10/27/2011 04:10 pm ET Updated Dec 26, 2011

Thanksgiving In Illinois: A MapQuest Guide

Thanksgiving in Illinois is a time for gathering with family and loved ones, expressing gratitude and, of course, eating. As part of TurkeyQuest -- a MapQuest guide to Thanksgiving events, featuring everything from parades to holiday sales to activities for families -- here are two of the best ways to experience Thanksgiving in Illinois and one opportunity to give back to others.

Illinois Thanksgiving Events Maps

Thanksgiving Feast At Pere Marquette Lodge & Conference Center

The Pere Marquette Lodge in Marquette State Park gives guests spectacular views of the Illinois River near the site where the first Europeans to arrive in the area landed. A Native American village once stood on the site of the park, which is named after Father Jacques Marquette, the famous French Jesuit missionary. A Thanksgiving dinner is held at the lodge each year. The cost is $24.95 for adults and $9.95 for children ages 4 to 11. Children 3 and younger eat for free. The meal includes turkey, which is doled out at carving stations, as well as salads and desserts.

13653 Lodge Blvd., Grafton, IL 62037

Urbana Park District's Turkey Trot

One of Urbana's most popular family events is the Urbana Park District's Turkey Trot. The one-mile fun run and walk serves free hot chocolate during check-in, and the race starts at 9 a.m. The event benefits the park's scholarship fund, which provides money for children from low-income families to attend summer camp. Participants can make donations to the fund during the race, which will also raffle off prizes. Award ribbons will be given to the first 800 people who cross the finish line.

206 W. Park St., Urbana, IL 61801

Volunteer: Thanksgiving Dinner At Home Sweet Home Ministries

Home Sweet Home Ministries provides assistance to Bloomington-area residents in need. The mission provides food and shelter services, and runs additional programs such as support groups for mothers. Volunteers are needed to help prepare and serve Thanksgiving dinner at the mission, as well as to deliver the holiday meal to homebound residents.

303 E. Oakland Ave., Bloomington, IL 61701 | Go to Huffington Post Impact to see how else you can volunteer.

Thanksgiving In Illinois: Video

This video gives a tour of Pere Marquette Lodge and Park, where an annual Thanksgiving feast is held.

Did we miss an Illinois Thanksgiving event? Tell us about it in the comments section below.

Want other great Thanksgiving events and volunteering opportunities? Check out TurkeyQuest and our coverage in Chicago, Indiana and Kansas City.

Interested in more stories about Illinois? Go to Patch and scroll the list of states to get great local coverage of your neighborhood.