Blake Walsh

15 Best Things to Do in Belleville, IL

  • Published 2022/10/09

Bellville is a city rich in history and culture.

As the country seat of St. Clair County, Illinois, Belleville is home to several historical landmarks and museums.

This thriving city became prominent at the end of the 19th century.

As an industrial and manufacturing hub, Belleville was a driving force in the expansion of the State.

Today, Belleville is a vibrant community with a thriving economy.

The city is home to several businesses and industries and a growing arts and culture scene.

Whether you’re visiting Belleville for business or pleasure, there’s plenty to see and do.

That said, here are the best things to do in Belleville, Illinois:

Stroll the Streets of Downtown Belleville

Buildings along Downtown Belleville

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Downtown Belleville is the biggest historic district in Illinois, making it the perfect spot to start your journey to this bustling city.

Ths downtown area is a lively place to shop, stroll, socialize, and take in the culture and atmosphere of the city.

The elegant brick buildings on Main Street are home to numerous local businesses.

Water fountain at Downtown Belleville

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Browse through florists, restaurants, jewelry stores, collectibles shops, bakeries, boutiques, a shop that sells unique hand-made crafts, and a tea room.

There are several historical landmarks in downtown Belleville, such as the St. Clair County Historical Society and the Lincoln Theatre

The Public Square in downtown Belleville is also great as it’s the usual spot for many events held downtown all year round.

Visit the St. Clair County Historical Society

St. Clair County in Southern Illinois is a fascinating place with a rich and complex history.

The St. Clair County Historical Society is dedicated to preserving and sharing this history through its museum, library, and archives.

The society’s museum is located in Belleville’s historic downtown district and features several permanent and temporary exhibitions.

The museum’s permanent exhibitions include a display of the county’s Native American history and a Civil War exhibit with artifacts from the Battle of Gettysburg.

The museum also has several temporary exhibitions that change regularly.

The museum is housed in a fine, Victorian townhouse constructed in 1866.

It was well-preserved throughout the years and is now serving as a house museum.

You can tour the house and experience what it was like to be among the community’s elites back in the day.

Whatever your plans are, you’ll surely have a wonderful and memorable experience at the St. Clair County Historical Society Museum.

Check Out the Labor & Industry Museum

Belleville’s downtown area has several historic sites and museums that chronicle the city’s rich past.

The Labor & Industry Museum on North Church Street is a must-visit for anyone who wants to learn more about Belleville’s industrial heritage.

The museum is located in the historic Conrad Bornman House, which was built in 1837.

The house’s exterior is made of brick, while the interior has several beautiful and intricately detailed woodwork.

The museum chronicles Belleville’s rich industrial history, focusing on the city’s relationship to the St. Louis region.

It features several exhibits that tell the stories of the city’s workers and industries.

The museum is open to the public and offers several educational programs throughout the year.

Buy Fresh Produce at the Belleville Old Town Farmers Market

For the freshest produce in town, head to the Belleville Old Town Farmers Market.

The market is open from May to November and is located along Main Street, near the St. Clair County Administration Building.

When in season, you’ll find a wide variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, bread, pies, and even coffee.

The market also features several arts and crafts, making it the perfect place to find unique gifts for your friends and family.

The Belleville Old Town Farmers Market is always bustling with locals and visitors shopping for the freshest produce in town.

Experience Ultimate Entertainment at The Edge

Imagine all of the best entertainment you can think of in one convenient location—that’s what you’ll find at The Edge.

Located on South Belt West, The Edge is Belleville’s ultimate entertainment destination, offering something for everyone.

For the kids, there is an indoor playground and arcade.

The whole family can enjoy laser tag, bowling, and go-karts.

Their laser tag, in particular, is well-known to be the world’s largest multi-story laser tag arena at more than 14,000 square feet.

There is a sports bar and restaurant with over 45 flatscreen TVs for adults to ensure you don’t miss a single game.

If that’s not enough, they also have a movie theatre that features luxury recliners in their seats and in-seat service.

The Edge is the perfect place to spend a day or night with family and friends.

With its convenient location and wide range of activities, you’re sure to have a great time.

Watch a Spectacle at the Belle-Clair Fairgrounds & Expo Center

Located on South Belt East, the Belle-Clair Fairgrounds & Expo Center is the premier event venue in the city.

The fairgrounds host several events, including the St. Clair County Fair, Belleville Hobby Show, the Belleville Flea Market, and much more.

There’s also a regular Gun and Knife Show, Ladies Riller Derby, Collectible Electric Train Shows, RV shows, Antique shows, and more.

It’s undoubtedly the best place in Belleville to watch an entertaining show or witness a local event for the whole family.

If you’re a race fan, you’ll be hyped to know that the Belle-Clair Fairground & Expo Center is home to the Belle-Clair Speedway.

The speedway features a 0.25-mile high banked oval track that hosts dirt track racing.

If you’re looking for excitement and entertainment, check out the Belle-Clair Fairgrounds & Expo Center.

Visit the National Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows

The National Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows is one of Belleville’s most popular tourist attractions.

Located on South Demazenod Drive, the shrine is a Catholic pilgrimage site that receives more than 300,000 visitors yearly.

The shrine features several beautiful gardens, including the Rosary Garden, the Sorrowful Mother Garden, and the Stations of the Cross Garden.

A life-sized nativity scene is also on display during the Christmas season.

Inside the shrine, you’ll find several beautiful works of art and an interactive exhibit on the history of Mary, the mother of Jesus.

You don’t need to be religious to visit this iconic spot in Belleville.

The National Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows is a must-see for anyone who wants to see something unique and beautiful.

Watch a Movie at the Historic Lincoln Theatre

Exterior of the Lincoln Theatre

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Opened in 1921, the Lincoln Theatre in Belleville’s historic downtown district has been a beacon of entertainment for Belleville residents for more than a century.

Its earlier years saw the Lincoln Theatre as a vaudeville stage and movie house.

Many local and touring acts perform on its stage, entertaining the people of Belleville.

The theater underwent several renovations, including a series of intensive renovations from 1980 to 2000.

Today, you can easily spot the theater with its iconic swish vertical marquee.

The theatre is currently a cinema, screening first-run movies. It is also a venue for performing arts, hosting several music, dance, and comedy performances throughout the year.

If you want to visit a piece of Belleville’s history while catching the latest movies, then the Lincoln Theatre is the perfect place.

Be One with the Belleville Community at Bicentennial Park

Belleville Bicentennial Park is one of the city’s premier parks, offering many activities and amenities for residents and visitors alike.

The park features several walking trails, a picnic area with a roof, a fishing pond, playgrounds, a basketball court, and a wide field that your kids and pets can run around.

Numerous locals can do different kinds of activities at Bicentennial Park.

People are walking their dogs, playing with their kids, fishing, playing sports, taking a stroll, and much more.

The park on Belleville Crossing Street is a great place to relax, have fun, and be one with the Belleville community.

Play Nonstop Bowling at Bel-Air Bowl

There’s nothing like a bowling session with friends while enjoying pizza and cold drinks on the side.

At Bel-Air Bowl, you’ll not only get to enjoy all of that, but you’ll also have a great time doing it.

This popular bowling alley is located on South Belt West.

It’s a great place to go with your family or friends after a day of exploring the wonders of Bellville.

At the Bel-Air Bowl, you can join a local league and compete for some serious prizes.

Alternatively, you can go here to have fun and bowl with your friends.

Either way, you’re sure to have a great time.

The bowling alley features 32 state-of-the-art bowling lanes and a bar and grill.

In addition, they serve some of the best pizza in Belleville and other snacks and drinks that complement each other.

If you’re looking for a fun and unique activity to do in Belleville, be sure to check out Bel-Air Bowl.

Work Your Brain at Escape 618

If you’re looking for a fun and unique activity with your family or friends, you should check out Escape 618 on East Main Street.

It’s a great place to test your problem-solving skills and work together as a team.

At Escape 618, you’re given 60 minutes to solve a series of puzzles and riddles.

If you’re able to do it within the allotted time, then you win!

It’s a great activity for family bonding or team building.

There are numerous escape rooms, each with a unique theme.

Escape 618 is the perfect activity for those who are looking for something different to do in Belleville.

Dine and Play Golf at the Orchards Golf Course & Restaurant

With two championship golf courses and an on-site restaurant, the Orchards Golf Course & Restaurant is the perfect place to dine and tee off.

It’s located on Golf Course Drive, just a few miles from downtown Belleville.

It’s a great place to go for a day of golfing with the locals if you feel competitive.

The Orchards Golf Course features two championship courses, the Arnold Palmer Course and the Gary Player Course.

They’re both 18-hole, par 72 courses perfect for all skill levels.

These courses feature luscious greens, beautiful scenery, and challenging holes.

You’re sure to have a great time whether you’re an experienced golfer or a beginner.

After a day of golfing, you can refuel at the on-site restaurant.

The Orchards Restaurant serves American cuisine with a twist.

They have an extensive menu that features something for everyone.

Visit Braeutigam Orchards

Braeutigam Orchards is a must-visit for anyone who loves apples, among other fruits.

Located on Turkey Hill Lane, it’s just a short drive from downtown Belleville.

This family-owned orchard has been in business since 1831.

It is now run by the seventh generation of the Braeutigam family.

Braeutigam Orchards is open from September to November.

You can pick your own apples or buy them already picked during this time.

They also offer a variety of other fruits and vegetables, including peaches, pumpkins, and tomatoes.

In addition to fruits and vegetables, the Braeutigam Orchards offer tours and hayrides.

They also have a farm store where you can purchase local honey, jams, and jellies.

Watch a Movie inside Your Car at the Skyview Drive-In

Exterior of the Skyview Drive-In

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There are only a few drive-in theaters left in the country.

That’s why you should experience it yourself if you come across one.

The Skyview Drive-In on North Belt West is one of Belleville’s most popular attractions.

It’s a great place to go on a date night or with your family and friends.

Opened in 1949, the Skyview Drive-in is one of the oldest operating drive-ins in the State of Illinois.

Thanks to the efforts of the management and the locals, the Skyview drive-in saw several improvements in recent years.

These improvements include a new digital projector, a new concessions stand, and a new playground for the kids.

Despite these changes, the Skyview Drive-in retains its old-school charm, and that’s what makes it so special.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Belleville already has an extensive list of things to do that going beyond its borders to the neighboring area seems unnecessary.

However, there are some nearby attractions that are worth the drive if you’re looking for something different to do.

Witness Different Aircraft at the Scott Field Heritage Air Park

The Scott Field Heritage Air Park, located in the Scott Airforce base, is no ordinary park.

It’s an outdoor museum dedicated to preserving aviation’s history.

The Scott Field Heritage Air Park has various aircraft on display, including the C-141 Starlifter, C-9 Nightingale, KC-135 Stratotanker, C-140 Jetstar, C-130 Hercules, and C-21 Learjet.

In addition to the different aircraft, the park also has a variety of memorabilia on display.

This includes items from World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and the Gulf War.

If you’re interested in learning about aviation, this is the perfect place.

Final Thoughts

Belleville is one of those cities with a rich history, a vibrant present, a bright future, and many attractions and things that will keep you on your toes during your visit.

The city has something for everyone, whether you’re looking for a place to golf, eat, shop, or spend a day exploring.

Add it to your list of places to visit, and you won’t be disappointed.

When planning your trip, make sure to try all the best things to do in Belleville, Illinois!

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