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Alton Hauntings Tours
Based on the book Haunted Alton by Troy Taylor, Alton Hauntings Tours offers an entertaining and spine-tingling trip into the unknown, taking visitors to the most authentic haunted places in Alton. Uncover the eerie folklore, ghostly tales and documented haunted spots on a three-hour walking tour of the city’s most haunted sites. Visitors will see sites that have become nationally known, like the old Alton penitentiary, First Unitarian Church, Enos Sanitarium and many others. The tours have been proven to be popular with ghost enthusiasts and history buffs alike, and nowhere else can you learn as much about the real, haunted history of Alton. Walking tours and bus tours are offered during two touring seasons – Spring & Summer and the Haunted Fall Season. Private tours are also available for groups of 20 or more. Reservations must be made in advance for all tours.
Chicago Pedway Tour
The Chicago Pedway Tour will lead you through the Pedway, the backdrop for an amusing and enlightening tour of some of the hot-spots (or a least warm-spots) of downtown Chicago. The tour focuses on interesting anecdotes and tales about some of the great buildings downtown, but it’s also a study of the city underneath the city. The Pedway is a strange and wonderful place and adds so much to the city’s personality. These are great tours for Chicagoans who want to learn more about the city and for tourists who want a full Chicago experience without ever going outside. The tour is 90 minutes and is $20. Monday/Thursday/Saturday at 10:30 am. Please note: the start location for the Monday and Thursday tour is at 40 W. Lake St. in the “Gallery of Shops.” The start location for the Saturday tour is at start at Block 37 – 108 N. State St.
David Davis Mansion
The David Davis Mansion was the home of Judge David Davis, the friend, mentor and campaign manager for Abraham Lincoln. The elegant 36-room Victorian home tells the story of the generation that led the United States through the Civil War and early years of Reconstruction. Take a tour of the lavishly decorated mansion, where you’ll learn about the important friendship between Davis and Lincoln, and get a peek at what life was like for a wealthy Victorian-era family.
Chicago Architecture Foundation
Experience Chicago's world renowned architecture with one of 80+ different tours offered by The Chicago Architecture Foundation (CAF). Explore by boat, foot, bus, bicycle or Segway, and choose from tours such as the Devil in the White City tour, Lights, Camera, Architecture! tour, the Daniel Burnham Tour and many others. Interested in the boat tour? Only the Chicago Architecture Foundation and Chicago's First Lady Cruises can showcase Chicago's world renowned city architecture with style, class and comfort. Learn more at www.cruisechicago.com. Also offered: FREE exhibitions, programs and workshops, youth education, family programs and an architecture and design-themed retail store. Private tours and group tour rates available. Open daily 9:30-5:00.
Chicago Food Planet Tours
Take the 3-hour food tasting and cultural walking Chicago tours, which combine delicious food and drink tastings with some serious fun in Chicago’s most delicious, off-the-beaten-path neighborhoods. Suitable for all age groups and fitness levels, you’ll experience delectable foods from one-of-a-kind specialty food stores and ethnic eateries while receiving an insiders view into the culture, history and architecture that defines the Windy City. Walk away with new culinary perspectives, big smiles, satisfied taste buds and the confidence to continue exploring the areas where locals live.
Argyle Lake State Park
Find serenity at this beautiful 1700-acre wooded park situated along an old stagecoach route between Galena and Beardstown. Featuring 95-acre Argyle Lake, the park is home to countless beaver dams and more than 200 bird species and 5 miles of hiking and biking trails.
August Hill Winery
Visit the August Hill Winery & Illinois Sparkling Co. tasting room and experience locally-made handcrafted wines. Wine tastings and flights, wine gifts & accessories, gallery of local art, outdoor patio, private events. Open Monday - Thursday, 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM, Friday - Saturday, 10:00 AM - 8:00 PM & Sun 11:00 AM - 5:00 PM.
Chicago Greeter Service
Explore Chicago with a friendly, knowledgeable Chicago Greeter as your guide! Visitors can register for a free 2-4 hour guided walking tour of a neighborhood or special local interest of their choice. This free service matches an individual, family or small group of friends with one of over 200 enthusiastic volunteer Greeters who love sharing their expertise and passion about the city and all there is to see and do here. For more information, visit http://www.explorechicago.org/city/en/things_see_do/tours/tourism/chicago_greeter_tours.html.
Funks Grove Pure Maple Sirup
Guided tours offered during February and March that show syrup making by the "Boiling Down" process. Gift store stocked with syrup as well as Route 66 memorabilia.
Bobby's Bike Hike Chicago Tours
Tour Chicago on a cool cruiser-style bicycle and follow a guide who makes brief stops at the most popular sights, providing light-hearted commentary that will keep you entertained. Some fun rides include the Lakefront Neighborhoods Tour, Bikes, Bites and Brews Tour, and the Southside Gangster Tour.
Mineral Springs Haunted Tours
Take an eight-block tour of some of the haunted locations in downtown Alton, investigate the four floors of the Mineral Springs Hotel, be part of a seance and top the evening off with a tarot card reading. All tours begin and end at the Mineral Springs Mall. Tour options include New Moon Haunted Tours, Waking the Dead Walking Tours, Cemetery Tours and Haunted Overnights.
Galena Main Street Walking Tours with General Grant
Partake in an one-hour tour with one of Galena's most notable citizens, General Ulysses S. Grant, and explore the historic highlights of this award-winning Main Street. The tour also features the 'Field of Dreams' movie locations that were captured in downtown Galena. Reservations are not required to join in the tour.
Prairie Fruits Farm
Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery is Illinois' first farmstead cheese making facility. Visit this off-the-beaten-path farm and learn about their cheese-making process and their "Animal Welfare Approved" Goat Dairy. Taste their delicious, award winning varieties of goat cheese and sample their amazing goat milk gelato, and organic fruits —fresh picked, of course. During the summer, you can visit their farm during Wednesday afternoon "Open House" (4 to 6 PM) where you can roam the farm and visit with the baby goats as you pick your own fruits and browse the assorted goodies they have to offer! This is a working farm, so check their website for hours and activities before venturing out to the farm.
Watson Adventure Scavenger Hunts
Explore museums, historic neighborhoods and more while hunting for answers to tricky, humorous questions. Monthly hunts are offered for the public and private groups.
Geneva's Christmas Walk & House Tour
On Friday evening, Santa Lucia arrives by horse-drawn carriage and Santa arrives to open his Gingerbread House. Enjoy carolers, the Great Tree lighting, roasted chestnuts, Swedish cookies, and old-fashioned candy cane pull, and holiday shopping. On Friday & Saturday, five distinctive homes festively decorated for the holidays by local decorators open their doors to visitors for self-guided tours.
MetroWalkz Self-Guided Walking Tours
Our numerous self-guided walking tours with easy-to-use maps and insider narratives make sightseeing a breeze. Current tours include Loop Architecture, Millennium Park, Navy Pier, Magnificent Mile, Museum Campus, Grant Park, Chinatown, Old Town, Gold Coast and the West Loop.
Ludwig Farmstead Creamery
Guests can tour the farm, watch how several types of cheese are made and sample some of Ludwig's products for just $5.00. Tours can be scheduled for groups of 10 or more throughout the week or on Saturdays for groups of less than ten or individuals. The Creamery sits on Feathercreek Farm, a 150-acre, fifth-generation family farm originally settled in 1866. The Ludwig family's primary business is the care and breeding of high pedigree, purebred Holstein dairy cattle.
Mt. Carroll Garden Walk
Stroll the brick streets and enjoy unique historic architecture while viewing beautiful flower, perennial and water gardens. Garden vendors and a farmer's market will be stationed in the Courthouse Square.
CITY: Mount Carroll
Frank Lloyd Wright's Home and Studio
Wright's Oak Park Home and Studio served as his primary residence and studio from 1889-1909. Offers guided interior tours, highlighting family life and Wright's use of this complex as a living laboratory developing his principles.
CITY: Oak Park
Ballard Nature Center
Just minutes away from the city but a world away, Ballard Nature Center is home to dozens of species of birds and wildlife. Natural prairie, wetlands, butterfly and hummingbird gardens, ponds and creeks round out the outdoor experience.
Cedarhurst Center for the Arts & Mitchell Museum
Exhibitions, a children's gallery, a permanent collection and special events. Grounds include 85 acres sculpture park, nature trails and bird sanctuary. Hosts annual Cedarhurst Craft Fair.
CITY: Mount Vernon
Shoal Creek Nature Preserve
This 260-acre site offers nature trails for visitors to explore wetlands, prairie openings, and sandstone bluffs and ledges. The preserve is home to more than 700 plants and 70 bird species, including bald eagles during the winter months.
Ellwood Elegance Tours
Start your holiday season by taking a guided tour of the decorated Ellwood House mansion. Local businesses, decorators, college groups, and clubs help to present the home in a new, elegant way each year. This is the place to get ideas for your own decorating or view what times were like while the Ellwood's inhabited the opulent home. Special holiday tours begin on Saturday, November 16 and continue through December 5. Closed Mondays and Thanksgiving weekend. Please book your holiday tour in advance by calling (815)756-4609. On December 6th – 8th the Ellwood House Museum presents the 3-day Holiday Open House. Tour guides will be stationed in twelve locations throughout the festive four floors of the mansion to share information about the architecture and the Ellwood family. Holiday Open House Hours: Friday, December 6, 7 – 9 p.m. Saturday, December 7, 1 – 5 p.m. Sunday, December 8, 1 – 5 p.m. ?Tickets $10.00 for adults and $3.00 for children.??
Riverside Walking Tours
Take a walk through Riverside's history by spending the afternoon with the Frederick Law Olmsted Society, your guide to learning more about the village's unique community and landscape design. Riverside was designed in 1869 by famous landscape architects Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux.
Sculpture on the Avenue
Come explore the sculptures that have transformed the City of Effingham's avenues into an art gallery! Over 40 sculptures created by some of the Midwest's best known and unknown sculptors bring life to the streets of Effingham through this outdoor exhibition. The Sculpture on the Avenues program is a self-guided walking tour that begins at City Hall in downtown Effingham. From there, the exhibition winds in and out of downtown Effingham. An informative guide, which facilitates a walking tour, is available at Effingham hotels, downtown businesses, the Effingham Visitor Center (Tourism Office) and City Hall.
Chicago Chocolate Tours
Take a fun, educational guided walking and tasting tour of select chocolate shops along the Magnificent Mile or in the Loop. Learn about the history of chocolate and sample chocolate delights on this tasty tour
Boone County Conservation District
The enchanting charm of Boone County’s Buffalo Creek creates a picturesque scene of nature at its finest. With a mission of preserving nature for generations to come, the area offers numerous educational events and festivals.
Andersonville & Edgewater: Chicago Neighborhood Tours
Discover the gay-friendly shops and restaurants of Andersonville, then head to Edgewater to see Art Deco and Tudor Revival architecture in the Bryn Mawr Historic District. Tours depart from the Chicago Cultural Center.
Northwestern University Walking Tours
Founded in 1851, Northwestern University is a renowned educational institution rich in history and architecture. More than 150 historically significant and interesting sites on campus are featured in various 30-minute walking tours.
Chicago Photo Safaris
A professional photographer takes visitors to a landmark Chicago destination while giving tips on composition, lighting and exposure. These sessions are for photographers of any skill level with any kind of camera, digital or film.
Charnley-Persky House Museum
Frank Lloyd Wright and Louis Sullivan designed this Gold Coast residence, now the home of the Society of Architectural Historians. Open for tours.
TREC Recreation Trails
The TREC trail system is a public trail designed to create recreational opportunities. The trails provide a great place for visitors to exercise, whether its walking, riding bikes, or roller blading. The mission is to develop a countrywide, multi-use trail system, educate the communities on the benefits of the trails, and promote an active lifestyle by providing recreational activities.
Christmas at Clover Lawn
The David Davis Mansion's annual holiday celebration, Christmas at Clover Lawn, runs from November 28 through December 29th. Tours are offered Wednesday through Sunday from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm. Tours are free, but donations are welcome. Create holiday memories with your family by visiting the David Davis Mansion, all decked out for the holidays. Antique dolls and toys, spectacular evergreens, more than 15 decorated trees, and hundreds of 19th-century paper and glass ornaments turn the house and grounds into a Yuletide wonderland.
Rosiclare River Walk
Located in Rosiclare City Park, the River Walk offers great views of the Ohio River. The walk is handicapped accessible with benches for those who want to rest and enjoy the view.
Kennekuk County Park
The 3000 acre park includes a seven mile backpack trail among its 15 miles of trail system. Boats and canoes are available for rental in season, and seven lakes are available for fishing. Hunting of pheasant, rabbit, squirrel, dove, waterfowl, goose, mushrooms, turkey, and deer is permitted (Illinois and Vermilion County Conservation District regulations apply).
The Ragdale Foundation
Art, architecture, and garden tours of Howard Van Doren Shaw's summer retreat. The house and gardens, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places among examples of the Arts and Crafts movement in the country. It house 12 artists at a time.
CITY: Lake Forest
Embark on a three-hour walking tour that's an unforgettable food adventure, offering the traditional tastes of Chicago.
Aurora Downtown Walking Tour
Take a self-guided tour of Aurora's historic downtown. Tour brochures are available at the Aurora Area Convention and Visitor's Bureau.
Joliet Mosaic Walking Tour
Take a self-guided walking tour of the magnificent murals, sculptures and mosaics found throughout Joliet's city center.
Formerly known as the Illinois Asylum for the Incurable Insane. Come take a tour and hear stories of the history of the hospital, employees and the inmates. See how this nationally recognized historic
Illumination: Tree Lights at the Morton Arboretum
Come to The Morton Arboretum this holiday season to see trees in a different light! Tickets on sale now! Illumination will engage your senses with dazzling projections, trees that respond to your touch and sound, and vivid, electric colors throughout. This is an outdoor event on a one-mile, gently rolling, paved path that takes approximately one and one-half hours to complete. Please dress for the weather. Food and beverage concessions are available for purchase. Walking along the paved trail you can hug a tree to make it grow brighter, sing to a tree and watch it change color, interact with light and color with a swipe of your hand, and many more surprising experiences around every turn! Also, be sure to warm up next to fire pits while enjoying hot cocoa, s'mores, and other delights, visit the Enchanted Railroad and stop in to browse the holiday wares at The Arboretum Store, and enjoy energy-efficient, environmentally-friendly LED lighting that provides beautiful, powerful color while consuming only half the power of traditional incandescent lights. Please note, the event closed November 28, December 2, 9, 16, 24, 25.
Dr. Charles Wright House
Built in 1889 by Dr. C.M. Wright, this stately Renaissance Revival home holds three generations of Wright family furnishings, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Oak Park Visitors Center Walking Tour
This PDA guided tour will show you the evolution of architecture in Oak Park, from the Victorian period through to Prairie School and the 1930s Art Deco period. Hear the reflections of the famous people who walked these streets and nurtured their creativity in Oak Park.
CITY: Oak Park
Walldog Walking Tour
Walldog sign and mural artists trace their trade back to the signpainters of old who painted advertisements on walls in communities all over the country. They worked like dogs in the hot sun and thus came to be known as "wall dogs". Walldog artists traveled from all over the world to paint our murals. Artists came from as far as New Zealand, with others coming from British Columbia, Hawaii, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Texas, California and many other locations. The walls were painted not only by visiting Walldogs, but also by anyone from the community who wanted to help.
Belvidere Holiday Walk
Travel back in time for a glimpse of holidays in seasons past. Luminaries will light the way to our log cabins where pioneer families will be celebrating. They might even be serving holiday goodies! Stop by and share your holiday wishes with a Civil War era Santa. Enjoy freshly popped corn along the way and come inside the Nature Center to listen to the sound of music. Held on the Festival Grounds in Spencer Conservation Area.
General Grant Walking Tour
Whether you are a history buff or someone who is just looking for insight behind the makeup of Galena, join in an one-hour walking tour with Galena's own General Ulysses S. Grant on Main Street in downtown Galena. Periodically, his fellow eight Civil War generals make an appearance. Be on the lookout!
Center Children's Farm
Experience life down on the farm during guided family tours, or take a hike on the peaceful nature trail.
CITY: Palos Park
Come and enjoy this annual downtown Tuscola event featuring craft vendors, a house walk, breakfast with Santa, a parade, the "Santa Chase" 5k run/walk, children's games, Madrigal Dinner at the community center and more!
Joliet Prison Park
Once you arrive, a huge steel and barbed wire entry sign will beckon you into a park unlike any other. Information kiosks on site offer an insight into the prison’s past and inmate history, as well as the famous films that have been shot here.
William Tanner House
Built in 1856, this Italianate is home to the Aurora Historical Museum which offers tours of the fully furnished home.
Mt. Carroll Walking Tour
Take a self-guided walking tour through Mt. Carroll's historic district, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
CITY: Mount Carroll
Victorian Christmas on the Woodstock Square
Not to be missed is Woodstock's Victorian Christmas celebration that begins each Thanksgiving weekend. The Square glows with thousands of miniature lights illuminating the buildings and trees for the annual Festival of Lights. Carolers stroll the streets and visitors can take horse-drawn carriage rides around the Square. Friday November 29, 2013, 7:00pm. Lighting of the Square Sunday December 1, 2013, 2:00pm. Holiday Parade. Every Friday and Saturday November 29, 2013-December 21, 2013 Carriage Rides around the Square.
River Forest Methodist Church
First stop of the Frank Lloyd Wright Preservation Trusts' River Forest Walking Tour.
CITY: River Forest
Effingham County Courthouse
The courthouse was built in 1871 after Effingham was named the county seat. The courhouse retains a pristine exterior and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It also features a museum inside. The museum displays two rooms devoted to the military, which gets changed throughout the year. It also has a room dedicated to the railroads in Effingham County. The Effingham County Courthouse is open Tuesday and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Christmas Home Tours
Visit Historic Golconda, and tour 4 homes, 1 church and the local museum. Christmas in the courtyard begins at 5:30pm with refreshments and a visit from Santa.
Sweet Autumn Clematis Festival
See and smell hundreds of feet of walls covered in Autumn Clematis; followed by punch served in Luther Hall. The event runs from 10:00am- 5:00pm.
Luminary Night On Stephenson and Lincoln Streets
Enjoy the beauty of the soft light of luminaries and the architecture of these historic homes as you stroll this lovely residential neighborhood. Also, enjoy hot cocoa and cookies. Stephenson Street and Lincoln Boulevard from West Street to Park Boulevard.
Walking Tour of Historic Riverside
The Frederick Law Olmsted Society is pleased to offer great opportunities to learn about our historic landmark village. Discover the winding roads, delightful parks, beautiful landscapes, varied architecture and much more!
Constructed in 1857 as the southern division of the Illinois State Supreme Court, Abraham Lincoln successfully argued a famous tax case in 1859. In 1888, Clara Barton used the building as a hospital. Tours are available. Please call in advance.
CITY: Mount Vernon
Franklin Creek Grist Mill & Interpretive Center
This four-story, reconstructed 1847 grist mill features a four-ton waterwheel and displays of 1800s milling equipment.
CITY: Franklin Grove
University of Illinois Champaign Urbana
The University of Illinois is a world leader in research, teaching and public engagement. It's distinguished by the breadth of their programs, broad academic excellence and internationally renowned faculty. This Big Ten school offers rich experiences beyond the classroom from the best in performing arts to world-class sports. Discover the scenic campus through tours of the historic buildings and those that are pushing the envelope in technology.
National Shrine of St. Therese/Carmelite Visitors Center
DuPage County, Chicago's Western Suburbs - The National Shrine of St. Therese is a Roman Catholic shrine, chapel, and museum dedicated to St. Therese of Lisieux. The Shrine is home to the most wonderful collection of relics, personal effects and memorabilia of Therese outside of France. Tours of the Shrine are available for groups of 20 or more, including a private tour of an exact replica of St. Therese's monastery cell in France. The shrine sits peacefully on a 50-acre estate owned and operated by the Carmelites of the Most Pure Heart of Mary. Adjacent to the Shrine is the Carmelite Spiritual Center, offering meeting room rental, lodging, meals and spiritual retreats as well as organized Shrine tours.
Frye Pottery is located in a beautiful country setting. The Frye's have been professional potters for nearly thirty years. They have made award winning ceramic art as well as functional stoneware pottery designed for everyday use. Frye Pottery also has a sculpture garden for visitors to enjoy.
Teutopolis Monastery Museum
See displays of early life in this German Catholic community, founded in 1838. The first Franciscans arrived in October 1858, and the three priests and six brothers quickly set about building a parish and friary.
In 1992, something astonishing happened in the historic city of Woodstock, Illinois. People came to town and roped off the picturesque city square, moved all sorts of equipment into the park and started playing the Pennsylvania Polka, over and over and over again. They were filming a movie that has become a favorite of young and old for more than 20 years, and the city gathers each year to remember the fun and celebrate the special community that Woodstock has always been. There are events for everyone during this celebration: Groundhog trivia, free viewing of "Groundhog Day" at the movie theater, walking tours of the film sites, a Chili cook-off, a dinner and dance, bowling, bags tourney, and a pancake breakfast. The main event for Groundhog Day is the annual prognostication. Gather on the Woodstock Square to see Woodstock Willie emerge from his tree trunk home. If he sees his shadow, it means there will be 6 more weeks of winter and if he doesn’t see his shadow, it means we will have an early Spring.
Kewanee Lighted Parade and Windmont Park Lighting
View Kewanee’s magical wonderland of vivid colors and whimsical lights celebrating the spirit of the Christmas season. Open daily 5 p.m. – 10 p.m. through New Years Day.