Things to Do in the Northwest Suburbs of Chicago
The northwest suburbs of Chicago
have several popular attractions that keep visitors coming. Shaumberg is a popular shopping destination. Arlington Park is well-known for its thoroughbred race track. Oak Park has Frank Lloyd Wright's former home and studio that is now a National Historic Landmark. It is just a short walk to 20th century author Ernest Hemingway's birthplace and museum. You won't want to miss these, but you may want to check out these lesser known attractions.
Learn about Train Travel
The Illinois Railway Museum bills itself as the largest railroad museum in the United States. It houses steam and diesel locomotives, streetcars and interurbans. Visitors can take a 1-mile streetcar ride or a 9.5-mile ride on a train. The museum also hosts several special events, such as a ride on Thomas the Tank Engine, its Halloween haunted train ride and a holiday train.
Illinois Railway Museum
7000 Olson Rd.
Union, IL 60180
Explore Earth and Space
The Cernan Earth and Space Center at Chicago's Triton College welcomes the general public for laser light shows, sky shows and children's shows. Visitors learn about the universe, astronomy, earth science and space exploration. The 100-seat dome theater features planetarium shows. Visitors are also welcome for monthly Skywatch programs, when they can see the moon and stars through telescopes set up on the Center's lawn.
Cernan Earth and Space Center
2000 Fifth Ave.
River Grove, IL
Play in the Water
Blackberry Farm is a living history farm on 54 acres with five museums. One of the five is the Carriage House, which contains 40 carriages, sleighs and farm vehicles. The Streets Museum is designed to look like streets in towns of the Victorian era. Stores on the streets are recreated, such as a general store, music shop, a drug store, a photography shop and toy store. Renactors demonstrate daily tasks and craft making of that era. Visitors will see weaving, spinning, blacksmithing, just to name a few. They can also take hayrides and pony rides, take a ride on a miniature train and see a farm cabin.
100 S. Barnes Road
Aurora, IL 60506
Susan Miller has been a professional journalist since 1990. She edited two weeklies for a chain of suburban newspapers and has written for the "Indianapolis Star," the "Indianapolis Business Journal" and several magazines, among other publications and websites. Miller studied design, photography and technology at Purdue University and Central Piedmont Community College.
Photo courtesy Arlington Park Raceway