- The list below includes 25 free or cheap things to do in or near Ottawa, Illinois, including 72 different types of inexpensive activities like Specialty Museums, National & State Parks, Bowling and Movie Theaters.
- From Buffalo Rock State Park to Lasalle County 4-H Fair Grounds, there are a variety of budget-friendly attractions in Ottawa and in nearby cities within 25 miles like La Salle and Utica.
Buffalo Rock State Park is a nice lakeside resort which is dotted by wooden docks and cabins. The hiking region is not too long but the surrounding backdrop is fantastic. Two buffaloes on a fence welcome you at the entrance.
The Lasalle County 4-H Fair Grounds are host to the annual 4-H Fair, which includes a variety of competitions and displays for 4-H Club members. Aside from livestock displays, there are photography and sewing exhibits.
The Reddick Mansion and Gardens are a historic house and grounds that date back before the Civil War. Managed by a local non-profit, tours through the restored building, rooms, and gardens are offered by reservation throughout the year.
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1100 Canal Street, Ottawa, IL MoreLess Info
The history of both the Ottawa region and the Boy Scouts of America is the focus of the Ottawa Historical and Scouting Heritage Museum, which also offers special lectures and on-site events. Several nature trails run through the grounds adjacent to the museum for walking as well.
The Ottawa Scouting Museum focuses on the history of both Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts in the area. It maintains permanent exhibits, and hosts rotating exhibits showcasing different aspects of scouting through the years.
Featuring draft beer and specialty drinks, Carretto's Bar & Bowling offers a dining menu as well as big screen televisions for watching sports programming. Six bowling lanes with automatic scoring and bumpers are available for individuals and private events.