Millennium Trolley Tours offers the only way to explore Chicago like a Californian. The tour company takes customers throughout historical and popular city areas aboard San Francisco-style trolley cars that mirror the aesthetic of the city's iconic rail transports. While traveling to various Chicago hot spots, such as the Theatre District or the Hancock Building, tour guides share historical facts about the city and its landmarks. Though you can stay aboard the trolley for the entire one-hour, 45-minute tour, passengers can also hop off to explore areas of interest, and hop back on to avoid walking on the city’s numerous hot-coal sidewalks.
How many manmade buildings can you think of that have survived for more than 2,500 years? The Great Wall of China is impressive for many reasons, but top on that list has to be its longevity—some sections date as far back as the seventh century BC, so long ago that a major reconstruction was needed by the time the Ming dynasty rolled around in 1368 AD. Today, much of the wall stands as always has. It courses east to west across the green mountains and running rivers of northern China for some 5,500 miles. You’ll see the monumental Great Wall on Nexus Holidays Toronto’s 10-day guided tour of China, and it’s just one small part of the tour, which stops in five cities and includes round-trip airfare.Click here for a sample itinerary of the trip. Click here for a list of departure dates.Days 1–4: After departing from a gateway city on the West Coast of America on an economy-class flight, you’ll touch down in Beijing. Once on the ground, say nǐ hǎo to your English-speaking tour guide before transferring to the regal Jade Palace Hotel, which is situated in Zhongguancun, known as the “Silicon Valley of China.” The next three days are jam-packed with sightseeing excursions: you’ll see Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City, and the Temple of Heaven, another relic from the Ming dynasty. A trip to the Great Wall is the highlight of day 4; your tour group will also spend some time checking out the Olympic Village, which includes Bird’s Nest stadium and Water Cube.Days 5–6: The trip moves on to Hangzhou, a city known to Chinese poets as “Paradise on Earth.” You’ll cruise West Lake, renowned for its natural scenery and ancient pagodas, before taking in the pleasant sights and smells of a green-tea plantation. The 3,000-year-old city of Wuxi is your destination on the next day, where you’ll pay a visit to the Grand Buddha at Ling Shan. This iconic statue stands 88 meters high and weighs more than 700 tons, which puts it on the shortlist as one of the largest Buddha sculptures in the world and, whenever anyone places a magazine under it, the world’s largest paperweight. Days 7–10: The last days of the trip are split between the city of Suzhou and metropolitan Shanghai. Suzhou is known as the “Venice of the East” for its 1,500-year-old Grand Canal and interlocking waterways. While here, you’ll take a stroll through the Master of the Nets Garden, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Designed to evoke the peaceful, simple life of a fisherman, it’s a meticulous display of unique water features and nature scenes.Your tour of Shanghai begins with a trip to the Bund, a waterfront district lined with shops and varied architecture influenced by former European occupiers; its building styles range from Romanesque to Gothic to Beaux-Arts. Later, you’ll enjoy more than 120,000 curated treasures on display at the Shanghai Museum. Following breakfast on day 10, you’ll depart Shanghai for your return flight home. Read the Fine Print for important info on travel dates and other restrictions.
Before opening Mid Oak Distillery, Matt Altman studied ancient Russian methods of vodka production. These studies inspired Altman to christen his vodka "CD" after "Catherine's Dynasty," translated from the original Russian Catalina Dynastii, which refers to the reign of Catherine the Great. At Mid Oak Distillery, Altman reprises the royal recipe with local ingredients: Illinois grains, Glenview bottles, and tags from Oak Forest. Distillers cork the bottles by hand, seal them with heat, and adorn their necks with tags that denote alcohol content and recent immunizations. Altman even chose to have local contractors build the tasting room. Within its recently expanded 3,000-square-foot space, Mid Oak Distillery serves up vodka drinks made from a lineup of traditional, seasonal, and flavored varieties of meticulously crafted CD Vodka.
Housing whiz-bang activities sprung to life from the mind of owner and game designer J. Richard Oltmann, Enchanted Castle coaxes thrills from the young and young at heart. As bumper cars clunk together and a game room rings with the peal of 250 pay-as-you-play games, Enchanted Castle’s 60,000 square-foot space fills with scenes fit for dream-like days of timeless tomfoolery without a fee for admission. A laser tag arena hosts light-based combat, a miniature golf course tests putting mettle, and an indoor go-kart track lets driver reenact the time that the Indianapolis 500 was hosted inside a local gymnasium. Platefuls of wings, pizzas, and sandwiches dot tabletops in the dining area, where visitors can feast in front of karaoke, big screen TVs, and an animatronics stage show featuring in-house band the Jammin’ Jesters.
The Center has welcomed kids onto its farm since 1936. It probably wasn't as much of a novelty back then, when Illinois was home to more than 220,000 farms and the U.S. government issued everyone a farmer's hat at birth. But that number has decreased steadily with each decade, dropping to just 76,000 by 2010, per the USDA. Which means that today, The Children's Farm at The Center gives kids and their families something increasingly special: the chance to experience life on an independent rural farm. Here, chickens lay eggs, goats give milk, and horses eat hay harvested right on the farm. The staff also leads tours of these grounds and explains how each animal fits into farm life. They even let kids pet some of the livestock before finishing up tours with a hayride.
For a completely immersive experience, The Children's Farm hosts summer camps for ages 3–17. During each camp session, campers live on the farm for days or weeks at a time, spending their days riding horses and caring for the animals.
Creepy Hallow Halloween Fun Park, like a friendly man that transforms into a ravenous werewolf, boasts two very different sides when entertaining customers. During the day, revelers of all ages frolic through pumpkin patches and enjoy hayrides after bouncing inside a moonwalk and visiting friendly animals at the petting zoo. But as the sun goes down, the ghosts and ghouls come out in full force. Blood Shed haunted house entices those brave enough to enter its halls and escape with their lives, while haunted hayrides put riders on a crash course with all manner of horrors. On the zombie-hunt paintball ride, customers, with weapon in hand, can wreak a terrible vengeance upon undead hordes.