17 Best Things to Do in Wheaton, IL

Wheaton, IL
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Wheaton, Illinois, is a beautiful suburban city known for its culture, history, and art.

Its history dates back to the 1830s, when Warren L. Wheaton founded the city.

The first people arrived in the region in 1832, but it wasn't until 1860 that the city was established.

Wheaton has a rich history as a rail hub for Illinois, with more than 200 trains passing through daily.

You will be thrilled to try all the best things to do in Wheaton, Illinois:

Spend the Day at Cantigny Park

Paved walkway in Cantigny Park
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Cantigny Park is a beautiful destination for a vacation in Wheaton, and the park offers a wide variety of activities that are suitable for the entire family.

It's located just eight to 10 minutes from downtown Chicago and offers something for everyone.

The waters of Cantigny Park
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Take a tour through this historic site and learn about its history, including its connection to the Battle of Cantigny and how it became a national military park after World War II.

You can go for a walk through the trails or bike around the park in one of their rental bikes.

There's also a playground and splash pad if you need some fun in the sun!

Cantigny Park is located on Winefield Road.

A statue in Cantigny Park
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Enjoy Outdoor Activities at Central Park

Spanning over 800 acres, Central Park offers a variety of recreational activities for residents and visitors alike.

With parks and open spaces for recreational use, you'll have plenty of room to be active and have fun.

People of all ages can enjoy the park's playgrounds, baseball and softball fields, and football and soccer pitches.

If you enjoy the outdoors while enjoying the fresh air but don't feel like running or lifting weights, why not try their water parks?

It's also a great option if you like to soak in the sights and sounds of nature while relaxing under a tree with your book and listening to birds tweeting.

Find Central Park on South Main Street.

Visit the Billy Graham Center Museum

Located inside Wheaton College, the Billy Graham Center Museum allows visitors to explore exhibits about how American evangelist Billy Graham impacted different cultures worldwide over his long career.

The museum has several exhibit galleries that tell the story of Graham's life and ministry.

The galleries provide information about his childhood, early preaching career, and crusade ministry.

Billy Graham acquired items from throughout the world during his travels.

Several interactive exhibits at the Billy Graham Center Museum allow you to learn more about what makes Christianity unique from other religions.

Have a Picnic at Danada Forest Preserve

A trail at Danada Forest Preserve
Mark Baldwin / Shutterstock.com

Danada Forest Preserve is one of the most beautiful spots in Wheaton.

Some trails take you through forests, prairies, and meadows.

The best part is that it is open all year long, so you can take advantage of it any time of the year!

You can also picnic at many locations around Danada Forest Preserve.

Tall trees at Danada Forest Preserve
Ken Schulze / Shutterstock.com

Picnic tables are next to the Danada Equestrian Center's parking area, the main barn, and the fire circle.

With Rice Lake within the vicinity, fishing is another excellent activity you can enjoy here.

Check out Danada House if you want to do something more thrilling than fishing or having a picnic.

Swing Your Clubs at Chicago Golf Club

If you're in for a round of golf, there are plenty of options in Chicago.

But if you want to play at a place that's been around since the 1890s and has a rich history, check out Chicago Golf Club, located along Warrenville Road in Wheaton.

It has been called the "oldest 18-hole course in North America" and was founded by Charles B. Macdonald.

In 2020, the club was added to the National Register of Historic Places.

Chicago Golf Club is famous for hosting the US Opens and Walker Cups.

Buy Local Products at the Wheaton French Market

The city has a lot to offer, but the Wheaton French Market is a favorite spot among locals and tourists.

This market offers a choice of fruit and vegetables that changes with the seasons, as well as cheese, herbs, flowers, and more.

The real draw for many customers is the selection of prepared foods that make it easy to eat like a true Parisian without having to cook yourself.

The Wheaton French Market has various stalls, depending on the week.

For example, you might find gumbo, crêpes, hot dogs, and more.

In the summer months, Visitors can also enjoy entertainment by local musicians who play instruments like the guitar, piano, violin, and flute.

Browse through the Selection at the Wheaton Public Library

Exterior of Wheaton Public Library
Justingaetz96, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Situated on North Cross Street, the Wheaton Public Library is a hub for creativity, learning, and fun.

The library overlooks Adams Park in downtown Wheaton and features friendly service, public computers, and ample parking.

It offers different programs for people of all ages, from kids to seniors.

You can kick back, take it easy, and have fun as you read or get caught up on some work because plenty of seating is available throughout the Wheaton Public Library.

Thanks to their WiFi, you won't have to worry about missing out on anything.

Learn about World War II at the First Division Museum

The First Division Museum, located within Cantigny Park, is a must-see for anyone interested in the history of the United States.

It's chock-full of artifacts and photos from the First Division and has a video that tells you all about it.

Visitors to this museum can also learn more about women's roles during World War II.

The first stop on your tour ought to be where you may examine artifacts from the First Division Museum, including a gas mask, gas mask carrier, and other things.

After taking in these exhibits, you'll want to watch a short video that gives you more information about this division's history.

Then, it's time for your next stop: touring through the rest of the museum's exhibits.

Have Steak and Seafood at Ivy Restaurant

The steaks, chops, and seafood served at Ivy Restaurant are among the best in the city.

It is one of the few restaurants in Wheaton that also features a fish market and butcher shop on its premises.

The restaurant's trademark approach to developing seasonal menu items involves the workers and owners working together.

What truly sets it apart from other restaurants is how these components are combined to create dishes that are anything but typical.

If you want steak tartare or poutine, you'll be happy to hear that both dishes are constantly on the menu for you to choose from.

Find Ivy Restaurant along North Hale Street.

Make the Most of Wheaton's History at the DuPage County Historical Museum

Exterior of DuPage County Historical Museum
Teemu08 at en.wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Located on East Wesley Street, the DuPage County Historical Museum was initially constructed as the Adams Memorial Library but was transformed into a museum.

The structure was built by John Quincy Adams and planned by Charles Sumner Frost in the Romanesque style.

It served as a present to the community in honor of Marilla Phipps Adams.

In the late 1960s, it was renamed the Dupage County Historical Museum.

Appreciate Art at the DuPage Art League

The DuPage Art League, situated along West Front Street, is a famous art gallery and non-profit art school.

This gallery aims to promote and develop the visual arts through art education and exhibits.

They also provide art programs for all ages.

The DuPage Art League puts the spotlight on local and national artists who travel from all over the United States to exhibit their work.

They also offer an annual art exhibition accessible to amateur DuPage County painters.

Drink Local Beer at Dry City Brew Works

For a taste of a better experience, head to Dry City Brew Works on North Main Street.

This small brewery was founded by friends and homebrewers who desired to combine their passion for beer.

The outcome is a diversified area that contrasts with the well-known brewers currently dominating the beer industry.

In addition to producing excellent beer, Dry City Brew Works is committed to environmental protection and social responsibility.

Being small enables them to purchase locally whenever possible and to operate their business sustainably.

The brewery hosts live music performances every weekend, and its walls are adorned with rotating displays by local artists.

Meet Animal Friends at Cosley Zoo

Welcome sign of Cosley Zoo
Christian Wilcox from Madison, United States, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

When you're looking for an escape, what's better than a day at the zoo?

In a pleasant two-hectare environment in Wheaton, Cosley Zoo offers visitors the chance to discover native Illinois species and farmed animals.

Here, visitors can participate in various activities, such as feeding some animals, seeing reptiles up close during reptile displays, or simply strolling about the grounds.

A peacock in Cosley Zoo
boliyou, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The zoo also features several kid-friendly playgrounds and an interactive exhibit where guests can pet some of the animals.

Located on North Gary Avenue, Cosley Zoo is a fantastic choice for individuals who wish to observe animals in their natural environment.

A chicken in Cosley Zoo
boliyou, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Go on a Morning Walk at the Illinois Prairie Path

The Illinois Prairie Path is a great place to get some exercise, see the neighborhood's natural beauty, or go back in time.

This trail network covers over 60 miles over DuPage County, Kane County, and parts of Cook County.

The Wheaton Train Station is only a short distance from three trailheads.

You can ride northeast past the renowned Chicago Golf Club to Aurora or Mooseheart, east through downtown Wheaton to Forest Park, or north into Lincoln Marsh to Elgin.

Cyclists won't want to miss the opportunity to bike the Illinois Prairie Path's 61 miles' worth of biking trails!

Have Dinner at Pa Lian Burmese Restaurant

Located on East Geneva Road, Pa Lian Burmese Restaurant serves traditional rice dishes, curries, and noodle bowls in a bright and welcoming setting.

Several alternatives are on the menu for those looking for a quick dinner or something more significant.

There are a variety of dry and wet noodle dishes available at Pa Lian Burmese Restaurant.

You can have tofu or pork with the gravy-covered, soupy noodles.

A sizable selection of curry dinners on the menu will make you feel satisfied and full.

You can select between beef or chicken curries, or if you'd like something lighter, fish curry is also an option.

You do not need to order other side dishes unless you want more variety since all the curries are served with rice.

Commune with Nature at Lincoln Marsh

Boardwalk trail at Lincoln Marsh
Ken Schulze / Shutterstock.com

Spanning Harrison and Pierce avenues, Lincoln Marsh is a natural preserve that provides opportunities for educational programming and recreational activities for people of all ages.

It is a beautiful urban oasis with various vegetation, including forests, prairies, and more.

The 150-acre preserve comprises open water marsh regions, woodland areas, prairies, and savannas.

Along the water's edge are two raised vantage spots and bird blinds where you can get a close look at the birds.

Lincoln Marsh has a variety of educational kiosks and explanatory signs, as well as rustic chairs made from downed trees.

Shop for Souvenirs at Five Below

If you are in or around Wheaton and are looking for a new favorite spot to go shopping with friends or family, Five Below should be at the top of your list!

This retailer in Danada Square West has a high growth rate and value, and its products are pretty popular among preteens, adolescents, and young adults.

They believe that consumers are more likely to have a positive experience when they are allowed to be themselves within an extraordinary and boundless-potential setting.

Their store sells various goods, from board games and toys to home furnishings and stationery.

In addition to that, Five Below sells costumes for Halloween as well as decorations for Christmas.

Final Thoughts

When putting together your travel itinerary, make sure to reference this list of the best things to do in Wheaton, Illinois.

Most of the city's top attractions are available to the general public, making them ideal for all tourists.

Wheaton offers a wide range of attractions and activities, from hikes in the great outdoors to leisurely walks through the city.