Sightseeing in Palatine

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

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

51% off Cemetery Ghost Hunt from Haunted Hometowns

Elgin

$90 $45

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

Up to 50% Off Fine Wine

Grayslake

$20 $11

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

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

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

Skokie

$12 $6

(29)

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

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

Wonder Works – Half Off Visit

Oak Park

$12 $6

(22)

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

Pleasant Home—Up to 51% Off Tours or Performances

Oak Park

$20 $10

(8)

National Historic Landmark home hosts tours of its Prairie-style architecture or performances by musicians and dancers

Up to Half Off at 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

Thrown Elements Pottery encapsulates the joys of sculpting and painting pots in energetic classes and drop-in activities. Drop-in paint-your-own pottery sessions allow amateur artists to decorate pottery on their own schedule either at the studio or at home ($9 a day for adults plus the cost of the piece painted). Choose a pre-fired piece of dinnerware ($8–$18) and adorn it with rainbow stripes or make a creature ($11–$18) come to life using only a paintbrush and a bolt of lightning. Specialty pieces may vary in price outside of average price ranges listed.

260 N Evergreen 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

Living Sea Aquarium, Inc. can provide you with great aquariums, equipment and livestock. We get new fish shipments every week. We hae a knowledgable staff and a great selection of marine fish, inverts and fresh water fish. If you want it, we can find it for you. We are open 7 days a week.

811 Devon Ave
Park Ridge,
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