15 Best Things to Do in Collinsville, IL

Collinsville, IL
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Collinsville, Illinois, is a uniquely interesting city with a mix of historic and modern attractions for everyone.

The city lies mostly in Madison County, with some areas situated along the county of St. Clair.

The city has a thriving Italian community due to the surge of immigrants during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, thus owing to the much-celebrated Italian Fest held every July.

Collinsville houses the popular water tower and city landmark, the Brooks Catsup Bottle, hailed as the largest ketchup bottle in the world.

It's also known as the Horseradish Capital of the World, with an annual festival celebrating this unique trait.

Aside from these interesting facts, Collinsville is also the site of the historic Cahokia Mounds and Monk Mounds, located on the city’s western border.

The city offers plenty of family-friendly attractions, restaurants, public parks, and fun events you’ll see and enjoy.

If you want to discover more, here are the best things to do in Collinsville, Illinois:

See the World’s Largest Catsup Bottle

View of  World’s Largest Catsup Bottle
RozenskiP / Shutterstock.com

The World’s Largest Catsup Bottle stands on Morrison Avenue, next to Route 159.

The 170-feet tall water tower was constructed by the W.E. Caldwell Company in 1949 for the Brooks catsup bottling plant G.S. Suppiger.

In 1995, the Catsup Bottle Preservation Group sought the preservation and restoration of this city landmark.

It has since garnered public attention, with tourists and visitors flocking this modern roadside attraction.

It eventually made the list of the National Register of Historic Places in 2002.

If you happen to be in the city in July, you can join the fun and catch the World's Largest Catsup Bottle Festival.

Visit the Ancient Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site

Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site is located on Ramsey Street between Collinsville and East St. Loius, across the Mississippi River.

The historic park features the Native American city that existed during the pre-Columbian era, built around 1100 CE.

You’ll see over 80 man-made mounds and archeological remnants of the ancient city.

View the Monks Mound, the largest earthwork structure dating back to 900 to 955 CE.

The mound is said to be over 100 feet high, 900 feet long, and 700 feet wide, making about the same base area as the Great Pyramid of Giza.

You can tour these UNESCO World Heritage Sites and learn about the ways of the Native tribes that once settled in the area.

Discover Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site.

Join the Italian Fest Celebrations

The Italian Fest is a celebration of the Italian culture and community held in uptown Collinsville’s Main Street.

The annual event started in 1983 and has been celebrated every fall season.

You’ll surely enjoy this two-day festival filled with fun activities and entertainment.

Catch the parade and live music performances, or sign up for the bike rides or fun run.

You’ll also enjoy watching the Little Miss & Mister Pageant, the Bocce Ball Tournament, or the exciting grape stomp.

Of course, there are endless rows of Italian food vendors selling local specialties like spumoni, spedini, cannoli, and Italian Ices for you to try.

The Italian Fest is a fantastic Italian celebration in a local city.

Catch Horse Races at Fairmount Park Racetrack

View of Fairmount Park Racetrack
Gvolk, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

For heart-stomping horse races, head to Fairmount Park Racetrack on Collinsville Road.

The track opened in 1925 and went under different management over the years.

It featured Standardbred harness racing back in the day but ceased in 1999.

Today, the track hosts around 90 Thoroughbred flat races yearly and offers simulcast wagering.

You can place your wagers from horse bets to sporting bets, too.

After you stop by the Simulcast Center or Sportsbook, you can enjoy meals and drinks at First Turn Cafe.

Try your luck at Fairmount Park Racetrack.

Enjoy the Events at the International Horseradish Festival

For a celebration that’s all about horseradish, the International Horseradish Festival is a different experience you can enjoy in the city.

This festival is held annually on the first weekend of June at Woodland Park and Main Street.

You can join hours of live music, see over a hundred cars displayed at the car show, or join the 5k run.

Catch the Root Derby and watch derby cars made from horseradish root race their way to the finish line.

You’ll also enjoy contests like the Bloody Mary Contest, Root Toss, and Cornhole Tournament.

Little ones can have loads of giggles and fun with activities like the Climbing Walls, Carnival Games, Face Painting, and much more.

Drop by the Craft Village or watch the Root Grinding Classes and learn how to prepare your own horseradish, or buy freshly prepared horseradish.

You’ll also find lines of delicious food at the stalls, from horseradish-inspired dishes to Wings and Philly Cheese Steak Sandwiches.

Bring your family to the International Horseradish Festival.

Have Fun at Willoughby Heritage Farm and Conservation Reserve

Willoughby Heritage Farm and Conservation Reserve is a public park on Willoughby Lane.

Your family will have a Midwestern farming experience and discover how old-school farming was done from the 1930s to the 1950s.

Step into historic structures, see old tools, view replica gardens and nature nooks, or just enjoy the surrounding landscape.

You’ll also be able to see, feed, and pet live farm animals housed in the timber barns.

Little ones will also enjoy running and exploring the play areas.

Hike the three-mile trail and discover the woodlands and prairie around Willoughby Heritage Farm and Conservation Reserve.

View Interesting Artifacts at the Collinsville Historical Museum

The Collinsville Historical Museum offers visitors a view of historical artifacts that are uniquely Collinsville.

You can find the museum on West Main Street.

Observe the displays depicting the city’s history and traditions from the 1760s to the present.

Check the Founder’s Day exhibit, view antique cow bells made by Blum Bell Manufacturing Company, and see the tools used during the city’s coal mining days.

Learn about the story behind the World’s Largest Catsup Bottle, the area’s past clothing industry, and the professional sports and Olympic athletes who hailed from Collinsville.

You’ll discover amazing facts about the city at Collinsville Historical Museum.

Try Deliciously Sweet Pastries at Kruta Bakery

Kruta Bakery is your best local stop for classic homemade pastries.

Four generations of Kruta family bakers have used the same recipes that Frank Kruta brought from Eastern Europe when he first opened the shop in 1919 in St. Louis and in 1974 in Collinsville.

You’ll be served assorted quality bread, pies, and specialty pastries baked from scratch.

They offer different kinds of bread, like butter crust bread, cinnamon bread, French bread, and more.

You’ll love their mouth-watering cakes like angel food, white, and fiesta cakes.

Sink your teeth in moist and chewy brownies, fudges, cookies, and other sweet treats like danish, donuts, and pies.

Try some old-fashioned kolache, strudel, and cream puffs.

You’ll find Kruta Bakery on St. Louis Road.

Stop by the Old D.D. Collins House

The D.D. Collins House is a historical attraction located at the corner of Combs and West Main Street.

This residence was built in 1845 by Daniel Dove Collins, the first President of the Collinsville Village Board.

The structure has been beautifully preserved despite its relocation, with restorations made until 2016.

You'll appreciate this Greek Revival house design if you’re keen on different architectural styles.

It’s one of the few remaining houses in southern Illinois with this type of architecture.

Drop by the shop for ornaments, notecards, and painted art cards you can bring home as souvenirs.

Aside from the D.D. Collins House, take time to see the flower, herbs, and vegetable gardens maintained by the Collinsville Garden Club.

Enjoy Outdoor Recreation at Woodland Park

Woodland Park is a public park on Pine Lake Road.

This lovely and spacious park frequently hosts city events and programs like yard sales, concerts, and annual celebrations.

It’s the ideal place to just relax with your family or unwind in the afternoon.

The neighborhood park has playground areas for little ones, baseball fields, a basketball court, and an 18-hole disc golf course.

Explore the grounds along the wooden pathways, stroll the bridge areas over the lake, and hike the beaten paths.

You can also have some quiet time fishing by the docks or enjoy a picnic at the pavilion.

For some relaxing recreation, head to Woodland Park.

Savor Good Food and Beers at Old Herald Brewery & Distillery

Old Herald Brewery & Distillery is one of the local family-friendly restaurants you can drop by.

This full-service restaurant serves an array of craft beers and ale produced on-site.

You can also tour the distillery or book private events based on your preference.

Have a taste of the different Ardent Spirits flavors created with traditional distillation combined with vapor infusion innovations.

Try their distinct Rum and Agave brands, awarded bronze and silver medals during the San Francisco World Spirits competition.

You’ll also enjoy some entertainment with live music performances and an Open Mic Night.

The restaurant also carries the Cold Herald, with assorted ice cream flavors like Midnight Dark Chocolate and Caramel Collision and premium flavors like Blackberry Cheesecake and Pineapple Pina Colada.

They also serve Dessert Boats like Warm Brownie, Warm Pretzel Bread Pudding, Old Herald Cheesecake, and much more.

Old Herald Brewery & Distillery is located on East Clay Street.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Explore the Outdoors at Horseshoe Lake State Park

Scenic view of Horseshoe Lake State Park
Danita Delimont / Shutterstock.com

Horseshoe Lake State Park is 12 minutes from downtown Collinsville.

The state park spans over 2,900 acres and is located in southeastern Granite City.

Horshoe Lake is the state’s second-largest natural lake, offering boat and lakeside fishing opportunities.

You’ll get a good catch of bass, crappie, bluegill, carp, channel catfish, and buffalo at this lake.

Cars at Horseshoe Lake State Park
Trailnet, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

You can also hike the Madison County Transit's Schoolhouse Trail going all the way to St. Louis after crossing the Chain of Rocks Bridge.

Go for a day of waterfowl hunting for a different kind of outdoor adventure.

Otherwise, have a family outing and pitch a tent for the night.

Enjoy an outdoor experience at Horseshoe Lake State Park.

Sunset at Horseshoe Lake State Park
Amber N Lowry / Shutterstock.com

Play Golf at Arlington Greens Golf Course

You can find Arlington Greens Golf Cruise in Granite City, 10 minutes from Illinois.

This 18-hole public golf facility covers over 7,200 yards of fairways and features a par 72.

The Bermuda grass-covered course is available for open play, leagues, golf lessons, tournaments, and outings.

You can practice golf at the all-weather grass driving range and putting greens just north of the clubhouse.

You can also check the Pro Shop for a wide range of golf accessories like shirts, tees, and gloves.

After hours of golf, you can relax at the bar overlooking the course on the outdoor patio.

The bar serves beer, wines, spirits, and non-alcoholic beverages like sodas and sports drinks; you can also choose snacks on the menu like pizzas, sandwiches, and chips.

Get your golf game mode on at Arlington Greens Golf Course.

Watch Speeding Race Cars at World Wide Technology Raceway

View of World Wide Technology Raceway
Grindstone Media Group / Shutterstock.com

World Wide Technology Raceway, also known as Gateway Motorsports Park, is located in Madison, 15 minutes from Collinsville.

This sports venue houses four facilities, with the main 1.25-mile oval track utilized for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and the IndyCar Series.

View of World Wide Technology Raceway
Grindstone Media Group / Shutterstock.com

Catch these exciting and action-packed races and cheer for your best bet.

You can also watch the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series event or see other meets on other tracks like the Gateway Kartplex.

Visit the shop for exclusive apparel, decals, posters, caps, and souvenirs.

World Wide Technology Raceway is also one of the tracks in the country featuring ride-along and driving packages offered by the Rusty Wallace Racing Experience.

View of World Wide Technology Raceway
Grindstone Media Group / Shutterstock.com

Have Fun Fall Activities at Relleke Pumpkin Patch

For fall activities you can enjoy with your family, Relleke Pumpkin Patch offers fun things you can do together.

This family farm has been around since the 1800s, providing farm-fresh produce to local markets.

They have opened their doors every fall season for people to enjoy and experience fun farm activities.

You can Pick Your Own Pumpkin from the patch or go for a fun wagon ride to the fields.

Play Pumpkin Chucker, get lost in the Jungle Maze, or have loads of laughter at the Swing.

Kids will have endless fun at the Spider Town, Pyramid Slide, Crying Chicken Roller Coaster, and much more.

You can also visit the farm animals like chickens, ducks, turkeys, geese, pigs, goats, and llamas.

It also offers decorative gourds, Indian corn, corn stalks, and straw bales for your fall decorations, along with edible squashes like butternut, acorn, and spaghetti varieties.

Relleke Pumpkin Patch is located in Pontoon Beach, 10 minutes from Collinsville.

Final Thoughts

Collinsville is filled with historic and fascinating attractions.

It hosts famous tourist sites that present the city’s past and unique character.

The city celebrations also highlight much of its diverse community, culture, and traditions.

From museums, historic sites, and specialty restaurants to outdoor locations, the city has many activities and places you’ll enjoy.

Plan your visit and try all the best things to do in Collinsville, Illinois.

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