Blake Walsh

20 Best Things to Do in Plainfield, IL

  • Published 2023/03/22

Considered the oldest community in Will County in Illinois, Plainfield is a village located 28 miles southwest of the Chicago suburb.

Established in 1834, the town was initially named Walkers’ Grove until it was included on a map and was named Plainfield in 1841.

The Potawatomi Native Americans lived in the area before the European settlers established the first trading post in the 1830s.

In the Midwest of the United States, Plainfield is situated along the Dupage River, a branch of the Des Plaines River.

The river travels 133 miles south through southern Wisconsin and northern Illinois.

Plainfield played a significant role during the Black Hawk War of 1832, where American forces quelled one of the last Native resistance movements in Illinois.

Nowadays, the village is home to over 42,000 people and continues to grow yearly.

Here are the best things to do while in Plainfield, IL:

Explore the Historic Downtown Plainfield District

Aerial view of Downtown Plainfield District

Hendrickson Photography /

The historic downtown of Plainfield is a great place to explore and do some shopping.

You can start strolling along Lockport St., the main street in the historic downtown area.

Developed more than a century ago, various shops, restaurants, and cafes line the street of the historic downtown Plainfield.

You’ll be amazed at the area’s diverse architectural styles, including Greek Revival, Queen Anne, and Victorian.

A sign at Downtown Plainfield District

Anatoly Evdokimov, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

You can find several gorgeous murals in the downtown area, which local artists created to beautify the downtown area.

You’ll never go hungry in the Downtown Plainfield area with restaurants that offer a variety of cuisines such as Italian, Mexican, Asian fusion, and even American.

Those looking for gifts and souvenirs can find unique shops that offer items such as antiques, vintage clothing, and even handmade goods.

Plainfield logo on the grounds of Downtown Plainfield District

Hendrickson Photography /

Reconnect with Nature at the Lake Renwick Heron Rookery Preserve

The Lake Renwick Heron Rookery Preserve is a perfect place to appreciate nature in the Southeast part of Plainfield.

The preserve is home to different bird species, reptiles, and amphibians, particularly the Heron Rookery.

The majestic heron calls the Preserve home during the spring and summer.

The best time to see the herons in Lake Renwick Heron Rookery Preserve is during their mating season, from late April to early June.

During this time, you will have a grand time seeing the herons building their nests and raising their young.

Aside from the birds, the Lake Renwick Heron Rookery Preserve is also home to other animals such as coyotes, beavers, and turtles.

The preserve also has a stunning 2.75-mile trail perfect for hiking, biking, and even horseback riding, for those who love to feel the wind in their faces.

Lake Renwick Heron Rookery Preserve has picnic areas if you want to have a little picnic with your friends or family.

Birdwatching in the Copley Nature Park inside the Preserve is also a favorite activity among many visitors.

Eat Healthy at the Plainfield Farmers Market

If you are craving fresh and locally grown produce, you should head to the Plainfield Farmers Market.

Admire the numerous choice of fresh produce that are yours for the taking.

The Plainfield Farmers Market was organized to encourage tourists and locals alike to stroll through downtown Plainfield.

The Plainfield Farmers Market is open every Sunday from June until September at the Plainfield Area Public Library.

You will find various fruits and vegetables, freshly baked goods, flowers, and even locally made crafts.

There is also ready-to-eat food in the market, making spending your day more worthwhile.

The market also has live music on select Saturdays, creating a perfect shopping atmosphere.

After perusing the market, visitors can go to the shops downtown and choose whether they want to feast on ice cream or eat a couple of sandwiches.

You’ll be able to help farmers and local businesses once you participate in the Plainfield Farmers Market.

Discover the Charms of the Sable Creek Winery

Sable Creek Winery is a great place to visit if you love wine and want to learn about the perfect food and wine pairing.

It offers a variety of red and white wines that are sure to please any palate.

Visitors can tour the Winery to learn about wine-making and even sample some wines.

The winery also has a beautiful patio area where you can enjoy a glass of wine while surrounded by nature.

Sable Creek Winery also has music on select evenings, making for a perfect evening activity.

The winery is where you can hang out with friends and family and enjoy the night.

Enjoy Plainfield’s Slice of Heaven at Settlers’ Park

The grounds of Settlers' Park

Hendrickson Photography /

If you need a place to relax and have fun, then Settlers’ Park is the place for you.

Visitors will revel in the peacefulness of the park while enjoying the amenities that it has to offer.

The park has a pond perfect for those who want peace.

Tribute memorial statue at Settlers' Park

Susan Newcomb /

You can also find or assemble an incorporated book with pages scattered around the park that will pique the curiosity of the entire family.

The Settlers’ Park also features a walking trail perfect for a morning or afternoon stroll.

Sunset watching in the Park is also a sight to behold.

Settlers’ Park is open daily from sunrise to sunset.

Aerial view of Settlers' Park

Hendrickson Photography /

Spend an Afternoon Reading Books at the Plainfield Area Public Library

If you love books, then the Plainfield Area Public Library is where you can spend an afternoon or even an entire day with your nose deep in their books.

The Plainfield Area Public Library has a wide array of books you can read and borrow.

There are also events at the Library, such as story times, book clubs, and even author visits.

Its basement is set up for kids with a play area and even computers with educational games.

The Plainfield Area Public Library is open Monday to Saturday.

Go Birdwatching at the Copley Nature Park

The Copley Nature Park is a beautiful place to stroll and enjoy nature while admiring the birds in the park.

The park has a variety of birds that you can see and even photograph, which you can include in your collection.

The Copley Nature Park offers another vista to Lake Renwick Heron Rookery, a favorite spot for birdwatchers.

The park also has a gazebo with a viewing scope where you can get a closer look at the birds and admire their beauty.

The Copley Nature Park is open daily from sunrise to sunset.

Explore the Past at the Plainfield Historical Society Museum

The Plainfield Historical Society Museum is the place to learn about the history of Plainfield.

The museum artifacts, documents, and photographs collection tell the story of Plainfield.

The Plainfield Historical Society Museum is housed on Main Street and features seven different exhibits, which change on schedule.

The exhibits include a collection of items from the Early settlement of Plainfield, the Civil War, and even items from the present day.

The Plainfield Historical Society Museum also organizes events to educate the community about the history of Plainfield.

There are also interactive exhibits that will make your visit more enjoyable.

The museum is open on Saturdays.

Discover the Art of Plainfield at the Prairie Activity & Recreation Center

The 40,000-square-foot Prairie Activity & Recreation Center on Renwick Road is the place to go for arts and recreation in Plainfield.

The center has a wide variety of art classes you can take part in.

There are also recreational activities that you can enjoy, such as full-court gyms, walking tracks, and even a fitness center.

The Prairie Activity & Recreation Center is designed with Net-Zero energy consumption, making it one of the most sustainable buildings in the state.

It also has spaces for community programs like recreational activities and painting classes.

The Prairie Activity & Recreation Center features a daycare center.

Visit the Flanders House

Exterior of Flanders House

Teemu008 from Palatine, Illinois, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Flanders House is a must-see if you want to see how the people lived a century ago.

Built in 1841, the Flanders House is one of the oldest buildings in Plainfield, one of the three remaining landmark buildings in the village.

Jason R. Flanders was one of the first people who immigrated to Plainfield from Boston, and he lived in the house with his wife, Lucy.

Mr. Flanders became the first constable in Plainfield.

By the time of his death, he had amassed several hundreds of acres.

The Flanders’ Place, also known as Mapleview Farm and Bragaw-Klomhaus House, has changed hands a few times during its 180-year history.

Sporting a Greek Revival architectural style, the Flanders House has been home to notable residents.

The Flanders House is also near the Plainfield Halfway House, which was built in 1836 as an inn and a tavern.

Play Golf at the Naperbrook Golf Course

The Naperbrook Golf Course is the perfect place to enjoy a round of golf.

The course features a par 72 challenge.

It also has a driving range where you can practice your swing, aside from the 3,000-square-foot practice putting greens.

The Naperbrook Golf Course spans 6,755 yards and is naturally gorgeous, with rolling hills, ravines, and wetlands.

Its clubhouse has a golf shop, a banquet hall, and a restaurant.

Naperbrook Golf Course also offers accommodation for those who want to stay and play for an extended period.

Have Some Family Fun at the Plainfield Lanes

If you’re raring for family fun, head to Plainfield Lanes and play a round of bowling.

Plainfield Lanes feature bowling lanes, an arcade, an escape room, and a full-service bar and grill.

The arcade has games that the whole family can enjoy.

You can even win tickets that you can use to get prizes.

The escape room is perfect for those who want to test their problem-solving skills, with themes like a bank heist.

Plainfield Lanes offers free bowling for kids.

You can also celebrate your birthday at Plainfield Lanes and have some epic fun.

Have a Blast at the Werk Force Brewing Company

The Werk Force Brewing Company is the place for those who love craft beer and good music.

The brewing company has different kinds of beer that you can choose from, such as stouts, pilsners, or barrel-aged ones.

The Werk Force Brewing Company also has a stage where local and national acts perform.

There’s also a food truck on-site if you get hungry from all the beer drinking and dancing.

The Werk Force Brewing Company boasts of its creative brews and good times.

Choose the Perfect Game at the Wandering Dragon Game & Puzzle Shoppe

The Wandering Dragon Game Shoppe is the perfect place to find games for those rainy days.

The shop has a wide variety of board games, card games, and role-playing games.

You can also buy chess sets, miniatures, and other Wandering Dragon Game Shoppe merchandise.

The shop also has a cafe, where you can buy snacks and drinks.

The Wandering Dragon Game Shoppe also has a room where you could play the games in case you don’t want to buy any or you simply need convincing.

The Wandering Dragon Game Shoppe is in the Downtown Plainfield Area.

Drop by and explore the many different kinds of games that they have in store.

Check Out the Norman Greenway Park

The Norman Greenway Park in Blakely Drive is the perfect place to take a stroll, picnic, or go fishing.

Visitors will see kids fishing in its numerous ponds while enjoying the stunning scenery.

You can also go hiking on the trail or take your dog for a walk in the designated dog area.

During the winter, the Norman Greenway Park becomes a wonderland as locals flock to its sledding hill.

The Park also has a playground, trails, and a basketball court for your children’s enjoyment.

Norman Greenway Park is open all year round and is the perfect place to get some fresh air.

Hit a Target at Axe Factor Throwing

For traveling families, groups of friends, or co-workers, you can spend an hour or so at Axe Factor Throwing, where you can literally throw axes and knives at designated targets.

One lane is good for 8 people with coaches who will teach you how to properly throw axes and hit the target.

You have up to two hours to use use the lane and enjoy throwing axes and knives.

There are discounts on Tuesdays, so if you’re in town on this day, you can get an online reservation for this.

Axe Factor Throwing is located off South Highway 30.

Browse through the Vinyl Records at Black Dog Vinyl Cafe

Music lovers can enjoy browsing through the unique vinyl records at Black Dog Vinyl Cafe, which sells new and used records.

You can choose from any of its collections from the 60s to the 90s in classic rock, heavy metal, punk, hard rock, progressive, and new wave.

Blues, jazz, and soul are also available here.

There’s also live music during special events at the shop, which you can enjoy with a cup of its delicious coffee, or good wine, craft beer, or cocktails.

Visit Black Dog Vinyl Cafe on Illinois Route 59.

Play in the Water with Plainfield River Tubing

Enjoy a fun and exciting trip down the DuPage River with Plainfield River Tubing, which guides you through the floating time.

From May to September, you can let the current of the water float you down the river from Eaton Preserve and back to West Electric Park.

Depending on the flow, your float trip takes up to 4.5 hours through the calm water of the river, stretching 3 miles.

There are tubes and floating gear for rental and life jackets are also provided for free.

Plainfield River Tubing is located in West Electric Park on Countryman Drive.

Grab a Hearty Meal at Uptown

Delicious American comfort food always hits homes, and Uptown doesn’t disappoint.

Established in the 1980s, the restaurant is popular for its tasty classic American burgers, Reuben sandwiches, nachos, firecracker cauliflower, tacos, and many more.

While the atmosphere inside the restaurant is inarguably warm and friendly, its outdoor seating is one for the books, especially on warmer days.

The bar at the restaurant also offers excellent selections of beer, wine, and cocktails.

There’s also live music on Thursdays with an open mic, as well as on Saturdays with a live band.

Uptown is located off Lockport Street.

Join the Fun at the Plainfield Fest

Promoting and celebrating Plainfield’s rich cultural, economic, natural, and recreational amenities, the Plainfield Fest is a weekend of fun and family-friendly event.

The two-day festival is popular for its Midwest Bags Tournament along with other activities like Arts & Craft Show, Ice Cream Run, and Custom and Classic Car Show, among others.

Kids can also take part in face painting, and enjoy the petting zoo, pony rides, and balloon shows.

Live bands are also gracing the stage throughout the festival.

The Plainfield Fest happens on one weekend of July every year in downtown Plainfield.

Final Thoughts

Plainfield is a great village with plenty to offer visitors and residents, that you won’t be disappointed.

There’s something for everyone in this charming city with plenty of activities and attractions.

From farmer’s markets to golf courses, from breweries to nature preserves, Plainfield has something unique to offer visitors and residents alike.

What are you waiting for?

Start planning your Plainfield trip today!

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