Wheaton —How to spend an afternoon at the 500-acre estate if you’re bringing your …
Army veteran grandpa
The First Division Museum (admission is included in the park entrance fee: $5 per carload on weekdays, $10 on weekends) traces U.S. military history through the artifacts and artillery of a single infantry division. Most impressive: the walk-through re-creations of battles from World War I to Vietnam.
Master gardener aunt
The Rose Garden is the flashiest plot, but don’t let it distract you from the 160,000 other flowers, trees, and shrubs in this lush 29-acre landscape, designed by Franz Lipp, whose credits include greenery at the University of Notre Dame, Ravinia, and Lincoln Park Zoo.
Marvelous Mrs. Maisel–obsessed BFF
Tribune Company president Robert R. McCormick lived in the McCormick House until he died in 1955. It was turned into a museum three years later, so it retains unspoiled details such as a custom freezer that could hold 688 ice cubes — you know, enough for your average Saturday night at the art deco bar hidden in the library.
After warning your kids a million times not to touch anything in the McCormick House, let them loose on the 14 real (and climbable) pieces of military hardware peppering the Tank Park outside the First Division Museum.