10 Best Things to do in the Chicago Suburbs This Weekend
Looking to escape the hustle and bustle this weekend for a day out to remember? The wonderful suburbs of Chicago offer a huge range of attractions and experiences to satisfy the adventurous soul.
Here we look at the 10 best things to do this weekend to excite mind, body, and spirit outside of the metropolis.
10. Shopping in Oak Brook
If you’re looking for some retail therapy this weekend, look no further than the charming western suburb of Oak Brook, where you will find one of the largest malls in Illinois, the Oakbrook Center. Opened in 1962, the shopping center boasts a huge range of nearly 200 stores and restaurants.
There is nothing you won’t find at this iconic outdoor mall. Brands on offer include Macy’s, Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus, and the great range of eateries includes Cheesecake Factory, California Pizza Kitchen, Perry’s Steakhouse, and many more. So if you’re looking to forget the cares of the working week, you’ll be hard-pressed to find anywhere better than the Oakbrook Center.
Oak Brook, Illinois Market Report
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Located on the western edge of the beautiful Busse Woods nature reserve in the suburb of Schaumburg, the LEGOLAND® Discovery Center offers a wonderful day out for all the family. Packed full of amazing attractions and rides, boredom is banished at the Discovery Center. The ultimate indoor LEGO® playground is packed with enough entertainment even for the most energetic kids (and big kids), including MINILAND® - an entire Chicago cityscape made from over 1.5 million bricks - a LEGO® 4D cinema, and the LEGO® Master Builder Academy.
The LEGOLAND® Discovery Center is open 10am-7pm on weekends throughout the year. Tickets can be booked online, and are available from $25 each.
Schaumburg, Illinois Market Report
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Located in the quiet western suburb of Brookfield, and managed by the Chicago Zoological Society, Brookfield Zoo is home to over 450 species of animals set in nearly 100 acres of beautifully landscaped grounds. Opened in 1934, and internationally recognized for being the first zoo to use ditches and moats instead of cages to house its species, the zoo is the perfect destination for the sensitive animal lover looking to get closer to nature.
There are events and attractions throughout the year. Highlights include Dolphins in Action, the Hamill Family Wild Encounters, and the Big Cats. A wonderful family day is waiting at Brookfield Zoo.
Frank Lloyd Wright was one of the most influential architects of the 20th century. A true innovator, he developed the first distinctively American trend in housing design, known as the Prairie Style, and his philosophy of ‘organic architecture’ continues to influence today.
Discover the inspiring legacy of Lloyd Wright in Oak Park, the Chicago suburb where he lived and worked. The main attractions include his beautiful home and studio, which is open daily, and the iconic Unity Temple. Throughout the summer months, on Saturdays and Sundays, there are also walking tours around the suburb which take in the idyllic neighborhoods that the great architect pioneered.
Oak Park, Illinois Market Report
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If you’re looking for some light relief this weekend, there’s no better place to visit than The Comedy Vault. Located in a historic building in downtown Batavia, this venue is a new gem in the area offering popular comedy shows all year around.
Showcasing the best in American comedy, Batavia’s first-ever comedy club is a perfect venue for a lighthearted date or a fun night out with friends. A delicious selection of local food and drinks is served nightly, and for courageous audience members, there are weekly open mic nights. For those looking for a laugh, The Comedy Vault is the perfect destination.
If you want to tackle the big questions of science - What are we made of? How did the universe begin? How can we understand the intricacies of space and time? - then you should visit Fermilab this weekend. Located in a stunning park on the eastern side of the suburb of Batavia, the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, established in 1967, is the United States’ foremost particle physics laboratory.
The site hosts a programme of educational lectures and events including the popular Ask-a-Scientist every third Sunday of the month. But don’t let the scientific rigor of Fermilab intimidate you. The grounds are also home to a native prairie ecosystem, and even a roaming herd of wild bison. So whatever your interest in science or the natural world, Fermilab promises a great day out for all the family.
4. Riverwalk, Naperville
Established by the Naperville Park District in 1981 for the town’s 150th anniversary, this wonderful two-mile Riverwalk along the DuPage River is perfect for a tranquil afternoon stroll. It won’t just take you through the downtown, but through the history of Naperville itself.
It’s no surprise that this attraction is considered the ‘Crown Jewel’ of the suburb. Ambling along the meandering paths, the walker will find much to stimulate the senses, including beautiful fountains, expressive outdoor sculptures, and evocative wooden bridges. But don’t worry, it’s not all natural wonder. There are shops and restaurants too where you can kick back and snack on local culinary delights. For a memorable suburban experience this weekend, head to Naperville.
Naperville, Illinois Market Report
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If you’re a music lover, you will love Kiss The Sky record store in the beautiful western suburb of Batavia. Opened in 1996, the store has become a firm favorite of audiophiles, with its huge collection of vinyl, CDs and cassettes, as well as a great range of equipment including turntables and speakers.
More than just a record store, Kiss The Sky is at the heart of the community in ‘The Windmill City’. There are live shows every week in the dedicated performance area, and the store doubles as a café on the weekends. Whatever music you’re looking to immerse yourself in, you’ll be sure to find it at Kiss The Sky.
Looking for tranquility and time relaxing in the shade this weekend? Consider visiting the Morton Arboretum. Located in the leafy western village of Lisle, the Arboretum is a unique public garden with an enormous collection of over 4,100 different tree and plant species. The grounds also include an outdoor museum, a library, and a herbarium where a further 200,000 species are carefully cataloged.
Whether you’re seeking a peaceful stroll or an active family adventure, the Arboretum offers a variety of activities for all ages to enjoy. Attractions include extensive hiking trails, educational lectures, and a Children’s Garden. The opening is from 7am until sunset, and admission is from $11.
If you’re headed to the arboretum, don’t miss out on the Best Restaurants near the Morton Arboretum.
Lisle, Illinois Market Report
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Established in the early years of the 20th century, making it North America’s oldest outdoor music festival, Ravinia is an annual celebration of sound which plays host to a dizzying array of musical acts, from orchestras and operas to pop and rap performers, and absolutely everything in between.
Taking place in the beautiful Ravinia Park in the northern suburb of Highland Park, Ravinia Festival runs from May to September, with over 100 different concerts to whet the appetite of any music lover. Acts in recent years have included stars such as Stevie Nicks, Lady Gaga, and Windy City native Andrew Bird. As well as providing a thrilling musical experience, the Festival is also a great day out for all the family, with the park providing extensive grounds for picnicking and relaxation. If you want a weekend to remember, get your tickets for the Ravinia Festival.
Posted by Rafael Velasco on