Summer hot spots: Enjoying DeKalb

By Deanna Frances

No matter what interests people may have, they can surely find something to do in the area this summer.

Starved Rock State Park

This historic state park, located in Utica, offers multiple activities: 13 miles of hiking trails, camping, picnic areas, boating, hunting, fishing, horseback riding, canoeing and more.

Located just one hour from DeKalb, this park is a great for any outdoor lover. Visitors can come for a day or can stay overnight, camping or enjoying the Starved Rock Lodge.

More information can be found online at or by calling 815-667-4726.

Shabbona Lake State Park

This state park is small, but is just as good a place to spend a weekend outdoors.

Voted the Muskie Capitol of Illinois, Shabbona Lake is

a great lake to go out and fish on a boat for a day.

The lake has a campground, hiking trails, boat, kayak and canoe rentals.

Shabbona Lake also has the Pokanoka’s Café, which is known for its famous Friday night fish fry and rib dinners.

It is a peaceful, quiet getaway for families, couples or friends. Shabbona Lake is also sponsoring a youth

fishing league for children and teens up to the age of

17 beginning July 8. Shabbona Lake State Park is located only half an hour south from DeKalb.

More information about Shabbona Lake State Park can be found online at

Kane County Cougars

Baseball is America’s game and one of NIU’s favorite games, as well.

It is a great part of the nation’s history and athletic spirit. If Chicago is too far to go to see the Cubs

or White Sox play, then the Kane County Cougars

make a great replacement.

The Fifth-Third Bank Stadium is located about half an hour from DeKalb.

The stadium offers lawn seats and regular seating, and night home games feature firework shows. offers the team’s schedule and ticket sales.

Sycamore Sports Center

This sports center includes an array of fun games

for family and friends.

The Sycamore Sports Center is a place to visit this summer that includes batting cages, go-karting, mini golfing, soccer and an 18-hole golf range.

The sports center can be contacted at 815-895-7407.

It is open from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. throughout the week.

Fine Arts and History Lovers

There are so many places for lovers of the fine arts to visit in the area.

Students interested in plays and musicals should check out Stagecoach Players Theater, which is located off Fourth Street in DeKalb. Stagecoach Players Theater has had plays

from “Shrek” to “The Music Man.” offers the showtimes and current production information.

Students looking for a cultural historical experience can try the Ellwood House Museum. Located just off campus, the Ellwood House is a great historical place to visit. I recommend checking out the various tours offered at the museum. Information on tours and hours is at