During my search of the extraordinary out of a summer that has been that AND so much more, I came across a place called “Cantigny Park.” A beautiful park, this had the feel of something grand, could be because I had to pay $5 to park there as well! With two different lots to park in, I really had no clue what and where I wanted to be. I had done some light research online and figured I’d just go and see for myself- it’s nice to know what you’re in for, but the surprise is oh so much sweeter! Now, I had read online that it had a park full of retired Tanks. Not the armless kind, although that would have been actually a lot funnier to come upon. They had the real deal Army Tanks from World War 1, spread all across the Park area. From my understanding online, there would be a couple. No, there were a TON of them! Families with little ones were playing on them, and I just thought of the history behind each one and how back during the day they were used, how they would have imagined them being “played on” one day. I guess it makes sense because the entire park is named after the first Battle won by America during World War 1, which was the Battle of Cantigny.
Robert R. McCormick, the owner of the Cantigny property, commanded his artillery batallion in the French City known as “Cantigny” hence where the name came from for the Battle and this Property. Colonel McCormick lived on the property from 1920 until his death in 1955. He willed the home and the grounds to his foundation for the purpose of education for the future, and I think he would be proud of how well they kept up the park and grounds.
It boasts TWO Museums, one in the Visitors Center and one in the Mansion- YES- the Mansion! Due to Covid, everything was very restricted and they had just started to open up reserved times for the visitors center one. Personally I would’ve rather walked through the home, it looked SOOOO beautiful! They also have a golf course, the Tank Park, and then these GORGEOUS gardens! Can you say sunflower pics? 30 acres of flowers after flowers, designed by Franz Lipp in 1967. I can’t even imagine the amount of weddings they host here, it’s a fairytale setting. So I just walked the grounds and took pics, enjoyed the sunshine, and pretended to be a Millionaire because imagination is everything.
If you are looking for a Park to take the kids to blow off some steam, this place is huge and it will definitely tire the little ones out. Also, they have an ice cream parlor, gift shop, and clean restrooms- always a good thing but never been more important during covid. I DID have to wear my mask indoors, but I only put it on outdoors when I had to pass someone on a sidewalk. So check them out next time you’re in Wheaton, Illinois. Check out all of my other Illinois adventures HERE. Enjoy!
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Going from “What If? to “Why Not” is my life motto and I work hard at living that every day. I share everything from moving to Florida to live near Disney World to road trips across the States. I love the cool, quirky, and crazy stuff that I can find on my Adventures, and every dollar you donate helps support my efforts and hard work. Thank you to ALL who support me!