Sightseeing in Pontiac

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

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

Haunted-Park Packages for 1, 2, or 4 at Creepy Hallow Halloween Fun Park (Up to 54% Off). Five Options Available.

Creepy Hallow Halloween Fun Park

Green Garden

$68 $39

Haunted park contains family friendly daytime activities, and at night, a haunted hayride and zombie paintball hunt

VIP Visit for Two, Four, or Six at Massacre Haunted House (Up to 53% Off)

Massacre Haunted House

Montgomery

$70 $36

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Horrors lurk through 60 rooms housed inside a more than 15,000 sq. ft. haunted house littered with mazes and animatronics

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

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

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

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

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

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

$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

Select Local Merchants

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

Across two floors and 6,700 square feet, KidsWork Children's Museum's prompts hands-on play with scores of new exhibits. A table-top interactive computer, or SMART table, stimulates kids' brains with interactive puzzles and games. A weekly music class on Wednesday mornings at 10 a.m. invite kids to make some noise with instruments made from recycled materials. Interlocking wooden builder boards encourage open-ended play; there's also a floor piano, an interactive ATM, and story time at 10 a.m. on Tuesday mornings. The museum welcomes field-trip groups and birthday parties to explore its innards as well as special-needs families, members, and walk-in visitors.

While large groups are welcome, each child is celebrated through hands-on play. Just look at the gigantic, three-dimensional Pinscreen exhibit, a jumbo version of the classic toy that uses sliding pins to create a 3-D impression of whatever you press into them—in this case, your entire body. Along with the Lincoln-Way North Key Club, the Frankfort Fire Department helped construct the three walls by painstakingly inserting nearly 200,000 pins by hand. Their effort resulted in one of the museum's most popular interactive displays. More than that, it reflects the sense of community, curiosity, and creativity that the museum strives to engender in its patrons.

11 S White St
Frankfort,
IL
US

Throughout the Halloween season, mad scientists overrun a section of SciTech Hands On Museum to construct a haunted laboratory. The 20- to 25-minute, ghoul-infested journey hijacks 200 of the museum's interactive exhibits and exploits the brainpower of the museum's Fermilab physicist founders to create an experience as terrifyingly educational as a pre-calc class taught by a wild boar. Adults and older children brave enough to step across the spooky threshold will encounter wispy tendrils of smoke and fluttering strobe lights winding up and down the museum's two floors. Bubbling beakers, freakish goblins, the George Foreman Grill, and other byproducts of experiments gone horribly awry loom in the museum's shadowy corridors. Once troops have braved the Haunted Museum, the main museum awaits, where guests can interact with noncursed exhibits or slip into the gift shop or café.

18 W Benton St
Aurora,
IL
US

Johansen Farms started more than 85 years ago, when Hans Johansen and his family immigrated to Illinois from Copenhagen. Upon their arrival, the family started to grow and sell flowers and vegetables, slowly transforming their business from a roadside farm stand into a flourishing plant empire.

Today, sunlight filters into Johansen Farms’ 24 greenhouses, illuminating scarlet petals and verdant tendrils as they rise from beds of moist earth. Within these humid growing centers, gardeners cultivate more than 2,000 varieties of plants and flowers, from blooming annuals to hearty grasses. Guests meander at will, stopping to sniff baby flower buds and eye appetizing fruits and veggies.

710 W Boughton Rd
Bolingbrook,
IL
US

The Illinois Theatre Center enthralls audiences with a wide range of theatrical performances that range from offbeat musicals to retellings of classic dramas. The Spitfire Grill, a musical adaptation of director Lee David Zlotoff's award-winning film, revisits the tale of a young woman recently released from prison who gets a second lease on life and a studio apartment. Wistful comedy Heroes centers on the lives of three war veterans living in an old folks' home who spend their final days reminiscing about ration-packet picnics. All performances are held in an intimate 179-person theater.

371 Artists Walk
Park Forest,
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