Fun Activities in Southern Illinois

Written by Lauren Buser. Media by Quinten Brown.

One final “hoorah” and the semester will be over! It’s time to go out with the pals one last time for the year and make it something great. While the zoo is great, taking a trip to Ste. Genevieve, Missouri, can get you and your friends in the middle of a ghost town!

Tours aren’t just for the local historians. While there is a history behind it, ghost tours are a very exciting way to view history. Sainte Genevieve has been home to ghost tours for many years. The tours are generally every other weekend, with the choice of a twilight tour, with daylight left, or a lantern tour, when the dark strikes. It is a child-friendly tour where they discuss the history of the original settlers of the town and the buildings that are still standing.  Ghost stories of duels, romance, and untimely deaths will excite you as you walk from building to building. This is strictly an outdoor tour, walking around just a few blocks. Sainte Genevieve is just a short hour and 53 minutes away from Greenville and has many one-of-a-kind restaurants and saloons.

Just one stop of the tour that will get the blood flowing! Photo by Lauren Buser

Lebanon, Illinois, offers ghost tours as well, based on Len Adams’s book, Phantoms in the Looking Glass. These tours are around three hours long and led by Len Adams himself. Carbondale is home to the Hundley House, a bed and breakfast known for the haunting murders that occurred there in 1928. With bullet holes still in the walls, it is an interesting place to investigate and learn more about the terrible murders. If you’re looking for a longer tour, Shawnee Hills Farming and Orchard Tours offer five hours of fun including vineyard and orchard tours, Union County Heritage Museum, and a tour of the Bald Knob Cross. Lunch and snacks are also included in your ticket price, leaving moms free to enjoy the commodities as well. Other tours can be found at, including a tour on the original settlers and Native Americans of Southern Illinois, the Herrin Massacre, and gang and clan wars of the 1920s.

A mighty fine place to live for a ghost! Photo by Lauren Buser

Of course, there is always the lake scene. Bond County Lake, just over by Greenville High School, is a great place to sit back and enjoy fishing, a bonfire, or the rope swing. If you’re a Greenville College student and haven’t been out to the rope swing, you’re missing out, unless you despise lake water. If the beachy style lake is more your speed, head over to Carlyle, Illinois. Carlyle is home to a massive lake with beaches, playgrounds, and picnic areas that are sure to kick off your summer right. In Greenville is also Patriot’s Park. This park has a lake, bridges, and trails to walk, run, or even bike. Enjoy walking through nature and seeing the freshly bloomed flowers and watching God’s creation blossom everywhere.

While Illinois seems boring, especially to the students from coastal states, there is a lot of fun and adventure to be found if you look hard enough.  So get out and enjoy the two days of spring in Illinois where it doesn’t rain.


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