Day Trips Around Chicago – Elmhurst, IL

When planning your next day trip around Chicago, do yourself a favor and add Elmhurst as a possible destination. Elmhurst is a little village with a whole lot to offer, so no matter what you’re in the mood for, it’s sure to have something right up your alley. From unique museums to signature shopping, Elmhurst has it all, with far less frustration and expense than you’ll find downtown in the Loop. With a bit of everything, all within a short distance, Elmhurst is the perfect place to spend the day.

Elmhurst Cultural Afternoons

Chicago is known far and wide for its incredible museums, and deservedly so, but it’s not the only game in town when it comes to culture and the arts. Elmhurst makes its own unique additions to the museum circuit with several noteworthy institutions that should not be missed. Whether you love history, art, or architecture, Elmhurst has an exhibit that will delight and amaze without having to shoulder the crowds aside to see it.

One of the best reasons to visit these places, aside from their wonderful displays, is their distance from the hustle and bustle of Millennium Park. You can actually take time and enjoy what you see, ask questions about exhibits, and generally view the offerings in a much more relaxed way than would be possible at the Field Museum or the Adler Planetarium.

Lizzadro Museum of Lapidary Art

220 Cottage Hill Ave.
Elmhurst, IL 60126
(630) 833-1616

Possibly the most unique museum in the area, the Lizzadro Museum of Lapidary Art is home to more than 200 permanent precious stone carvings from all over the world. Lapidary is the art of cutting and polishing stones and has a history stretching all the way back to the beginnings of human culture. Our earliest ancestors practiced lapidary art when they made tools and weapons and eventually began making human adornment. So, lapidary artists have been crafting beauty since prehistoric times and Joseph Lizzadro’s mission was to bring these wonders to the public consciousness through his museum’s exhibits and educational efforts. After your visit, you’ll agree he was enormously successful.

Elmhurst Art Museum

150 Cottage Hill Ave.
Elmhurst, Illinois 60126
(630) 834-0202

Elmhurst has always been a city that looked to the arts for inspiration and enlightenment, so it should come as no surprise that the Elmhurst Art Museum was founded by a group of teachers, artists, and community organizers. Their organizational philosophy is centered on the belief that people from all walks of life and professions can learn to see and think differently through the study of art, architecture, and design. With equal importance given to inspiring and educating visitors, the Elmhurst Art Museum favors a broader approach to the arts than many other contemporary institutions. This is a must see museum for fans of modern architecture, as the centerpiece of the collection is the Mies van der Rohe McCormick House.

Elmhurst History Museum

120 E. Park Avenue
Elmhurst, IL 60126
(630) 833-1457

If you’re interested in learning about a city, there are few places one can go that match the volume and depth of information available at the local history museum. Elmhurst is no different. The Elmhurst History Museum is an extensive archive of Elmhurst history founded in 1957 and operated by the city government. Its award-winning collection features a diverse range of educational experiences and eye-opening exhibits aimed at telling the unique story of the birth and life of Elmhurst, Illinois. The museum is housed in the Glos Mansion which was home to Elmhurst’s first village president and today is considered a historically significant landmark.

Elmhurst Entertainment & Shopping Sprees

The shopping day trip is an American invention and we do it better than anyone else. If this kind of adventure is your ideal way to spend a day, then Elmhurst is the place for you. Far from the maddening crowds along the Magnificent Mile, Elmhurst has a plethora of shopping destinations-all within easy walking distance. On a pleasant day, you can have a blast looking through the various shops among crowds of friendly shoppers instead of fighting for every inch of progress along Michigan Avenue. You can shop to your heart’s delight, dine on some really great food, and never once set foot in a car or other form of transportation.

City Centre

2 City Centre
Elmhurst, IL 60126
(630) 993-1600

Most cities do their best to keep their downtowns thriving and vital. Sadly, some do a better job at this than others, and no one does it better than Elmhurst. Located right in the heart of downtown Elmhurst, City Centre is a truly special shopping destination. With over 275 merchants, and located just a few steps off of the Metra Line, City Centre is a great place for errands, a broad range of services, and good old-fashioned relaxation. Plus, with more than 40 dining options, you can stay all day long. No matter what you’re after, City Centre is sure to have it, so skip the malls and head for downtown Elmhurst.

York & Vallette Streets

S. York & Vallette Streets
Elmhurst, IL 60126
(630) 279-0010

If you’re looking for a great way to spend a day in Elmhurst, make your way to the crossroads of S. York and Vallette Streets, and get ready to enjoy a day of shopping, sightseeing, and fantastic dining. The York & Vallette Business Association has done an incredible job of bringing together the best retailers, service providers, and restauranteurs in a small
area, allowing visitors to find easy parking, safe pedestrian ways, and great shopping options. The area is also home to Elmhurst Falls Fest and the ongoing Farmer’s Market, which kicks off in June. If you’re in the area during the holidays, you can look forward to a calendar full of special events put on by the YVBA.

Halfway House Golf

555 S. York
Elmhurst, IL 60126
(331) 642-8050

Anyone who lives in the area knows that Chicago can experience a severe shower or two during the spring and summer months. That’s where Halfway House Indoor Golf comes in. It’s the perfect way to spend a rainy day in Elmhurst. Halfway House is a golf simulator like you’ve never imagined. You hit the ball with a real club, your club if you bring them, and the software does the rest. You can play over 90 different courses from around the world and choose game modes like Closest to the Pin and Longest Drive, or play Stroke, Match, Scramble, Skins, and so much more. You can even put together a dream course of the world’s best holes, a golf-lover’s dream day. There’s also a power boost for novice players, so everyone can come and have a blast without being a pro golfer. Halfway House is a truly fun and unique way to spend a day in Elmhurst, rain or shine.

Elmhurst Outdoor Activities

Due to Chicago’s tendency toward cold weather for a large part of the year, people love to spend the day outside whenever possible to recharge their batteries after a long, dull winter. Elmhurst offers a wide variety of ways to get out in the sunshine and experience the outdoors without breaking the bank or spending half your day trapped in a car. From parks to nature and golf to city-sponsored day trips, Elmhurst has something for everyone who loves outdoor activities. Make a day of enjoying the weather in Elmhurst and you won’t be disappointed.

Park Day Trips – The Abbey

407 W. St. Charles
Elmhurst, IL 60126
(630) 993-8193

No matter what type of day trip you have in mind, it’s a good idea to regularly check in with the Elmhurst Park District to see what they have planned. Why? Well, the Park District is one of the area’s best resources for day trips for seniors, with the entire day planned out and everything scheduled – including transportation. All you have to do is register for the trip you’d like to take and show up at the scheduled date and time to have an experience unlike any other you’ll find in Chicago. All of these trips depart from The Abbey via bus and all materials day-trippers need will be picked up inside. These trips are taken on buses and everything is taken care of, so all you have to do is bring your enthusiasm and excitement for whatever the day brings. The Elmhurst Park District will do the rest. (All you have to do in bring your enthusiasm and excitement, the Elmhurst Park District will do the rest.)

Wilder Park Conservatory

225 Prospect Avenue
Elmhurst, IL 60126
(630) 993-8900

One of the best ways to spend a day in the Greater Chicago area is a visit to the Wilder Park Conservatory in Elmhurst. Close to dining and shopping options, the Conservatory has been introducing visitors to the beauty of the area’s natural wonders since 1927. With more than 13,000 visitors annually during the warm months, Wilder Park is more than just a destination – it’s a part of Elmhurst’s rich and storied past. The highlights of the Conservatory calendar are the regularly scheduled flower shows that take place all spring and summer long, so check out their website for dates to coordinate your Wilder Park Elmhurst day trip. After a day spent amongst the natural beauty, don’t be surprised if you forget you’re in one of the nation’s largest cities.

Sugar Creek Golf Course

500 E. Van Buren
Elmhurst/Villa Park, IL 60181
(630) 834-3325

If you love the outdoors and would like nothing more than to be outside for the day, then look no further than a day trip to Elmhurst to shoot a round of golf at Sugar Creek Golf Course. A challenging 9-hole course, par 32 if you’re interested, Sugar Creek is nestled among beautiful, rolling hills and offers a full-service bar and driving range. That means you can come for a round, stay for a drink, and practice driving until the sun sets. The Bentgrass greens are a really nice touch, and the staff and service are impeccable. For an inexpensive public course, the layout is technical
enough to pose difficulty for any golfer, but friendly enough to be inviting to the novices in your group. There really is nothing better to do for 4 hours than play a round at Sugar Creek, so when planning your next day trip don’t forget to bring your clubs.


No matter what day trip you plan, as long as your plan involves Elmhurst, you’re sure to have a good time. With everything you could want and more, the city is one of the area’s best destinations for day trips away from the hustle and bustle of Chicago. So make your plans, pack your day bag, and start making your way to Elmhurst. One of the best days of your life is waiting there for you.

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