Explore Joliet’s Fun Family Attractions Along Route 66

Send off Summer with a trip to these family-friendly destinations

Photo by Ryan Searl

As the kids settle back into the school routine, are you looking for some family-friendly weekend activities? Chart a course for historic Route 66 and explore some of the great activities and attractions Joliet has to offer. From bowling and baseball to interactive exhibits and live theater, there’s plenty of summer fun still to be had along The First Hundred Miles.

Route 66 Welcome Center Museum

204 Ottawa St., Joliet


Return to the heyday of Route 66 at the Joliet Area Historical Museum and Route 66 Welcome Center. The museum’s Route 66 Welcome Center, a wing dedicated to the history and significance of the famed Mother Road, hosts a plethora of themed interactive selfie spots the whole family is sure to enjoy. Explore the museum’s brand-new exhibit dedicated to “The Blues Brothers,” the seminal comedy that was filmed in Joliet. You’ll also find other photo-worthy exhibits, like a 3D Route 66 selfie sign near the entrance of the museum. While you’re there, be sure to explore the exhibits dedicated to the I&M Canal, the legendary waterway that was a local predecessor to Route 66. The museum also hosts a variety of live music events and kid’s activities throughout the year. Free parking for the museum can be found at the corner of Ottawa and Webster streets.

A live performance inside the Rialto Theater in downtown Joliet.

Rialto Square Theatre

102 N. Chicago St., Joliet


Designed as a vaudeville movie palace, with immaculate interiors based on Versailles’ Hall of Mirrors, the Rialto Square Theatre in Joliet is a true architectural wonder. This neo-baroque landmark, built in 1926, is considered one of the “150 great places in Illinois” by the American Institute of Architects. The Rialto’s famous marquee, chandelier, rotunda and stage are just a few of the photo-worthy opportunities that await you at this marvel along Route 66. On Sept. 19, the theater will host a special sing-along concert screening of Disney’s “Encanto.” This is part of a 45-city tour in which “Encanto” lovers of all ages have the opportunity to sing along with their favorite Grammy Award-winning songs performed by a live band while watching the full film.

The Billie Limacher Bicentennial Park Theatre in Joliet will kick off its 49th free “Concerts on the Hill” on Thursday. For those new to “Concerts on the Hill,” this is a free, outdoor, summer concert series at the park. Guests bring their own chairs or blankets for sitting on top of the grassy hill as they listen to musical acts performing in the outdoor bandshell.

Billie Limacher Bicentennial Park and Theatre

201 W. Jefferson St., Joliet


The Billie Limacher Bicentennial Theatre features shows by more than four community theater troupes, as well as high school drama productions and children’s traveling troupes, bringing exciting live performances to the beautiful multi-use theater. During the summer months, take in one of the free Concert on the Hill shows, performed for the public in the outdoor bandshell every Thursday night. On Sept. 7, the park’s Polka Luau Concert On The Hill will feature polka luminaries such as Eddie Korosa Jr., Bobby Mutz, John Churnovic and The Ukulele Moonshiners. Fall drama classes kick off Sept. 16, with session for grades 1-5 and 6-12.

Photo provided by Joliet Slammers

Joliet Slammers

1 Mayor Art Schultz Drive, Joliet


As you travel along Route 66, spend one of your evenings at a professional Frontier League baseball game at the beautiful DuPage Medical Group Field in downtown Joliet. An official partner of the MLB, the Slammers play thrill-a-minute professional touring baseball in a May-through-September season. Snag a selfie in the stands with a delicious Chicago-style hot dog, or spread out on the park’s lawn seating to enjoy a relaxed picnic while you watch the game. If you’re lucky, you may even run into the Slammers’ mascots, Spikes and J.L. Bird. On Sept. 3, the 9 Innings of Winnings game will cap off the season with a Family Fun Day Sunday presented by Funtime Services, including inflatables in the outfield for kids, and $8 Bartesian Premium Mix Drinks & Ole Smoky Draft, a full-team autograph session and post-game fireworks.

Haunted Trails

1423 N. Broadway St., Joliet


Don’t miss The Haunted Trails of Joliet, a unique, year-round Halloween-themed family entertainment center featuring mini-golf, go-karts, arcade games and much more. Haunted Trails specializes in family fun, birthday parties, group celebrations, company picnics and events for all ages. The fun center’s amenities include two award-winning, 18-hole mini-golf courses, two go-kart tracks, a junior go-kart track, a laser tag arena, batting cages and plenty of amusement rides. You’ll also find The Monster’s Tomb Game Room, filled with all the best arcade and skill machines that game lovers of any age are sure to enjoy.

Town And Country Lanes

2231 W. Jefferson St., Joliet


Voted Best Bowling Alley in Will County by Herald News readers for five years running, Town And Country Lanes is a Joliet institution. Since 1957, the bowling alley has been entertaining guests and locals alike with 44 impeccable lanes and a family-friendly atmosphere. Town and Country offers cosmic bowling, a full arcade, restaurant, video gaming, packages for birthday parties, corporate outings, family gatherings, beer leagues and, of course, leagues and tournaments.