16 Most Fun Things To Do In Pontiac, Illinois

Pontiac, Illinois, is a charming Midwestern town in Livingston County that offers a plethora of exciting activities for visitors of all ages. 

As a key stop along the iconic Route 66, Pontiac boasts a rich heritage that draws visitors from near and far. Each year, thousands of tourists flock to this quaint Midwestern town to explore its historic landmarks, vibrant murals, and picturesque landscapes.

Pontiac’s roots date back to the early 19th century when it was founded as a trading post along the Vermilion River. Pontiac was named after the famous Native American chief and quickly flourished into a bustling hub for agriculture and commerce with a current population of 11,150.

One of Pontiac’s main draws is its status as a Route 66 destination that attracts enthusiasts eager to experience the nostalgia of America’s Mother Road. 

The city is home to the Route 66 Hall of Fame and Museum, where visitors can learn about the highway’s history and its significance in shaping American culture.

Pontiac’s mild Midwestern climate makes it an ideal year-round destination, but the best time to visit is during the spring and fall when temperatures are moderate, and outdoor activities abound. 

Summer offers warm weather perfect for exploring outdoor attractions like parks and recreational areas, while winter brings a quiet charm to the city’s streets, ideal for leisurely strolls and cozying up in local cafes.

With its blend of history, culture, and small-town charm, Pontiac offers a delightful escape for travelers seeking an authentic Midwest experience. 

Whether you’re a history buff, an outdoor enthusiast, or simply looking for some family-friendly fun, Pontiac has something for everyone. From exploring Route 66 attractions to indulging in local cuisine, here are the 16 most fun things to do in Pontiac, Illinois.

1. Route 66 Hall of Fame and Museum

Begin your Pontiac adventure with a journey through the iconic Route 66 Hall of Fame and Museum. Learn about the history of America’s most famous highway through fascinating exhibits, vintage artifacts, and interactive displays.

Route 66 Hall of Fame and Museum

The Route 66 Hall of Fame and Museum was established in 1990. It celebrates the history and culture of the iconic Route 66 highway. Visitors can explore exhibits showcasing vintage cars, memorabilia, and artifacts from the highway’s heyday. 

The museum highlights the road’s role in American travel and commerce, from its beginnings in the 1920s to its status as a cultural icon. Interactive displays engage visitors of all ages and offer insights into the experiences of travelers along Route 66. 

The museum also honors individuals and businesses that made significant contributions to the highway’s legacy. The Route 66 Hall of Fame and Museum is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in the history of America’s most famous road.


110 W Howard St, Pontiac, IL 61764, United States

2. Pontiac-Oakland Automobile Museum

Car enthusiasts won’t want to miss the Pontiac-Oakland Automobile Museum which showcases a stunning collection of vintage Pontiac and Oakland vehicles. Marvel at classic cars and learn about the evolution of automotive design.

Pontiac-Oakland Automobile Museum

The Pontiac-Oakland Automobile Museum was established in 2011. It showcases a collection of vintage Pontiac and Oakland vehicles. The museum aims to preserve the history and legacy of these iconic American car brands. 

Visitors can admire beautifully restored cars dating back to the early 20th century. Exhibits highlight the evolution of automotive design and technology, from early models to sleek classics. 

The museum also offers insights into the cultural significance of Pontiac and Oakland automobiles in shaping American automotive history. 

Interactive displays engage visitors with hands-on experiences which makes it an educational and enjoyable destination for car enthusiasts, offering them a place to enjoy unique things to do in Pontiac. 

The Pontiac-Oakland Automobile Museum has a diverse collection and informative exhibits and offers a fascinating glimpse into the golden age of American automobile manufacturing.


205 N Mill St, Pontiac, IL 61764, United States

3. Livingston County War Museum

Pay homage to the brave men and women who served their country at the Livingston County War Museum. Explore exhibits detailing military history, artifacts, and personal stories of local veterans.

Livingston County War Museum

The Livingston County War Museum was established in 2010. It commemorates the military history and sacrifices of Livingston County residents. 

The museum displays artifacts, memorabilia, and personal stories from various conflicts, including World War I, World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War. Visitors can explore exhibits honoring local veterans and their service to the nation. 

Interactive displays offer insights into the experiences of soldiers and civilians during wartime. The museum also hosts educational programs and events to raise awareness about military history and veterans’ issues. 

The Livingston County War Museum works on preserving the legacy of Livingston County’s veterans. It serves as a poignant reminder of the courage and bravery displayed by those who served their country.


321 N Main St, Pontiac, IL 61764, United States

4. Admire Pontiac Murals

Take a stroll through downtown Pontiac and admire the vibrant Pontiac Murals adorning the city’s buildings. These colorful works of art depict the town’s rich history and cultural heritage.

Admire Pontiac Murals

The Pontiac Murals were established in 2009. They adorn buildings throughout downtown Pontiac that depict the town’s rich history and cultural heritage. Local artists and community members collaborated to create these vibrant works of art. 

The murals showcase scenes from Pontiac’s past, including its role as a bustling trading post along the Vermilion River and its connection to Route 66. Each mural tells a story and offers a glimpse into the town’s diverse history and character. 

Visitors can take self-guided tours to explore these colorful artworks, which have become beloved landmarks in Pontiac. Explore the murals and enjoy some charming things to do in Pontiac. 

The murals not only beautify the cityscape but also serve as a source of pride for residents and a draw for tourists interested in experiencing Pontiac’s unique charm and history.


250 W Pike St, Pontiac, MI 48341, United States

5. Visit the Pontiac Swinging Bridges

Experience a thrill as you cross the Pontiac Swinging Bridges, spanning the Vermilion River. These suspension bridges offer stunning views of the surrounding landscape and are a favorite spot for photos.

Visit the Pontiac Swinging Bridges

The Pontiac Swinging Bridges were established in 1898. They span the Vermilion River which offers a thrilling experience for visitors. These suspension bridges were originally built to provide access to nearby farms and have since become popular attractions. 

The bridges sway gently as visitors walk across which provides picturesque views of the river and surrounding scenery. Despite their age, the bridges have been well-maintained and are safe for pedestrian use. 

They are a favorite spot for photos and a unique way to experience the natural beauty of Pontiac. The Pontiac Swinging Bridges are not only a testament to the town’s engineering history but also serve as a charming reminder of simpler times. 

Visitors can enjoy a leisurely stroll across these historic bridges and soak in the tranquil atmosphere of the Vermilion River.


Riverview Dr, Pontiac, IL 61764, United States

6. Full Time at Pontiac Recreation Center

The Pontiac Recreation Center was established in 1995. It provides a variety of recreational activities for residents and visitors of Pontiac, Illinois. The center offers facilities for swimming, basketball, volleyball, and other sports. 

Pontiac Recreation Center

It serves as a hub for community events and gatherings and fosters a sense of camaraderie among residents. The center’s indoor swimming pool is a popular spot for families and fitness enthusiasts to cool off and stay active year-round. 

The Pontiac Recreation Center has modern amenities and diverse programming and plays a vital role in promoting health and wellness in the community. 

Whether you’re looking to stay fit, socialize with friends, or simply have fun, the Pontiac Recreation Center has something for everyone.


60 E Pike St #2225, Pontiac, MI 48342, United States

7. Relax at Chautauqua Park

Escape to nature at Chautauqua Park, where you can picnic, hike, or simply relax amidst lush greenery and scenic trails.

Relax at Chautauqua Park

Chautauqua Park was established in 1892. It is a historic park located in Pontiac that offers a tranquil escape for residents and visitors alike. 

The park was originally founded as a gathering place for cultural and educational events, inspired by the Chautauqua movement of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. 

Today, Chautauqua Park features lush green spaces, scenic walking trails, and recreational facilities for outdoor enthusiasts. The park’s picturesque setting along the Vermilion River makes it a popular spot for picnics, family outings, and leisurely strolls. 

Visitors can also enjoy fishing and boating on the river, taking in the serene natural surroundings. Chautauqua Park remains a beloved destination for relaxation and exploring fun things to do in Pontiac.


900 Baseline Rd &, 9th St, Boulder, CO 80302, United States

8. Livingston County Courthouse

Marvel at the architectural beauty of the Livingston County Courthouse, a historic landmark dating back to the 19th century. Don’t forget to snap a few photos of this majestic building.

Livingston County Courthouse

The Livingston County Courthouse was established in 1875. It is a historic landmark located in Pontiac, Illinois, serving as the seat of government for Livingston County. 

The courthouse was designed in the Second Empire architectural style, featuring a grand clock tower and ornate detailing. Throughout its history, the courthouse has been a focal point of civic life in Pontiac, hosting legal proceedings, community events, and celebrations. 

The building underwent renovations in the 1970s to restore its original beauty and functionality. Today, the Livingston County Courthouse continues to serve as an important symbol of justice and governance in the region. 

Visitors can admire its stunning architecture and explore its interior, which houses offices for county officials and courtrooms. The Livingston County Courthouse remains a cherished landmark in Pontiac.


112 W Madison St, Pontiac, IL 61764, United States

9. Humiston-Riverside Park

Spend a leisurely afternoon at Humiston-Riverside Park which is located along the banks of the Vermilion River. Enjoy fishing, boating, or simply soaking up the serene atmosphere.

Humiston-Riverside Park

Humiston-Riverside Park was established in 1951. It is a scenic park located in Pontiac along the banks of the Vermilion River. The park offers a tranquil retreat for visitors seeking relaxation and outdoor recreation. 

It features lush greenery, walking trails, and picnic areas which makes it an ideal spot for family outings and gatherings. The park’s proximity to the river provides opportunities for fishing and boating, adding to its appeal for outdoor enthusiasts. 

Humiston-Riverside Park also hosts community events and festivals throughout the year which brings residents together for fun and entertaining things to do in Pontiac. 

The park has a range of activities and has become a popular destination for locals and tourists alike. Whether you’re looking to enjoy nature or simply unwind amidst serene surroundings, Humiston-Riverside Park offers something for everyone.


400 W Water St xb, Pontiac, IL 61764, United States

10. Crescent Cinemas

Crescent Cinemas is a beloved movie theater in Pontiac that offers entertainment and cinematic experiences for the community. The theater was established in 1995 and has been a staple in the local entertainment scene.

Crescent Cinemas

The cinema provides a venue for residents to enjoy the latest films in a comfortable and inviting atmosphere. Crescent Cinemas features multiple screens that allows for a variety of movie options for audiences of all ages. 

Over the years, the theater has been a popular destination for moviegoers seeking a night out or a fun family outing. Crescent Cinemas has modern amenities and provides quality cinematic experiences and continues to be a go-to spot for locals and visitors alike. 

Whether you’re a film enthusiast or just looking for a night of entertainment, Crescent Cinemas provides a welcoming and enjoyable venue for movie lovers in Pontiac.


313 W Madison St, Pontiac, IL 61764, United States

11. International Walldog Mural & Sign Art Museum

The International Walldog Mural & Sign Art Museum was established in 2010. It is located in Pontiac and celebrates the art of outdoor advertising and mural painting. 

International Walldog Mural & Sign Art Museum

The museum showcases the work of talented artists from around the world who specialize in painting large-scale murals and signs. Visitors can admire the intricate designs and vibrant colors of these artworks, which adorn buildings throughout the city. 

The museum also offers educational programs and workshops to promote the appreciation and preservation of outdoor advertising art. 

The International Walldog Mural & Sign Art Museum provides a unique insight into the history and techniques of this distinctive art form. 

Whether you’re a fan of street art or simply interested in learning more about this fascinating medium, the museum offers a one-of-a-kind experience for visitors of all ages.


110 W Howard St, Pontiac, IL 61764, United States

12. Threshermen’s Reunion

Plan your visit to coincide with the annual Threshermen’s Reunion, a lively event celebrating agricultural heritage with tractor pulls, demonstrations, and live entertainment.

Threshermen's Reunion

The Threshermen’s Reunion was established in 1950. It is an annual event held in Pontiac that celebrates agricultural heritage and machinery. The event features tractor pulls, demonstrations, and displays of vintage farming equipment. 

Farmers and enthusiasts from across the country gather to showcase their machinery and share knowledge about traditional farming practices. 

The Threshermen’s Reunion also includes live entertainment, food vendors, and craft displays which makes it a fun-filled event for the whole family. 

Throughout its history, the reunion has grown to become one of the largest agricultural festivals in the Midwest. It serves as a tribute to the hard work and ingenuity of farmers and the importance of preserving agricultural traditions. 

Whether you’re a farming enthusiast or simply looking for a unique cultural experience, the Threshermen’s Reunion offers unique things to do in Pontiac.


14975 E 2200 N Rd, Pontiac, IL 61764, United States

13. Bob Waldmire’s Bus

Pay homage to legendary Route 66 artist Bob Waldmire. Bob Waldmire’s Bus was established in the 1970s. It is an iconic converted school bus that served as both a home and studio for legendary Route 66 artist Bob Waldmire. 

Bob Waldmire's Bus

Waldmire was known for his intricate drawings and paintings inspired by the landscapes and culture of Route 66. The bus became a symbol of his nomadic lifestyle and passion for exploration. 

Waldmire traveled extensively along Route 66 in his bus, documenting the sights and scenes of the historic highway. The bus itself was a work of art, adorned with colorful murals and decorations reflecting Waldmire’s love for nature and the open road. 

After Waldmire’s passing in 2009, the bus was preserved as a tribute to his legacy and is now housed at the Route 66 Hall of Fame and Museum in Pontiac. It serves as a symbol of freedom and creativity that inspires travelers and artists alike.


Pontiac Museum Complex 110 W. Howard St. Pontiac, IL 61764, United States

14. Pontiac Elks Country Club

Hit the links at the Pontiac Elks Country Club, a scenic golf course offering challenging fairways and stunning views of the Illinois countryside.

Pontiac Elks Country Club

The Pontiac Elks Country Club was established in 1920. It is a historic country club located in Pontiac and offers recreational facilities and social events for its members. 

The club features a scenic 18-hole golf course that was designed to provide challenging fairways and stunning views of the surrounding countryside. 

Additionally, the Pontiac Elks Country Club offers amenities such as tennis courts, swimming pools, and dining facilities for members and their guests to enjoy. 

Over the years, the club has hosted various social gatherings, tournaments, and community events which makes it a hub for leisure and entertaining things to do in Pontiac. 

The Pontiac Elks Country Club continues to be a popular destination for golf enthusiasts and families looking to unwind and socialize in a welcoming environment.


459 Elks Club Rd, Pontiac, IL 61764, United States

15. Livingston County Barn Quilt Trail

Embark on a scenic drive along the Livingston County Barn Quilt Trail, where you can admire beautifully painted quilt patterns adorning historic barns throughout the countryside.

Livingston County Barn Quilt Trail

The Livingston County Barn Quilt Trail was established in 2009. It is a unique initiative that showcases beautifully painted quilt patterns adorning historic barns throughout the countryside. 

The trail celebrates the area’s agricultural heritage and artistic talent by featuring large wooden quilt blocks painted by local artists. These vibrant and intricate designs pay homage to traditional quilt-making techniques and serve as a colorful addition to the rural landscape. 

Visitors can embark on a self-guided tour along the trail, exploring the scenic countryside while discovering these charming works of art. Each quilt block tells a story and reflects the individuality and creativity of the barn’s owner or the local community. 

The Livingston County Barn Quilt Trail has become a beloved attraction that attracts visitors from near and far to experience the beauty of rural Illinois and the rich tradition of quilt-making.


1412 S. Locust Street, Pontiac, IL 61764, United States

16. The Jones House

The Jones House stands as a historic landmark in Pontiac. It was originally built in 1867 by prominent citizen E.H. Jones. The house reflects the architectural styles of the late 19th century. 

The Jones House

The Jones House served as a private residence and later a funeral home and has witnessed significant moments in Pontiac’s history. The house has well-preserved Victorian features and is a testament to the town’s past and has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places. 

Visitors can explore the elegant interior, showcasing period-appropriate furnishings and decor. The Jones House offers guided tours which allows guests to delve into the stories of the people who once inhabited the residence. 

Today, it stands as a museum that invites visitors to step back in time and experience the charm of Pontiac’s history through the walls of this beautifully preserved Victorian home.


314 E Madison St, Pontiac, IL 61764, United States


Whether you’re a history enthusiast, outdoor adventurer, or simply seeking a relaxing getaway, Pontiac, Illinois, offers a delightful array of activities and attractions sure to make your visit memorable. 

From exploring Route 66 landmarks to immersing yourself in local culture, these fun things to do in Pontiac, IL invites you to experience the best of small-town charm in the heart of Illinois.