Why should spring and summer have all the fun? While most people tend to think of taking road trips during the warmer months, the Chicago area is full of wonderful places for older adults and caregivers to explore during the fall and winter seasons.
From charming farms and nature sanctuaries, to scenic boulevards lined with some of the most iconic and inspiring architecture in the world, our area is full of safe, socially distanced getaways great for alleviating your cabin fever.
Fall and Winter Chicago-Area Day Trips Perfect for Seniors and Caregivers
Looking for day trips and outings perfect for fall and winter in the Chicago area? Here are seven exciting ideas perfect for active seniors:
1.) Go Leaf Peeping In a Scenic Spot Near Chicago
Want to soak in the beauty of autumn? The Chicago area is full of wonderful places to get a glimpse of the changing leaves — many just a short drive from the heart of the city! Popular spots for spotting vibrant red and gold leaves include the Chicago Botanic Garden and Morton Arboretum, both of which are just a short drive north of the city. To the west, the Garfield Park Conservatory is a nature lover’s dream.
2.) Take a Drive Through Frank Lloyd Wright Country
Did you know that Chicago is widely credited as the home of the skyscraper? With bona fides like that, it’s no surprise that our area is a popular destination for architecture lovers — including fans of Frank Lloyd Wright, one of America’s most legendary designers. The Oak Park neighborhood in Chicago’s western suburbs is home to the highest concentration of Frank Lloyd Wright architecture you’ll find anywhere in the world, including the famous designer’s personal home and studio and his popular Unity Temple. On the southern end of the city, Beverly is studded with historically significant homes, including many dreamt up by Wright and his proteges.
3.) Explore Michigan’s Natural Beauty
While many people think of cars and Motown when they think of Michigan, the reality is that this state is loaded with farmland, forests, and beautiful coastlines — many just a short drive away from Chicagoland! For fun day trips in fall and winter, start by exploring all of your options in rustic Fennville, historic Harbor Country, or scenic Holland.
4.) Enjoy a Nearby State Park
Feeling a bit tired of the city skyline? Get away from concrete and chrome for a few hours in one of the area’s most scenic state parks. Just a short drive away from Chicago, Starved Rock State Park is a nature lover’s dream come true, with ample hiking and stunning natural rock formations. Indiana Dunes State Park, about an hour from Chicago, offers gorgeous views of Lake Michigan and plenty of immersive landscapes. Kankakee River State Park is a great place to see Illinois’ most powerful river in person. Not too far away, Wisconsin’s Devil’s Lake State Park is a large natural area packed with gorgeous bluffs and scenic campsites.
5.) Savor the Winter in Wisconsin
Just a short drive north of the Chicago area, Wisconsin is often thought of as a summer getaway — but it’s also full of fun places to explore during the chilliest months of the year! From the “snowmobile capital of the world” in Eagle River, to the dogsledding of Elkhart Lake, to the ice fishing you’ll find in Madison, to the icy caves of Bayfield, Wisconsin truly comes to life when the temperatures drop.
6.) Flash Back to Higher Learning by Exploring a Beautiful College Campus
A college campus is a wonderful idea for a fall or winter road trip — whether you’re looking to help your loved one think back on their college days, or just enjoy a few hours surrounded by stunning architecture and gardens. The Chicago area is home to some of the most gorgeous campuses you’ll find anywhere in North America. Just north of the city, Evanston is home to the sprawling grounds of Northwestern University. The University of Chicago in Hyde Park offers tremendous gothic architecture and stunning gardens full of plants and sculptures. A short drive away, you’ll find the campus of the University of Notre Dame just outside South Bend, Indiana. Notre Dame is one of the most prestigious schools in the world, with a picturesque campus to match.
7.) Seek Out One of Illinois’ Best Scenic Drives
Drives are a wonderful way to help your senior loved one enjoy a change of scenery while staying comfortable and safe, and the Illinois area is full of wonderful places to hit the road — including the Spoon River Valley Scenic Drive in Canton, and the Illinois River Road National Scenic Byway near Peoria. You and your loved one could even get your kicks on Route 66 — by cruising the Illinois Route 66 Scenic Byway, that is.
Looking for Help Encouraging Your Elderly Loved One to Stay Active During Fall and Winter?
Looking for someone to help make sure your loved one always feels empowered to go on outings and adventures, even when you can’t be there yourself? If you live in the city of Chicago or the surrounding suburbs, Companions for Seniors is here for you.
From offering assistance with walking and other activities of daily living, to offering reliable and convenient driving services, to simply providing a friend to share stories and chat with, a companion can make sure your senior loved one is able to really enjoy themselves as they make the most of each day — while staying safe and secure at every step of the way.
At Companions for Seniors, our mission is to help seniors live independently and with dignity in the comfort of their own home by empowering them to lead an active and enriched lifestyle, connecting them with their community, and nurturing meaningful relationships. We have experience scheduling and coordinating all kinds of trips and outings in the Chicagoland area, so that elderly adults never have to worry about giving up on their active lifestyle.
We are proud to be locally owned and operated in Chicago, Illinois, with services available in the city and suburbs. Don’t hesitate to reach out online or give us a call at 866-910-9020 to get the conversation started today!