Things To Do In Sterling

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The Ronald Reagan Boyhood Home lets you get a true feel for the 40th president's life as a child. The restored home was originally built in 1891 and was home to Ronald Reagan and his family in the early 1920s. Visitors can take guided tours of the home to see young Reagan?s bedroom and find old the secret hiding place for his pennies or the new secret hiding place for George Washington's ghost. A visitor center contains four rooms of photos and a display of the Reagan presidential timeline, and a gift shop sells memorabilia and T-shirts. Outside, a flower and vegetable garden showcases heritage plants, and check out Bessy, the refurbished Model T Ford that's not unlike the car Reagan's family would have driven.

816 S Hennepin Ave
Dixon,
IL
US

Instructors at Pierce Athletics flip limbs and encourage limbering back bends and high-flying leaps in an 11,500-square-foot gym during an array of tumbling classes. Muscles stretch and bodies soar during 60- to 90-minute classes divided by age and skill level. Each course holds a few sessions per week; this Groupon covers one session per week for nine weeks. Adults tag along with miniature athletes for Tiny Tumblers classes, introducing tykes as young as 18 months to coordination and flexibility, and older newbies in the Beginner or Advanced Beginner courses learn cartwheels and round-offs to serve them throughout life's dance-offs.

916 S Arcade Ave
Freeport,
IL
US

The owners of Bombdigity Bar & Grill?dubbed by one of the owner's 9-year-old grandaughter?wanted to quickly sum up their eatery?s dining experience with one word. And the menu is bombdigity, with highlights such as salads, wraps, and the Bomb burger, stacked with bacon, grilled onion, cheddar and pepper jack cheeses, house barbecue sauce, jalape?os, and onion rings. Inside the log structure, which is surrounded by the Plum Creek Arboretum, 4,888 square feet of space is topped off with a rustic cathedral ceiling. A medley of flat-screen TVs surround a horseshoe-shaped bar and the rest of the tables in the expansive dining room. Outside, two fire pits are surrounded by seating and tables for up to 100 people or 70 deer.

628 Palmyra Rd.
Dixon,
IL
US

Anytime Fitness, which boasts more than 1,800 clubs in North America, makes it easier for average folks to etch out time for exercise by doing one simple thing: staying open 24 hours a day for 365 days a year. As fitness seekers challenge themselves on cardio and Hammer Strength machines and hoist Iron Grip free weights in clean, well-stocked facilities, security monitoring ensures they?re safe and producing enough sweat to meet official government standards. Members can also ramp up their exercise regimens with the help of Anytime Fitness?s staff of personal trainers, who demonstrate moves and sling motivating tips. After workouts, guests can shower in the private restrooms or hop into one of the tanning booths available 24 hours a day.

1862 S West Ave
Freeport,
IL
US

Visitors to Centennial Acres work with experienced riding instructors and four resident horses?Trixie, Pita, Autumn, Chip, and Kid. These steeds and their riders ride through a small indoor arena and in an outdoor arena at Centennial?s 19th-century farm, depending on the weather, all under the watchful eye of owners Matt and Emily Williams.

Matt has converted the farm?once used for raising livestock and cultivating crops?into riding stables where Emily and other instructors teach proper horsemanship, safety, grooming, and tacking to students as young as 4 years old. Drawing on more than a decade of experience in training for equitation, showmanship, and breaking in new horses, Emily coaches students in Western and English riding styles, hunter and hunter-jumper styles, and dressage.

13440 W Grove Rd.
Forreston,
IL
US

Since Freeport Art Museum opened in 1975, its collection has ballooned to include nearly 4,000 pieces. The number is apt, since the artifacts – from Hellenistic gold jewelry to 19th-century Italian marble statues – encompass 4,000 years of work from all continents and time periods. The nonprofit museum reserves its remaining gallery space for work by contemporary regional artists, as well as travelling exhibitions.

Said space once belonged to a historic elementary school, a lineage that befits the museum's mission to inform visitors about art's global history and future. Through its educational programs, Freeport continues fulfilling that mission with events such as artists talks and classes on subjects such as graffiti art.

121 N Harlem Ave
Freeport,
IL
US