avenue, Downers Grove
Built in 1928, this classic one-screen cinema is the best deal in town at $5 a ticket. Show up early on Friday and Saturday nights to hear a live performance on the Wurlitzer pipe organ.
938 Warren Avenue, Downers Grove
Tucked around the corner from the Tivoli Theatre, this seven-lane alley features bumper rails that go up and down depending on the bowler.
Activities in Downers Grove
6801 S. Main St., Downers Grove
If you’re looking for a Downers Grove park, McCullum is always a great bet. It’s the largest of the parks and has a gigantic playground with areas for little and big kids, as well as a walking trail, concession stand, and mini golf. You’ll also find courts for tennis, sand volleyball, baseball, and horseshoes.
6801 S. Main St., Downers Grove
This low-key course at McCullum Park is run by the park district and is great for all ages. Tickets run just $4–$5.
831 Maple Ave., Wandschneider Park, Downers Grove
You can explore this local museum showcasing Downers Grove history in under an hour. There are three buildings to visit: the Pioneer Blodgett House, built in 1846 and one of the oldest houses in Downers Grove; the Victorian Blodgett house, built in 1892 and decked out in Victorian decor; and the Homestead Barn with a 1920’s original fire engine and rotating exhibits.
1524C Butterfield Rd, Downers Grove
This laser tag arena features multiple levels and special effects. They’re especially great at accommodating large groups and parties.
5501 Walnut Avenue, Downers Grove
This indoor ice rink offers open skate times as well as hockey and ice skating lessons.
Food in Downers Grove
1510B 75th St, Downers Grove
Kids love this train-themed restaurant where model trains chug around the counter to deliver classic diner eats.
990 Warren Avenue, Downers Grove
This family-owned downtown ice cream shop has served up signature scoops and creations since 1992.
Open Gyms in Downers Grove
4500 Belmont Road, Downers Grove
Parent and Tot Open gym is held at various times throughout the week for ages 10 months-7 years; check the calendar for details.
6360 Belmont Road, Downers Grove
Supervised open gym is held Thursday 2–3:30pm for ages 3–14 and Fridays 7:30–9:30pm for first graders and up.
2435 Curtiss Street, Downers Grove
Open gym is offered on Sunday evening from 6:30-8:30pm for children ages 6-18.
Nature in Downers Grove
901 31st St, Downers Grove
Kick off your hike at the William F. Sherman, Jr. Interpretive Center to check out the butterfly and rain gardens before heading off to explore 150 acres of woods, prairie, and marshlands.
SE Corner of Rt 53 & Butterfield Rd., Downers Grove
More than two miles of hiking and two lakes make Hidden Lake one of the best outdoor things to do in Downers Grove.
1707 Gilbert Avenue, Downers Grove
This forest preserve is connected to Gilbert Park, which was a runner up for the 10 Best Parks and Playgrounds in the Near Western Suburbs. The park is geared towards younger children and is very peaceful. It’s a nice way to combine a trip to the park and a nature walk. The trail off the park crosses Saint Joseph Creek and there is parking right on Gilbert Avenue. Click here for more information about Maple Grove.
Date Night in Downers Grove
Tivoli Theatre at 5201 Highland Avenue, Downers Grove
If you’re interested in foreign films and specialty cinema, check out the After Hours Film Society, which screens films at the Tivoli Theatre in downtown Downers Grove. Upcoming films are advertised via their Facebook page.
1047 Curtiss St., Downers Grove
This little music venue inside the First Congressional Church building features live folk music every Friday night at 8:15 p.m. It’s been running for more than 45 years! Check out the schedule for events (and note that the venue is only open during concerts).
2300 Wisconsin Ave. #213, Downers Grove, IL 60515
Check out Alter Brewing Company’s taproom for craft beers brewed right here in Downers Grove. The taproom does offer snacks, but there’s no kitchen, so Alter encourages you to bring your own food in.
Summer Fun in Downers Grove
May 20 – September 2, 2016 (excluding June 24)
An array of classic cars will line the streets and live entertainment will be held at the Main Street Train Station.
May 24 – August 23, 2016
Free entertainment with food and drinks available for purchase. There is an indoor location option in case of bad weather.
Saturdays, 7am – 12:30pm May 7 – October 15, 2016
One of the bigger suburban farmers markets‚and one of my very favorite things to do in Downers Grove! Vendors vary, but expect live music, donuts fried on-site, and a bumper crop of local produce, meat, and baked goods.
Winter Fun in Downers Grove
There are many places to go sledding when the hills are covered in snow! Be sure to check out these great spots below.
Gilbert Park at 1500 Gilbert Road, Downers Grove
O’Brien Park at 6909 S. Dunham Avenue, Downers Grove
Concord Park at Springside and Concord Avenue, Downers Grove
Ebersold Park at 59th and Main Street, Downers Grove
Lyman Woods at 901 31st Street, Downers Grove
Lyman Woods is unique in that it offers snowshoe rental to explore their trails in the winter. Snowshoe rental is available for adult and children as well as guided snowshoe hikes. What a great way to enjoy the winter woods!
Looking for more things to do in Downers Grove and the surrounding area? Check out the Kidlist Calendar for upcoming events.