The small and cleverly named town of Sandwich, Illinois is about a 2-hour drive from the interior of Chicago, and about a 40-minute drive from the neighboring city of Aurora. Like many of the other cities in Illinois, Sandwich is brimming with the history and tradition accustomed to small midwest towns. This guide of things to do in Sandwich was created with that in mind - to show travellers what discoveries they can make during their own visit.
1. Sandwich Opera House
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Finished at the end of 1878, the Sandwich Opera House was first used as a government office on the first floor and the theatre on the second. Over the decades, the town expanded and the building slow became disused but an interest in its well-being, in 1979, paved the way for the entire building to be saved and revived for its original purpose as a place of entertainment. These days the opera house holds events ranging from community theatre, weddings, music events, and more. Tickets are available through the opera house’s website or their Facebook page. There are reduced groups rates for parties over 10 guests. A stop at this historical site is a great way to get a glimpse of Sandwich’s interesting history as a town at the crossroads of America.
Sandwich Opera House
Address: 140 E Railroad St, Sandwich, IL 60548
Website: Sandwich Opera House
2. Sandwich Fair
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2017 will be the 130th gathering of the Sandwich Fair. Established in 1888, the Sandwich Fair is an annual celebration of all things Sandwich, Illinois. The Sandwich Fair has been voted the #1 Fair in all of Illinois and around 200,000 people attend it, each year. Each day of the fair has exciting exhibits including everything from lumberjacks, to music, to crafts, food, animals, comedy shows, and more. Several carnival rides are also present at the fair and most are suitable for all age groups. The vendors and entertainment change each year, providing a unique experience for each visit. Visitors can purchase a pass for all days the fair is on or passes for just a singular day. Most shows are included in general admission, but some events need to be reserved ahead of time and at an additional cost. Plenty of souvenirs are available for travellers to commemorate their memorable visit to the historic Sandwich Fair.
Address: 1401 Suydam Rd, Sandwich, IL 60548
Website: Sandwich Fair
3. Sandwich Antique Mart
Located on the eastern side of Sandwich, the oldest antique mart in Sandwich, Illinois, does not disappoint. This antique mart has an extensive collection of high-quality original craftsman furniture, garden supplies and pottery, dining glassware, and much more. Because items come and go, each visit to the antique mart could be a very different experience. The Sandwich Antique Mart occasionally holds special events such as ones themed around garden items, or for veterans. The best way to learn about any upcoming events is by contacting the mart itself, which visitors can do through their Facebook page.
Sandwich Antique Mart
Address: 2300 East Route 34 Sandwich, IL 60548
Facebook: Sandwich Antique Mart
4. Farnsworth House
Just a 10-minute drive outside of Sandwich is the Farnsworth House. Built in 1951, this interesting home was private until being bought in 2003. This modern architectural marvel was designed and created by the famous architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. A special treat for architecture fans the world over, this house is open as a public museum to showcase the blend of international architectural influences. Guests will note the unique style that blends together simple designs that integrate the home with the nature around it. Tickets are required to go on a tour of the home, and reservations are strongly encouraged. Tickets can be purchased over the phone, online, or at the visitor’s center (on an availability basis) and cost 20 USD for both adults and children (a 5 USD fee applied if tickets are purchased online or on site). Group tours are available should your party have more than 15 visitors. Private tours are also available for booking, over the phone.
Address: 14520 River Rd, Plano, IL 60545
Website: Farnsworth House
5. Prindi’s Antique Mall
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If you are looking for an antique shop but are unable to make the trip to east Sandwich to see the Sandwich Antique Mart, Prinidi’s is a good alternative. Its central location in downtown Sandwich makes it an easy to access stop. This antique mall provides collections from multiple dealers, all in the same 6,500 square foot (604 square meter) building, making antique hunting easy. Prindi’s Antique Mall has a diverse collection of antiques including books, furniture, jewelry, vinyl records, memorabilia, décor, and more. The mall is open seven days a week, Mondays through Saturdays 10am-5pm, and Sundays 11am-4pm. Prindi’s occasionally has sales on their collections so, if you are interested, contacting the owners for more information would be a good idea. The owners are very friendly and are more than happy to provide travellers with the locations of other antique stores, as well as lodging and restaurants, in the area.
Prindi's Antique Mall
Address: 2 E Railroad St, Sandwich, IL 60548
Website: Prindi’s Antique Mall
A classic American collection
Sandwich may look like a typical midwestern town, but there is much more to it than meets the eye. By looking past the surface, travellers can see what an interesting town Sandwich is and the fun activities it can provide. The community here is strong and bonded in such a way that only small towns can accomplish. Visiting Sandwich, even for a day, means that you are also joining this close-knit community that will stick with you, long after you leave.