Located in south central Illinois sits the family-friendly town of Centralia. This mid-size town prides itself on its spirit of cooperation and family values. The citizens of Centralia take real pride in their community and hospitality. The city enjoys a low crime rate and offers superb schools and healthcare centers. The town celebrates many different festivals and events throughout the year, including their annual Balloon Fest. When visiting Centralia, here are some ideas for fun activities to enjoy while you are there.
1. Roundhouse Wine Company
Once a roundhouse for trains, the Roundhouse Wine Company is now a popular local hangout. The winery hosts many public events, like Sangria Sundays. Visitors will enjoy music on the weekends from local bands.
They have both an indoor and outdoor seating area with views of the lake. The tasting room features Tuscan decor and here you can sample many of their wines. The Roundhouse Wine Company also serves up a cheese and cracker plate to cleanse the palate. Folks who are looking for heartier fare will find it here as they do provide a menu of other lunch items. The beautiful setting and friendly owners have made this a favorite spot for weddings and family reunions.
Roundhouse Wine Company
Address: 1938 Dogwood Ln, 62801 Centralia, IL
Phone Number: (618) 532-1600
Hours of Operation: Sunday, Wednesday and Thursday, noon to 6 p.m., Friday noon to 7 p.m., Saturday noon to midnight
Facebook: Roundhouse Wine Company
2. Centralia Carillon
While visiting Centralia, you must stop by the Carillon and Tower Park. For those who do not know what a carillon is, it is music made by a series of different sized bells. The carillonist creates music on a baton like a keyboard that is attached to the clappers of the bells. The Centralia Carillon is one of the largest in the world. With 65 bells, it weighs over 61,000 pounds (28 metric tons), making it the largest musical instrument on the planet.
The planning for the carillon began in 1957 but was not realized until 1982. William V. Joy, a Centralia native, made it his passion to create a carillon in his hometown. Before he died, he created a trust to ensure the upkeep of his carillon.
Current plans are underway to expand the Tower Park and broaden the listening area of the carillon. The Centralia Carillon has become one of the most popular spots to visit by tourists. The town recently added LED lighting to the outside of the tower and visitors are allowed to climb up and see the bells. The Tower Park sponsors concerts during the summer months, featuring guest carillonists from around the world.
Address: 114 N Elm St, 62801 Centralia, IL
Phone Number: (618) 533-4381
Website: Centralia Carillon
3. Schwartz Orchard
A short drive east of Centralia will bring you to Schwartz Orchard. A fun place to bring the family and spend the afternoon. They have freshly picked fruit ready for you to enjoy, or you can choose to pick your own.
Schwartz has a full bakery open every day serving up sweet delights like strawberry shortcake, peach cobbler or their famous apple cider. They also make their own line of “Schweet” 100 percent natural fruit juice for wineries and breweries, also available to the public. The family run orchard hosts monthly seasonal events with fun for the kids, like jump houses and pumpkin carving. A visit here is certainly worth the short drive.
Address: 1942 Copple Rd, 62801 Centralia, IL
Phone Number: (618) 532-8058
Hours of Operation: Daily from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Website: Schwartz Orchard
4. Makraft Brewing Co.
Tv #2 is up. Now you can sit at the bar drink your beer and watch some football! Or Anchor Man 2 while Kegging some Amber Ale for this weekend.Posted by Makraft Brewing Co. & Tap Room on Thursday, 11 December 2014
When nothing but an ice cold beer will do, then be sure to stop at the Makraft Brewing Company. They offer happy hour daily from 4 to 6 p.m. with half price drink specials. Relax after a day of sight seeing with one of their specialty brews.
Some of the home crafted items on the menu include mint chocolate and pumpkin stout. Or try the Weizenbock, a popular choice for the locals. Makraft Brewing company hosts beer and wine tasting events. Before planning your trip, check out their website to see what they have brewing during your travel dates.
Makraft Brewing Co
Address: 531 S Poplar St, 62801 Centralia, IL
Phone Number: (618) 918-3891
Hours of Operation: Thursday to Saturday, 4 to 9 p.m.
Facebook: Makraft Brewing Co
5. Crooked Creek Winery
Crooked Creek Winery began as a family home and horse ranch. A family of wine makers bought the property and opened it up as a winery in 2005. The current owners have long been in love with wine making, having married at a California winery and honeymooned at another in Tuscany.
The Cooneys knew they wanted to be able to raise their family in a country setting and explore their love of wine making. And so today, the Crooked Creek Winery gives them the chance to do just that. They use European processes to brew their wines using local varieties of grapes. Visit the wine tasting room and try their full line of dry to sweet. After, relax with a glass of your favorite and enjoy the beautiful country setting and watch the horses at play.
Crooked Creek Winery
Address: 24585 W 10th Rd, 62801 Centralia, IL
Phone Number: (618) 267-6792
Hours of Operation: Saturday and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m.
Website: Crooked Creek Winery
6. Centralia Museum
Located downtown, in the historic Kohl & Meyer Building, is the Centralia Museum. Run by the Centralia Area Historical Society, you will find three full floors of collections and exhibits to explore. The society is dedicated to updating and maintaining the history of Centralia and the local area.
Centralia was built in 1853 and the museum has a huge collection of pictures and artifacts dating back to that time. While strolling through the museum, you will be able to experience what it was like for the early settlers of the area. The Historical Society offers monthly speaking series that cover different periods in history and they host an annual Historic Street Festival every May.
Address: 240 S Locust St, 62801 Centralia, IL
Phone Number: (618) 545-0657
Hours of Operation: Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Website: Centralia Museum
Bells, beer and wine
Centralia is a charming, hospitable town to visit in the south of Illinois. The family atmosphere provides visitors with peace and relaxation from everyday stress. Take some time out to visit with family and friends with a nice glass of wine or home crafted beer. Whether you are staying in town or driving up for the day, you will enjoy your visit.
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