15 Best Things to Do in Marion, IL (2023)

There is no shortage of the best things to do in Marion, Illinois.

Located in Williamson and Johnson Counties, Marion serves as the county seat of Williamson County and its largest city.

The coal fields of the early twentieth century gave rise to a scattered urban region, of which this is a component.

The city got its name from General Francis "Swamp Fox" Marion, a hero of the American Revolutionary War.

Marion has grown into Southern Illinois ' central retail trade hub because of its convenient position on Interstate 57 and Illinois Route 13.

It's a popular destination for food enthusiasts and those looking for a good time.

Aside from shopping, the city is abundant with stunning scenery, excellent museums, and lovely parks.

A city full of high-octane racing and a world-class ballpark awaits you.

A mall and a minor league baseball club call Illinois Star Centre home.

One of the region's major natural preserves is one of the area's quieter spots for introspection.

A National Historic Registry-listed building from 1913 serves as a showcase for art, history, and culture.

Here's a list of the best thing to do in Marion, IL:

Explore the Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge

15 Best Things to Do in Marion, IL (1)

Unwind at Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge.

Five miles west of Marion, the tourist center is an excellent place to start.

You may obtain a map of the 44,000-acre preserve from the center.

15 Best Things to Do in Marion, IL (2)

It's an excellent opportunity for families to get outside and explore the region's natural beauty.

You'll be able to observe wild deer, turkeys, bobcats, and migrating birds on a 9-mile self-guided driving tour of the property.

15 Best Things to Do in Marion, IL (3)

You may also catch catfish by casting a line from the shore of a lake.

If you'd like, you can pack a picnic and take a break from the hustle and bustle of the city.

Explore the City's Past at Williamson County Historical Museum

A historic 1913 brick building houses the Williamson County Historical Society.

Located at 105 S. Van Buren Street, a half-block from the Williamson County Courthouse, this 1913 structure served dual purposes.

It operated as both a jail and a residence for the Sheriff and his family.

It has four large cell blocks for the males and smaller ones for the ladies.

In the ancient days, the Sheriff's wife would cook for the convicts as part of the deal.

Following the completion of the new jail in 1972, the Williamson County Historical Society agreed to use the building as a museum.

With many treasured family heirlooms and fascinating antiques dating back to the founding of the county in 1839 in its collection, it has been a treasure trove since its establishment.

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The museum exhibits relics from a bygone era, including antiques and documents.

An old-fashioned schoolroom and many more displays of historical furniture, equipment, amusement, clothes, and military costumes are among the 17 rooms filled with exhibits.

Browse the Extensive Archives at Marion Carnegie Library

The old home of "Grandma Cline" is now the Marion Carnegie Library.

The Carnegie Foundation donated $18,000 to construct the building in 1915.

The building was planned by Evansville, IN architect Clifford Shopbell and built by Marion, IN contractor Robert Sparks.

There were 1,162 books and 680 borrowers when it launched on February 29, 1916.

Today, the library possesses more than 118,000 pieces in its collection.

Books, periodicals, DVDs, audiobooks, instructional kits, and digital material are just some of the resources patrons can borrow from the library.

You may also request an item from other libraries in its system if what you are looking for is unavailable.

Catch a Game at Rent One Park

15 Best Things to Do in Marion, IL (4)

Located in Marion, Illinois, Rent One Park is a stadium that opened in 2007.

From 2007, it served as home to the Southern Illinois Miners of the Frontier League, a minor league team.

In contrast to the typical red brick and green-painted steel of other ballparks in the United States, this stadium has a modern, non-traditional appearance.

In the new stadium, the roof dips down toward the pitch, making it one of the unique aspects.

As a result, fans may be able to snag players' foul balls that roll back down the field.

It is not uncommon to find a more oversized chair behind home plate among the ballpark's more than 3,400 regular armchair seats.

Over 2,000 people may watch in the grassy area along the left-field line and the outfield.

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Two picnic areas are available in Rent One Park.

An open-air plaza, home and guest clubhouses, a maintenance facility, and administrative offices are all part of the complex's facilities, as are team stores.

The Fun Zone, a children's play area with four inflatable activities, can be found at the park's southwest corner on the left-field side.

Baseball, Wiffle ball, skeeball, and basketball are some of the ball activities you may try here.

Swing Your Club at Kokopelli Golf Club

It has a long history of bringing Southern Illinois and the game of golf together through Kokopelli Golf Club.

More than 20 local investors led the charge to begin construction in 1996 to bring world-class golf to Southern Illinois.

Steve Smyers, a famous golf architect, developed this comprehensive course and rated it one of the most fantastic locations in America by Golf Week Magazine.

Whether you're a rookie or an expert player, this course is sure to keep you entertained.

Kokopelli's new leadership is bringing together the finest of the company's long history with the excitement of an entirely new era.

For your convenience, Kokopelli has an eight-acre practice facility, a GPS golf cart fleet with Bluetooth and radio capabilities, and an all-inclusive pro shop with expert golf instruction.

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Membership and sponsorship opportunities are available to anyone who choose to participate.

The event area at Kokopelli has also been given a makeover, with a pass-through bar, refurbished facilities, and freshly renovated event spaces available for rentals.

Additionally, it features The Turn, an on-site restaurant and lounge for guests to relax and celebrate all night long.

There's no reason to go somewhere else with its extensive range of bourbons, local wine, and delicious meal deals.

Have a Picnic at Pyramid Park

The vast grounds and well-kept facilities of Pyramid Park make it a beloved local green area.

The playgrounds, picnic spaces, and fields at this Marion community park are among the best in the city.

Pharaoh's Way Disc Golf Course, a professionally built, demanding recreational 18-hole course, is located in this 33-acre park.

It also features a centrally placed skate park.

There are also two ball fields and a lot of parking available.

Stay in the park for a while and enjoy the sunset.

From this park, you'll be able to admire the orange tint of the sky in all its glory.

Have a Splash at Marion Park District Aquatic Center

There is a public swimming pool located at Ray Fosse Park in Marion.

Taking a dip in this massive pool, one of the city's most popular attractions, is a great way to beat the heat.

There is a separate section of the outdoor pool for people who wish to swim laps and want to relax.

It is a great place to perform relay swimming races with your pals.

Groups of individuals can race each other in this area, which is wide enough.

Celebrate Arts at Marion Cultural and Civic Center

15 Best Things to Do in Marion, IL (6)

The Marion Cultural and Civic Center was previously the Orpheum Play House circuit's "Flagship" theater.

Three DuQuoin businessmen owned and ran ten Southern Illinois movie theaters: Reid, Yemm, and Hayes.

The foundation finished construction in 1919, and the theater followed suit in late 1921.

Visit the Marion Cultural and Civic Center for an uplifting performance or a foot-tapping concert.

With a history dating back to the days of vaudeville, you can be sure that the 1,094-seat venue, run by the city, has something to offer to everyone.

Here, you may watch local Marion community theater performances like the Paradise Alley Players and national touring acts, as well as classic films shown regularly as part of the Classic Movie Series.

Every year, the facility hosts around 300 different events.

Arrive early to take in the lobby art exhibit, which features the work of local artists.

Feel Your Adrenaline Rushing at Southern Illinois Raceway

Enter the exciting world of motorsports in Marion.

The Southern Illinois Raceway's one-eighth-mile dirt track is a great place to catch some racing action.

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If you're a motorsports fanatic, you're probably counting down the days until the next exciting race.

Get a pit pass so you can get up close and personal with the racers.

If you get to the track early enough, you can catch some of the practice laps for the significant events before the starting gun goes off.

Practice Shoot at Tombstone Gun Range and Training Center

Shooters of all skill levels may practice their expertise in firearms in a safe environment at the Tombstone Gun Range and Training Center.

In addition, it offers training for all skill levels.

Classes and programs are flexible according to your ability level.

The center aims to safely and successfully teach you how to use a firearm for sport, personal protection, or your professional employment, such as law enforcement, security, or military progress.

At this range, you'll be able to learn from seasoned military, law enforcement, and civilian firearms professionals.

A pro shop, a classroom, and restrooms are all available inside the range.

You may opt to sign up for a membership or pay a daily pass to use the range.

Experience the Tranquility of Mandala Gardens

As you would at a holy shrine, enter the tranquil Mandala Gardens.

There is a sense of peace and tranquility in the air.

You get to decide whether it's a farm, food market, park, or sanctuary based on how you use it.

The mandala-style gardens are peaceful in spiral, star, and medicine-wheel designs.

Or you might gaze at the intricately carved stonework.

Bring your kids to interact with the farm's goats, chickens, and ducks.

You may also relax at the nearby benches.

Summer is a great time to come here and stock up on veggies and herbs left out to dry in the sun.

Have a Fun Family Day at The HUB Recreation Center

15 Best Things to Do in Marion, IL (7)

HUB Recreation Center aims to become a leader in the field of health and wellness by delivering tremendous and creative programs and services that produce quantifiable and transformative improvements in the lives of the people we serve.

Its personnel, facility, activities, and services seek to create a friendly community culture of health, recreation, and education.

Here, health and enjoyment come together!

It features pools, courts, a track, and a fitness center where you can get in some exercise.

It doesn't matter if you're looking for a kiddie pool or a lazy river; it has something for everyone here.

Get a one-day visitor pass or sign up for membership to try these amenities.

Go Antique-Hunting at Warehouse Antique Mall

If you're planning a vacation to Marion, one of the best things to do on a budget is to go antique-hunting.

Each booth in the Warehouse Antique Mall occupies a space of around 11,000 square feet.

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When shopping in Marion, there's no shortage of one-of-a-kind antique products at this huge mall.

We have anything from century-old children's toys to luxurious bar carts and solid shelving.

Visit as many vendors as possible before making a purchase.

Have a Date Night at AMC CLASSIC Illinois Centre 8

Moviegoers may see the latest releases at the AMC Classic Illinois Centre 8.

One of the most popular things to do in Marion at night is to take in the latest blockbuster releases at this quaint movie theater.

There's nothing better than a night in front of the big screen while snacking on popcorn and sipping soda.

For a more immersive experience, see a movie in this theater's RealD 3D cinema.

Even if you're not a massive film lover, it is a great place to catch 3D films.

The facility also has a private theater where you and your loved one may have an intimate movie experience.

Have a Taste of the Wild West at McKinney's Western Store

Are you a fan of the Wild West?

You'll find everything you need to satisfy your inner cowboy at Marion's shop.

Since the 1960s, McKinney's Western Store has been serving Southern Illinois.

As the second generation of McKinneys, Rick and Kim took over in 1993.

The store offers the best brands and range of Western clothing and tack to the area.

The McKinney family enjoys horseback riding and spending time together.

Western wear and accessories, including hats and boots, tack, and feed, are available at McKinney's Western Store.

You can rely on McKinney's personnel to be informed, kind, and helpful.

Find something for yourself or that particular Western fan in your life.

Final Thoughts

Get a taste of the Southern Illinois culture and history.

Save this list of the best things to do in Marion, Illinois, to guide you on your next adventure!

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What is Marion Il famous for? ›

It is part of a dispersed urban area that developed out of the early 20th-century coal fields. Today Marion serves as the largest retail trade center in Southern Illinois with its central location along Interstate 57 and Illinois Route 13. It was dubbed the “Hub of the Universe” by former mayor Robert L. Butler.

What to do with kids in Marion il? ›

Top 10 Best things to do with kids near Marion, IL
  • All "things to do with kids" results in Marion, IL. Showing 1-15 of 15.
  • Pirate Pete's Family Entertainment Center. 1.5 mi. ...
  • The Hub Recreation Center. 1.1 mi. ...
  • S.I. ...
  • Extreme Indoor Sports. ...
  • Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge. ...
  • Emery Bros Skating Rink. ...
  • AMC CLASSIC Illinois Centre 8.

Is Marion IL a good place to live? ›

It is a wonderful place with even better people who welcome everyone. The only improvement I would suggest for the town is to bring in businesses that promote healthy living. There are an abundance of gym options but as far as healthy grocery stores and restaurants, the quaint Southern Illinois town is lacking.

Is Marion Il getting an Olive Garden? ›

MARION - Olive Garden will soon be opening their first restaurant in Southern Illinois. The location will be at the intersection of Illinois Highway 13 and Sinclair Drive in Marion.

Does Marion IL have a mall? ›

Illinois Star Centre, formerly Illinois Centre Mall, was an enclosed shopping mall in Marion, Illinois, United States.
Illinois Star Centre.
Entrance to Illinois Centre Mall, May 2012
Wikimedia | © OpenStreetMap
Coordinates37.74850°N 88.97652°W
Address3000 W. DeYoung St.
Opening date1991
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How much is it to swim at the hub in Marion IL? ›

Guests are able to access the entire facility by purchasing an all-day, one-time only, all inclusive pass.
Guest Passes.
Day PassesResident Rate*Non-Resident Rate
Adults (18+)$10$12
Children (17 & under)$8$10
Family of 3$22$32
Family of 4$27$37

What is the replacement for Alcatraz? ›

The United States Penitentiary is a former supermax prison, located in Marion, Illinois. It was built in 1963 to replace the Alcatraz prison in San Francisco, which closed the same year. If you wish to visit the prison, please click on the above picture.

What is the crime rate in Marion Illinois? ›

Marion Annual Crimes
Number of Crimes136904
Crime Rate (per 1,000 residents)8.0753.63

Who bought rent one in Marion IL? ›

Everything from entertainment to the possibility of a sports returning. The Black Diamond Harley Davidson group purchased Rent One Park when it was for sale. “We've definitely got some things going on right now, we're very excited about,” said Shad Zimbro, Co-Owner of Black Diamond Harley Davidson.

Is bend a good place for kids? ›

Bend is full of family-friendly events and activities throughout the year. Activities and things to do with the kids are endless in Bend, Oregon.

Is Texas Roadhouse coming to Marion Illinois? ›

(WSIL) -- A popular and highly successful restaurant chain is coming to Marion, IL. News 3 has learned that Texas Roadhouse is officially setting up shop near the corner of West Deyoung St.

What is the number one safest city in Illinois? ›


What is the safest village in Illinois? ›

Illinois' 2nd safest municipality is Channahon, a village of 12.8K that straddles Will and Grundy counties.
Illinois's Safest Cities.
CityCampton Hills
Property crime17
Law enforcement employees5
Total crimes18
Crime rate per 1,0001.59
41 more columns
Dec 27, 2020

Can you wear sweatpants to Olive Garden? ›

No, they do not. There's no enforced dress code for guests, and they generally show up dressed between casual and business casual.

What are they building in Marion Illinois? ›

Leaders with the city tell me the construction completion of the First Southern Bank, which will be the new city hall, will be completed by January of 2023. The Tower Square project is expected to be finished by the first week of November. Copyright 2022 KFVS.

Do you have to ask for bread at Olive Garden? ›

How many breadsticks do you get at Olive Garden? When you first sit, your server will bring out a basket of breadsticks – typically one for every member of your party plus one. If you don't order any food, that's all you'll get. If you order an entree, however, then unlimited breadsticks are included in your meal.

What is the most popular store in Illinois? ›

The largest department stores in Illinois in 2022

Dollar General has the most number of locations with 651 locations across 481 cities. Target has 100 and Ross Stores has 84 locations in Illinois. These three together make 69.47% of the top 10 department stores in Illinois.

What is the biggest mall in Illinois? ›

Woodfield Mall is a shopping mall located in the northwest Chicago suburb of Schaumburg, Illinois, United States, at the intersection of Golf Road and Interstate 290. The mall is the largest shopping mall in the state of Illinois, the second largest being Oakbrook Center in Oak Brook.

Can I swim in the sky pool? ›

Can I Swim in the Sky Pool? We're sorry to be the bearers of bad news – the pool isn't open to the public and only to residents living at the Embassy Gardens. So, unfortunately, you can't just hop in the pool and splash around like a mermaid, but you can watch in wonder from below and still take it all in.

How much does it cost to get into the Brakpan pool? ›

“The entrance fee therefore is R10 per person per entry,” added Gadebe. Change is not available at the swimming pool and the public is therefore urged to bring R5, R2 or R1 coins.

How much is it to get into Alcoa pool? ›

2021 Admission Fees
Type of AdmissionDaily AdmissionCost of Season Pass
Adults Age 19 and Older$4.00$75.00 *
Sr. Adults Age 55 and Older$3.00$50.00 *
*Cash only taken at Pool
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Who was prisoner 1 on Alcatraz? ›

Frank Lucas Bolt. Little has been documented about Alcatraz's LGBTQ+ prisoners, but gay men did play a role in the infamous prison. In fact, it was a queer man, Frank Lucas Bolt, who served as the prison's first official inmate.

Which president shut down Alcatraz? ›

Kennedy's shift in punitive ideals, Alcatraz was closed on March 21, 1963.

Who was murdered in Alcatraz? ›

All survivors were quickly recaptured. Two of the men, Young and Rufus McCain, were sentenced to solitary confinement and served the terms at Alcatraz for a period of three years (until autumn of 1942). Eleven days after re-entering the Alcatraz general prison population in 1942, Young murdered fellow escapee McCain.

What town in Illinois has the lowest crime rate? ›

The 8 Safest Cities in Illinois: A Quick Look
  • La Grange Park, IL.
  • Hinsdale, IL.
  • Deerfield, IL.
  • Campton Hills, IL.
  • Barrington Hills, IL.
  • Lindenhurst, IL.
  • South Elgin, IL.
  • Warrenville, IL.
Nov 7, 2022

What is the crime rate in Carbondale Illinois? ›

The Carbondale IL crime rate for 2018 was 429.97 per 100,000 population, a 16.79% decline from 2017.
Carbondale IL Crime Rate 2010-2018.
City NamePopulationRate
Country Club Hills16,565428.61
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Is Marion Illinois growing? ›

Marion is currently declining at a rate of -0.20% annually and its population has decreased by -4.29% since the most recent census, which recorded a population of 17,539 in 2020.

Does rent to buy still exist? ›

We are delighted to offer Rent to Buy in London with Peabody, at selected developments as a brand new way to make it possible for you to own a home. Once you find your home, Rent to Buy allows you to live in your chosen home for two years by renting it from us.

Who owns Black Diamond Harley? ›

Co-owners of Black Diamond HD®, Rodney Cabaness and Shad Zimbro, both Sesser, Illinois natives, have been life-long friends and realized a dream they've had since childhood - to own and operate a business together.

Who owns the most rental properties? ›

Of the approximately 50 million rental housing units in the United States, around 41% of the rental units are owned by mom and pop landlords, also known as individual investor landlords.

What age can a child hop and skip? ›

Learn to Skip with Skipping Activities

Skipping is a developmental milestone or marker that generally emerges around age 5, with a range of age 4-6 years. For many kids, skipping emerges without intervention, just the way reaching, crawling, or walking develops.

Are there bears in Bend? ›

Central Oregon is home to one species of bear, the black bear.

Does Bend have a lot of homeless? ›

City of Bend & Deschutes County Emergency Homelessness Task Force (Complete) There are nearly 1,000 people who are experiencing houselessness in Central Oregon on any given night. This number includes families with children and youth who do not live with an adult.

Why is Pizza Hut Marion closing? ›

“Unfortunately, with long term plans to redevelop the site, we have made the tough decision to close after 44 years in the brand. “We wanted to thank every past employee and all of our customers for supporting us over this journey.”

What is the $5 meal deal at Texas Roadhouse? ›

In the past, Texas Roadhouse has offered $5 lunch deals and even meals for two for only $39.99. Unfortunately, since 2020 Texas Roadhouse has since discontinued those promotions.

Is Olive Garden better than Texas Roadhouse? ›

Olive Garden is most highly rated for Work/life balance and Texas Roadhouse is most highly rated for Culture.
Overall Rating.
Overall Rating3.73.8
Work/life balance3.73.6
Compensation and benefits3.33.0
Job security and advancement3.33.2
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What's the cheapest place to live in Illinois? ›

The 25 cheapest places to live in Illinois
RankCity1-BR Average Rent Price
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Jan 14, 2021

What are the 3 safest states? ›

Vermont is the safest state in the United States, according to a new report from WalletHub. The ranking is based on 53 different indicators ranging from unemployment rates to assaults per capita. Vermont is followed by Maine, New Hampshire, Utah, and Hawaii, respectively.

What is the roughest city in Chicago? ›

The most dangerous neighborhood in Chicago is West Garfield Park. Located on Chicago's South Side, West Garfield Park has a disproportionately high violent crime rate. With crime being 257% higher in West Garfield Park than in the rest of the city, residents have a 1 in 20 chance of becoming victims of a violent crime.

What is the oldest village in Illinois? ›

Kaskaskia, the oldest town in the state and the first capitol of Illinois | Library of Congress.

Do any celebrities live in Illinois? ›

There are actually plenty of celebrities that live in Chicago and call the city home.
Let's see where some famous celebrities live in this city and how you can be their neighbor.
  • Kanye West. ...
  • 7815 S. ...
  • Shonda Rhimes. ...
  • Barack and Michelle Obama. ...
  • 5046 S. ...
  • Hillary Clinton. ...
  • 235 North Wisner Street. ...
  • Oprah.
Jul 30, 2020

What is the cleanest city in Illinois? ›

Leland Grove

Which city is close to Marion Illinois? ›

Herrin, IL. Carbondale, IL. Harrisburg, IL.

What's the safest town in Illinois? ›


What is the safest place to live in Illinois? ›

Illinois's Safest Cities
1Campton Hills11305
4Palos Hills17338
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Dec 27, 2020

What airlines fly out of Marion IL? ›

The only commercial flights from Marion Airport are between Marion and St. Louis Lambert Airport (STL). The airline servicing these flights is Cape Air.

What city in Indiana is closest to Illinois? ›

Hammond, Indiana

Hammond, Indiana is one of the cities in Indiana closest to Chicago. Hammond is just 25 miles from downtown Chicago. Additionally, parts of Hammond border both the Indiana-Illinois state line and the southside of Chicago.

How many Marion cities are there? ›

There are 20 incorporated cities and 37 unincorporated communities in Marion County.


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