Sightseeing in Illinois

Up to 51% Off Walking Ghost Tour for Two or Four

Multiple Locations

$40 $20

Ghost-seekers clutch EMF meters on lantern-lit tours through historic and haunted sites as guides relate tales of local specters

Up to 51% Off at Joliet Area Historical Museum

Joliet

$12 $6

History museum mines the past of the town of Joliet, its people, and how their stories relate to the whole of American history

DuPage Children's Museum – Up to 50% Off Visit

Downtown Naperville

$44 $22

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Family-friendly museum engages young minds exploring art, math, and science hands-on exhibits; S.M.A.R.T. Café offers healthy snacks all-day

2014 Haunted America Conference – Up to 51% Off Tickets

Lincoln Theater

$50 $25

Watch experts such as Troy Taylor, April Slaughter, and Rick Redfern talk on subjects such as ghost hunting and cryptozoology

Mitchell Museum of the American Indian – 50% Off Visit

Evanston

$10 $5

Visitors can view 8 exhibits highlighting the diverse cultures of American Indian and First Nation peoples from throughout the US and Canada

49% Off Helicopter Flying Lesson

Schaumburg

$295 $149

The 30-minute helicopter flying lesson puts students in control of the craft at 500 feet with instruction from a FAA Certified Pilot

Up to 53% Off at Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center

Skokie

$12 $6

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The museum honors Holocaust victims, telling their stories with artifacts and interactive exhibits that urge visitors to fight intolerance

The Children’s Museum in Oak Lawn—Up to 50% Off Outing

Oak Lawn

$14 $7

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Explore 16 hands-on, educational exhibits developed in accordance with Illinois Learning Standards

Wonder Works – Half Off Visit

Oak Park

$12 $6

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Studio, stage, forest exhibit, building station, fantasy village, and organic garden welcome hands-on exploration from children and toddlers

Up to 51% Off a Helicopter Tour of Chicago

Wheeling

$360 $199

Helicopters cruise 800 feet above the Chicago skyline past such famed sights as Willis Tower, Wrigley Field, and Navy Pier

Up to 57% Off BYOB Art Class or Kids' Art Party

Park Ridge

$30 $16

A skilled artist-instructor leads two-hour BYOB art classes and kids' art parties, which can include painting or ceramics

50% Off Winery Tour and Tasting

Oswego

$28 $14

Extensive tour of the winemaking facilities ends with a tasting of five wines, such as white cin, chambourcin, or chardonel.

50% Off Flight Lesson

South Chicago Flying Lessons

$199.99 $99

Give the gift of flight as an FAA-certified instructor guides 30-minute flight where the students can fly the plane for up to 15 minutes

Up to 45% Off a Walking Tour from Alton Hauntings

First Unitarian Church

$50 $29

Tours created by the authority of Alton's ghostly history take visitors to the most haunted locations within the city

52% Off a Cahokia Mounds Tour 

Collinsville

$26.90 $13

Visitors take self-guided audio-visual tours of a metropolis built by Native Americans from AD 700 to 1400

Up to Half Off at Geneva Lake Museum

Lake Geneva

$14 $7

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Museum fills historic Power & Light building and replicates Lake Geneva Main Street of late 19th and early 20th centuries

Up to 50% Off Fine Wine

Grayslake

$20 $11

Variety of wine made in small batches, including table wine, seasonal wine, and fortified wine

Up to 50% Off Day Passes to Farmyard at Lambs Farm

Libertyville

$12 $7

Farmyard run by non-profit organization houses a petting zoo, an old-fashioned train ride, and a 600-pound pig

KidsWork Children's Museum – Up to 47% Off Visit

Frankfort

$24 $14

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Programs such as music classes and story time as well as exhibits including a floor piano and instruments made from recycled materials

Up to 54% Off Confluence Tower Admission

Lewis & Clark Confluence Tower

$18 $9

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Parallel towers loom above the fork of the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers, where Lewis and Clark commenced their historic voyage

41% Off a Stunt-Airplane or Warplane Ride

Sugar Grove

$440 $259

(10)

A seasoned flight instructor leads a 40-minute joy ride aboard an Extra 300L aerobatic plane or a T-6 Texan warplane

50% Pub Crawl or Brunch Tour

The Loop

$80 $40

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Groups roam the pedway's watering holes while hearing about prohibition days, or combine history with brunch

46% Off Helicopter Tour of Chicago

Lansing

$332 $198

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Helicopter pilots fly passengers along the Chicago skyline and past landmarks such as Millennium Park, U.S. Cellular Field, and Navy Pier

Up to 44% Off Loop Interior Architecture Tour for Two

The Loop

$52 $29

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Featured in the Chicago Reader, guides lead groups through architecturally striking interiors and share photos and videos via iPads

Up to 50% Off Absolutely Chicago Segway Tours

Chicago

$50 $30

Ride up to some of Chicago's most iconic landmarks as the sun sets and the skyline begins to glow

Up to 50% Off an Inside Chicago Grand Tour

The Loop

$45 $25

A bus ferries visitors to the North and South Sides, showing them major parks, the Museum Campus, and the sights along Lake Shore Drive

Up to 57% Off Urban Scavenger Race

Dick's Last Resort

$80 $39

Teams navigate the city in search of 14 clues, which they must document via smart phone; first prize is $500 and entry for the championship

Up to Half Off Urban Dare Adventure Race for Two

Allstars Sports Bar

$90 $45

Fast-paced competition challenges teams of two with trivia, photo hunts, and mental and physical challenges

54% Off Scavenger Dash

Near North Side

$127.59 $59

Teams of two traverse the streets of Chicago as they find clues, collect items, take pictures, and complete challenges

50% Off Ghost Investigation Tour

Pilsen

$116 $58

After a crash course in ghost hunting, small supervised teams use tools of the trade to explore an Al Capone underworld operation

Up to 61% Off Urban Scavenger Hunt

Cubby Bear

$100 $40

Five-hour scavenger hunt takes participants through 12 challenges that encourage them to explore the city while testing their mettle

50% Off Segway Tours for Two

Multiple Locations

$138 $69

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Segways effortlessly glide through the city streets, allowing riders to breeze by Frank Lloyd Wright's Robie House or Soldier Field

50% Off Segway Tours for Two

Multiple Locations

$138 $69

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Segways effortlessly glide through the city streets, allowing riders to breeze by Frank Lloyd Wright's Robie House or Soldier Field

Up to 78% Off from TikiBoat Chicago

Monroe Harbor

$1,799 $399

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36-foot party barge with water slide ferries guests onto Lake Michigan and Chicago River; amenities include stereo, grill, and full bathroom

Up to 52% Off Boat Tours from Seadog Cruises

Navy Pier

$30.45 $15

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Speedboats zip past famed Chicago landmarks along the lakefront and river; informative narration on city's history and architecture

Up to 53% Off from Chicago Crime Tours

Chicago

$79.90 $38

Learn about more than 100 years of Chicago’s crime history in a 90-minute tour of famous crime scenes and landmarks

Up to 57% Off Social Game Experience

Logan Square

$40 $20

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Players take part in a role-playing event that is set in the prohibition era and pulls from mob folklore

50% Off a Haunted-History Walking Tour

South Loop

$50 $25

A two-hour walking tour covers most haunted areas and allows guests to conduct their own paranormal investigation

Chicago History Museum – Up to 48% Off

Lincoln Park

$14 $8

Chicago museum brings history to life with 22 million artifacts & topical exhibits, including a look at 50 years of the Ebony Fashion Fair

Chicago History Museum – Up to 48% Off

Lincoln Park

$14 $8

Chicago museum brings history to life with 22 million artifacts & topical exhibits, including a look at 50 years of the Ebony Fashion Fair

Half Off Membership to the APR Pullman Porter Museum

Far South Chicago

$50 $25

Museum celebrates the victories of the nation's first African-American labor unions and the history of African-American railroad workers

Half Off Science Museum Membership or Admission

Near North Side

$80 $40

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More than 600 art pieces and 7,000 medical artifacts—including a working iron lung—trace the advancement of surgery throughout history

Museum of Broadcast Communications – Up to Half Off

Near North Side

$24 $12

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Artifacts and digitized recordings detail the history of radio and television; interactive station lets visitors anchor their own newscasts

DuSable Museum – Half Off Membership

Washington Park

$40 $20

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Examine tales and artifacts of African American history with studies of gospel singers, murals, and even an animatronic Harold Washington

Select Local Merchants

Brothers Aaron and Asher Gershenzon and friend James Morro grew up in the city, but always possessed a passion for the outdoors. They practiced wilderness kayaking for most of their lives before earning their American Canoe Association certifications on Lake Superior. Each of them brings dual passions for their home city and outdoor sports to the company’s guided group and private kayak trips. Guided paddles change on every outing as guides blend downtown architectural commentary and little-known Al Capone stories with tie-ins to current events. Though each guide tells different stories, often interspersed with humor, all of them focus on environmentally friendliness. Paddling trips utilize a fleet of lime-green Confluence Watersports kayaks, and staffers often wear lime-green shirts—all of which render them easily identifiable from the riverwalk, but well camouflaged in supermarket produce sections.

One guide leads six participants and prepares them with a briefing on paddling techniques, rules of the river, and assurances of the stability of their wide-river kayaks. The guides' watchful eyes and constant advice have instilled confidence in even the most unsure participants, including basketball player Andre Iguodala, who slowly grew accustomed to his kayak by the end of his session. When not guiding trips, staffers provide their single and tandem kayaks to customers who want to explore the river on their own. They extend their easygoing atmosphere to their office—nestled across the river from the Centennial Fountain's Water Arc—where picnic tables stand by the storefront, and the owners' chocolate Labrador frolics inside around a hanging hammock.

270 Chicago Riverwalk
Chicago,
IL
US

For more than 50 years, the monks of Marmion Abbey have tended 300 acres of farmland. They started with Christmas trees, and now maintain 120 acres of pines, spruces, and firs that smell exactly like car freshener. On the remaining acres, they tend pumpkin vines and corn mazes, interspersing these areas with scenic picnic groves.

Throughout the year, the monks open their land to the public. In the autumn, they host Pumpkin Daze, a harvest festival with tractor wagon rides and a petting zoo. Around mid-November, they grant access to their tree farm, supplying visitors with rental saws for you-cut trees and bellowing "Timber!" just like Paul Bunyan did when he fell into bed at night. The monks stock their farm store with handcrafted goods that complement the season, whether caramel apples in the fall or quilts in the winter.

850 Butterfield Rd
Aurora,
IL
US

After traveling to Japan in 1966 and to the Portland Japanese Garden soon thereafter, John Anderson found himself inspired by the country's lush landscape and tranquil gardens. In 1978, after returning to his home in Rockford, he partnered with expert designer Hoichi Kurisu to begin constructing Anderson Japanese Gardens—12 acres of paths, plants, and streams, as soothing as those John visited in Japan.

The gardens still encourage a sense of calm and thoughtful reflection, as guided and self-guided tours stroll past undulating waterfalls, trickling across colorful flowers, beneath arched bridges, and over lily pads. Fruit blossoms on trees and bushes, sculptures stand very still, and koi fish flit about in a pond. On Thursdays, participants read from scripture, listen to music, and meditate during worship services, and a series of classes held onsite, such as origami and tai chi, impart Japanese traditions.

318 Spring Creek Rd
Rockford,
IL
US

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.

1423 N Broadway St
Joliet,
IL
US

Ghastly horrors prowl Massacre Haunted House in search of new victims and fresh screams. Inside, 75 actors in full makeup startle wary explorers navigating more than 60 rooms strewn with gruesome scenes that would strike fear into the heart of any adult, teen, or amnesiac zombie. Unsettling mazes and living nightmares stand between brave souls and the exit, where a second haunt—Fear Factory 3-D—awaits to pull them deeper into the madness. Where the haunted house may have turned hairs white with the help of live actors, the factory coaxes screams with 3D special effects made possible with specialized glasses.

3440 Odyssey Court
Naperville,
IL
US

Less than 90 minutes from St. Louis, the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum houses the world’s largest collection of original Lincoln artifacts, complete with the Gettysburg Address. A life-size replica of Lincoln’s log cabin set back in a forest of artificial trees stands 40 feet tall just like the President’s iconic top hat. The museum also houses a re-creation of the Presidential Box at Ford’s Theatre, where the president was assassinated, and the state-of-the-art Union Theater, which projects films such as Lincoln’s Eyes, a broad overview of Lincoln’s personal and political life with a special focus on slavery. In the Ghosts of the Library exhibit, transparent phantoms of Lincoln and his contemporaries drift around powered by Holavision technology. Youngsters, supervised by parents, can try on period dress, pose for photos with life-size cutouts of young Abe, or reenact historic scenes in the Lincoln Home dollhouse located in Mrs. Lincoln’s attic, the hands-on learning center. Before heading home, patrons can browse the museum store—more than 3,500 square feet of artifact replicas and Lincoln-themed merchandise.

112 N 6th St
Springfield,
IL
US

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Things to Do in Illinois

Discover places for tours, attractions and things to do.