Home #WHERETONEXT USA Southwest Illinois is a Winter Wonderland:

Southwest Illinois is a Winter Wonderland:

Christmas festivities, ice skating, eagle watching and more!

As cold descends upon the Midwest, Southwest Illinois comes alive as nature-lovers from all over the country converge to catch awe-inspiring eagle sightings along the bluffs overlooking the Mississippi River.

Eagle Season:

View a majestic American Bald Eagle up close at the Alton Eagle Ice Festival on January 6. Head to FLOCK Food Truck Park from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. for a free Eagle Meet & Greet and a chance to get your picture taken with America’s national animal!

The Eagle Ice Festival will also include:

  • food trucks
  • drinks available from the FLOCK bar
  • DJ tunes
  • live ice carvers from Ice Visions
  • eagle-watching shuttle tours (departing from the Alton Visitor’s Center)
  • Eagle Fest Beer from Old Bakery Beer Company
  • fire pits with s’mores kits for sale
  • face painting for kids
  • and more!

The National Great Rivers Museum will also be offering a number of free family-friendly activities on January 6. Stop by the theater for talks by eagle experts and to watch eagle film showings. Look through spotting scopes for a chance to view an eagle nest. Make and take your own eagle craft — an eagle head wrap!

Those seeking to see more beautiful birds of prey can stop by the Audubon Center at Riverlands across the Mississippi from Alton to view birds like eagles and owls on live display from the TreeHouse Wildlife Center. Enjoy guided bird hikes, eagle crafts and firepits with s’mores kits available on January 6.

The Lewis & Clark Confluence Tower will be open all day on January 6 for tours to see American Bald Eagles from 50, 100 and 150 feet high. There will also be a Birds of Winter educational session featuring local raptors from TreeHouse Wildlife Center from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Admission is required for Tower tours but the Birds of Winter exhibit is free.