Ronald Reagan Boyhood Home
Location: Dixon, IL
Full Price Admission Cost: $8 adults; $5 kids; $5 veterans; active duty, LEO, firefighters, under 5 free
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
This educational tour begins with a brief movie about President Ronald Reagan’s life growing up in Dixon, Illinois. It’s the perfect introduction to the man, and makes visiting the house itself much more interesting.
After the movie, visitors head next door for a tour of the house. This was the home Reagan lived in while growing up in Dixon, and has been restored to the way it was when he lived there. Every detail has been thought of and the house has been meticulously maintained, helping guests feel as though they are stepping back in time when they enter. Considering Reagan and his brother visited the house during Reagan’s presidency, we’re guessing the people who restored the home created a pretty accurate final product.
The guide for this tour was very knowledgeable and able to answer questions about the town, the house, and Reagan’s childhood. This was great because it expanded upon the educational aspect of the visit.
Although the tour took less than an hour, we still recommend it. Not only is it interesting and entertaining, it’s also a good stop to stretch your legs when traveling on I-88 through Illinois.
- No food is available for purchase. There is however a small park nearby that could be used for a picnic. No seating is available at the park.
- All parking is on the street. Plan accordingly.
- Take a drive around town to see statues of Reagan and Abraham Lincoln, along with Northwest Territory Historic Center.
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Books to Read
- The Story of Ronald Reagan by Patricia A. Pingry
- TIME for Kids: Ronald Reagan: From Silver Screen to Oval Office
- Who Was Ronald Reagan? by Joyce Milton
- The Remarkable Ronald Reagan: Cowboy and Commander in Chief by Susan Allen
- The Notes: Ronald Reagan’s Private Collection of Stories and Wisdom by Ronald Reagan
Videos to Watch
Activities to Do
- One of Reagan’s favorite snacks were jelly beans. He particularly love the Jelly Belly brand. Eat a few jelly beans, and try making jelly bean art with the rest.
- President Reagan loved horseback riding. If possible, find a place to take a horseback ride. Otherwise, create a stick horse to ride.
Things to Discuss
- What were some of the most important things that President Reagan did during his time in office?
- How do you think Reagan’s childhood motivated him to do all of the big things he did?
- What do you think it would be like to be a Hollywood star? Would you enjoy it?
Other Area Attractions
Below are some of the other great attractions in this area. We try to keep things affordable, sticking to free and cheap attractions and/or museums and zoos on reciprocal lists. If an attraction is affiliated with a reciprocal program or offers free admission, I have noted that beside the attraction listing. To learn more about saving money using reciprocal programs, see this post.
- Northwest Territory Historic Center — Free
- Lincoln Monument — Free
- John Deere Historic Site — Free
- Franklin Creek Grist Mill — Free
- Veteran’s Memorial Park — Free
- Dillon Home Museum
- Lincoln-Manahan Home Museum
Closest Places to Stay on a Budget
For information on camping memberships, see this post.
- Thousand Trails and RPI: Pine Country RV and Camping Resort (64 mi)
- Passport America: Crow Valley Campground (20 mi)
- Encore, Trails Collection, RPI, and Passport America: O’Connell’s Yogi Bear Park (15 mi)
- Coast to Coast: Woodhaven Lakes (18 mi)
Related Attractions in Other Areas
For more great roadschool guides written by Chelsea Gonzales have a look around our blog or visit Wonder Wherever We Wander. A wanderer and lover of new experiences, Chelsea enjoys traveling full-time in her RV while writing about her experiences and roadschooling her son.
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