If you like history, and if you enjoy arts and crafts, then you need to visit Bishop Hill, IL. My hubby and I went there last year and just fell in love with this quaint little village in north central Illinois.
The town was founded in 1846 by Swedish Immigrants trying to form a utopian society out on the Illinois prairie. The village grew and prospered for several years until disbanding in the 1860s. Many of the original buildings are still standing. Today they house wonderful museums and shops sure to delight you.
I recommend making the museums your first stop in town. Each highlights a different aspect of the town's history and all are enjoyable. They help the visitor to understand why the town was founded and how it operated during the religious group's existence. The museums showcase everything from beautiful artwork to everyday articles used by the settlers. They are a must see while in town.
Be sure to allow time for visiting the shops too though. There are several to browse through. One of our favorites was the arts and crafts center which has so many beautiful items to view. (I especially loved all the pottery.) There is an art gallery you won't want to miss, and a wonderful quilt shop with lots and lots of fabric and patterns. A terrific little general store sits at the corner of two of the main streets. Inside you will find lots of Swedish decor and Swedish snacks plus general tourist items perfect for souveniers. All you treasure hunters will want to check out the antique or "junktique" shops which are scattered throughout the town. They are packed to the rafters with vintage and new goodies.
Make sure you bring your appetite with you too. There are several places to eat in town. I have heard that they all are good. We really enjoyed our meal at Red Oak Comfort Food and Pie Co. (My husband just can not pass by any restaurant that includes the word pie in its' name.) I recommend the turkey sandwich with lingonberries which are a Swedish treat. My husband had chicken and noodles followed by a gigantic piece of pie which he proclaimed was as good as grandma's! Believe me, that is a resounding endorsement in our family.
Here is a link to the Bishop Hill calendar of events http://www.bishophill.com/calendar.php
Some of their upcoming festivals look like lots of fun. I hope you have a chance to visit there soon.
Blessings to you, and have a great weekend.