Elmhurst located in the lively environment of DuPage County, provides a wide range of activities to suit a variety of interests. This lovely city welcomes both visitors and inhabitants with open arms, offering a lot of things to do in Elmhurst IL from outdoor adventures to cultural excursions and gastronomic pleasures.
Introduction to Elmhurst Illinois
Elmhurst, located in the Greater Chicago region, is a gorgeous suburb known for its historical significance as well as its contemporary charm. This city, which was founded in the nineteenth century, has grown into a center that combines modern conveniences with a rich cultural past.
Elmhurst combines metropolitan elegance with small-town charm. It welcomes exploration, with tree-lined streets and warm air, and promises a great experience for every guest.
Brief History Of Elmhurst Illinois
Elmhurst traces its roots to the mid-19th century, initially known as Cottage Hill. It underwent a transformative journey from a farming community to a thriving city, officially named Elmhurst in 1869. A pivotal moment came with the arrival of the Galena and Chicago Union Railroad, catapulting its growth. The renowned Elmhurst College, established in 1871, became a cornerstone of education in the region. The city preserves its history through landmarks like the historic Graue Mill and Wilder Park’s historic mansion. Today, Elmhurst stands as a testament to its past while embracing modernity.
15 Things To Do In Elmhurst Illinois
The Elmhurst Art Museum
The Elmhurst Art Museum showcases the combination of art and architecture. This cultural jewel in Elmhurst Illinois shows modern and contemporary art within the beautiful McCormick House created by famous architect Mies van der Rohe. The museum has changing exhibits including local and national artists, as well as interesting educational events for art lovers of all ages. Immerse yourself in the lively world of artistic expression by attending unique exhibits, seminars, and lectures. Don’t miss out on exploring this architectural masterpiece and indulging in a variety of creative activities at the Elmhurst Art Museum!
- York Theatre
Step into a world of cinematic wonder at York Theatre, a historic gem in Elmhurst. This local theater invites you to relive the golden era of movies with its classic screenings and modern productions. Nestled in the heart of downtown, York Theatre boasts a charming ambiance and comfortable seating for an immersive experience. From timeless films to engaging live events, visitors can savor entertainment at its finest. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to indulge in cinematic nostalgia and witness the vibrant arts scene that York Theatre contributes to Elmhurst’s cultural landscape.
- The Lizzadro Museum of Lapidary Art
The Lizzadro Museum of Lapidary Art is a gem collector’s dream. Here, You can find an exceptional array of finely cut gemstones that showcase the elegance of lapidary craftsmanship. Exquisite jade sculptures, agate dioramas, and magnificent gemstone jewelry are on display, highlighting a combination of cultural heritage and natural grandeur. Participate in hands-on workshops, informative displays, and guided tours that provide insight into the enthralling world of lapidary art. This is one of the best things to do in Elmhurst for visitors of all ages to immerse themselves in the beauty and workmanship of gemstones via its distinctive displays and educational opportunities.
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Outdoor things to do in Elmhurst Illinois
- Wilder Park
The Wilder Park is a beautiful oasis in the middle of Elmhurst. This lovely 52-acre park is a peaceful haven for nature lovers and families alike. Enjoy the lush foliage, meandering strolling routes, and brilliant gardens displaying a wide variety of plants. The historic Wilder Mansion, which acts as a cultural hub holding events, art exhibitions, and weddings, is the highlight. Wilder Park, with its playgrounds, picnic sites, and open spaces, welcomes leisurely strolls, tranquil picnics, and wonderful moments in nature. For the convenience of guests, parking and facilities are available.
- Illinois Prairie Path
The Illinois Prairie Path, stretching over 61 miles, offers an immersive experience for hikers, bikers, and nature lovers. Originally a rail corridor, this scenic trail traverses serene prairies, woodlands, and picturesque landscapes, showcasing Illinois’ natural beauty. With multiple access points and well-marked routes, visitors can easily navigate through its diverse terrain. The path accommodates various activities like walking, jogging, cycling, and birdwatching. Rich in history and biodiversity, it provides an escape into nature’s tranquility, making it a must-visit destination for outdoor enthusiasts.
- The Great Western Prairie
The Great Western Prairie enchants visitors with its vast vistas and wildlife. This huge stretch of North America’s heartland offers a captivating combination of vegetation and fauna, including native grasses and numerous animal species. It is rich in ecological significance and provides an intensive experience for both nature enthusiasts and environmentalists. The importance of the prairie in conserving natural ecosystems and its historical relevance in American heritage make it a must-see destination. Set off on a trek across this stunning territory to observe the splendor of the untamed environment and learn about the Great Western Prairie’s spirit.
- Berens Park
Berens Park is a recreational paradise offering a spectrum of things to do in Elmhurst IL for all ages. This sprawling park boasts vast playground areas, sports facilities, and inviting picnic spots. Embrace the outdoors with its extensive walking trails, perfect for nature enthusiasts and fitness seekers alike. The park features baseball fields, soccer fields, and a skate park, catering to sports enthusiasts. Families can enjoy the splash pad and fishing at the lake. With its well-maintained amenities and serene ambiance, Berens Park stands as a must-visit destination for leisure and outdoor fun in Elmhurst.
- Salt Creek Greenway Trail
Salt Creek Greenway Trail is a nature escape sprawled across 27 miles of lush landscapes in Illinois. Ideal for hiking, biking, and birdwatching, this trail meanders through diverse terrains, offering picturesque views of woodlands, wetlands, and serene waterways. Enjoy the trail’s accessibility with multiple entry points, picnic spots, and interpretive signs showcasing local flora and fauna. Embrace outdoor activities, including fishing and wildlife spotting, while relishing the tranquility of this green oasis. With its natural charm and recreational opportunities, Salt Creek Greenway Trail beckons adventurers seeking a rejuvenating outdoor experience.
- Graue Mill
Graue Mill is a cherished historical site offering a captivating glimpse into the past. Built in 1852, this working waterwheel grist mill invites visitors to relive the bygone era of milling. Explore its scenic surroundings and learn about the milling process through engaging tours and exhibits. The site hosts educational programs, highlighting its significance in local history. With picturesque settings along Salt Creek, it’s an ideal spot for nature enthusiasts and history buffs alike.
Local Events and Festivals In Elmhurst Illinois
- Art in the Park Festival
Elmhurst’s Art in the Park Festival, held yearly in Berens Park, promotes local artists, craftspeople, and performers in beautiful natural surroundings. Engage with a wide range of artworks, from paintings to sculptures, while listening to live music and viewing interactive exhibitions. Families may enjoy family-friendly activities and delectable dining selections. Make a note of this creative gathering aimed at building community spirit and supporting local talent. Join them for a day of creation, inspiration, and the joy of art in the beautiful setting of Berens Park.
- Elmhurst Craft Beer Fest
The Elmhurst Craft Beer Fest is an annual event that showcases a diverse selection of local and regional craft breweries, offering a tantalizing array of unique brews to sample. Held in the heart of Elmhurst Illinois, this fest features live music, delicious food vendors, and engaging activities for all beer enthusiasts. Discover new flavors, mingle with brewers, and savor the finest craft beers while enjoying the vibrant atmosphere. Don’t miss this opportunity to celebrate beer culture and indulge in a day filled with hops, malts, and boundless excitement!
Dining and Cuisine
- Pints Elmhurst
Looking for a vibrant hangout spot in Elmhurst? Discover Pints Elmhurst, your go-to destination for an eclectic mix of craft beers, delectable bites, and a welcoming atmosphere. This local gem offers a diverse selection of brews from IPAs to stouts, catering to beer enthusiasts. Pair your drink with their mouthwatering menu featuring pub-style favorites and daily specials. With friendly staff and a cozy ambiance, Pints is perfect for casual meetups or unwinding after a long day.
- Francesca’s Amici
Francesca’s Amici, a renowned restaurant in the center of Elmhurst, serves authentic Italian cuisine. This restaurant delivers a delightful selection of Italian classics, from savory pasta meals to exquisite pizzas created with the freshest ingredients, and has a pleasant environment and outstanding service. Don’t miss out on their unique handcrafted sweets, which are matched by an excellent wine list. Francesca’s Amici caters to both quiet meals and happy groups, with attractive indoor and outdoor eating options.
Kilwins is pure joy, where handcrafted confections meet a century-old heritage. Kilwins is famous for its luscious chocolates, creamy fudge, and fresh ice cream. Enjoy their distinctive caramel apples, caramel corn, and a variety of delightful delights produced daily in-store. Kilwins offers a sweet vacation for every palate with a commitment to excellence and the best ingredients. Enjoy a kind greeting, attentive service, and an immersive experience in the world of handmade sweets.
- Brewpoint Coffee
Brewpoint Coffee is Elmhurst’s caffeinated sanctuary for coffee connoisseurs. They produce rich, ethically sourced beverages by sourcing coffee beans from throughout the world. The friendly warmth and pleasant environment urge you to relish every drink. Their broad menu caters to all coffee preferences, from single-origin pour-overs to velvety lattes. What about vegan and gluten-free options? They’ve got your back. With their events and support for local artists, they dive into community participation. Brewpoint Coffee, located in downtown Elmhurst, provides more than just a cup of coffee; it’s a savory adventure.
Family-Kid-Friendly things to do in Elmhurst Illinois
- Sky Zone
Sky Zone is an exhilarating indoor trampoline park, that offers boundless excitement for all ages. Dive into a sea of interconnected trampolines, experience gravity-defying jumps, and challenge friends in epic dodgeball matches. Enjoy slam dunking like a pro at the SkySlam hoops or test agility at the Warrior Course. Safety is paramount with trained staff and top-notch equipment. From birthday parties to fitness classes, Sky Zone caters to all interests. Discover a world of high-flying adventure, adrenaline-pumping activities, and unforgettable moments at Sky Zone – where fun knows no bounds! Visit for a sky-high experience!
- Shedd Aquarium
Shedd Aquarium is home to over 32,000 fascinating creatures, including beluga whales, dolphins, and penguins, this world-class attraction offers immersive experiences for all ages. Explore various exhibits, such as the Amazon Rising, where you’ll encounter diverse rainforest species, or the Oceanarium, featuring spectacular aquatic shows. Engage in educational programs, watch live feedings, and marvel at the diverse marine life. With its commitment to conservation and education, Shedd Aquarium promises an unforgettable and educational journey into the depths of the ocean.
- Elmhurst History Museum
The Elmhurst History Museum transports you to the enthralling history of Elmhurst Illinois. Through intriguing displays and well-conserved relics, you can immerse yourself in the city’s rich past. Find out Elmhurst’s growth, from its humble roots to its current lively neighborhood. Explore one-of-a-kind exhibits that highlight the region’s evolution, significant individuals, and crucial moments that formed its character. For history aficionados, families, and inquiring minds alike, the museum provides an informative experience. At this cultural jewel, you may delve into the heart of Elmhurst’s legacy and acquire a better understanding of the city’s unique story.
- Safari Land
Safari Land is one of the perfect family-friendly things to do in Elmhurst. This indoor amusement park has exhilarating activities such as go-karts, laser tag, bumper cars, and arcade games. It’s a fantastic location for both kids and adults, with over 60,000 square feet of entertainment. Try your luck in the arcade, race on the go-kart circuits, or participate in laser tag combat. Safari Land also has a soft play area for smaller children, offering a fun-filled day for the entire family.
- Downtown Elmhurst
Elmhurst Downtown is offering an eclectic mix of boutiques, specialty stores, and local eateries. Stroll along the charming streets lined with unique shops, from fashion boutiques to specialty stores, catering to every taste. Delight your palate with diverse cuisines at the array of restaurants, offering everything from cozy cafes to upscale dining experiences. Don’t miss the bustling events and festivals hosted year-round, fostering a sense of community. Discover a blend of culture, shopping, and culinary delights in Downtown Elmhurst.
- Farmer’s Markets
Farmer’s Markets provides a wide variety of locally grown products and handcrafted crafts. Fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as handcrafted delicacies, are available from local farmers and sellers. Participate in community activities while supporting sustainable practices and eating organic foods. Seasonal delights range from luscious fruit to artisan cheeses. Farmer’s markets provide a lively atmosphere while encouraging healthy living and connecting farmers and customers. It lets you in the numerous offers, which range from farm-fresh harvests to artisan pleasures, all while helping to make the world a greener, healthier place.
Nightlife and Entertainment In Elmhurst Illinois
- Red Arrow Tap Room
Step inside the Red Arrow Tap Room in Elmhurst for an amazing evening experience. Discover a diverse range of craft beers from self-service taps, guaranteeing a personalized sampling experience. Engage in the exciting atmosphere with live music performances every Friday and Saturday night, adding upbeat sounds to your evening. Indulge in delectable snacks from their carefully designed menu, which includes gourmet sliders and handcrafted pizzas to compliment the extensive drink selections. Red Arrow Tap Room, with its intimate environment and courteous staff, is the ideal Elmhurst location for a dynamic night out with friends or family.
Plan your visit to Elmhurst and discover the charm and diversity this vibrant city has to offer. Whether you’re a history enthusiast, nature lover, or food connoisseur, things to do in Elmhurst IL promises an enriching experience for every traveler
Frequently Asked Questions
- What’s the best time to visit Elmhurst Illinois?
The spring and fall seasons showcase Elmhurst’s beauty, with mild weather perfect for outdoor explorations and cultural events.
- Are there any annual festivals in Elmhurst?
Yes, Elmhurst hosts various annual festivals like the Art in the Park festival, the Rock the Block party, and the Elmhurst Cycling Classic.
- Can I find vegan or vegetarian dining options in Elmhurst Illinois?
Absolutely! Several restaurants in Elmhurst offer diverse menus catering to vegan and vegetarian preferences.
- Is Elmhurst easily accessible from Chicago?
Yes, Elmhurst is conveniently accessible from Chicago via public transportation, making it an ideal day trip or weekend getaway destination.
- Are there any free things to do in Elmhurst for families?
Absolutely! Wilder Park, the Elmhurst Public Library, and family-oriented events often offer free and engaging activities for families.