Lindsay + Tim Stockhecke
Southern Illinois is ripe for relaxation and Sundays, with many businesses and destination spots closed, provides a unique opportunity to visit the few open and available places. For us that included a slow day out in Murphysboro, Illinois with some key stops.
Family-owned and operated for over fifty years, we started our day at Midland Inn. This spot is always a fan favorite with friendly service and kid-approved options. We are also absolute suckers for patio seating; they have a great one! Next, we headed to Hunsikers Greenhouse, a place we had heard about but had yet to visit. With clear signage, we had no problem finding it down a short gravel drive and Mary Lou, the owner, and some friendly neighborhood dogs greeted us and let us know some details about the greenhouse. We cruised through the two tunnels and one cold frame full of plants taking our time looking through all of her many varieties. There was so much color and vibrancy filling the tunnels and both kids mentioned how overwhelmingly lovely the smell of all the blooms was. We left with a tray full of carefully selected plants and spent the drive to our next spot discussing where we want to put them once home.
The greenhouse opens for the season in March and, according to Mary Lou the earliest days are a ‘sight to be seen’. They sell out quickly and close for the season at the end of May or beginning of June and are open seven days a week, 8-5pm.
Riverside Park was next on the agenda, home of the Riverside Park Bandshell built in 1938–39 by the Works Progress Administration and the Murphysboro Park District. Another first for us and with a google search yielding minimal results, we spent time walking through and seeing what the park had to offer. Located on the banks of the Big Muddy River the kids were particularly excited to see where the myth of the Big Muddy Monster began. There were quite a few people out enjoying the newly added 18-hole disc golf course, as well as large groups gathering under several of the pavilions and lots of kids enjoying the play structure.
Host to several festivals throughout the year, be sure to follow Murphysboro Park District to hear about the latest events and happenings.