Spend the Day in Batavia
Whether you are a youngster or an adult, an artist or a scientist, an outdoor enthusiast or a historian, we invite you to discover Batavia, Illinois. Take your time and explore every corner of the City of Energy.
Batavia’s natural scenery beckons, especially if you are the outdoor type. The beautiful Fox River Bike Trailtravels through the heart of Batavia, so set your bike wheels in motion. If you don’t have a bicycle available, you can rent one at Prairie Path Cycles hourly and daily rentals are offered. On the other hand, perhaps a stroll along the mostly volunteer-built Riverwalk is more your speed to savor the quiet majestic nature of the Fox River banks.
During the summer months, the Batavia Park District offers paddle boat rentals on the Depot Pond and our numerous parks provide excellent settings for a picnic. From June through October, make sure you come early on Saturday mornings. Begin your day at the Farmer’s Market on South Water Street and join the free Yoga class offered in the Batavia Public Library garden.
Winter doesn’t mean you must move inside! Monitor the flags at the Depot Pond for ice skating: Green means it is safe to skate, while red signifies closed to skating. Gather a group for a hockey game and warm up between periods at the Peg Bond Center You need not worry if you didn’t pack a lunch for your outdoor adventure – relish the flavors of one of our unique restaurants situated throughout the City.
Are you looking for no or low cost family excursions? Batavia has family and group programs and venues that are perfect for your crew year-round. During the summer months, families can enjoy a day splashing and picnicking at the Hall Quarry Beach followed by an evening listening to the River Rhapsody Concerts at the riverwalk. A bike ride or stroll along the Fox River Bike Trail is always a popular option, while exploring Batavia’s numerous parks and Clark Island, which offer family fun throughout the year.
There may be a cost involved, but fun is guaranteed at Funway Ultimate Entertainment Center, the area’s largest entertainment venue. Inside or out, all ages will find something to do – bowling, roller skating, bumper cars and boats, indoor and outdoor mini-golf, kart racing, arcade and much more. If movies are your idea of a great family outing, free movies in the park during summer months, or Goodrich Randall 15 Imax will fill the bill.
Batavia’s award-winning Public Library offers story times and seasonal events. Since some may require an RSVP, check the Library’s website for information. Water Street Studios, the City’s premier art gallery and studios, offers free Awesome Art Afternoons on Sundays, as well as classes for all ages, and quarterly show openings worthy of including in your calendar.
More of a science buff? Fermilab offers tours and programs throughout the year, or just spend some time conversing with the bison roaming the range. And of course, Batavia’s numerous family-friendly restaurants offer something for even the most finicky appetite.
Batavia, dating from the 1830s, is rich with history and tradition. Many of the downtown’s locally quarried limestone buildings are the remains of a bustling manufacturing town, including the Newton Wagon Company, founded in 1854. Soon after, windmill manufacturing became the industry of choice with three factories – the Appleton, the Challenge and the U.S. Wind Engine and Pump Co. – contributing to Batavia’s recognition as the leading windmill manufacturer in the world by 1890.
Learn all about windmills, Mary Todd Lincoln’s stay at Bellevue and much more with a visit to the Depot Museum located on Houston Street on the Depot Pond. View many models of Batavia’s windmills during a self-guided walking tour. A beautifully illustrated guidebook is available at the Batavia MainStreet office. Or see the windmills along the riverwalk here.
Annually, Batavia MainStreet hosts an award-winning house tour that highlights historic, unique and other representative residences of Batavians. More information is available here. This event has sold out in the past, so purchase your tickets early. Then dine in one of our many eclectic restaurants, some in historical buildings renovated for your enjoyment!
Grab your sisters (or Moms, cousins, friends, co-workers…) and head to Batavia for a special day of relaxation and pampering. Enjoy your favorite wake-up beverage and delicious pastry at one of our coffee or donut shops to jumpstart the day. Then, head to your choice of Batavia’s many salons and spas for a massage, facial, pedicure, manicure or perhaps a new ‘do.
Don’t miss a visit to Water Street Studios to view the gallery and featured artists. Depending on your interests, you may want to sign up (in advance) for one of the studio’s numerous classes – jewelry, pottery, painting, sculpting – you name it! Get your hands dirty or just enjoy the artwork.
You can get your shopping fix taken care of in Batavia, too. Check out Gammon Corners and sister companies For All Occasions, Special Occasions and Bee Attitudes Antiques. The Randall Road corridor in Batavia is also home to one-of-a kind shops as well as larger stores.
Make sure to catch up on each other’s lives with dinner (or lunch) and a drink at Batavia’s many dining venues. Finally, cap off your day by enjoying a production by Albright Theatre Company orperhaps you can catch a performance in the new Batavia Fine Arts Centre.
Spend a couple of hours, a day or a weekend…Batavia has activities suitable for everyone. For more help in planning your visit, contact the City of Batavia, Batavia MainStreet or theBatavia Chamber of Commerce, all these organizations welcome your inquiry!