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See the Largest Gathering of Bald Eagles in the Country at This Festival

by Aoife O'Riordan

Nov 17, 2023

© Rkpimages | Dreamstime.com

Destinations / North America

In southwest Illinois, family travelers can witness the largest concentration of bald eagles in the United States this January. At Great River Road, thousands will visit from across the country to catch a glimpse of these massive birds.


On Jan. 6, 2024, Alton Eagle Ice Festival is the place to be for all things bald eagles. Here, families and kids will have the chance to have a free meet and greet and photo with one of these magnificent birds.


Alton Eagle Ice Festival also features various food trucks at FLOCK Food Truck Park, 10 a.m.–2 p.m. But that’s not all expected at the festival in early 2024; expect DJ tunes, live ice carvers from Ice Visions, eagle-watching shuttle tours departing from Alton’s Visitor’s Center, fire pits with s’mores kits for sale, face painting for kids and more.


Parents will enjoy drinks from FLOCK Bar and Eagle Fest Beer from Old Bakery Beer Company. Additionally, National Great Rivers Museum will offer a number of free family-friendly activities.


Don’t forget to stop by the theater to hear from eagle experts and watch eagle films. Visitors can also look through spotting scopes to view an eagle nest, and kids will love making an eagle head wrap.


Want more eagle experiences? Head to Audubon Center at Riverlands across the Mississippi to view both eagles and owls on live display from Treehouse Wildlife Center. On Jan. 6, the center hosts guided bird hikes, eagle crafts and firepits with s’mores kits available.


Also on Jan. 6, The Lewis & Clark Confluence Tower will be open all day for tours to see the American Bald Eagle from 50, 100 and 150 feet high.


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