September 24, 2021 IllinoisLife

10 Sober Things to Do in Illinois

Illinois is home to an endless number of enjoyable, sober activities that can keep you busy and entertained as you continue to focus on your recovery. Here are ten sober things to do in Illinois that are worth checking out when you’re ready to have fun after completing a drug and alcohol rehab program.

1. Hang Out at The Other Side

Located at 135 Beardsley Street in Crystal Lake, The Other Side is a sober bar that caters to people in recovery from alcohol addiction. This venue serves only nonalcoholic beverages while offering the same activities in a traditional bar, including darts, billiards, live music, and stand-up comedy. The Other Side also hosts several 12-step support group meetings, including those for men, women, and families affected by alcohol addiction.

The Other Side is currently renovating its entertainment side of the bar but remains open for those who want to attend its Alcoholics Anonymous support group meetings. If you’re in recovery from alcohol addiction, visiting The Other Side may help you prepare for future situations in which you may be invited to bars for events such as celebrations and holiday work parties.

2. Be a Tourist in Chicago

Chicago is a major tourist attraction with dozens of museums, restaurants, and shops that can keep you busy for days on end. It’s easier than you think to avoid venues in Chicago that serve alcohol because the city offers various family-friendly activities and attractions.

Spend the day or weekend in the Windy City eating Chicago-style pizza and hot dogs while strolling around Lincoln Park or the Lincoln Park Zoo. Visit one or more of the city’s many museums, including the Art Institute, the Oriental Institute, and the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum. Other notable Chicago attractions include Millennium Park, the Navy Pier, and the Water Show at Buckingham Fountain.

3. Camp or Hike at Starved Rock State Park

Voted the #1 attraction in Illinois, Starved Rock State Park offers 13 miles of trails and 18 canyons, along with boating, fishing, and other activities situated along the Illinois River. The park, which is located in Utica, also has 133 campsites complete with electricity and bathhouses for those who prefer modern accommodations while spending time in the wild outdoors.

Starved Rock State Park is the ideal getaway for those in recovery who want to reconnect with nature and clear their heads after completing a rehab program. Plus, outdoor activities, such as hiking, fishing, and biking, contribute to improved health and faster physical recovery after drug and alcohol dependence. Spend a few days at Starved Rock State Park with family and friends who support sobriety or with a group of sober peers you met at local support group meetings.

Starved rock state park

4. Sleep in a Treehouse

Unleash your inner child by spending the night in the type of treehouse you always fantasized about as a kid. Timber Ridge Outpost and Cabins, located at 546 N. Iron Furnace Road in Elizabethtown, offers posh treehouses complete with comfortable beds, kitchens, bathrooms, heating and air conditioning, outdoor grills, and campfires. This outdoor getaway is perfect for those who want to relax away from daily responsibilities and the hustle and bustle of city life.

The treehouses at Timber Ridge range between $175 to $225 per night but can sleep between two and six people, so the cost can easily be split among friends and family who go with you. Spend the early part of the evening grilling hot dogs, burgers, and s’mores around the campfire, then stay up late in the treehouse sharing funny, spooky, or recovery-related stories. In the morning, enjoy complimentary tea or coffee before heading out to enjoy the nearby sights, including ponds, lakes, and waterfalls.

5. Glide Down the Grafton Zipline

Get your adrenaline pumping by taking a ride down the Grafton Zipline, which is located at 14 West Main Street in downtown Grafton across from Grove Memorial Park. If you once relied on drugs and alcohol to experience an adrenaline rush, try going down a zipline, which is an exciting yet sober way to achieve an adrenaline rush without harmful long-term side effects. You must walk across a few rope bridges and trails that offer a spectacular view of the area before arriving at the Grafton Zipline.

The Grafton Zipline

6. Soar Down the Alpine Slide

Those in recovery in need of a natural additional adrenaline rush can also benefit from the many outdoor activities offered at the Chestnut Mountain Resort in Galena. Located at 8700 W. Chestnut Mountain Road, this resort offers skiing and snowboarding during the winter and a river cruise, zipline, and Alpine Slide during the warm summer months.

The Alpine Slide will get your adrenaline racing as you slide rapidly down 2,050 feet of track that zigzags down the mountainside. To get to the slide, you must ride a scenic lift that provides a breathtaking panoramic view of the three surrounding states. Take a ride on the Soaring Eagle Zipline to further satisfy your adrenaline rush, then wind down and relax on the river cruise to view wildlife on the Mississippi River and learn more about the area.

7. Connect With Your Inner Superman in Metropolis

It takes a great hero to admit to having a problem with substance misuse, going through detox, and committing to long-term recovery from addiction. Celebrate the “superman” or “supergirl” in you by visiting the Super Museum in Metropolis, Illinois.

Located at 517 Market Street, this unofficial museum dedicated to Superman features more than 70,000 items of memorabilia, including Superman toys, movie props, and comic books. Admission is $8, and visitors can pick up one or more souvenirs from the gift shop. Many other fun shops and restaurants are located within walking distance to make your trip worthwhile.

Superman Museum in metropolis

8. Indulge Yourself on the MainSweet Dessert Walk

Staying sober requires hard work and commitment, especially if you’re managing work, school, and/or family while also receiving therapy in a drug rehab program. Treat yourself by visiting “MainSweet” in Libertyville and spend the afternoon indulging in a variety of delicious desserts without feeling guilty.

The MainSweet Dessert Walk is an annual event that allows you to sample delectable desserts made by a variety of cafes and sweet shops on Main Street in Libertyville. However, you don’t need to attend the official event to enjoy the many sweets this small town has to offer. Spend the day strolling down three blocks of Main Street and dipping into its various shops, cafes, and boutiques to sample desserts and other treats.

9. Make the Most of Your Scuba Diving Skills

If you have scuba diving experience, head to Mermet Springs and spend the day engaging in a variety of unique underwater activities. Explore an underwater Boeing 727, go “DiveCaching” (underwater geocaching), or ride along an underwater bike trail. Lessons are also available for those who want to add scuba diving to their skill set.

Scuba diving is a fun, sober activity that can introduce you to a new type of wildlife and help you reconnect with nature. Mermet Springs is located in Belknap Precinct at the southernmost tip of Illinois.

10. Hike the Garden of the Gods

The Garden of the gods

Located in Shawnee National Forest in Herod, Illinois, the Garden of the Gods is a collection of unique sandstone rock formations. This quiet and serene section of the park spans more than 3,300 acres and offers miles of walking trails and plenty of beautiful landscapes. Garden of the Gods is the perfect spot if you want to reflect on your recovery and prepare for the best of times ahead as you continue to maintain sobriety from drugs and alcohol.

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