Sightseeing in Palatine

Helicopter Tour of Chicago for Two or Four from Chicago Helicopter Express (Up to 51% Off)

Chicago Helicopter Express

Wheeling

$360 $199

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

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

Kohl Children's Museum

Glenview

$22 $14

(99)

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

Three-Hour Elgin Cemetery Ghost Hunt for Two or Four from Haunted Hometowns (51% Off)

Haunted Hometowns, Corp.

Elgin

$90 $45

Ghost-seekers walk through moon-lit cemeteries in the dead of night during tour as guides relate tales of local specters

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

Haunted Walking Tour for Two or Four from Voices From Beyond Tours (Up to 51% Off)

Voices From Beyond Tours

Elmhurst College's Mill Theater

$40 $20

Haunted-history blogger and former criminal investigator partner with paranormal investigators to lead tours of Elmhurst’s haunted spots

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

(10)

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

(10)

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

$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

$9 for a Public Riverboat Cruise for Two from St. Charles Paddlewheel Riverboats ($15 Value) 

St. Charles Paddlewheel Riverboats

St. Charles

$15 $9

During serene cruises that last up to one hour, tour groups learn about the history of the Fox River and the Pottawatomie

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

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

Geneva Lake Museum

Lake Geneva

$14 $7

(9)

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

Select Local Merchants

Eric and Markay Suevel have run the eponymous Suevel Studios—a full-service glass studio that creates custom pieces and hosts classes—for more than 30 years. Both proprietors have practiced the art for decades, but their partnership marries two distinct approaches. Eric learned the craft at a young age from his uncle, and Markay possesses a liturgical perspective as an ordained minister with a master’s in divinity. They cut and fuse alongside a team of worldly and learned glassworkers, all of whom bring their own specific expertise to the table, whether doing restoration work or mosaics. The studio's stained-glass work lights up churches, homes, and restaurants as well as their students’ faces after they complete one of 25 classes. There, apprentices acquire the skills required to decorate household windows or liven up bland, translucent reading glasses.

870 S Arthur Ave
Arlington Heights,
IL
US

A kids' firehouse sets the stage for hands-on, imaginative activities at FireZone, where actual firefighters show off fire engines, explain educational displays, and oversee games for kids of all ages. In addition to children?s parties and drop-in play sessions, FireZone runs school field trips, caters to adults with corporate training days, and rents fire trucks for picnics, parades, and festivals.

1100 National Pkwy
Schaumburg,
IL
US

When he shuts up his workshop at the North Pole after another successful holiday season, Santa Claus doesn't simply hibernate until next December. Instead, he packs up his sleigh and heads to his summer home at the Fox River Valley's Santa's Village Azoosment Park. Open from May to October, the wonderland greets guests with three separate amusement experiences. The fun begins in Santa's Village, where quaint alpine building and expertly manicured pathways awaken feelings of nostalgia in hearts young and old. There, visitors can zoom down the original Santa's Tree House Slide, hitch a ride on the Kringle Convoy, or snap a picture at a recreation of Santa's North Pole home. They can also tap into the amusement rides including the antique carousel, the Tilt-A-Whirl, and Dracor the Dragon's Coaster.

A renowned lover of animals, Santa has also filled his park with a menagerie of creatures both familiar and exotic. After visiting Rudolph and company at Reindeer Ridge, visitors can grab a ride on a horse-drawn sleigh on their way to see the denizens of Parakeet Paradise, Tortoise Island, or Old MacDonald's Farm and Petting Zoo. In addition to grabbing up-close peeks of everything from a red-tailed boa to a fennec fox, visitors can also take in an exotic animal show that educates audience members about the park's wild residents.

Always in the holiday spirit, the park welcomes groups looking to add a spark to reunions, birthday, or group outings. This accommodating spirit even extends to the park's rule book: parking is free, and picnic baskets are encouraged.

601 Dundee Ave.
East Dundee,
IL
US

With more than 23,000 square feet of public space, Kohl Children's Museum gives its young visitors plenty of rooms in which to play. The kid-focused facility houses 16 permanent exhibits for infants and children up to 8 years of age, each filled with hands-on activities designed to encourage learning and exploration.

City on the Move helps children learn about Chicago by challenging them to build city scenes from geometric shapes or crank an electricity-generating wheel to power a pretend John Hancock Center. Kids can follow animal footprints to their source in Nature Explorers, move musical notes to create melodies in Ravinia Festival Music Makers, or explore the rotating temporary exhibits.

2100 Patriot Blvd.
Glenview,
IL
US

The Elgin History Museum seeks to preserve and share the history of the city of Elgin. Boasting Greek Revival-style architecture, the first floor exhibits show how Elgin developed form the 1830's to through the 1970's. Its museum focuses on the town's industry, its architecture, and, most importantly, its citizens. The second floor's thematic exhibits cover the world-renowned Elgin National Watch Factory, which employed generations of residents, and the Hiawatha Pageant, which was put on for 50 years to help preserve local Native American dances.

  • Size: five permanent exhibits, plus a handful of temporary exhibits

  • The Building: called Old Main, it was built in 1856 for the Elgin Academy prep school and is now listed in the National Register of Historic Places

  • Eye Catcher: Check out a replica of Elgin's first cabin, built by the Gifford family, who are credited as the city's founders

  • Permanent Mainstay: Elgin Road Races, which chronicles the competitions held in town beginning over 100 years ago in the early days of auto racing

  • Don't Miss: Explore Elgin Architecture illuminates the city's many design styles, from settlers' cobblestone homes to Victorian architecture to bungalows

  • Hands-On Exhibit: Watch Your Pocket allows kids to build a pocket-watch prototype as if they were working on the assembly line at the watch factory

  • Pro Tip: through the Adventure Pass program, Illinois residents can use their library card for free admission to this museum and 16 others

360 Park St
Elgin,
IL
US

Mark McMahon has been documenting people and their environments nationally and internationally for more than forty years. His on-location works are included in museums, exhibitions, private and corporate collections.

321 S Ridge Rd
Lake Forest,
IL
US