People looking for a vacation filled with fun and entertainment in the Midwest usually head out to major cities like Chicago. Who can blame them?
However, what if I told you you could find all the activities and attractions for a memorable vacation in an average-sized suburb near Chicago?
Crazy right? Wrong! Schaumburg, Illinois, is a city-sized village around 30 miles northwest of Chicago. The location has a diverse combination of active and laid-back activities, historical attractions, performing arts, and live entertainment.
There are many incredible tours to take in Chicago at Viator. Whether planning to travel for the weekend or preparing for a week-long vacation, you’ll never run out of things to do in Schaumburg, and you’ll end up paying less than if you hit up one of the big cities! So to ensure you don’t miss out on any exciting stuff to do, check out this list before planning your itinerary.
Show Table of Contents
- Things to Do in Schaumburg, Illinois
- 1. Visit Spring Valley
- 2. Shop at Woodfield Mall
- 3. Check Out Wood Library-Museum of Anesthesiology
- 4. Learn Fire Fighting Skills
- 5. Have a Laughter Session at the Chicago Improv Comedy Club
- 6. Explore the Trickster Art Gallery
- 7. Have Fun at the Legoland Discovery Center
- 8. Visit the Prairie Center for the Arts
- 9. View the ArtWorks at the Chicago Athenaeum International Sculpture Park
- 10. Take a Trip Down History at Medieval Times
- 11. Go Hiking at Salt Creek Park Forest Preserve
- 12. Watch Sports at Schaumburg Boomers Stadium
Things to Do in Schaumburg, Illinois
If you’re a resident of Chicago (or live anywhere across the US, for that matter), you shouldn’t miss the fun things to do in Schaumburg. Along with its scenic natural beauty, the village possesses a rustic aura that gives you the relaxation you need over the holidays or even join a tour.
Additionally, the destination boasts an amazing art scene with a combination of performing arts, contemporary art, a famous sculpture park, and several comedy clubs. Finally, if you want to shop for souvenirs, local merchandise, and other products, you can spend time at the Woodfield Mall or check out the farmer’s market.
You’ll also find a blustering nightlife in the town with bars, themed dining, and exciting annual festivals. A major highlight is the Septemberfest held at the Schaumburg Municipal Centre grounds.
While most attractions are free, some require prior bookings, which you should purchase before heading out from your hometown. To make things easier for you, I have listed the top things to do in Schaumburg, so you can choose the places you want to visit immediately.
1. Visit Spring Valley
Spring Valley is a picturesque place in Schaumburg that combines numerous attractions in its vicinity. Spanning 135 acres, you can find diverse landscapes from wetlands, streams, forests, and prairies.
If you’re an outdoor enthusiast, you can go through the numerous hiking trails across the valley and witness the breathtaking views. Similarly, Spring Valley has biking trails, walking trails, a nature center, and a playground for children.
Bison’s Bluff Nature Playground
The Bison’s Bluff Nature Playground is an innovative park in Spring Valley. Designed especially for children, the park has amazing rides, adventure sports, and even horse riding.
Besides that, the fun-themed areas in the playground, a rock stream pool, a sand area, and a music zone make it a must-visit for families with young children. The Bison’s Bluff Nature Playground is a must-visit if you want to give your kids a treat for their holidays.
Apart from the Bison’s Bluff Nature Playground, many other sub-attractions make Spring Valley a major target for visitors throughout the year. These include the Volkening Heritage Farm and the Vera Meineke Nature Center.
Volkening Heritage Farm and the Vera Meineke Nature Center
The Volkening Heritage Farm is a part of the Schaumburg Park District that preserves a 19th Century farm. Here, you can view various exhibits and participate in farming activities with your children. On the other hand, you can witness the region’s wildlife at the Vera Meineke Nature Center while your kids play in its vegetable garden.
Although the farm is closed from December to March, other activities also have specific days and timings that occasionally change. So, make sure to check them out beforehand. Spring Valley has no entrance fee; however, you must pay for your activities at the destination.
See Related: Best Things to FDo in Chicago, Illinois
2. Shop at Woodfield Mall
If you’re looking for Schaumburg activities involving the entire family, head to Woodfield Mall for a classic shopping experience. As the largest mall in the state and one of the largest in the country, it has everything you need, from apparel, accessories, jewelry, cosmetics, and much more.
Leading Brand Outlets
Believe it or not, the mall is visited by more than 27 million guests every year, making it one of the most popular attractions near Chicago.
Besides that, you can find diverse shopping options from leading department stores in the country, like Nordstrom and JCPenney. Moreover, get your luxury items from high-end brand outlets like H&M, Armani Exchange, Apple, Lacoste, Coach, Micheal Kors, BOSS, and Zara.
Woodfield Mall Eateries
If you tire out from shopping or want to grab a bite of food, you can choose from the range of eateries available at Woodfield Mall.
Popular options include Charley’s Pilly Steaks, Blaze Pizza, and Chipotle. Apart from local brands and chain restaurants, the mall has a wide range of health-conscious eateries for you to try out.
Even if you don’t dedicate an entire day from your itinerary to the location, it is one of the ideal Schaumburg things to do if you’re going for a slightly laid-back evening.
3. Check Out Wood Library-Museum of Anesthesiology
For history buffs looking for Schaumburg things to do, visiting the Wood Library Museum of Anesthesiology is the ideal place to go. Previously located in Park Ridge, the Wood Library Museum was recently shifted to Schaumburg.
Since then, the institution has attracted hundreds of visitors every year. The library has more than 13,000 books and extensive historical records, and medical research publications. Moreover, the library also has a unique room where you can witness preserved old letters, historic book titles, and other materials.
The most exciting part is easily the collection of anesthesiology equipment. It showcases everything from 19th Century masks and inhalers designed for ether and chloroform to modern-day anesthesiology instruments.
Besides that, the exhibit also presents a comprehensive timeline for the field. This shows crucial milestones like the first public demonstration of modern anesthesia in 1846 by surgeon John Collins and dentists William Morton.
Although the Wood Library Museum of Anesthesiology remains open throughout the week, you will need an appointment to enter the building. You can book an appointment beforehand or opt for a guided tour. While entry is free, you must pay to take a guided tour if you want to look around alone.
See Related: Unique Things to Do in Chicago
4. Learn Fire Fighting Skills
If you’re wondering what to do in Schaumburg to keep your kids busy, visiting Firezone is a great idea. It is mainly a spot for Chicago fire truck rentals but is popular for its fire-themed playground for adults and children.
People can learn valuable fire safety tips here by participating in fun and interactive fire-fighting-related activities. Conducted by actual firefighters, the games work to teach strategy development, communication skills, and team building to young children.
Other attractions at the location include vintage fire engines, activity stations, live demonstrations, educational exhibitions, and an obstacle course. The most appealing aspect is that the activities are curated to fit children and adults alike. Residents and tourists can book this fire station playhouse for children’s birthday parties.
Simultaneously, this off-beat fire station caters to adults by letting companies hold corporate team-building events. According to your visit, you can book an affordable package at this fire station playhouse and educate your kids while playing.
Book your slot beforehand to avoid waiting long for your turn. If you haven’t pre-booked your space, try to reach the destination early in the morning.
5. Have a Laughter Session at the Chicago Improv Comedy Club
As mentioned, Schaumburg is a hub for performing arts and entertainment. While many comedy clubs are close by, Chicago Improv is a fun and loud comedy theatre with daily stand-up comedy performances.
The large theatre can house around 450 people simultaneously, with a few private rooms for priority seating and private parties. If you’re tired after a week of active sports or are looking for things to do this weekend, visiting this place is a great idea. The spot has bustling nocturnal activities every night and offers late shows on Friday and Saturday nights.
If you’re eager to stay for dinner, try getting reservations for the night’s first show. This way, you can enjoy a luxurious dinner while having a dose of laughter at the same time.
But, the reservation comes with appearing on the ground around 90 minutes before the showtime. But don’t worry; the club has a spacious bar and waiting area where you can wait for the entertaining experience.
Chicago Improv Comedy Club is easily accessible through the main Woodfield road and lies close to Woodfield Mall. So, you can easily top off your shopping session with an entertaining performance in the evening! Tickets can cost you anywhere from $20-$50 per head, depending on the date and time of your visit.
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6. Explore the Trickster Art Gallery
The Trickster Art Gallery is an absolutely essential experience for art enthusiasts. Featuring the contributions made by Native Americans to the country’s military, the art gallery highlights a few social issues as well. A salient theme includes social injustices toward minor communities.
At the gallery’s various exhibitions, you can witness contemporary Native arts created by veteran Native artists, their photographs on-field, testimonials of their tribal affiliations, and pictures of service.
Besides that, you’ll also find narrations of important events in Native American history and live depictions of war stories.
When Can You Visit the Library?
However, the gallery is only open from Tuesdays to Fridays. It remains closed on Sundays and has shorter timings on Saturdays, so prioritize it if you’re visiting over the weekend.
The Trickster Art Gallery has a nominal entry fee of $5 for adults and $3 for children. You can even pre-book your tickets online or pay for a guided tour before leaving your hometown.
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7. Have Fun at the Legoland Discovery Center
If you’re not in the mood for outdoor entertainment and looking for things to do in Schaumburg today, you shouldn’t miss the Legoland Discovery Center. Specially designed for families with young kids, this indoor entertainment arena is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the town.
However, that doesn’t mean there’s nothing for adults. You can tingle your creative nerve by building masterpieces using all the Lego pieces you like. The center also includes thrilling Lego-themed rides that are bound to have your children screaming with joy.
Similarly, if your family is up for a theatrical experience, the Legoland Discovery Center also has a 4D cinema and a VR experience area to make for a memorable trip. But, most importantly, you can find many places in the center where you can build and play with the Legos available.
Moreover, there’s a Lego shop where you can buy gifts for your children and a coffee shop where you can have treats after a fun day. Entry tickets for the Legoland Discovery Center are priced at around $20 per head, with additional charges for the activities you take up. Altogether, the center makes a unique indoor attraction for those traveling with families.
8. Visit the Prairie Center for the Arts
One of Schaumburg’s best tourist attractions for art enthusiasts is The Prairie Center for the Arts. With a combination of local and international acts on its stage, this performing arts venue is a must-visit place in town.
The main theatre in the center can seat more than 440 patrons and provides an intimate concert setting with enthralling acoustics and appealing sightlines. This means wherever you’re seated in the theatre, you’ll witness arts and crafts shows with an amazing theatrical experience.
Besides that, the Prairie Center is also famous for its free outdoor concerts in the summer. In addition, you can sign up for their annual festival if you visit between May and August. Here, you can experience live music, dance, and other theatre experiences that fit every taste.
The Herb Aigner Gallery is another attraction with monthly exhibits at the center. This means you’ll witness something new depending on the month of your visit.
Also, you can sign up for short music and dance classes during your stay in their youth programming center. Although you don’t have to pay any entrance fee at the theatre and most attractions are free, you can donate to the management to maintain the theatre’s grandeur. You can find hotels near The Prairie Center for the Arts at Booking.com.
9. View the ArtWorks at the Chicago Athenaeum International Sculpture Park
Located at the Atcher Municipal Center Grounds, the Chicago Athenaeum International Sculpture Park is one of Schaumburg’s best activities. The vast forest and meadows spanning 20 acres are dotted with beautiful art pieces and sculptures created by local and international artists, making for an awe-inspiring walk.
These sculptures depict a range of themes, including abstract and industrial designs. Some famous works on display include the miniature Stonehenge-stye sculpture arrangements and various rocks with carved faces. Similarly, a sculpture of a woman buried in the grass is an amazing, haunting art at the International Sculpture Park, which you shouldn’t miss out on.
Countless artists are featured at the International Sculpture Park. Some popular ones are Dennis Oppenheim, Charles de Montaigu, Nina Levy, Jerzy Kenar, and Egil Larssen. Make sure to purchase an interactive map at the entrance so you don’t miss out on any works from your favorite artists.
The park remains open from sunrise to sunset, and there’s no entrance fee. This is the ideal solution if you’re after a budget-friendly day out.
10. Take a Trip Down History at Medieval Times
If you’re looking for a relaxing show and dinner at Schaumburg, Medieval Times is your go-to place. The restaurant and entertainment center takes you back to the Spanish Middle Agesthrough its cuisine, ambiance, and setting.
The Four-Course Meal
You can indulge in a medieval-style four-course meal with your family at Medieval Times. The food is delicious, and you can also order vegetarian options for your vegan friends.
While eating, you’ll be seated amongst lush medieval decor, including knights, horses, swords, and falcons. This makes it an absorbing activity of 11th-century Spain.
At the same time, you can view a two-hour show performed by professional artists. The performance includes a jousting tournament from medieval times, with the actors wielding real weapons.
Apart from the dinner-and-show, you can check out the range of exhibitions at the location. These include the Hall of Arms, where you can view real weapons, coats of arms, and medieval decor.
You can also visit the Medieval Times Museum of Torture if you have the heart. The infamous display showcases full medieval torture device replicas, sure to give you nightmares.
Entry Ticket Cost
The place is crowded during peak seasons, so book your tickets beforehand. Each ticket costs around $40, and the prices may vary according to the nature of the show and exhibits.
11. Go Hiking at Salt Creek Park Forest Preserve
The Salt Creek Park Forest Preserve is another of Schaumburg’s unique nearby attractions for outdoor enthusiasts. Located approximately 10 miles from the town, the park is easily accessible by a rental car.
The main attractions at the park include its walking and hiking trails that take you through a diverse array of wildlife and vegetation. While hiking, some birds and animal species you might spot include hickories, red-headed woodpeckers, bluegill, black oars, bur oaks, catfish, bass, and Baltimore orioles.
You can go fishing, bird-watching, canoeing, and kayaking close by during summertime. Alternatively, wintertime sports include snow hiking, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing. Even if you’re not in for sports, you can enjoy the awe-inspiring views of the forest at any time of the year. The park has no entrance fee and is open from an hour after sunrise to an hour before sunset every day.
See Related: Best Places to Visit in the Midwest
12. Watch Sports at Schaumburg Boomers Stadium
As the home ground to the famous Boomers baseball team, Schaumburg’s Boomers Stadium is aptly named after them. So if you’re in town during the gaming season, catch a game during your stay, as it is one of the best things to do in Schaumburg.
The large stadium can seat more than 5,000 spectators and has 16 luxury suites for special guests. Besides that, they erect thousands of bleacher seats to accommodate fans on the lawns for a unique game-watching experience.
Besides that, you can enjoy a few food options at the stadium, including takeaway and seating-style restaurants and a full bar. Even if you don’t attend the game, you can visit the stadium for regular promotional nights and have a fun family outing. Game tickets range from $10 to $15, so check ticket prices on StubHub; there’s no entrance fee if you wish to visit the stadium at other times.
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Kyle Kroeger is the Founder and Owner of ViaTravelers.com. He is a seasoned traveler and entrepreneur. Kyle started ViaTravelers.com to help travelers find their next adventure, whether it’s exploring new places or revisiting old favorites.
He’s a converted finance nerd and Excel jockey turned world wonderer (and may try to get lost on purpose). He loves listening to people’s stories from around the world as well as sharing his own experiences traveling the globe. He loves travel so much that he moved from his hometown of Minneapolis to Amsterdam with his small family to travel Europe full-time.