Cantigny Park in Wheaton is definitely one of our favorite outdoor spots. Not only can adults appreciate the beautiful gardens, but there are plenty for kids to do. And for those families on a budget, all you have to pay is the $5 parking fee. Read on to find out why you should plan a visit to Cantigny ASAP!

Climb Tanks

The tank park will no doubt the highlight for any kids visit – the chance to climb tanks! The kids had a blast climbing each one.

One of their favorite tanks


Cross over streams

I know, I know. If your kids are anything like mine, they LOVE crossing creeks or water no matter. Located by the tank park (closer to the First Division Museum., the kids crossed over this small creek multiple times. It’s the simple things that keep them entertained.

If you head to the Idea Gardens, they have another fun water area. We even spotted fish in the small pond!

Amazing War Museum

To be honest with you, I did not expect much from the First Division Museum. Whoa! They did a fantastic job putting this museum together. The museum focuses on the history of the U.S. Army’s 1st Infantry Division. Learn about World War 2, Vietnam War, and the wars in the Middle East.  The interactive exhibits really enhanced our visit. We pretended to ride in one of the D-Day boats and watched what it was like to walk in soldier’s shoes on that fateful day. After the video presentation, we ended up on the beach where they fought. In the other exhibit across the hall, we pretended to ride in a tank. The really cool part was the video simulation with real audio clips from a mission.  Admission is free.

Love scavenger hunts? Make sure to ask the front desk for the I-Spy game.

Neat Playground

The adorable nature-themed playground is so much fun! Find tunnel slides, swings, a see saw, monkey bars underneath the bridge, climbing net, and a pole to slide down.

Have a Picnic

Their picnic grove is huge! Tons and tons of picnic tables, plus it is in close proximity to the playground.

Revel in the beauty of the gardens

The gardens are absolutely gorgeous!


See beams from World Trade Center

Just outside the First Division Museum, you’ll find beams from the former World Trade Center.

Have a cold one

Settle back and enjoy their new beer garden located between the Visitor Center and Tank Park. With plenty of chairs and lawn space, it is an ideal way to cap off a wonderful day at the gardens. On certain nights, they also have live music!


Nitty Gritty

Address: 1S151 Winfield Road, Wheaton, IL 60189
Admission: Admission to Cantigny Park is always free. There is a parking fee for the park.

Tips to Enjoy Cantigny

  • Visit on Wednesdays for free parking! Make sure to reserve in advance.
  • Not attending on a Wednesday? Visit your local library for a Museum Adventure Pass and our parking was completely FREE. We reserved ours and was good for one week. We saved about $15 for weekend parking!
  • Looking for more things to do around the area? Explore Downtown Wheaton or take a hike at Lincoln Marsh. Their nature play area is so much fun!
  • Bring water shoes if you have kids that are going to walk the creek area in the Idea Garden.