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Combine a chartered road trip with an educational destination and you have just what you need for a memorable event for your classroom or youth group. Does your group want to take a virtual step back in time or explore science museums? There are plenty of destinations in the area that will make learning fun, and all are located within about three hours of downtown Chicago. Don’t forget to make reservations for your group.


Cantigny Park

1S151 Winfield Road
Wheaton, IL 60189
(630) 668-5161

Does your group want to learn about military history, explore a mansion and maybe take a walk in a spacious garden? Then Cantigny Park just might be the perfect destination. Located in the Chicago suburb of Wheaton, the location includes an outdoor tank park, as well as the First Division Museum. Students can take a tour of the Robert R. McCormick Museum and learn what life was like in the first half of the 20th century. The park offers many resources for educational groups, and information regarding reservations for school groups is available online.



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Chicago History Museum

1601 N. Clark St.
Chicago, IL 60614
(312) 642-4600

You don’t have to travel far to learn about history. If your group would prefer to visit a museum that’s within the area, then keep the Chicago History Museum at the top of the list. Located in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood, the museum offers a number of exhibits focused on the history of the Windy City. The museum also offers plenty of hands-on activities so children can learn what life was like for Chicagoans. Additionally, there are a number of pre-planned experiences that are tailored for specific ages. Be sure to check out the museum’s website for additional details on all exhibits.


Galena, Illinois


Learn about history in a big way when you visit Galena, Illinois. The historic town is located approximately 160 miles from downtown Chicago and is home to a number of museums and structures that are focused on the movers and shakers of the 19th century. Here you will find the home of Ulysses S. Grant, the Galena & U.S. Grant Museum, the DeSoto House Hotel and many other historic homes that will give visitors a sense of what life was like more than 100 years ago. Galena also offers an assortment of outdoor activities, including hiking and biking.


Madison, Wisconsin


Located approximately 150 miles northwest of downtown Chicago, the city of Madison offers plenty of activities for youth groups. The question is, what does your group want to do? If your group wants to learn more about ecology, then a visit to the University of Wisconsin-Madison Arboretum is in order. A tour of the Wisconsin State Capitol may also pique your interest. Additionally, the city is home to a number of art museums, including the Chazen Museum of Art. Lastly, your group will be able to see fossils and so much more at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Geology Museum. With so many options for educational experiences, Madison may be the perfect location for your chartered field trip.


Naper Settlement Museum

523 S. Webster St.
Naperville, IL 60540
(630) 420-6010

Take a virtual step back in time with your group when you visit Naper Settlement Museum. Located in the Chicago suburb of Naperville, this historic site gives visitors a glimpse into what life was like in the 19th century. The museum has a log house, blacksmith shop and even a schoolhouse that your students can visit. Naper Settlement Museum also has a number of hands-on educational programs on the schedule, including an opportunity for students to see what a typical school day was like a century ago.


This article was written by Megan Horst-Hatch of Examiner.com for CBS Local.