20 Things To Do In Naperville

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Naperville is a suburb of the popular windy city Chicago. Don’t always assume you have to pop into the big city to keep yourself entertained, there are a ton of things to do in Naperville too. Naperville is five miles west of Chicago, and one of the city’s most popular suburbs.

The Naperville River winds its way through the city, with numerous attractions on either side of the river and in nature. Head to the famous Centennial Beach or check out downtown for boutique shopping and eateries. With indoor and outdoor activities to enjoy throughout summer and winter, here are some things to do in Naperville to keep you entertained.

Naperville, Illinois

20 Things To Do In Naperville

things to do in naperville, il
The Du Page county administration building.

1- Visit The Naper Settlement

The Naper Settlement is a fun outdoor history museum perfect for visiting with the whole family.

The museum is situated on 12 acres (4.8 ha) of land and aims to educate visitors on Naperville’s pioneering times and history.

You’ll catch villagers (or staff members) walking around in aged clothes, performing activities typical of the day.

Explore the 19th-century buildings on the property, as well as a displaced Civil War-era church.

You can wander around Naper Settlement throughout the year, but keep in mind the historic buildings are shut over the winter period between November and March.

Naper Settlement is at 523 S Webster St, Naperville, IL 60540.

2- Spend Time On Centennial Beach

Going to the beach is one of the best things to do in Naperville during the summer, and Centennial beach is a unique swimming area formed from an old quarry.

It is just like a beach, but if you’ve ever looked up Naperville on a map, you’ll realise it’s a fair drive from Lake Michigan, let alone any ocean.

There’s a grassy area to sunbathe on and sand to play in. There are waterslides, fountains and inflatables to enjoy right on the water.

This has become a popular spot for friends and families to relax and escape some of the most common unbearably hot summers.

Centennial Beach is at 500 Jackson Ave, Naperville, IL 60540.

3- Watch A Play At Bright Side Theatre

things to do in naperville this weekend
Going to the theatre is another thing to do in Naperville.

If you are a theatre buff, you’ll want to head to the Bright Side Theatre, Naperville’s only professional theatre company.

Their shows and performances change as rapidly as the Chicago weather, so check their schedule before buying your tickets to find the right show.

Expect to see shows such as Hairspray, High School Musical and other hit musicals.

Each theatre season is themed, and past themes have included Classic Broadway (2016-2017), as well as the 2015/2016 season being based on farce, which included a production of Legally Blonde.

In 2022, the company has been ‘Celebrating the Golden Age of Broadway’.

Bright Side Theatre is at 31 S Ellsworth St, Naperville, IL 60540.

4- Stroll Along The Naperville Riverwalk

things to do in naperville downtown red brick building, canal and pathway
Stretching your legs on the Naperville River Walk is one of the top things to do in Naperville.

The Naperville Riverwalk is a park that covers nearly two linear miles of space right in the heart of the city’s downtown area.

This park follows the DuPage River with several pathways and picturesque bridges.

The Naperville Riverwalk is the perfect nature-in-the-city escape and is close to many of the best things to do in Naperville.

The Naper Settlement and Centennial Beach are just a stone’s throw away.

5- See A Show At Wentz Concert Hall

things to do in naperville today concern pianist blurred in background
Attending a concert is one of the things to do in Naperville today.

The Wentz Concert Hall, located in North Central College, has been an important part of the community for more than one hundred years.

Their 600-plus occupancy theatre has attracted students, locals and visitors.

They host jazz, classical and contemporary music performances.

Within the Wentz Concert Hall, you’ll also find the Madden Theatre, which is home to theatrical performances.

Wentz Concert Hall is at 171 E Chicago Ave, Naperville, IL 60540.

6- Admire The Millennium Wall

best things to do in naperville
Enjoying the garden areas around the river walk is one fo the things to do in downtown Naperville.

The Millennium Wall is meant to epitomise the communities’ values of togetherness and pride.

The wall celebrates those who worked hard during the Naperville festival ‘Celebration 2000′ and lists businesses and individuals’ names.

You’ll find this wall again at the Naperville Riverwalk area behind the Riverwalk Amphitheatre.

The steps here are a great place to sit, relax, enjoy a picnic and watch free performances throughout the year.

The Millenium Wall is on the Riverwalk at Jackson Avenue between Webster and Eagle Streets.

7- Entertain The Kids At The Ball Factory

If you are travelling to Naperville and want to keep the kids entertained, check out Ball Factory.

This isn’t just one of those play areas where adults have to sit and wait. At Ball Factory, parents are encouraged to join in as well.

Activities at the centre focus on improving children’s imagination, mental, and social skills.

The Ball Factory is at 864 Illinois Rte 59, Naperville, IL 60540.

8- Visit The DuPage Children’s Museum

Another Naperville spot for the kids is the DuPage Children’s Museum, a family attraction that will entertain the kids for hours.

The exhibits inside the museum focus on science, art and maths and strongly focus on sensory play, construction and getting to know your physical surroundings.

This children’s museum is ideal for toddlers up to around 10 years old. It will keep them entertained so long they won’t want to leave.

The DuPage Children’s Museum is at 301 N Washington St, Naperville, IL 60540.

9- Get Creative At Pinot’s Palette

Looking for something fun and creative to enjoy while in Naperville? Look no further than Pinot’s Palette, sip and paint.

In recent years, sip and paint has become a popular activity, particularly for a girl’s night.

Their painting classes vary throughout the month, with some being themed, so you can learn to paint a specific subject.

If you don’t want the restriction of painting the classes subject, join their open studio painting classes, where you can be more open and creative with your designs.

This is the perfect Naperville activity to enjoy with a group of friends.

Pinot’s Palette is at 175 Jackson Ave Suite 123, Naperville, IL 60540.

10- Meet The Residents Of Knoch Knolls Nature Center

things to do in naperville illinois yellow spotted salamander
Seeing salamanders and other wildlife at Knoch Knolls Nature Center is one of the things to do in Naperville.

Near the Springbrook Prairie Nature Preserve on the southern side of Naperville sits the Knoch Knolls Nature Center.

At this nature centre, there’s the opportunity to meet the resident animals, which include the garter snake, box turtle and salamanders.

The staff are knowledgeable and will be able to answer all your questions about the surrounding ecosystem.

Around the nature centre, five miles of wooded trails form part of the Knoch Knolls Park.

The park has nature-themed playgrounds for kids, relaxing picnic areas, and even an 18-hole disc golf course.

A popular thing to do is to launch a boat, kayak or canoe from the water’s edge.

Knoch Knolls Nature Center is at 320 Knoch Knolls Rd, Naperville, IL 60565.

11- Relax At Morton Arboretum

Spend some time in nature at the Morton Arboretum, which covers 1700 (688 ha) acres of woodlands, and the DuPage River runs through it too.

As well as beautiful nature walks, there is a Children’s Garden, the Ginkgo Restaurant and Café, and the Sterling Morton Library.

If you are visiting Naperville during winter, be sure to go for the Illuminations.

There are fire pits, tents to warm yourselves, light shows, and tree-lined thematic illuminations.

The Morton Arboretum is at 4100 IL-53, Lisle, IL 60532.

12- Drink Beer At The Solemn Oath Brewery

fun things to do in naperville il for adults
Tasting local beer is one of the fun things to do in Naperville Il for adults.

If you’re looking for a fantastic locally brewed beer, head to the award-winning Solemn Oath Brewery.

The brewery serves up Belgian, West Coast and barrel-aged beers.

The taproom serves beer every day of the week, where you can purchase a pint or a beer flight.

One of the brewery’s highlights is that you can sit and drink your beer while watching the brewing process.

Solemn Oath Brewery is at 1661 Quincy Ave #179, Naperville, IL 60540.

13- Watch A Game At Benedetti-Wehrili Stadium

The Benedetti-Wehrili Stadium can seat 5,500 people and is used for football and American football.

Throughout the years, a number of different sports teams have called the stadium home, including the Chicago Fire FC.

When you are in town, check the stadium’s schedule and get involved in a good game of sport.

Benedetti-Wehrili Stadium is at 455 S Brainard St, Naperville, IL 60540.

14- Paddleboat Quarry

fun things to do in naperville il
Going paddle boating is another of the fun things to do in Naperville.

The Paddleboat Quarry is next to Centennial Beach, where you can rent kayaks and paddleboats.

They are only operational between May and October in the warmer Illinois months.

This is a fantastic and affordable Naperville activity to enjoy with the whole family.

You can also get some super cool photos of your enjoyable day.

The Paddleboat Quarry is at 441 Aurora Ave, Naperville, IL 60540.

15- Explore Catigny Park

fun things to do in naperville
Enjoying time out in a park is one of the things to do in Naperville Illinois.

Catigny Park was once the home of Joseph Medill and his grandson Colonel Robert R. McCormick, the publishers of the Chicago Tribune.

As well as the beautiful manor house, there are many activities to do at the park.

There are many gardens to wander around, including the Rose Garden, Hosta Garden and Idea Garden.

As well as gardens, there is a museum, golf course and plenty of space for fun and recreation.

What is better is that this is a completely free park, great if you are on a budget.

Catigny Park is at 1 S, 151 Winfield Rd, Wheaton, IL 60189.

16- First Division Museum

The First Division Museum is within Catigny Park and is dedicated to the WWI First Division of the army of which Colonel McCormick was part of.

The museum includes exhibits and artifacts from WWI and subsequent wars.

Outside the museum, a tank park houses one of Illinois’s most extensive collections of tanks.

There are also a bunch of artillery pieces that are fascinating to look at.

Kids will love this part of the museum because you are even allowed to climb on the tanks and interact with the artillery.

First Division Museum is at 1s151 Winfield Rd, Wheaton, IL 60189.

17- Moser Tower and Millennium Carillon

things to do in naperville il Moser Tower with blue sky and clouds in background
Visiting the Moser Tower is one of the fun things to do in Naperville.

This odd spaceship-like rocket-looking tower was built in 1999 to celebrate the third millennium of the 21st century.

It stands at 160 feet (49 m) tall, and inside is the Millennium Carillon with its 72 bells.

You might be surprised that the Moser Tower is taller than the Statue of Liberty.

If you visit on the weekend, you can climb the 253 steps to the top to enjoy a fantastic view of Naperville, the riverwalk way, Centennial Beach, and even as far as the Chicago skyline on a clear day.

Millennium Carillon is at 443 Aurora Ave, Naperville, IL 60540.

18- Naperville Trolley & Tour

things to do in napervielle
Enjoying time in the parks and squares is one of the things to do in Naperville, Illinois.

Taking a trolley tour is an entertaining way of seeing Naperville, so if you want to see more of downtown Naperville and learn about its history, then you should take this tour.

Travel on a private trolley with your friends, or go as part of a tour.

There are even themed holiday trolley tours for Christmas and Halloween.

One of the best things about Naperville Trolley & Tours is that they are family-run and passionate about Naperville and will provide insights into local life.

19- Odyssey Fun World

things to do in naperville for kids video game buttons
Playing games at Odyssey is one of the fun things to do in Naperville, Il.

If the kids have some energy that needs burning, then definitely take them to Odyssey Fun World.

At Odyssey Fun World, you can enjoy many arcade games, laser tag, paintball, an inflatable kid’s park, and classic carnival rides.

The kids will enjoy themselves for hours at this fun park.

During autumn, if you visit Odyssey, there are all things pumpkins and Halloween, including a corn maze to get lost in, a giant pumpkin patch, and hayrides.

Odyssey Fun World is at 19111 Oak Park Ave, Tinley Park, IL 60477.

20- Springbrook Prairie Forest Preserve

things to do in downtown naperville
Enjoying the natural side of the riverwalk is one of the things to do in Naperville today.

The Springbrook Prairie Forest Preserve covers nearly 2000 acres (810 ha) of land and is the perfect place to get lost and take a break from city life.

The original plan for the Prairie was to build a 200-acre (80 ha) lake shaped like a dragon.

However, they went with the eco-friendlier option and decided to transform it into grasslands.

These grasslands are now home to a variety of bird species as well as important rare birds.

While at the preserve, you can enjoy trails for walking, cycling and horse-riding.

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harriet comley
Harriet Comley is a travel enthusiast, freelance travel writer and a lover of safaris. Since 2017 she has been travelling the globe living in the UK, Canada, Vietnam, China and now Zambia, where she is completing her PhD in Sustainable Tourism. For 3 1/2 years she taught English in Vietnam and China. Now she has turned her attention to writing, having contributed to a number of travel blogs and websites always focusing on what she loves most…exploring!