Now that you’ve been to the Museum of Science and Industry and The Field so many times you could lead a tour, it’s time to earn a little extra credit. When you’re craving something new and culture’s on the menu, check out a hidden gem museum that’s just a mini road trip away. We dug up 9 goodies that are within an hour’s drive of Chicago. Click through to see them all, from a secret nature center to an auto museum with superhero appeal.

Isle a la Cache Museum – Romeoville

Learn about Illinois in the 18th century when our state was home to French voyageurs and native Potawatomi. Operated by the Forest Preserve of Will County on an island in the Des Plaines River, this recently renovated museum features many interactive exhibits and a Native American longhouse. At a recent museum event, children participated in traditional French and Woodland Indian games and story telling. If you visit the island in the summer, your family will want to take part in one of many nature activities like fishing, kayaking, hiking and more.

501 E. Romeo Rd. (135th Street), east of Route 53
Romeoville
815-886-1467
Online: reconnectwithnature.org
Hours: Tues.-Sat., 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; Sun., noon-4 p.m.
Admission: Free

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Do you have a favorite hidden gem museum? Tell us about it in the Comments!

— Amy Bizzarri & Jenny Muslin