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.

Graue Mill and Museum – Oak Brook

Since 1852, the Graue Mill has been grinding cornmeal, its waterwheel turning at the edge of the picturesque Salt Creek. Today, the Graue Mill Museum is dedicated to bridging past and present through living-history programs that illustrate daily life of the past, including milling, spinning and weaving demonstrations. While the museum is closed in the winter, the grounds of the mill are picture-perfect year round. Kids will love throwing pebbles into the Salt Creek and watching sticks make their way down the beautiful falls that make the mill's gristmill go round.

3800 York Rd.
Oakbrook
630-655-2090
Online: http://www.grauemill.org/
Hours: Tues.-Sun., 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Admission: $4.50/adults; $2/children 4-12; free for ages 3 & under

photo: courtesy of johnnjunker via flickr

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

— Amy Bizzarri & Jenny Muslin