Blake Walsh

15 Best Things to Do in Morris, IL

  • Published 2022/07/28

At the northeastern end of Grundy County, Illinois, Morris stands as a beloved city brimming with parks, local shops, and entertainment venues.

Formally established in 1842, the city began with a lone 1834 wooden cabin at Jefferson and Nettle Street.

A steam train railroad in 1853 jumpstarted the city’s growth and prosperity as it connected quickly with neighboring communities.

Until now, Morris continues to thrive through annual fairs, diverse businesses, and a warm community.

Explore the city’s attractions to immerse in its unbridled charm.

Here are the best things to do in Morris, IL:

Connect with Nature at Goose Lake Prairie State Natural Area

Praire pond at Goose Lake Prairie State Natural Area

Wildnerdpix /

Immerse in the wonders of nature at Goose Lake Prairie State Natural Area.

This nature preserve at Morris is home to an array of diverse terrains like marshes, meadows, prairies, and grasslands.

Early settlers recognized the area as a “sea of grass with pretty flowers” back when they discovered the rich and beautiful environment.

The law protects the vast area, especially endangered animals that live peacefully in these habitats.

A windmill at Goose Lake Prairie State Natural Area

Wildnerdpix /

Exploring the preserve will show you many native plants, flowers, and wildlife across the changing lands.

You can hike multiple trails, each with various levels and terrains.

Meanwhile, two picnic areas are available inside the protected preserve.

Whatever the season, Goose Lake Prairie State Natural Area offers splendid views of untamed nature.

Get in touch with nature through this beautiful preserve at Morris, Illinois.

Boardwalk trail at Goose Lake Prairie State Natural Area

Brian Woolman /

Learn History in Grundy County Historical Society

Dropping by the city’s local museum is always a great way to start your trip.

It gives you a better understanding and appreciation of Morris as you learn about its unique history and culture since its founding.

Grundy County Historical Society is a non-profit organization tasked with collecting and preserving remnants of Grundy County’s past.

They’ve carefully displayed their collections in an Illinois Avenue Morris museum.

There, you’ll see artifacts, photographs, maps, and other antiques related to the county.

Old costumes, equipment, and previous trendy items can give you an idea of how people in the county used to live.

You can also check out local obituaries, high school yearbooks, local newspaper films, and other archives on Grundy County.

A visit here can be an exciting learning experience, especially for history buffs.

Go Boating at William G. Stratton State Park

William G. Stratton State Park is most known for providing access to the scenic Illinois River.

It has four public boat ramps to help launch your boats into the river, where you can enjoy more water activities.

You can try fishing, ride jet skis, and paddle kayaks on the Illinois River.

Otherwise, you can have a nice picnic at the park’s provided amenities, including picnic tables, pavilions, and benches.

Enjoy these activities while you gaze at the sweeping views of the calm river and its occupants.

You can also have a calming walk along the water’s edges and roam the peaceful destination.

If you’re looking for peace and relaxation, head to this quiet park at Griggs Drive.

Watch Local Talents at Morris Theater Guild Playhouse

Along Illinois Avenue, this quaint playhouse showcases the acting prowess of locals in Morris and nearby areas.

Since 1973, Morris Theater Guild has organized shows for the community to enrich interest in the performing arts.

They feature an eclectic mix of original plays, musicals, comedies, and other kinds of stories that reflect the theme of their guild.

From theater sets and costumes to trained actors and actresses, the guild works with essential theater elements to produce high-quality shows.

The group performs in a small, intimate theater with decent lighting and comfortable seats.

Witness top-notch live theater at affordable prices in Morris Theater Guild Playhouse.

Have a Tea Party at Letty Mae’s Tea Room

With fancy teacup sets and flower-patterned walls, this adorable, dainty restaurant holds a unique, pleasant atmosphere in Morris, Illinois.

Letty Mae’s Tea Room is a quirky shop filled with vintage decor, from lace-covered lamps and glass vases to old-style chandeliers.

These give the place a charming appeal, perfect for all-girls lunches or anyone who’d like to experience a simple tea party.

You’ll even get your drinks in tiny cute teacups!

They also have plenty of homemade sweet treats like cupcakes, brownies, and scones.

Besides that, they have a savory menu featuring an assortment of salads, sandwiches, and soups.

Drop by Letty Mae’s Tea Room and sip hot tea in dainty cups like British royalty.

Hunt for Good Deals at True North

Who can resist great items at affordable prices?

You’ll find loads of them at True North, a 10,000-square feet shopping venue with over 125 diverse vendors.

True North features a wide selection of items, including antiques, handcrafted goods, clothes, recycled products, craft materials, restored furniture, and much more.

With so many stalls to explore, True North offers a fun experience as you hunt for items that you will surely treasure.

Beyond a shopping adventure, though, True North also has places where you can take selfies, play board games, video games, and other interactive set-ups from kind vendors.

They also have cold pretzels, beer, and free movies on weekends.

True North offers a wholesome, family-friendly venture for all ages.

Drink Craft Beers in Honest Abe’s Tap & Grill

Honest Abe’s Tap & Grill is one of the most popular pubs in the city, offering a combination of tasty local food with refreshing local beers.

This restaurant is one of its kind, available only in Morris, Illinois.

They host a wide selection of rotating craft beers which you can pair with basic American comfort food like the classic burger and fries.

They also prepare the special pony and horseshoe sandwiches, an open-faced type of sandwich that originated in Illinois State.

Honest Abe’s Tap & Grill also has a small lounge featuring darts and sports games on TV screens.

This bar and restaurant is a must-try for casual lunch or dinner in the city.

Browse the 3 French Hens Market

The 3 French Hens is a monthly summer market that’s become a one-stop destination for all things local from Morris and its nearby areas.

You can find it along Gore Road and it contains a wide selection of more than 200 vendors displaying handcrafted products.

From antiques and artisanal works to fresh produce, flowers, and baked goods, the 3 French Hens Market is home to a little bit of everything.

They’ll also have rotating seasonal items like Christmas decorations and festive themed treats.

Once you’re done exploring the market, you can also check out downtown Morris, conveniently located nearby.

This happens only once a month so make sure not to miss out on their opening dates.

Explore Downtown Morris

Morris family center at Downtown Morris

Teemu08, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Downtown Morris combines the allure of a small Midwestern town with unique, locally owned shops in the city.

Whether it’s shopping, dining, or services you’re looking for, Downtown Morris has an array of stores to cater to every need.

The heart of Downtown Morris presents you with a lineup of authentic, historic establishments from old-style Illinois.

You can grab printable pamphlets to guide you along a self-guided tour around the legendary downtown.

Likewise, you can listen to udio tours through mp3 players at Morris Area Public Library.

Visit Downtown Morris to experience the character of Morris City at its finest.

It starts north of Liberty Street’s canal to the center of the city.

Enter the Grundy County Fairgrounds

From the last week of June to early July, this lively annual fair opens for the enjoyment of citizens across Illinois state.

Over the years, the Grundy County Fairgrounds has become an annual tradition for many families across America.

Browse a selection of stalls, entertainment, and local exhibits.

It’s a regional festivity with big attractions like art halls, bingo games, and ax-throwing area, magic shows, and animal demonstrations.

There are also plenty of food stalls with sweet treats, savory snacks, and local delicacies.

Moreover, many of the shows and performances in Grundy County Fairgrounds are free!

You can also check out the highly anticipated speedway to watch dynamic race cars speed along a looped track.

You might want to plan your Morris trip in time for the fairgrounds opening.

Book a Guided Tour with Kayak Morris Campground

You can find a unique way to explore the city’s nature along Kayak Morris Campground Road.

Kayak Morris is an agency that offers an array of services that can help you navigate the wonders of the Illinois River.

Guided kayak tours are their most popular service, providing rental kayaks and exciting information about the places you’ll pass on your tour.

Along the way, you’ll see loads of picturesque views, land formations, and animal wildlife.

They also offer a primitive campground site to let you genuinely immerse outdoors with few amenities.

They’ll provide you with picnic tables and fire pits, but you can’t use water or electricity.

The good part is that they’ll set you up on a sandy beach.

Downtown Morris is only a few minutes from the site; go there if you need anything.

Whether or not you’re an experienced camper, this campground offers a chance for adventure in Morris.

See a Movie at AMC Classic Morris 10

Wherever you go, AMC Theaters is always a safe destination to get your fix on the latest blockbuster movies.

The city of Morris is home to this classic modern cinema, offering immersive 3D screenings and classic movies on large, high-definition screens.

Coupled with comfortable seating and movable armrests, a movie screening at AMC Theaters offers top-quality movies within a cozy setting.

For those who like snacks and drinks with their movies, go to the fully stocked concession stand and grab staple movie fixings like popcorn, hotdogs, candy, and sodas.

On Tuesdays, they offer discounted cinema prices!

Keep that in mind when you make plans to visit the cinemas.

Roll a Strike at Echo Bowling Lanes

Nothing beats a classic game of bowling for family-friendly entertainment!

At Bedford Road, Echo Bowling Lanes provide a fully equipped venue to enjoy the beloved sport in Morris, Illinois.

Bring your family or friends and play a friendly match to see who can score the most strikes.

Besides that, this entertainment venue is also home to a laser tag arena and arcade room.

Their laser tag arena features several obstacles set in an apocalyptic world.

Meanwhile, their arcade room carries nostalgic games like air hockey and pinball.

All these attractions make Echo Bowling Lanes an excellent place for fun social entertainment.

Taste Foreign Wines in Montage Wine Bar & Spirits

In Montage Wine Bar & Spirits, visitors can try foreign wines from countries like Portugal, Italy, Spain, Uruguay, Chile, and more.

They purchase small batches of wine to get plenty of variation among an assortment of premium spirits, craft beers, and whiskey.

Montage pairs them with flavorful small plates that perfectly complement the tones of your chosen drink.

With friendly and knowledgeable staff, they can recommend the perfect wine and small plate to suit your tastes.

You can enjoy all these in a sleek, modern establishment with a classic black aesthetic.

Sometimes, you might even catch events that feature live music, often from acoustic bands and musicians.

Enjoy an upscale drinking experience at Montage Wine Bar & Spirits, located at Liberty Street.

De-stress in Alpine Coffee Bar

The moment you walk into Alpine Coffee Bar, you’ll smell the striking aroma of freshly brewed coffee.

Then, you’ll see intricate wooden tables and books lined up on shelves; feel the mellow atmosphere surrounding the small establishment.

Their menu features an assortment of drinks, from hot coffees and teas to cold brews and lemonades.

They also have handcrafted baked goods and an array of flavorful soups.

Alpine Coffee Bar is the perfect place to cozy up in your seat with a warm cup of coffee.

If you want to relax, drop by their store at Liberty Street.

Final Thoughts

Whatever you’re craving—tranquil nature or vibrant city life—Morris has got you covered.

This charming city has plenty of unique attractions to keep you entertained throughout your stay.

A complete list of adventures awaits you in this Illinois city.

You might even discover more things to do in Morris when you arrive.

Book your trip today!

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