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Garden of the Gods - Southern Illinois

For Distribution
Dec 11, 2018

New Attractions and Events in Illinois Opening in 2019

CHICAGO - With the new year approaching, the Illinois Office of Tourism is excited to share a variety of amazing new events, attractions and openings around the state in 2019.

“Illinois is constantly developing and adding more attractions which encourages visitors to continue coming back to see what’s new every year,” said Cory Jobe, director of the Illinois Office of Tourism. “From the world premiere of Hamilton: The Exhibition to the fastest launch roller coaster in North America, the new year will bring with it several new events, restaurants, places to stay, exhibits to experience and ways to travel throughout the state for both locals and visitors.”

Coming to Illinois in 2019 

Hamilton: The Exhibition (Opening April 6, 2019): Building on the hugely successful musical “Hamilton,” a new attraction designed to tell the story of Alexander Hamilton is debuting in Chicago. “Hamilton: The Exhibition” is an interactive, one-of-a-kind exhibition that will provide a historical journey into the creation of our country through the lens of one of the Founding Fathers of the United States.

Grafton Sky Tour (Opening Spring of 2019): See Grafton in a whole new way with the city’s unique aerial lift that will open at Aerie’s Resort & Winery along the Great River Road. The Grafton Sky Tour will offer incredible views overlooking the picturesque Mississippi River.

The Hoxton Hotel (Opening Spring of 2019): Located in the Fulton Market District, the branch of London-based Hoxton hotels will open its doors under developer Shapack Partners. The new hotel will stand 11 stories tall with approximately 175 rooms, two levels of office space, ground-floor retail and a luxurious rooftop terrace. In addition, Boka Restaurant Group will open both a restaurant and bar in the hotel.

Hyatt House Hotel (Opening Summer of 2019): The new Hyatt House Hotel will operate as the first hotel in the Fulton Market district to cater to extended-stay corporate travelers. The 14-story, 167,000 square foot, 200-room development by Skidmore, Owings and Merrill will include an indoor pool, fitness center, bar/lounge and a green roof.

Maxx Force Roller Coaster at Six Flags (Opening Summer of 2019): Six Flags Great America in Gurnee will unveil the fastest launch roller coaster in North America, reaching speeds of 78 miles per hour in under two seconds. This incredible record-breaker features the fastest inversion and tallest double inversion of any other coaster in the world.

Time Out Market Chicago (Opening in 2019): Time Out Group is set to open the Fulton Market District’s first food hall that will be three stories tall and consist of 16 food counters, three bars, a demo kitchen, event and retail space, and a rooftop deck.

Opened in 2018

Frank Lloyd Wright Trail: Opened to the public in May of 2018, the Frank Lloyd Trail is a self-guided architectural adventure featuring 13 Wright-designed buildings throughout the state. Stops along the trail include Oak Park – home to the world’s largest collection of Wright-designed buildings – Chicago, Geneva, Rockford, Belvidere, Springfield, Kankakee, Hampshire and Dwight. 

Art on theMart: Visitors and locals can now experience the world’s largest digital art projection, Art on theMart on the Merchandise Mart’s nearly three-acre exterior facade. The unique public art installation runs March through December every year.

Chicago Architecture Center: Formerly known as the Chicago Architecture Foundation, the Chicago Architecture Center (CAC) opened in August of 2018 along Chicago’s Riverfront just steps from Michigan Avenue and directly across from CAC’s river cruises. The center serves as a hub for Chicagoans and tourists to learn about the city’s architecture, attend walking tours and education programs and visit new interactive exhibits.

New at O’Hare

Air New Zealand’s Direct Route (Nov. 2018): A new nonstop route connecting Chicago and Auckland, New Zealand, started in November and will fly three times a week.

Avianca Nonstop Service to Bogota and Guatemala City (Oct. 2018): Two new nonstop services are now available between O’Hare and Bogota, Colombia and Guatemala City, Guatemala. The new service to Bogota is the first time Chicago has had a nonstop flight to Colombia.  

For more updates, information on events and new attractions around the state and travel ideas throughout Illinois, visit

About the Illinois Office of Tourism

The Illinois Office of Tourism is the government agency responsible for marketing Illinois to domestic and international visitors. We’re Illinois – Are YOU up for amazing? For more information, visit our website at


 The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, Office of Tourism manages industry efforts that result in sustainable and significant economic and quality-of-life benefits for Illinois residents.


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