Sightseeing in Pleasant Prairie

A Grand Avenue Christmas Admission and 10% Off at the Gift Shop for Two or Four at the Pabst Mansion (58% Off)

Pabst Mansion

Avenues West

Flemish Revival mansion dons its Christmas finery for a celebration of Christmas and the historic past of Pabst Brewing Company

$20 $9

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Lighthouse Visit for Two or Four or a Family Membership to North Point Lighthouse (Up to 63% Off)

North Point Lighthouse

Northpoint

Recently restored historic lighthouse showcases artifacts, history, and high climbs

$10 $4

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$9 for the Skywaukee Walking Tour for Two from Historic Milwaukee ($20 Value)

Historic Milwaukee

Milwaukee

Walking tour gives sightseers an overview of Milwaukee’s early history from the modern skywalk system

$20 $9

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Admission for Two or Four or a Family Membership to Jewish Museum Milwaukee (50% Off)

Jewish Museum Milwaukee

Milwaukee

Museum celebrates the history of Jewish people in Wisconsin through rotating engaging exhibits

$12 $6

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Admission for Two, Four, or Six to the Chudnow Museum of Yesteryear (50% Off)

Chudnow Museum of Yesteryear

Avenues West

Be amazed at the well-kept rooms and artifacts filling this building, taking you back in time to see everyday life in the early 1900s

$10 $5

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Admission or Membership to Charles Allis Art Museum or Villa Terrace Decorative Arts Museum (Up to 55% Off). Four Options Available.

harles Allis Art Museum and Villa Terrace Decorative Arts Museum

Multiple Locations

Explore 2000 years of history at Charles Allis Art Museum or decorative arts and Renaissance Garden at Villa Terrace Decorative Arts Museum

$60 $30

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

Bachman Aero

Schaumburg

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

$295 $149

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Admission for Four Adults, or Membership for One Adult or Family at Elgin History Museum (Up to 60% Off)

Elgin History Museum

Eastside Elgin

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

$12 $6.50

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

Haunted Hometowns, Corp.

Elgin

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

$90 $45

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

Gauntlet Warbirds

Aurora

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

$440 $259

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Select Local Merchants

Over the past quarter century, Serpent Safari's indoor zoo has amassed a collection of rare reptiles that have appeared in publications such as National Geographic. Animals of impressive age, unusual coloring (such as an albino alligator), and Guinness World Record-holding weight have all called the Safari their home. Originally founded as a reptile adoption and education center, the Safari now runs guided tours and birthday parties that usher children through the world of scaly, cold-blooded creatures known as bankers into the diverse realm of reptiles. Following the tours, patrons can partake in photo opportunities with giant snakes, or take home a friend from the pet store.

6170 Grand Ave
Gurnee,
IL
US

Situated in the heart of downtown Racine, RAM is dedicated to the exhibition, education, and collection of contemporary visual art. With more than 5,000 objects in its permanent collection, the 46,000-square-foot space houses one of North America’s largest collections of contemporary crafts in a multitude of mediums such as ceramics and fiber arts. The museum also constantly cycles in new retina-rallying exhibitions such as the current Not So Still Life, examining a range of quirky interpretations of classic still-life subjects such as fruit bowls or avant-garde Jello molds. Visitors can also admire the bold contour lines and expressive mark-making of painter couple Ruth Grotenrath and Schomer Lichtner. Check the exhibitions schedule for a sampling of upcoming shows to fuel future bouts of cognitive calisthenics.

441 Main St
Racine,
WI
US

Amur tigers stretch out in the sun, red kangaroos hop leisurely along, and orangutans groom each other in the shade while tree pythons and box turtles roam their tanks, oblivious of each other and everything outside. Nearby, budgies, storks, cormorants, and screech owls roost on perches and soar over the heads of their human visitors. These creatures join a menagerie of more than 250 animals—representing 76 different species—that mingle across 32 acres of natural habitat at the Racine Zoo. Together with their staff counterparts, these animals speak to the zoo’s efforts toward conservation and strengthening the bond between humans and their wild neighbors.

Though they can get up close to animal enclosures, visitors also explore more immersive wildlife education through seasonal and year-round attractions. Giraffe encounters allow guests to participate in the supervised feeding of a masai giraffe, and Animal Chats prompt visitors to ask questions of the caretakers, such as how they feed the zoo's carnivores and which of the herbivores prefer italian dressing. At the Benstead Discovery Center, guests greet reptiles and amphibians and watch fish swim in a 2,000-gallon saltwater tank. In the open-air Norco Aviary, visitors can behave as flocks of Australian budgies, rosellas, or cockatiels. Children, meanwhile, frolic across the two-story climbing structure, slides, and zipline at the PlayZoo Playground, or board a colorful, seasonal miniature express train.

2131 North Main Street
Racine,
WI
US

In 1848, dairy cows grazed on the 30 acres that now host the Volo Auto Museum’s five showrooms. The mooing of heifers has given way to the imaginary roar of 200 collector cars and 100 gleaming autos that once graced movie and television sets—including a Batmobile from the 1966 TV series, a Herbie from the latest movie, and one of the first General Lees. After ogling the television and movie collection, guests can wander among vintage and antique vehicles and reminisce about the days when we still had to go places in person.

Nearby, the military exhibit’s realistic scenery surrounds vehicles ranging from a WWII BMW motorcycle with sidecar to a 1967 Bell helicopter shot down in Vietnam. After examining older artillery and artifacts, visitors can gaze at cases holding items retrieved from Saddam Hussein’s palace and from captured Iraqi soldiers. Those below driving age can explore kids’ attractions, including SpongeBob’s boatmobile.

Guests traverse the vast showrooms on foot or via a 1915, Victorian-style trolley, free on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Trolley tours begin by exploring autos that used to be stabled by the rich and famous alongside their unicorns. They then venture into the old dairy farm’s 19th-century barn, where activity by Civil War ghosts has drawn investigators from the Discover Channel’s Ghost Lab. Before leaving, visitors can refuel with an Angus-beef patty at the Betty Boop Burger Bar and Beer Garden or drop into four antique malls.

27582 Volo Village Rd
Volo,
IL
US

A family walks down a lane cut into a sprawling field of corn, striding confidently until they reach a fork. After a debate, they turn left, and eventually left again. A wooden bridge leapfrogs them to a new path, lined with rows of eerily similar corn stalks. Luckily, it's a balmy day, the blue sky striated with wispy clouds, and they're not in a hurry to emerge from the green ocean of corn.

From an observation deck nearby, the 28-acre cornfield looks like a postage stamp inside the 450-acre farm, which grows soybeans, corn, and more than 50,000 Christmas trees. Homesteaded in 1840, the land is now owned and worked by a third generation of Richardsons. The family wanted to welcome visitors to the farm to enjoy the rural, outdoorsy fun that could only fit on such a sprawling space. They planted the corn maze?among the world's largest?and devised other attractions such as a zipline and paintball gallery. Visitors can also cheer on racing pigs, pet animals in an interactive zoo, and participate in different maze games. In autumn families come to pick pumpkins and in winter they cut their own Christmas trees.

909 English Prairie Rd.
Spring Grove,
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