Location: 1S151 Winfield Road, Wheaton
Gardens & Grounds:
Mon-Sun, 9am-Sunset, Nov 1 – Apr 30 (Closed 11/25, 11/26, 12/24-12/27, 12/31, & entire month of January)
Mon-Sun, 7am-Sunset, May 1 – Oct 31Cantigny Park and Museums are closed Mon-Thu in February.
Tues-Sun, 10am-4pm (Closed 11/25, 11/26, 12/24-12/27, 12/31, & entire month of January)May-October
Cantigny Park and Museums are closed Mon-Thu in February.
Admission: Free, but there is a fee for parking.
Parking: $5/car. Twilight parking is $2/car and is available May 1-Oct 31 from 7am-10am, and after 5pm. There is a large lot. A parking pass is available for $60 ($50 to renew) and is valid for one full year. The parking pass can be purchased at the park or online.
Bathrooms: There were large public bathrooms available in the visitor’s center; we were able to bring our wagon into the bathroom. There were changing tables available. There are bathrooms near the picnic area as well.
Nursing area: There is no designated nursing area.
Handicapped/stroller accessible: Cantigny is accessible. We brought our wagon and had not problem using it indoors and outdoors. We were even able to bring two wagons into the bathroom with us.
Amenities: There is a visitors center with a gift shop, garden center, restrooms, restaurants, and a large lobby with a map underneath the floor. Cantigny offers educational programs, special event rentals, scouting programs, birthday parties, group visits, and facility rentals.
Food: Cantigny offers plenty of options for picnicking; there are plenty of picnic tables and lots of open space if you prefer to spread a blanket on the ground. Outdoor food is permitted.
There are also several restaurants:
- Red Oak Room – open only for Sunday brunch and banquets
- Le Gardin – quick, casual family food
- Bertie’s Coffee Shop – offers coffee and ice cream
- Fairways Grill – casual grill with indoor and outdoor dining
Special events: Cantigny offers a wide range of special events and activities daily. Their event calendar can be viewed online. Some exciting upcoming events:
- Sept 10-11 – Revolutionary War Reenactment
- Sept 17 – Stargazing
- Sept 18 – Car Show
- Sept 24 – Green Fair
- Oct 8 – Fall Festival
Gardens – Cantigny has 29 acres of 22 gardens.
First Division Museum – Learn about the history of the First Division inside the museum, and see (& climb on) 11 tanks outside.
McCormick Museum – Learn about the life of Robert R. McCormick, editor and published of the Chicago Tribune for 44 years.
Golf – 27 holes, include Youth Links.
Hiking – There is a two & a half mile wood chip trail.
Playground – There is a large play structure near the picnic area. Kids can enjoy climbing, sliding, and swinging.
ParCourse Fitness Circuit – This is located near the playground.
Fountain – There is a fountain area behind the visitor’s center. Swimsuits are not allowed, but bring a change of clothes because the kids will get wet.
We paid: $5 for parking.
Our experience: We visited Cantigny for the first time about three weeks ago with some friends. I’m so disappointed that we didn’t explore it sooner because it’s really a great place. The kids liked the visitors center, especially the map of the park they could walk over.
We picnicked and spent a long time playing in the park. It was great that there were picnic tables nearby in the shade so the mommies could sit and relax (at least when the kids weren’t getting into trouble).
After a long time playing in the heat, we were delighted to discover the fountains by the visitors center; the kids ran around some more and got soaked.
We didn’t have time to play by the tanks this time because we spent so much time eating lunch and playing in the park and the fountain. We didn’t even make it to any of the gardens, so we’ll definitely be making a trip back soon (and I’ll add some more pictures when we do!).
The only slightly negative thing we experienced was at the visitors center; the woman working at the information desk they day we visited made it very clear that she was not happy about children being in the visitors center. Another family let us know they had the same experience with her. I thought it was pretty unfortunate, but it didn’t ruin our day or anything. My hope is that she was just having a bad day that day.