Photo Credit Christina Isaacs

The Lincoln Home National Historic Site preserves the Springfield, Illinois home and historic district where Abraham Lincoln lived from 1844 to 1861, before becoming the 16th president of the United States. This is the first and only home owned by Abraham Lincoln.

Junior Ranger Programs offered at this park:

The Lincoln Home National Historic Site Junior Ranger Program is the only ongoing junior ranger program available at this park on a regular basis.

Note: At one time they had an Underground Railroad Junior Ranger Program. This program is not available at this park currently. They may have a couple of the booklets for this program lying around but they do not have any more of the badges.

3 ways to access this park’s junior ranger booklet:

  1. The booklet is available in person at the Lincoln Home National Historic Site Visitor Center located at: 426 South 7th Street, Springfield, IL 62701
  2. The booklet is available to download and print from the park’s website or by clicking this link:
  3. Or, send an email requesting a junior ranger book to Be sure to include a mailing address and they will mail you a junior ranger book to complete and a badge. Don’t forget to specify how many you need.

How to complete this program:

There is one booklet geared toward children between the ages of 5-12. Your age determines how many activities in the booklet you have to complete. Symbols on the top of each activity page signify the age level for that activity.

  • Ages 5 and under complete three of four activities marked with a top hat.
  • Ages 6 to 8 complete four of six activities marked with the Junior Ranger Logo.
  • Ages 9 to 12 complete four of eight activities marked with the National Park Service arrowhead.
  • All ages may participate. Ages 13 and over complete all activities.

The majority of the activities can be completed without physically visiting the park, with the exceptions of the Park Bingo and the crossword puzzle activities.

Information to help you complete the activities can be found in a few ways:

  • Watching the 23 minute park film isn’t a requirement but can provide information to help complete the activities.
  • Touring the Lincoln Home and neighborhood. Also, not a requirement but helpful in gathering information to complete the activities.
  • Interpretive signs around the park and in the visitor center.
  • Information on the park website and in the park brochure/Unigrid.
  • Talking to Park Rangers.

Note: Occasionally, the park hosts a Junior Ranger Day event. Participation in the event may earn you a junior ranger badge in lieu of completing the booklet. Check the park calendar for scheduled events.

3 ways to turn in your completed junior ranger booklet:

  1. Completed booklets may be turned in, in person at the Lincoln Home National Historic Site Visitor Center located at: 426 South 7th Street, Springfield, IL 62701
  2. If you completed the booklet remotely, or you didn’t complete the book while at the park, or you weren’t able to turn it in while the Visitor Center was open, you may submit it by email. Send an email to with pictures of your completed book and a mailing address. The park will then send you your badge.
  3. Or, you may submit it by mailing the completed booklet to the park at: 413 South 8th Street, Springfield, IL 62701. The Park Ranger will sign and date the certificate on the back of the booklet and mail it back to you along with a badge. Don’t forget to include a mailing address.

Estimated time to complete:

Approximately 30 minutes. Varies depending on age and ability.

What you earn:

  • An official Junior Ranger Badge with the words, “Junior Park Ranger, Lincoln Home National Historic Site”. The park has transitioned to wooden badges but may still have some plastic badges.
  • An official Junior Ranger Certificate which is on the back cover of the Junior Ranger Book.

Monetary costs:

  • It does not cost anything to participate in this junior ranger program. The booklet and badge are both free of charge.
  • The gift store in the Visitor Center sells a junior ranger patch and a bamboo junior ranger badge shaped pin, both pictured here.

Important to know about this park:

  • There is no fee to visit Lincoln Home National Historic Site or go on a tour of the Lincoln Home.
  • Tour tickets are available in person, first come, first serve and often fill up quickly so it’s advised to get there early and go right to the Visitor Center to get your free tour tickets.
  • Tours last 20-25 minutes. First tour begins at 9am and the last tour begins at 4:30pm. 15 people per tour. Groups of 15 or more must contact the park to schedule their tours in advance.
  • If you aren’t able to visit the park in person you can go on a virtual tour online by going to the park website or clicking here: virtual tour through the Lincoln Home.
  • There is a $2 per hour per vehicle fee to park in the Lincoln Home NHS parking lot. Parking can be paid at the gate arm kiosk when leaving the parking lot. Please pay with credit or debit card as they do not accept cash. A parking lot is located north of the Visitor Center for oversized vehicles (e.g. RVs).
  • Go to the park website event calendar for dates and times of special events and programs offered to the public throughout the year like the Living History demonstrations or the Park Ranger Walking Tour of Lincoln’s 8th Street.
  • Watch the park film, “Abraham Lincoln – A Journey to Greatness” in the Visitor Center. Films play daily on the hour and half-hour with the first showing at 9am and the last at 4:30pm. Or watch from home on the Lincoln Home National Historic Site YouTube page.

Park Details

REGIONMid-West States
CITY, STATE(s)Springfield, Illinois
PARK BOUNDARIESIncludes the four block Lincoln Home Neighborhood and a visitor center.
PARK HOURSLincoln Home Neighborhood open to pedestrians from dawn till dusk.
VISITOR CENTER HOURSOpen daily 9:00am – 5:00pm. Closed: Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, New Years Day
PARK PHONE #217-492-4241, press 0 for Operator
Springfield, IL 62701
PARK MAILING ADDRESS413 South 8th Street
Springfield, IL 62701
PARK THEMEPresidents

Other nearby Parks, Junior ranger Programs and attractions:

  • The nearest junior ranger programs are a little more than an hour and a half away in St. Louis, Missouri at the Gateway Arch National Park.
  • Participate in the Abe’s Hat Hunt Scavenger Hunt around Springfield and earn a prize. Click here for information.
  • The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum & Library is only a few blocks from the park.
  • Nearby in Springfield is the Old State Capitol where Lincoln served as a State Legislator, the building which housed the law offices of Lincoln and his partner William Herndon from 1844 until 1852, and the Lincoln Depot from which Lincoln left the city for his 1861 inauguration.
  • The Lincoln Tomb, the final resting place of Abraham Lincoln, his wife Mary Todd Lincoln; and three of their four sons, is located in Oak Ridge Cemetery in Springfield.
  • The new State Capitol is located in Springfield.
  • The Dana–Thomas House is a home in Prairie School style designed by architect Frank Lloyd Wright. Built from 1902–1904 for patron Susan Lawrence Dana and is located in Springfield.


While we have made every effort to provide you with the most accurate and up-to-date information, Ranger Trek assumes no responsibility or liability for any errors or omissions in the content of this site. The information contained herein is provided without guarantees of completeness, accuracy, usefulness, or timeliness. If you come across any errors or omissions, we welcome your feedback so that we can promptly update our information. Parks occasionally modify their junior ranger programs. For example, a park might revise its junior ranger booklet, introduce or discontinue an additional junior ranger program, or alter the badges or patches they award. Some parks may offer extra junior ranger programs and badges only during specific events rather than on a regular basis. Before relying solely on the information provided here, we encourage you to conduct your own due diligence. The primary source for the information in this article is the park itself. We recommend verifying any details with the park via their website, email, or phone.

Please note: All outdoor recreation activities carry inherent risks, and readers should assume personal responsibility for their safety.

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