Father and Son Outings
First Division Museum at Cantigny Park
Cantigny Park was the home of Colonel Robert R. McCormick, former editor and publisher of The Chicago Tribune. Now it houses the McCormick Museum, beautiful gardens, the First Division Museum, and two golf courses. McCormick chose the name because of his experiences as a soldier in the Battle of Cantigny, France, the first American victory of World War I. The Colonel commanded an artillery battalion of the U.S. Army's First Division.
The First Division Museum explores American history as seen through the eyes of the First Infantry Division. With more than 38,000 square feet, the First Division Museum (FDM) provides an immersive and stimulating experience for visitors of all ages. A highlight for kids is the chance to climb on the 11 tanks found on the museum's grounds.
Where: 1 South 151 Winfield Road, Wheaton, IL
When: Tuesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The museum stays open until 5 p.m. starting in May and through October.
Cost: Admission is free with paid parking ($5 per car).
Ages: All ages
Russell Military Museum
The Russell Military Museum is dedicated to educating the public about the conflicts and wars the US has weathered, and strives to highlight the many issues facing a country involved in a war. Situated on 8 acres, there are over 300 vehicles on display including tanks, jeeps, cannons, rifles, helicopters, jets and many unique vehicles you won't see anywhere else. Kids can have fun climbing on and into these vehicles, and tank rides are available. The museum hosts special events throughout the year with car crushing demonstrations, helicopter rides and more fun for the whole family.
Where: 43363 Old Highway 41, Russell, IL
Cost: Admission is $10 for adults; $5 for children; FREE for kids 2 and under. Tank rides are extra.
Ages: All ages
Melrose Park Indoor Grand Prix
Fathers looking for a fun activity to enjoy with their teen sons may want to consider indoor racing. Melrose Park Indoor Grand Prix is the Midwest's largest and fastest indoor kart racing center. Karts reach up to 42mph, and are powered by environmentally-conscious clean burning propane so the facility is free from noxious exhaust fumes normally associated with gasoline powered engines.
All karts are fitted with transponders that track and record lap times throughout the entire session. The times are displayed in real-time on a projection screen for spectators to monitor your progress. Following the session, drivers are provided with a printout of their lap times for the session.
Where: 2225 W North Ave, Melrose Park, IL
When: Monday-Thursday 4-10 p.m.; Fridat 4 p.m. - midnight; Saturday 11 a.m. - midnight; Sunday 11 a.m. - 8 p.m.
Cost: Racing is $20 for 1st session, with discounts for subsequent sessions in the same day; Additional fees for license ($5/daily; $10/weekly; $20/monthly) and headsock ($1 for disposable or $5 reusable)
Ages: Mon, Tues, Wed ALL racers be 16 or older. Thursday - Sunday racers MUST be 13 or older. All racers under the age of 18 are required to have a minor waiver signed and on file to race. Younger racers are allowed ONLY IF they have previous, verifiable, racing experience. A valid photo ID is REQUIRED for all racers that include name, birth date and picture.
Dads Slot Car Racing
Dads who want to enjoy some racing with their younger sons should check out Dads Slot Car Racing in Des Plaines. This facility has a large track where up to 8 slot cars can race at a time. Hungry racers can enjoy some premium ice cream after the final lap. Dads also offers an incentive for good grades, and awards 15 free minutes of track time for each "A" on a report card.
Where: 700 Lee Street, Des Plaines, IL
When: Tuesday - Saturday noon- 8:30 p.m.; Sunday noon - 5:00 p.m.; Closed on Mondays
Cost: Per half hour: $6 for track time; $3 rental car; $1 rental controller
Ages: All ages
For more information and ideas:
April 17: Focus on Family - Father and Son Outings
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