Exceptional people deserve an exceptional tour. For those group leaders seeking sensory therapy tourism ideas, we’ve put together an itinerary for you. We’ve put together an itinerary that the venues can be done together or separately depending on your group’s needs and time. Most of these venues are available Spring, Summer and Fall however, Winter can be extremely serene and beautiful.
This 10-acre private estate is open to groups on select weekdays, June - September. The home of The Train Lady, Elaine Silets, boasts quiet gardens and 10,000 square feet of land operating G-scale model trains. The wonderful thing about outdoor Garden Railways is that train fans of all ages can become immersed and have a great time.
The gardens at Wandering Tree Estate are unlike anything in the Chicago suburban area. There are several gardens on the estate to explore, ranging from quaint English-inspired rose gardens, to a Japanese garden with waterfalls and its very own miniature bridge. The gardens are perfect for those looking for a relaxing outdoor setting surrounded by nature.
Lambs Farm is where people grow. They help people with developmental disabilities lead productive, happy lives and connect with the human spirit in us all.
This is your perfect lunch location, whether you bring your own “sack lunch” and rent the picnic area/covered pavilions or dine in as a group at Magnolia Café and Bakery. Staff will meet your group to discuss Lambs mission and give an overview of the activities there. Besides the seasonal Farmyard (minimal entry fee), there is the Dogwood Garden and Pet Center, Cedar Thrift Shop and Sugar Maple Country Store & Bakery. Lambs has a new ice cream machine they are quite proud of so make sure you stop by for a frozen treat. You may also pre-purchase a goodie for everyone to take home like a small bag of their famous butter cookies.
The garden is truly 385 acres of sensory heaven. There are 27 gardens, 4 natural areas, 9 islands, 20 sculptures and 6 miles of lake shoreline. Exhibits such as the Sensory Garden, Butterflies in Blooms and the Model Railroad Garden plus the seasonal tram tours are available during the warmer months. And the entire Garden is ADA accessible.
The Chicago Botanic Garden’s collection of nearly 200 bonsai includes a Japanese white pine that has been trained for at least 100 years. On rotating display, each bonsai takes the stage at the peak of its beauty. The select bonsai are on display in the Regenstein Center’s two courtyards from roughly April 1 to October 1, depending on the weather.
With so much to offer, let us help develop a day best suited for your group. And should you wish to stay for dinner, the Garden Café has fresh options with indoor/outdoor dining as well as grilled options on certain days.
If you are coming from a distance, let Jayne assist in finding a group-friendly hotel nearby. With over 60 hotels including 3 resorts, full-service and limited-service options, we can put together an evening concert at the hotel or visit a nearby entertainment venue. The summer-time expands your options for local outdoor concerts, skilled fun at Par-King Adventure Golf or a private concert at your hotel.
Travel up to the farms and rolling landscape of Old Mill Creek to experience the gentle nature of The Tempel Lipizzans. These amazing creatures are very personable, love people and appreciate the interaction and enthusiasm when they perform. The behind-the-scenes tours serve to educate on the history of the stallions’ synchronized movements, the harmony of partnership between horse and rider and the impressive athleticism and training.
Each tour is customized depending on interest and size, as some groups just want total engagement with the stallions. And should your group wish to see a summer-time performance, Jayne can assist with any specific needs or concerns you may have. The outdoor arena and classical music with the sprawling farmland provide a lovely day out in the country.
Music therapy is also another option at Adler Arts Center. AAC is dedicated to promoting music and the arts as an integral part of everyday life. They also have plans for a sculpture garden and birdwatching walkway.
And your Veterans groups may want to visit Freedom Farm for Vets. It’s a safe place to go any time a veteran needs a break from the daily stresses of life. All vets and members of their family are welcome. They don’t use words like “handicapped” or “challenged”. The farm is about vets helping vets, the farm feeding the hungry in the community, and in time experiencing the rewards of another kind of service.
Think of all that you can encounter with your group in two days, 1 day or separate trips to each – trains, stallions, butterflies, gardens, farm animals, fun, food, shopping and memories in Lake County. We’d like to help you build an encounter here soon.
However you choose to piece together your tour, your knowledgeable Lake County coordinator Jayne Nordstrom will be on hand to assist you.