Sightseeing in Illinois

VIP Admission for Two or Four to Basement of the Dead (Up to 58% Off)

Basement of the Dead

Aurora

$90 $39

Front-of-the-line admission to a nightmarish basement and a 3D circus run by an evil clown at one of Chicagoland's top-ranked haunted houses

Science Museum Visit for Two, Four, or Six to Discovery Center Museum (38% Off)

Discovery Center Museum

Discovery Center Museum

$16 $10

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Award-winning museum lets kids play with science with everything from air cannons and flight simulators to a planetarium

Single-Day Admission for Two or Four or Family Membership at the Joliet Area Historical Museum (Up to 51% Off)

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

Oktoberfest for Two Adults or Two Adults and Two Children at Naper Settlement on October 3 or 4 (Up to 44% Off)

Naper Settlement

Naper Settlement

$42 $25

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Celebrate German culture with beer and live music at a settlement that revives the 19th century

Tour with Six Tastings and a Glass of Wine or $17 for $30 Worth of Food and Wine at Illinois River Winery

Illinois River Winery

North Utica

$30 $17

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Sample more than 30 handcrafted wines from the tasting room or sip wines while touring the facility

General Admission for 2, 4, or 10 or VIP Admission for 4 to Psychosis Haunted House (Up to 54% Off)

Psychosis Haunted House

Downtown Elgin

$36 $18

20,000 sq. ft. haunted house lauded by USA Today and Huffington Post; a portion of proceeds support local charities

$149 for a Helicopter Flying Lesson and Flight from Bachman Aero ($295 Value)

Bachman Aero

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

Petting-Zoo Visit for Two or Four on Weekday or Two on Weekend at Johansen Farms (Up to 50% Off)

Johansen Farms Children's Zoo

Bolingbrook

$24 $14

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Beyond its patch of 25,000 pumpkins, the farm features a petting zoo with more than 500 animals, including rabbits, deer, and baby chicks

Visit for Two or Four to Kohl Children's Museum (Up to 50% Off)

Kohl Children's Museum

Glenview

$22 $14

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Two-acre outdoor sculpture park and 16 other interactive exhibits teach children how to build a house, harness natural power, and make art

Museum Tour for Two Adults or Four Adults or Kids at Ellwood House Museum (50% Off)

Ellwood House Museum

DeKalb

$16 $8

Tours of the estate of Isaac Ellwood, one of the wealthiest men in Illinois in the late 1800s, feature a barbed-wire exhibit and a playhouse

$9 for a Tour for One at The Gold Pyramid ($15 Value)

The Gold Pyramid

The Gold Pyramid

$15 $9

Built as a private home in 1977, the 17,000 sq. ft. pyramid features statues, a moat, a three-pyramid garage, and Egyptian-style furnishings

Self-Guided Audio Tour for Two or Four with Souvenir Book and Tote from Cahokia Mounds Museum Society (50% Off) 

Cahokia Mounds Museum Society

Collinsville

$20 $10

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

Weekday or Weekend Admission for One, Two, or Four at Illinois Railway Museum (Up to 50% Off)

Illinois Railway Museum

Coral

$10 $5

Watch restored antique train cars in operation, then check out memorabilia from the Chicagoland and national rail industries

$45 for VIP Tickets for Two to Both Haunted Houses at Fear City ($90 Value)

Fear City

Morton Grove

$90 $45

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VIP guests skip the line before meeting the undead residents of Fear City and exploring the haunted schoolhouse, Our Lady of the Cursed

Geneva Lake Museum Visit for Two, Four, or Six (Up to Half Off)

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

Kids and Adult Day Passes to Farmyard and Petting Zoo at Lambs Farm (Up to 50% Off). Three Options Available.

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

Visit with Gift-Shop Credit for Two or Four at Ronald Reagan Boyhood Home (Up to 53% Off)

Ronald Reagan Boyhood Home

Dixon

$20 $10

Visitors explore the fully restored home of Ronald Reagan, where he lived from 1920–1923 before moving to Hollywood and then the White House

$22 for a Distillery Tour for Two with Two Glencairn Glasses at Quincy Street Distillery ($44 Value)

Quincy Street Distillery

Riverside

$44 $22

60- to 90-minute tour of a distillery that produces 12 artisanal, small-batch spirits; each guest brings home a Glencairn glass

Heaps Haunted Corn Maze Visit with Hayride for Two, Four, or Six (Up to 51% Off)

Heap's Haunted Corn Maze

Seward

$30 $16

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Corn maze spooks guests during encounters with costumed actors; a hayride and flashlight maze provide more easygoing entertainment

Admission for 2, 4, or 12 at Lewis & Clark Confluence Tower (Up to 54% Off)

Lewis & Clark Confluence Tower

Lewis & Clark Confluence Tower

$18 $10

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

40-Minute Ride in a Extra 300L Stunt Airplane or T-6 Texan Trainer Warplane from Gauntlet Warbirds (41% Off)

Gauntlet Warbirds

Sugar Grove

$440 $259

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

Household Membership or History Lover Membership at the Wisconsin Historical Society and Museum (Up to 52% Off)

Wisconsin Historical Society

Multiple Locations

$60 $29

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Membership includes discounted or free admission to the Society's historic sites, from Black Point Estate to Old World Wisconsin in Eagle

Skydeck Chicago Experience for Two or Four at Willis Tower

Skydeck Chicago

The Loop

$43 $30

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Take in spectacular views of up to 4 states from the top of Willis Tower and experience The Ledge, a glass balcony 103 floors above Chicago

Two-Hour Walking Ghost Tour of Aurora or Naperville for Two or Four from Haunted Hometowns (Up to 51% Off)

Haunted Hometowns

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

$12 for Visit for Two Adults and Two Kids and One $5 Gift Voucher to Klehm Arboretum ($23 Value)

Klehm Arboretum & Botanic Garden

Klehm Arboretum & Botanic Garden

$23 $12

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Get access to the 155-acre living museum's floral exhibits, forested paths, and children's gardens, plus a gift-shop voucher

Admission for Two, Four, or Six, or VIP Fast Passes for Two to Evil Intentions Haunted House (Up to 54% Off)

Evil Intentions Haunted House

Elgin

$50 $25

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20,000-square-foot multilevel haunted house remarked for its paranormal activity features room after room of terrifying attractions

Individual Premium or Household Membership at Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago (Up to 43% Off)

Museum of Science and Industry

Chicago

$118 $69

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Membership grants year-long access to 400,000 sq. ft. of interactive exhibits, including the iconic Coal Mine, an indoor tornado, and more

Admission for Four Adults, or Membership for One Adult or Family at Elgin History Museum (Up to 51% Off)

Elgin History Museum

Eastside Elgin

$12 $8

Two floors of history exhibits reflecting Elgin's rich past, including a collection of Elgin Watches and Elgin Road Race memorabilia

$20 for a Chicago History Tour for Two from Chicago's Finest River Walk Tour (Up to $40 Value)

Chicago's Finest River Walk Tour

The Loop

$40 $20

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Pedway's heated tunnels and sky bridges ferry guests between landmarks; tragedies tour examines Great Chicago Fire among other events

Zoovies Movie Screening with Optional Parking at Lincoln Park Zoo (Up to 63% Off). Three Dates Available.

Lincoln Park Zoo

Chicago

$49 $19

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Take in a popular movie with drinks, pizza, popcorn, and candy in the heart of the historic Lincoln Park Zoo while surrounded by animals

One Adult or Child Discovery Pass to The Field Museum (Up to 31% Off)

The Field Museum

Central Chicago

$18 $12.50

(1963)

Explore ancient Egypt, see SUE the T. rex, and get access to temporary exhibitions exploring subjects like biomechanics

One Adult or Child Discovery Pass to The Field Museum (Up to 31% Off)

The Field Museum

Central Chicago

$18 $12.50

(1963)

Explore ancient Egypt, see SUE the T. rex, and get access to temporary exhibitions exploring subjects like biomechanics

$50 for an Architectural Boat Tour for Two ($84 Value). Reservation through Groupon Required.

Chicago Line Cruises

Chicago

$84 $50

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Docent-narrated tours cover the history of Chicago's architectural innovations and how they influenced the present-day skyline

Tour by Bus for Two or Four from Chicago Crime Tours (Up to 53% Off)

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

Walking Tour from WendyCity (Up to 51% Off). Two Options Available.

WendyCity

Multiple Locations

$50 $25

Tour the Mag Mile and learn some of its history during a relaxed walk before the stores open

Walking Tour from WendyCity (Up to 51% Off). Two Options Available.

WendyCity

Multiple Locations

$50 $25

Tour the Mag Mile and learn some of its history during a relaxed walk before the stores open

Chocolate Tour of Chicago with Seven Tastings for One, Two, or Four from Great Food Tours (Up to 60% Off)

Great Food Tours

Chicago

$50 $25

Sample Aztec chocolate drinks, cupcakes, truffles, and chocolate donuts during two-hour chocolate tour along the Magnificent Mile

Arcade/Bar Tournament League from BUCKit List Events - Individual or Team Registration (Up to 55% Off)

BUCKit List Events

Multiple Locations

$80 $39

Three-person teams go head-to-head in seven-week arcade tournament with one week of playoffs

Arcade/Bar Tournament League from BUCKit List Events - Individual or Team Registration (Up to 55% Off)

BUCKit List Events

Multiple Locations

$80 $39

Three-person teams go head-to-head in seven-week arcade tournament with one week of playoffs

"Speakeasy" Social Game Experience for One, Two, Four, or Eight at Waxwing Puzzle Co. (Up to 57% Off)

Waxwing Puzzle Co.

Lincoln 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

Haunted-History Walking Tour for Two or Four with Ghost-Hunting Equipment from Spirit Expeditions (50% Off)

Spirit Expeditions

South Loop

$50 $25

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

Admission for Two or 1-Year Individual or Family Membership at International Museum of Surgical Science (50% Off)

International Museum of Surgical Science

Near North Side

$30 $15

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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

Visit for One, Two, or Four to the Chicago History Museum (Up to 48% Off)

Chicago History Museum

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

Visit for One, Two, or Four to the Chicago History Museum (Up to 48% Off)

Chicago History Museum

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

General, Family, or Friend Sponsor Annual Membership to the APR Pullman Porter Museum (Half Off)

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

Running Tours of Downtown Chicago from Chicago Running Tours & More (Up to 55% Off)

Chicago Running Tours & More

Central Chicago

$32 $15

Professional guides lead sightseeing tours at a jogging pace during excursions that emphasize fun and learning over speed

Visit for Two or Four, or Individual or Family Membership to Museum of Broadcast Communications (Up to Half Off)

Museum of Broadcast Communications

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

Admission for One or Two to Chicago Sports Tours (Up to 52% Off)

Chicago Sports Tours

Chicago

$42 $21

Saturday sports tours explore Chicago's rich history of football, baseball, basketball, and hockey

True Crime and City Highlights Tour Bundle for One, Two, or Four from Chicago Prime Tours (Up to 52% Off)

Chicago Prime Tours

Chicago

$66 $34

Hear the stories of John Dillinger, John Wayne Gacy. and H.H. Holmes during crime tour, and visit Willis Tower and other sites on city tour

Entry for 1 or 2 to Chicago Culinary Museum and Chef's Hall of Fame Event Thursday, October 16

Chicago Culinary Museum and Chefs Hall of Fame

The Castle Nightclub

$149 $99

See Chicago Culinary Museum & Chefs Hall of Fame induct chefs such as Stephanie Izard, Michael Kornick; open bar & restaurant samples

Explore the Kinetics of Chicago's Massive Moving Bridges

One-Hour Bridge Lift Tour

Near North Side

$15 $15

Walk along the Chicago River with a retired civil engineer who explains the history and architecture of the city's movable bridges

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Today, millions of people live and thrive among the streets and skyscrapers of Chicago, but at one time the bustling metropolis had only one resident—namely, the city's apocryphal, somewhat legendary founder, Jean Baptist Point DuSable. A Haitian of French and African descent, DuSable was the first of Chicago's great African Americans, a company that includes the city's first black mayor, Harold Washington. In one of the DuSable Museum's standing exhibits, the Thomas Miller mosaics, portraits of DuSable and Washington peer out along with eight of the founding members of the museum—a constellation of lodestars reminding visitors to maintain Chicago's diverse heritage.

While the mosaics incorporate the museum's own story, other exhibits examine African American achievements of all kinds. Red, White, Blue & Black, for instance, examines the contributions of black men and women in the armed forces, while voices from the past sing out in Spread the Word! The Evolution of Gospel, a survey of Chicago-based gospel greats such as Mahalia Jackson and Thomas Dorsey. In A Slow Walk to Greatness: The Harold Washington Story, visitors explore the nuances of the momentous campaign through memorabilia and more than 150 mayoral artifacts. An animatronic likeness of Mayor Washington himself even steps in to relay stories and first-hand accounts made possible by animatronic robots' ability to travel through time. In addition to the permanent exhibits, the museum also hosts musical performance, film festivals, and book signings that introduce members to more aspects of African American history, including the scholars who continue to uncover it.

740 East 56th Place
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 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 family-friendly products from local artists and handcrafted goods that complement the season, such as caramel apples in the fall.

2855 Hart Road
Aurora,
IL
US

The Rockford Art Museum has more than a century of creativity hanging from the walls in its galleries. It acquired its first piece in 1913 and has since collected more than 1600 pieces from local and international artists. Glass sculptures, 20th century American photography, and impressionist paintings vie for attention alongside the dynamic images of the American southwest from the Taos Society of New Mexico. The collection houses the detailed work of regional artists trained at the Art Institute of Chicago and the Royal Academy of Arts and the earthy, meaningful paintings of outsider art, such as Richard Burnside’s untitled painting of a cat made from paint and pinecone pieces.

Standing apart from the main collection, the museum’s RAM Art Annex houses educational programs and the museum store stocks an inventory of jewelry and glass pieces by local artists. The annual Greenwich Village Art Fair also shares art appreciation with the community. The fair gathers more than 100 artists in an atmosphere filled with live music.

711 N Main St Ste 3
Rockford,
IL
US

By highlighting the goings-on in the community of Joliet, The Joliet Area Historical Museum scans the entirety of American history from the perspective of the town's inhabitants. Housed inside the former Ottawa Street Methodist Church, multimedia exhibits artfully assembled from audio-visual displays, touch screens, and life-size models illustrate the stories plucked from the eventful timelines of the town and its people. Occupying two full stories, permanent exhibit The Soaring Achievements of John C. Houbolt honors the life and work of former resident Dr. Houbolt, who had a primary role in NASA's race to the moon. The exhibit's life-size Lunar Lander even allows guests to step inside and glimpse the accommodations and controls, revealing a control panel more complicated than a single button labeled "Go to Moon." In addition to its permanent collection, the museum also keeps an active calendar full of special events; check the schedule for a complete list of programming.

204 N Ottawa St
Joliet,
IL
US

In 1987, Louise Beem and Dorothy Carpenter were early-childhood-education specialists. Based on their combined experience—gained from teaching preschool, founding the College of DuPage's early-childhood-education program, and being grandmothers—the two friends felt that traditional methods of teaching youngsters were less than optimal at the time. Their brainchild, the DuPage Children's Museum, began that same year. The pair designed the museum's colorful exhibits to incorporate interactive and open-ended elements, which they believed more closely matched the way kids learn and naturally process information, a discovery they say has now been corroborated by findings in neuroscience research.

In that vein, the three-story museum engages young neurons with interactive art, math, and science-themed attractions. Giving little hands the chance to explore, the AWEsome Electricity exhibit bridges the gap between the electric-powered gadgets and lights families use every day to where all that nonbreakfast-based energy comes from. Kids learn how electricity gets from one place to another and what its basic units are while at play in the museum's signature hands-on spaces. Elsewhere, the Young Explorers exhibit is designed for children aged 2 and under, who develop math skills by learning concepts such as sorting and patterning and express their creativity by experimenting with color and light.

301 N Washington St.
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

Illinois Scene