Suburban gem Cantigny Park is a museum like no other

Suburban gem Cantigny Park is a museum like no other

  • Evelyn Molina, right, of Lombard snaps a photo of her children, Dante, Jannet and Leonardo Rosas, during a visit to Cantigny Park in Wheaton.

      Evelyn Molina, right, of Lombard snaps a photo of her children, Dante, Jannet and Leonardo Rosas, during a visit to Cantigny Park in Wheaton. Bev Horne | Staff Photographer

  • Children climb on the tanks outside the First Division Museum at Cantigny Park.

      Children climb on the tanks outside the First Division Museum at Cantigny Park. Bev Horne | Staff Photographer

  • The award-winning gardens are a highlight of any visit to Cantigny.

      The award-winning gardens are a highlight of any visit to Cantigny. Bev Horne | Staff Photographer

  • Nature plays a starring role on the 500-acre museum grounds.

      Nature plays a starring role on the 500-acre museum grounds. Bev Horne | Staff Photographer

  • Cantigny's countless flower beds provide an ever-changing backdrop.

      Cantigny's countless flower beds provide an ever-changing backdrop. Bev Horne | Staff Photographer

  • It's not hard to find Cantigny's many flowers and water features.

      It's not hard to find Cantigny's many flowers and water features. Bev Horne | Staff Photographer

  • A sense of history is never far away at Cantigny, named after a World War I battle.

      A sense of history is never far away at Cantigny, named after a World War I battle. Bev Horne | Staff Photographer

  • Artist Ted Siebert creates a sculpture called "Sands of Omaha Beach" at Cantigny Park. Part of the sculpture was made with sand collected on Omaha Beach by D-Day veteran Charles Normal Shay.

      Artist Ted Siebert creates a sculpture called "Sands of Omaha Beach" at Cantigny Park. Part of the sculpture was made with sand collected on Omaha Beach by D-Day veteran Charles Normal Shay. Bev Horne | Staff Photographer

 
Daily Herald Report

Maybe it's the gardens or the golf course.

Maybe it's the museum, the programs or even the playground.

Maybe it's just the quiet.

Whatever it is, Wheaton's Cantigny Park offers visitors a chance to enjoy summer at a 500-acre facility at 1S151 Winfield Road unlike any other in the suburbs.

You can tour the mansion that once belonged to Col. Robert McCormick, former publisher of the Chicago Tribune. You can check out the history of the Big Red One in the First Division Museum. You can stroll the sprawling gardens, visit art fairs and re-enactments or attend outdoor concerts and indoor historical programs.

You can watch the gradual transformation of the grounds into an even more visitor-friendly atmosphere thanks to Project New Leaf, a re-imagining of the site that began in late 2016 and will continue into 2021.

Here is a quick peek at just some of the programs on Cantigny's slate for this weekend alone:

• Celebrate the importance of bats at 11 a.m. Friday as part of the museum's National Pollinators Week observance. Free with paid parking.

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• Kids can get a close look at vehicles used by police officers, firefighters, construction workers and members of the military from 5-7 p.m. Friday on the museum's parade grounds.

• Serendipity performs pop and rock music at 6 p.m. Friday at the band shell. The concert is free with paid parking.

• Several bands will perform as part of the Riverside Folk Festival from 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday at the band shell. Concert tickets are $5 with a $10 parking fee. Proceeds benefit a scholarship fund for children hoping to attend Riverside's Imaginative Learning programs.

• The DuPage Symphony performs "Celebrate the Solstice" at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the band shell. Free with paid parking.

• The Air National Guard Band of the Midwest performs patriotic, jazz and pop favorites at 3 p.m. Sunday at the band shell. The concert is free with paid parking.

For details on the museum and its program schedule, visit cantigny.org.

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