Cantigny Park

Extended hours on Wednesdays start May 5; First Division Museum, too!

Wheaton, Ill., April 26, 2021—Cantigny Park plans to stay open late on Wednesdays beginning May 5 and through the summer. The “Stroll After Sunset” program, new for 2021, aims to satisfy higher public demand for outdoor pursuits and introduce more guests to the park’s recent enhancements, including new pathways and lighting.

Cantigny’s usual closing time is sunset. On Wednesdays, it will now be one hour after sunset. In early May that means about 9 pm, but as the days grow longer the park will be open as late as 9:30 pm.

“The work we’ve completed through Project New Leaf makes this possible,” said Matt LaFond, executive director of Cantigny Park. “One of our key goals for the project was to make the park more accessible in every way. Stroll After Sunset is just the beginning of our ability to now host additional evening events and programs in the gardens.”

The later close on Wednesday includes the First Division Museum at Cantigny Park, which will keep doors open until 8 pm. Due to the pandemic, the museum currently operates on a timed-entry system—tickets are free, but advance registration is required via the museum’s website.

Main attractions during Stroll After Sunset will be the Cantigny gardens, accented by the park’s new lighted fountain, and the First Division Museum exhibits and tanks. McCormick House is closed for renovation until 2022. 

Magan Ascher, director of visitor services, sees potential for “pop up” attractions, too, such as a strolling violinist.

“Nothing is currently planned, but I like the idea of adding elements of surprise, especially on warm summer nights,” Ascher said. “Pop ups could add to the fun.”

Cantigny Park is open daily from 9 am to sunset (7 am starting May 1). Parking is $5 per car and free on the first Wednesday of the month. Cantigny Park members receive free parking, invitations to exclusive events, and other benefits. More information is online at Cantigny.org.

About Cantigny Park

Cantigny Park, part of the Chicago-based Robert R. McCormick Foundation, is the 500acre Wheaton estate of Robert R. McCormick (1880-1955), long-time editor and publisher of the Chicago Tribune. It is home to the McCormick House, First Division Museum, display gardens, picnic grounds, walking trails and a Visitors Center with retail shop, banquet, and dining facilities. More information, including hours, directions and upcoming events is online at Cantigny.org. Cantigny Golf, adjacent to the park, features a 27-hole championship golf course, full-service clubhouse, Cantigny Golf Academy and the 9-hole Cantigny Youth Links. For more information, visit CantignyGolf.com.

Cantigny Park