14 Best Things To Do In Wheeling, Illinois

things to do in wheeling illinois
| 4 min read

Wheeling’s neighbor city of Chicago might be more famous, but this suburb city in Illinois is also full of opportunities for entertainment. Enjoy the beauty of the North Shore area where activities for recreation and relaxation are tucked in every corner. Outdoor enthusiasts can explore the beauty of the Wheeling Park District while cuisine connoisseurs will delight in the booming antique trade of the area. Wheeling is just few minutes north of downtown Chicago, which means that even if you’re staying in an Airbnb with a hot tub or Vrbo vacation rental in Windy City, getting to these amazing Wheeling attractions is a breeze.

Even adrenaline junkies can satiate their adventure addiction with helicopter tours! A weekend in Wheeling is never dull. Check out the list below for the best things to do in Wheeling, Illinois.

1. Surround yourself with natural beauty at Potawatomi Woods

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Thinking of what to do in Wheeling, IL, with your family? Check this out! Potawatomi Woods is the second largest forest preserve in the county. It’s 300 acres (121.4 hectares) big and features a wide array of natural topographic and hydrographic wonders including grasslands, forested floodplains, groves, sedge meadows, prairies, creeks, and rivers. The preserve also features various plant and wildlife species, which include rare plants, trees, amphibians, reptiles, birds, fish, mammals, and so much more.

As one can easily imagine, the preserve’s natural beauty attracts so many nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts. Aside from sightseeing and wildlife watching, visitors can enjoy many outdoor activities here including fishing, hiking, kayaking, and more.

Potawatomi Woods

Address: Northbrook, IL 60062, United States

Website: Potawatomi Woods

Opening hours: 6am - 8:30pm (daily)

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2. Satisfy your seafood cravings at Bob Chinn's Crab House

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

As one of the oldest and biggest seafood restaurants in Wheeling, IL, Bob Chinn’s Crab House is not just a favorite go-to family restaurant but an actual local institution! Serving lunch and dinner, the restaurant specializes in providing the freshest seafood, which is delivered fresh every day by high-quality providers and, of course, prepared and cooked the best possible way.

While Bob Chinn’s Crab House may be known for its delicious seafood dishes, from shrimps and oysters to crabs, guests can also order a variety of non-seafood dishes including burgers, steaks, and chicken.

Bob Chinn's Crab House

Address: 393 S Milwaukee Ave, Wheeling, IL 60090, United States

Website: Bob Chinn’s Crab House

Opening hours: Sun - Thu: 12pm - 8pm; Fri - Sat: 12pm - 9pm

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3. Dine, shop, or watch a movie at Wheeling Town Center

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Wheeling Town Center is one of the foremost destinations in town when one wants to dine, shop, or watch a movie with family or friends. The expansive complex features several retail shops, a cozy café, a number of bars and restaurants, a recreation center, service centers, a bank, an entertainment venue, and beautifully landscaped parks.

The highlight of the whole entertainment complex, though, is definitely the cinema. It features a luxurious theater with 10 screens and 40,000 square feet (3,716 square meters) of space. Since Wheeling Town Center is adjacent to the Wheeling Metro Station, getting to and from the place is a breeze.

Wheeling Town Center

Address: 375 W Dundee Rd, Wheeling, IL 60090, United States

Website: Wheeling Town Center

Opening hours: 4:30am - 11pm (daily)

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4. Putt 'til you drop at Par-King Skill Golf

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Par-King Skill Golf is a mini-golf destination where kids and kids at heart will surely have a great time putting under the sun. It is located in the village of Lincolnshire, which is about 10 minutes north of Wheeling. This amazing place is not your usual mini-golf destination as it features two 18-hole putting courses with 19 motorized moving obstacles and 7 waterholes, offering a fun and challenging mini-golf experience for the whole family—from expert putters to first-time golfers.

So if ever you’re visiting Wheeling, IL, and you’re thinking if there are any outdoor activities nearby, check out Par-King Skill Golf!

Par-King Skill Golf

Address: 21711 N Milwaukee Ave, Lincolnshire, IL 60069, United States

Website: Par-King Skill Golf

Opening hours: 10:30am - 6pm (daily)

Price: 10 USD

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5. Dive in at the Wheeling Aquatic Center

Posted by Wheeling Park District on Tuesday, 28 March 2017

The Wheeling Aquatic Center brings the beach to central Illinois. The whole family can dive into fun with multiple water slides, sand volleyball courts, and a water basketball play area. Splash in the Lily Pad Lagoon or lounge on the sandy play area of Keiki Island. Your aquatic adventure won’t be complete without a ride down the slides of Paradise Falls and Volcano Valley. You can also dive into the snacks at Willie’s Coconut Café when you get hungry.

Wheeling Aquatic Center

Address: 327 W. Dundee Road, 60090 Wheeling, IL

Website: Wheeling Aquatic Center

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6. Wheeling Historical Museum

Posted by Wheeling Historical Society & Museum on Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Wheeling has a long history of supporting the tourists of the area. As travelers made their way along the Milwaukee Avenue in the Wisconsin territory, they would stop by the inns, taverns, and eateries in Wheeling. The Wheeling Historical Museum documents the story of the community as it expanded into the thriving city it is today. Stop by the museum to learn more about the area’s past and to see how the town celebrates its history.

Wheeling Historical Museum

Address: 131 N Wolf Rd, 60090 Wheeling, IL

Website: Wheeling Historical Museum

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7. Get a bird’s eye view of Chicago

Vista del Skyline de Chicago desde el Planetario, Illinois, Estados Unidos, 2012-10-20, DD 05
Source: Photo by user Diego Delso used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Take a tour of the iconic Chicago skyline from the sky. Go sightseeing in the Windy City from inside a helicopter and revel in unparalleled views of the city’s architecture and famous landmarks. Expeditions with Chicago Helicopter Tours offer excellent views of sites like Wrigley Field, Sears Tower, and Navy Pier. Soar over the suburbs and revel in the stunning views from a bird’s eye perspective.

Chicago Helicopter Tours

Address: 1071 South Wolf Road, Hangar 10 / Bay 4, 60090 Wheeling, IL

Website: Chicago Helicopter Tours

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8. Expand your cultural knowledge at the Korean Cultural Center

Posted by Korean Cultural Center of Chicago on Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Fill your day with art and history at the non-profit Korean Cultural Center. Education has never been so enjoyable as the center is full of interactive ways to learn about Korean traditions. Through exhibits of photography and painting, cooking classes, and musical concerts, the colorful history and heritage of Korea come to life. An afternoon of learning creates an unforgettable cultural experience.

Korean Cultural Center

Address: 9930 Capitol Dr, 60090 Wheeling, IL

Website: Korean Cultural Center

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9. Feast on fine dining along Restaurant Row

Frequent Diners: Today is your day...It's Triple Points Monday! Indulge in your favorites and earn 3X the rewards. #lettucelove #saranellos #wheeling

Posted by Saranello's on Monday, 7 November 2016

Foodies rejoice in the culinary journey of Restaurant Row. Milwaukee Avenue in Wheeling is home to some of the best dining experiences along Chicago’s North Shore. From fast casual to fine dining, the eateries along this lively street compose a vibrant food scene of Chicago staples and international fare. Over the years, Restaurant Row has developed into a renowned locale for cuisine connoisseurs to sample the dishes of award-winning chefs and relax in the peaceful atmosphere along the Des Plaines River.

Restaurant Row

Address: Milwaukee Avenue, 60090 Wheeling, IL

Website: Restaurant Row

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10. Unwind in Cook County Forest Preserve

OCTOBER Horsetail Sunrise at Horsetail Lake by Jack Martin (October 2011)

Posted by Forest Preserve District of Cook County on Monday, 17 October 2016

The Des Plaines River creates a beautiful backdrop to the northern suburbs of Chicago. When the hustle and bustle of the city overwhelm you, escape to the quiet beauty of Cook County Forest Preserve. Admire the peaceful scenery as you meander along the trails or ride your bike through the oak woodlands. The opportunities for leisurely recreation are endless. Spend the day horseback riding, hiking, boating, or simply enjoying a picnic at one of the 283 picnic groves.

Cook County Forest Preserve

Address: 701 S Milwaukee Ave, 60090 Wheeling, IL

Website: Cook County Forest Preserve

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11. Knock them down at Pinheads Jeffery Lanes

Posted by Pinheads Jeffery Lanes on Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Have a ball at Pinheads Jeffery Lanes bowling alley. The casual atmosphere and great drinks menu make for a night of fun with friends and family. With bowling, pool, electronic gaming, and a fantastic staff, Pinheads offers a fun night out while in Wheeling.

Pinheads Jeffery Lanes

Address: 125 N Wolf Rd, 60090 Wheeling, IL

Website: Pinheads Jeffery Lanes

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12. Have a pleasant afternoon at Pleasant Run Park

#10: Wheeling- my hometown has some of the best parks! Rubber band ground (it seriously looks like a ton of rubber bands!) is the bomb!!

Posted by Love Life as Mom on Thursday, 26 May 2016

Savor a leisurely day in the oak-filled Pleasant Run Park. Roam along the nature trails or take the walking paths that run through the wetland preservation area. For more energetic activity, hop onto the basketball court or head over to one of the other athletic fields. Cycling enthusiasts can ride along the Pleasant Run Loop, which stretches to Lake Arlington in an approximately 11-kilometer (7-mile) trail.

Pleasant Run Park

Address: 1160 Honeysuckle Dr, 60090 Wheeling, IL

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13. Hone your horticulture knowledge at Chicago Botanic Garden

Chicago Botanic Garden 2
Source: Photo by user Hafiz Issadeen used under CC BY-ND 2.0

A 20-minute drive from Wheeling is the gem of the Chicago Botanic Garden. For over 40 years, the garden has served the public as a living museum of horticulture. Ramble through the 31 different gardens for a sensory overload of brilliant colors, textures, and scents.

Participate in a public workshop like a cooking class or tai chi workout organized by the Regenstein School. Stroll through exhibitions of fine art, photography, and plant displays. Reconnect with nature as you engage with the beauty of the botanical garden.

Chicago Botanic Garden

Address: 1000 Lake Cook Road, 60022 Glencoe, IL

Website: Chicago Botanic Garden

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14. Tee up at Chevy Chase Country Club

What are you doing right now? These guys are finishing up a round of golf on February 17! #FebGolf

Posted by Chevy Chase Country Club on Friday, 17 February 2017

Indulge in a tranquil round on the green at this championship golf course. The clubhouse and course were originally built in 1927, but renovations have given the establishment a lavish update. With contoured bent-grass fairways, new bunkering, and a renovated bar and grill, the Chevy Chase Country Club is a luxurious way to spend the day. Playing 18 holes on this lush, immaculate course is a memorable experience, with the classic Tudor-style clubhouse standing in the distance. When you are ready to hang up your clubs, head over to the beautifully refurbished dining rooms for your choice of splendid food and beverage options.

Chevy Chase Country Club

Address: 1000 North Milwaukee Ave., 60090 Wheeling, IL

Website: Chevy Chase Country Club

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Visit Chicago’s coolest suburb

Travel to the North Shore area for casual recreation, a vibrant restaurant scene, and a chance to learn more about the history of the area. A weekend in Wheeling provides the conveniences of a cosmopolitan life while maintaining small-town charm.

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Frequently asked questions about the best things to do in Wheeling, Illinois

  • What are the best attractions to visit in Wheeling?

    Wheeling may not be as popular as its neighbor city, but it sure does have lots of top-notch attractions to enjoy such as Wheeling Aquatic Center, Wheeling Town Center, the Wheeling Historical Museum, and Cook County Forest Preserve, just to name a few.

  • What are the best activities in Wheeling?

    With so many attractions in Wheeling, you can expect a whole lot of fun activities here for various interests as well. That includes outdoor recreational activities in Cook County Forest Preserve and Potawatomi Woods, wining and dining at Restaurant Row and Wheeling Town Center, and fun family activities at Wheeling Aquatic Center and Par-King Skill Golf.

Any must-sees we missed? Tell us about them in the comments section or write a post here to help out fellow travelers!
Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.


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Hannah is a freelance writer, list making aficionado, and world traveler currently based in Germany. She is an avid explorer, and believes in creating new experiences to put on her bucket list to...Read more

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