Getting around the outskirts of a large city like Chicago can sometimes be a time-consuming activity. As another suburb of Chicago, Elmwood Park is able to provide the fun that comes with having a major city nearby, whilst still holding the look and communal feel of a small town. Elmwood Park is another town classified as a village. Its central location makes it the perfect starting point for a host of adventures in the greater Chicago area, so this guide will feature activities that are within a 30-minute drive of the neighborhood (at least according to Google Maps estimations!). Activities in the area include: architectural gems, theaters, animal attractions, casinos, and historical tours.
1. Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio (10 minute drive)
A ten-minute drive south will get you to this famous architectural site in Oak Park. Designed by the world-renowned architect Frank Lloyd Wright, the structure was where Wright and his family lived from 1889 to 1909. Visitors can go on a guided tour of the interior that takes about an hour. It is recommended that visitors purchase tickets on the Frank Lloyd Trust’s website. The tour is not recommended for young children. The cost is 18 USD for adults, and 15 USD for students, seniors over 65 years of age, and military. Children three years of age and younger enter for free.
Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio
Address: 951 Chicago Ave, Oak Park, IL 60302
Website: Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio
2. Rosemont Theatre (20 minute drive)
Just a 20-minute ride north of Elmwood Park will take to you up close to O’Hare International Airport and also to Rosemont, home of the Rosemont Theatre. Having hosted numerous well-known acts including musicians, comedians, magicians, ballet, and Broadway shows, this venue is a lively and popular location for all sorts of evening entertainment. The theatre is also host to many acts that are based in other languages, such as Spanish. Tickets to shows can be purchased online through Ticketmaster, or at the theatre’s box office.
Address: 5400 N River Rd, Rosemont, IL 60018
Website: Rosemont Theatre
3. Concord Music Hall (30 minute drive)
Another great music theatre if you’re in the mood for some evening fun. The Concord Music Hall is about a 30-minute drive east from Elmwood Park. Unlike the Rosemont, Concord only features music acts, but guests can expect a variety of music genres to be hosted by the Concord. Checking their website for the schedule of upcoming acts is a good idea whilst planning your travels. The box office at the theatre is open 5 days a week from Tuesday 1pm-7pm and Saturday noon-8pm. It is important to note that the box office may close early depending on when shows begin that evening. Visitors can also purchase tickets online through Ticketfly.com. Concord is available for private events, and can hold up to 1,500 people. The event team at Concord can help you plan the perfect event for you and your guests.
Concord Music Hall
Address: 2047 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60647
Website: Concord Music Hall
4. Rivers Casino Des Plaines (22 minute drive)
About a 22-minute drive north of Elmwood Park, 8 minutes past the Rosemont Theatre, is the Rivers Casino Des Plaines. The Rivers Casino has over 1,000 slot machines and 50 tables for card games including blackjack, roulette, Mississippi stud and more. There are seven dining locations in the casino including a buffet, coffee house, 2 bars, two casual restaurants, and a chophouse. Rivers is often host to live music acts of a variety of genres. The casino’s website has a list of upcoming events, so check that while planning your trip. The casino is open daily from 9am-7am and a great place to spend a fun evening full of entertainment in the Windy City.
Rivers Casino Des Plaines
Address: 3000 S. River Road Des Plaines, IL 60018
Website: Rivers Casino Des Plaines
5. Brookfield Zoo (25 minute drive)
The extensive Brookfield Zoo is one of the best in the country. It has 450 species of animals including several big cats, bears, aquatic animals, primates, birds and more. The zoo is open daily from 10am-5pm and is host to many special events throughout the year. General admission for adults is 19.85 USD, children ages 3 to 11 years old are 14.50 USD, and seniors ages 65 and older are 14.50 USD. Should you arrive in a group of more than 20 guests, there is a reduced rate, however tickets for groups must be reserved and paid for at least 7 days in advance. Those with military IDs can enjoy free admission in recognition of their services. There is an additional parking fee of 12 USD for cars, and 15 USD for busses. There are some attractions that require an additional fee for admission, but it typically does not go over 5 USD, these prices are halved for those holding a membership to the zoo. The Brookfield Zoo is a leader in sponsoring zoological research and conservation around the world, so a trip to this zoo is not just an entertaining day for you, but also a contribution to helping a positive environmental impact globally.
Address: 8400 W 31st St, Brookfield, IL 60513
Website: Brookfield Zoo
6. Chicago Prohibition Tours (30 minute drive)
Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account
Take a trip into days of Chicago’s past with this glimpse into Chicago’s history. This tour runs approximately 3 and a half hours long and takes travelers to 4 different speakeasy locations by bus. During each stop the guides will educate visitors on the history of the prohibition era and what kind of drinks visitors should order to really get into the atmosphere of the tour. Tickets sell out often, so purchasing ahead of time is a requirement. Guests can book on the tours website or by phone through EzTix. Reviewers have praised the knowledge of the guides and how much fun they made the tour. It certainly is a one of a kind tour that gets into the intimate history of Chicago.
Chicago Prohibition Tours
Address: 27 N Upper Wacker Dr Suite 126, Chicago, IL 60606
Website: Chicago Prohibition Tours
Location, location, location
Elmwood Park’s great location puts the best features of the Chicago suburbs at your fingertips. Whether you’re looking for a fun day at the zoo, or an exciting evening of entertainment, it won’t be hard to find something to make your stay in Elmwood Park perfect.
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