1. Start your day at Apple Barn in Chatham, IL https://applebarn.net/
2. Visit Lincoln New Salem State Park https://www.lincolnsnewsalem.com/
3. Eat at Morning Star Mercantile and Cafe on your way to or from Lincolns New Salem (check hours) https://www.facebook.com/morningstarmercantileandcafe
4. Lincolns Presidential Library https://presidentlincoln.illinois.gov/
5. Eat at The Cozy Dog Drive In https://www.cozydogdrivein.com/
6. Pay your respects at Lincolns Tomb https://lincolntomb.org/
7. Eat a Pony Shoe at D’Arcy’s Pint http://www.darcyspintonline.com/
8. The Lincoln Family Home https://www.nps.gov/liho/planyourvisit/lincoln-home-tour.htm
For more details of each recommended stop visit http://www.pioneerflunkies.com!
We are fortunately located in an area with a lot of history within arms, or a cars, reach. I’m sure this contributed to our love for history, and we’ve tried to raise our kids accordingly.
One consistent way we’ve done this is with our yearly trips to the Land of Lincoln, Springfield, IL.
The first time I went to Springfield, Illinois I was in a Girl Scouts uniform. I remember taking turns rubbing the bronze off Lincolns nose outside of his tomb. When my sister Jenne moved there for a few years after she was married 18 years ago, our family photo albums became full of the memories made there through the years.
Visiting Springfield, IL I was able to get to know Abraham Lincoln better by walking in his footsteps. it has really impacted us and our kids in the best of ways.
It’s a place where history comes to life before your eyes! It isn’t often these days that our childhood heroes prove themselves worthy of it. I’m so happy that we can share our love of Lincoln with our little ones without having to gloss over later atrocities.
He’s a great example to our kids. that one can grow up without any advantages, work hard, study hard, and make a change to our world despite the odds.
Furthermore, he stuck to his values even when it would have served him better to compromise them. These things and more come to me as I walk the quiet, quaint paths in Lincoln’s New Salem.
There are so many Springfield, IL and Abraham Lincoln stops that I’ve created a list of ideas for a day trip of your own.
For a printable list please see the card at the beginning of this blog post. Below you will find detailed reasons I love each recommended stop!
- From St. Louis take exit 88 off Highway 55 North and visit the Apple Barn. A stop at the Apple Barn is a must! Grab an apple cider slushy, homemade caramel candies and apple cider donuts! You don’t have to limit yourself to those three things though. They have an array of baked goods, jams, foods, crafts and so much more! Check them out on your way into town!
- Visit Lincolns New Salem State Park! Here I get inspired to live more simply, align my own values and make small changes to live my own best life. I think this is a great place to share with your littles. It offers a small glimpse into other mind-sets. You can show them a new way of thinking and culture to help them on their own path. This town was established when a young Lincoln moved in before he ever dreamed he was going to be president. He lived, worked and studied law here. You can get an up close look at the cabins, businesses and the ever enjoyable living history of this town.
- Coming into or out of Lincolns New Salem State Park you will pass the Morning Star Mercantile and Cafe. It’s a wonderful place to eat, relax and shop after time spent exploring. Its sits back from the road and is flanked by gorgeous trees. This restaurant boasts a fireplace, delicious desserts and a great staff. Their hours shift per season and closes after the lunch rush. Plan accordingly to make time for this special stop.
- Check out Lincolns Presidential Library. This museum takes you through all the stages of Lincolns life. If you had limited time in Springfield, IL you never have to travel anywhere else! You get to know Lincoln and his family so personally here. You get to visit his farm upbringing and experiencing his life in the Whitehouse. The whole Lincoln family welcomes you as you enter. You cannot help but feel like you’re actually a guest in his home.
- Eat at The Cozy Dog Drive In where corn dogs were invented (and still set the standard-YUM!). It’s a favorite of ours and its awesome that they have a drive through. When we visit this establishment its usually on the way out of town!
- Spend some meaningful time at Lincolns Tomb. The site is home to a 117-foot tall granite tomb. It contains the bodies of Abraham Lincoln, his wife Mary, and three of his four sons – Edward, William and Thomas (Tad). The tomb is beautiful, personal and easy to navigate. This is not a guided tour so you can be as quick or paced as you like. It really is a tomb fit for a president. Their is a bronze bust out front of Abraham Lincolns face where kids can rub his nose for luck!
- This food stop is a must on our Springfield, IL trip days! The Pony shoe at D’Arcy’s Pint. This non negotiable meal combines all of the best food groups (in my humble opinion) . Texas Toast, Hamburger (or meat of choice), Fries, and a glorious white cheese sauce poured over the top. If you’re feeling extra hungry you can order a Horse Shoe which is double of everything listed!
- See and immerse yourself in Lincolns pre-presidental adult life by visiting the Lincoln home and surrounding street. Here you will get a front row view of how Lincoln and his family lived during the seventeen years they lived in Springfield, IL. You will get a personal peak into Lincoln’s life as a father, lawyer and politician through the tour of his actual home. The surrounding neighborhood and street are being restored to the Lincoln era time with neighboring homes available for you to visit and explore.
Do you have another must do in Springfield, IL or have you ever tried a Pony Shoe? Let me know below!