Things to do in Batavia, Illinois

In Batavia you'll find a quaint, historic downtown and Main Street with boutique shops, intimate locales for dinner and drinks, and a meandering riverwalk dotted by a collection of windmills with scenic views of the Fox River.

Batavia's most fascinating attraction is at the cutting edge of particle physics, a place where art and science coexist in perfect harmony, and an international team of scientists investigates the fundamental questions of the universe. Celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2017, Fermilab is a U.S. Department of Energy site where pioneering research is conducted in partnership with laboratories and scientific institutions around the world. Fermilab is open to the public year-round, offering group tours of its facilities and outdoor recreation on over 6,800 acres of pristine nature, where you can behold a bison preserve, native prairie plants, and 300 different species of birds. Fermilab's Art & Lecture Series brings talented performers and guest speakers to the spacious Ramsey Auditorium every fall through spring. 

Arts and culture thrive in Batavia thanks to community support for its galleries and performance venues. Water Street Studios is a non-profit art center located in Batavia, with a mission to make the arts accessible to the Fox Valley region and beyond. Its "Second Fridays" gallery receptions are a popular draw to the area, and has encouraged the community to take part with special events and pop-up shops occurring throughout Downtown Batavia.

An impressive collection of limestone buildings, river-side eateries, and highly walkable streetscapes combine to set a memorable stage for community events. The Fox River narrows here, diverting into a pond that's used for ice skating in winters and paddling in the warmer months. Shopping and entertainment districts throughout Batavia combine brand-name retail with independent shops and services. At Beardsgaard Barbers, beards and haircuts are a serious business: this barber shop's clientele comes from up to 400 miles away for a trim and haircare supplies difficult to find anywhere else. 

Funway, the largest entertainment center of its kind in Northern Illinois, is where you can find all-ages fun for the whole family all year long. Games and activities include a modern 20-lane bowling center, roller-skating rink, lazer tag, and arcade located indoors,  plus three-season access to outdoor recreation with batting cages, go-karts, bumper boats, and mini-golf. 

The Batavia Depot Museum is the city's cataloguer of artifacts and legends, including exhibits about Batavia's proud history as one of the major producers of American-style windmills in the late 1800's. A collection of windmills stands today along the Batavia Riverwalk, where visitors can witness first-hand the precise engineering and artful decoration of these machines. 

Miles of trails and outdoor areas are here for you to explore, with access to the Fox River Trails, Illinois Prairie Path, winding country roads and nature preserves. A favored area of naturalists and photographers, the Dick Young Forest Preserve and Nelson Lake Marsh on the western edge of Batavia, contains complex ecological zones that support a great diversity of plants and animals, including several rare and endangered species. Nearby West Main Community Park is home to an attractive 18-hole, forest and prairie lined disc golf course, walking and jogging paths, lighted baseball and softball fields, and Batavia's "Bark Park", a popular, spacious recreation area for dogs.