16 Best & Fun Things To Do In Madison, IL

Are you searching for fun activities in Madison, Illinois? Whether you are a local or a visitor, this guide features 16 best and fun things to do to make the most of your time in this historic city.

Located just across the Mississippi River from St. Louis, Missouri, Madison is known for its rich industrial history and vibrant community life. This city offers a variety of attractions that highlight its unique character and cultural heritage.


From the iconic Gateway International Raceway, where thrilling motorsport events are held, to the serene Horseshoe Lake State Park, offering beautiful landscapes and recreational activities, there’s something for everyone to enjoy in Madison.

16 Best And Fun Things To Do In Madison, IL (2024)

1. Madison Public Library

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Kick off your tour in Madison with a visit to the Madison Public Library, a general library offering an array of educational things to do in Madison, IL, for everyone.

The library features a compilation of books, magazines, audiobooks, and other resources for borrowing, alongside computers with fast internet connection and educational programs.

A visit to Madison Public Library allows visitors to dig into different reading materials, access free computer resources, and engage in thrilling and interesting events.

Address: 1700 5th Street, Madison, IL 62060, United States.


2. World Wide Technology Raceway

Things to do in Collinsville, IL

Gearing up for thrills at World Wide Technology Raceway, a large motorsports arena, is one of the fun and exciting things to do in Madison, IL, for racing enthusiasts and visitors.

The racing hub features a 1.25-mile oval track for hosting NASCAR, IndyCar, and truck races, a 2.0-mile road path for club racing and pro events, a drag strip, and a cutting-edge karting facility.

As you visit the World Wide Technology Raceway, catch a glimpse of pro races, put your skills to the test on the go-kart track, or casually enjoy the electrifying ambiance of the arena.

Address: 700 Raceway Blvd, Madison, IL 62060, United States.

3. Gateway National Golf Links

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One of the best things to do in Madison, IL, this weekend is to book a tee at Gateway National Golf Links, a charming golf course with rolling hills, native grasses, and peaceful wetlands.

As an 18-hole public links-style course with a length of 7,178 yards, a slope of 138, and par- 71,  the golf course caters to all skill levels, whether inexperienced or professional golfers.


A round of golf at Gateway National Golf Links pledges a picturesque getaway with demanding play within the panoramic city.

Address: 18 Golf Drive, Madison, IL 62060, United States.

4. The Gateway Arch

Things to do in Collinsville, IL

Accessible within an 11-minute drive to St. Louis, MO, catching a glimpse of The Gateway Arch, a real icon of the American Midwest, is among the unique things visitors and locals can do near Madison, IL.

The magnificent monument, soaring over 630 feet into the sky, is the tallest artificial monument in the Western Region and the tallest available structure in Missouri.

A museum is also available to expose you to the history of St. Louis, the Louisiana Purchase, and the western development of the United States.

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Beyond its unique heights, The Gateway Arch presents a thrilling ride to the top with stunning views of the Mississippi River, the vibrant city of St. Louis, and the surrounding areas.

Address: St. Louis, MO 63102, United States.


5. Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site

Things to do in Collinsville, IL

Enjoy a 13-minute drive from Masison to Collinsville, IL, to explore Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site, a breathtaking beehive with a plethora of educational things to do near Madison, IL, for history lovers

Spanning 2,200 acres, this wonderful site features over 80 artificial mounds that acted as ceremonial platforms, burial sites, and public buildings from 700 to 1400 AD. It also houses the Monk Mound, which is the biggest ancient mound in America.

Additionally, the Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site offers scenic views of the entire landscape, with a revamped fortification wall, and the Woodhenge, a wooden structure that gives realizations into the lives of the Cahokian people.

An exploration of this attraction allows you to take a journey back in time, uncovering the secrets of civilization, and a glance into the past for educational and inspirational purposes.

Address: Collinsville, IL, United States.

6. River City Casino Hotel

Things to do in St. Louis, MO

One of the best things to do near Madison, IL, for adults is to stop by River City Casino Hotel, an exclusive AAA Four-Diamond distinguished hotel and casino facility, with a 22-minute drive to St. Louis, MO.


Located on the banks of the Mississippi River, this attraction boasts Vegas-style gaming with over 1,900 slots, different table games, an Asian gaming lounge, elegant rooms and suites, restaurants, a fitness center, and a nightclub.

At River City Casino Hotel, adults can enjoy an exhilarating mix of elite gambling, exclusive accommodations, and savory dining options.

Address: 777 River City Casino Blvd, St. Louis, MO 63125, United States.

Exploring other attractions near Madison, Illinois? Why not check out some fun things to do in Collinsville, IL?

7. Old Chain of Rocks Bridge

Things to do Collinsville, IL

A 20-minute trip to St. Louis, MO, puts unearthing the Old Chain of Rocks Bridge, a historic feature also known as the Chains of Rocks Bridge, among the unique things to do near Madison, IL, for history enthusiasts,

Established in 1929, the focal point of this attraction is its dramatic bend which was constructed due to the presence of a water intake and uneven bedrock.

Other striking features include a well-kept pedestrian-cyclist walkway, beautiful scenes, and remains of the Route 66 signs.


An expedition to this attraction guarantees a special mix of history, exercise, and panoramic scenes, as you can take a stroll, get a refreshing bike ride, take in the picturesque views, or relax in the comfy environment.

Address: 10820 Riverview Drive, St. Louis, MO 63137, United States.

8. Edison’s Entertainment Complex

Things to do in Madison, IL

 In just 20 minutes of driving from Madison to Edwardsville, IL, you can explore Edison’s Entertainment Complex, an entertainment center with a variety of family-friendly things to do near Madison, IL, at night.

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The facility boasts beautiful bowling lanes, a laser tag arena, a large arcade with assorted games, a full-service bar and restaurant, and private party rooms.

Experience a fun-filled day with options for all ages, from bowling and laser tag to classic arcade games and tasty meals at Edison’s Entertainment Complex.

Address: 2477 S State Rte 157 Suite A, Edwardsville, IL 62025, United States

9. Willoughby Heritage Farm

Things to do in Collinsville, IL


As a nature enthusiast, an 18-minute drive to Willoughby Heritage Farm at Collinsville, IL, to experience the nostalgia and magic of rural life is one of the unique and educational things to do near Madison, IL, today.

Sprawling 30 acres of land, the farm attraction reproduces a 1940 farmstead ambiance displaying vintage farm facilities, a vegetable and flower garden, friendly farm animals, a children’s playground, and the Craftsman-style farmhouse.

As you explore Collinsville, learn about traditional farming practices, commune with nature, and allow the kids to do their thing with the animals, ensuring you enjoy a special blend of education and recreation.

Address: 631 Willoughby Lane, Collinsville, IL 62234, United States.

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10. Skyview Drive-In

Things to do in Madison, IL

Take a 23-minute drive from Madison to Belleville, IL, and catch a glimpse of your favorite movie at Skyview Drive-In, a classical movie theater with an array of entertaining things to do near Madison, IL, at night.

Established in 1949, the theater shows first-run Hollywood blockbusters, giving a nostalgic experience of seeing movies under the stars from the comfort of your car.


A Journey to Skyview Drive-In promises an opportunity to enjoy a movie under the stars, experience a piece of Americana, and engage in special events while enjoying snacks.

Address: 5700 N Belt W, Belleville, IL 62226, United States

11. The Axe Company

Things to do in Madison, IL

Travel 25 minutes from Madison to Glen Carbon, IL, to discover The Axe Company, a destination presenting diverse things for adults to do near Madison, IL.

The company features axe-throwing lanes, coaching, and games like giant Jenga, shuffleboard, and darts while allowing visitors to bring food and non-alcoholic drinks.

Exploring Axe Company gives a fun and special experience as you can learn axe-throwing, relish friendly competition with friends, and relax in a warm setting.

Address: 20 B Kettle River Drive, Glen Carbon, IL 62034, United States.

12. Edwardsville Children’s Museum

Things to do in Madison, IL


Make a 29-minute journey by car from Madison to Edwardsville, IL, to see the Edwardsville Children’s Museum, an interactive learning facility facilitating fun things to do near Madison, IL, for kids

The museum prides itself on hands-on exhibits that foster exploration and discovery, with programs and events for families, visitors, and residents alike.

Edwardsville Children’s Museum gives children an educational and fun experience by promoting creativity and their passion for learning through play.

Address: 722 Holyoake Road, Edwardsville, IL 62025, United States

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13. Grafton Harbor

things to do in Madison, IL

Grafton Harbor, a full-service marina nestled between the Mississippi River and Illinois River is just a 47-minute drive from Madison to Grafton, IL.

To promote adventurous things to do near Madison, IL, this weekend, the marina boasts facilities for boaters of all sorts, like covered and uncovered slips, jet Ski ports, a swimming pool, restaurants, and a comfort store.

At Grafton Harbor, guests can enjoy relaxation with resort facilities, alongside easy entry to the rivers for a cruise, exploration, or fishing expeditions.


Address: 215 West Water Street, Grafton, IL 62037, United States

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14. Madison Meat Market

things to do in Madison, IL

A visit to the Madison Meat Market, a butcher shop offering different fresh meat cuts, from poultry and seafood to prepared meats and deli items, is one of the best things to do in Madison, IL, this weekend.

The Market allows you to buy high-quality meat products and get advice from butchers on how to select cuts or recipes.

Address: 308 Madison Avenue, Madison, IL 62060, United States.

15. National Great Rivers Museum

things to do in Madison, IL

Nestled in Alton, about a 24-minute trip by car, The National Great Rivers Museum is a place to learn about the Mississippi River’s influence, its history, wildlife, and other educational and free things to do near Madison, IL, for all ages.


The museum boasts practical exhibits, a theater, a gift shop, and a free tour of the Melvin Price Locks and Dam, giving room for visitors to understand the river’s importance through the exhibits and tours.

Address: 1 Locks and Dam Way, Alton, IL 62002, United States.

16. Horseshoe Lake State Park

things to do in Madison, IL

Placed within Granite City, about an 11-minute drive from Madison, Horseshoe Lake State Park, an extensive park and the second-largest natural lake in the state, offers a plethora of family-friendly things to do near Madison, IL, for everyone.

Spanning 2,960 acres, the park provides different open-air activities like hiking, boating, fishing, hunting, and camping, alongside biking trails.

Exploring the Park guarantees an opportunity to get soaked in nature, appreciate and enjoy different fun activities, and observe wildlife while on a camping adventure.

Address: 3321 IL-111, Granite City, IL 62040, United States

Plan your visit to Madison, IL

Madison, Illinois, is a unique realm of experiences, offering an ideal mix of excitement, entertainment, education, and culture.


Irrespective of your status as a local or a visitor, each exploration invites you to delve deeper into the heart of this charming town, uncovering its rich blend of history, artistic endeavors, and community spirit.

So, get ready to immerse yourself in the local culture, relish the diverse flavors, and let Madison captivate your senses in ways only this remarkable town can.


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