If you ever visit Bloomington I will take to you the Miller Park Zoo. It's a super cute, small zoo nearby that we just love. Ben went there as a kid and we've taken Abi to hang with the animals too.
They are currently raising money for a new Sumatran Tiger exhibit (we were at the Zoo Do fundraiser on Sat. night.) so it's actually a small but growing zoo. My favorite animals are the wallaroos, which get to hop around freely with visitors in a walkabout area. Until you come visit, check out the meerkats via webcam!
Something else great about central IL: the Pekin Marigold Festival. I've been going to this festival for years and years - it's one of the best things about Pekin...believe me it's a short list!
The annual arts and crafts festival was this past weekend so I got my plastic Marigold cup (we really have no cupboard space for these silly things), enjoyed a homemade ice cream sandwich AND apple dumpling (why try to choose?) and browsed rows and rows of crafts (though I managed to leave without any junk).
The Marigold Festival signals the beginning of fall and although I'm excited to break out my pumpkin decor, I'm not quite ready yet.