Libertyville's historic main street (part of Route 21, or Milwaukee Avenue) is a wonderful place to stroll and shop for unusual gifts and foods. I took violin and piano lessons for years at the David Adler Cultural Center, which hosts frequent classical and folk concerts. An old Victorian home, the Ansel B Cook House, gives frequent tours, and you can top off your afternoon with a latte at the adorable Caribou Coffee shop or a gourmet chocolate at the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory!
Cuneo Museum (formerly Hawthorn-Mellody Farms) is really a mansion that was built in 1914 & then purchased by John Cuneo (prominent Chicago businessman, philanthropist, & gentleman farmer) in 1937.
The mansion remained in the Cuneo family until 1990. It is of Venetian style architecture & features a 40-foot high great hall with arcaded balconies, sky lighted ceiling & grand staircase.
Venetian motifs include the carved stone frieze which forms the balcony railing & the painted coffered ceiling of the second story. It has double formal dining rooms & a private chapel with stained glass windows & frescoed ceilings. Imagine this, the walls of the indoor swimming pool are in travertine marble!.
The home is filled with fine old master paintings, 17th century tapestries, a collection of oriental rugs, much sculpture, & priceless silver.
The Ballroom is one of the best rooms in the mansion. At night adults gathered to enjoy music & to dance; in the daytime, the Cuneo children used the Ballroom as their playroom. It is a glassed-in room & has inlaid marble floors.
Frescoes are painted on the floor.
Of course, the highlight of the ballroom is a Steinway grand piano with a giltwood case which features a series of painted rondels of great composers on its side.
I enjoyed the grounds the most. They are comprised of 75 serene acres that have lakes, fountains, antique classical statues, formal gardens, and a private 9-hole golf course. there is also a conservatory that houses exotic plants
Museum tours are available:
Tuesday-Saturday at 11:00 a.m.
Sunday is a self guided tour
11:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.
Historical overviews are presented hourly.
Closed on Mondays
$5.00 per car for admission to the grounds attractions which include the gardens, conservatory, deer and goat pen, peacock house, and the Hawthorn-Mellody Exhibit but no mansion tour, which includes parking.
Mansion Tour costs $10.00 adults
9.00 senior citizens
5.00 12 & under and
One of the nicest new forest preserves in Lake County, Independence Grove has something for everyone. A former mining hole, it was filled in with a lake and is now a great place to go biking and walking (all gravel paths)--or rent one of their canoes, paddleboats. The trail around the lake is 2.3 miles long.
There is a nice restaurant and take-away window in the convention center (also available for meetings and weddings) open during the summer for meals and snacks.
Independence Grove offers visitors lots of outdoor opportunities centered on the 115-acre lake that was reclaimed from a gravel quarry. When the Forest Preserve bought this land in 1978, it was an old gravel quary that was one mile across & 40 feet deep. With imagination, they realized it could be reclaimed. In the early 1990s, a master plan evolved:Create the 115-acre lake by mining the quarry of any remaining resources, & use royalties to reclaim the site for the public. Then, millions of cubic yards of clean fill were brought in to create 60 acres of land. Thousands of trees & shrubs were planted. To create a habitat for fish out of a sterile lake with no vegetation, trees, fish cribs, & concrete pipes were placed along the lake's bottom before the water was allowed to rise. Now a rippling lake,it is surrounded by acres of native prairie planted with 100 thousand wildflowers!
The lake is designed for fishing, boating, & swimming. Rent from the Marina: fishing & pleasure boats, canoes, hydro-bikes, pedal boats, & kayaks.
There's a picnic area, a nature observation area, a swimming beach with showers & restrooms, a canoe launch on the Des Plaines River, a sand volleyball court, & a fishing pier.
You can enjoy about seven miles of trails that wind throughout the Preserve or you can fish from shore or cast your line from a rental boat. Musky, Northern Pike, Black Crappie, Largemouth Bass, Walleye, Bluegill, & Yellow Perch have been caught. Independence Grove requires catch-and release.
There is a huge Visitors Center situated along the east shore of the lake which features a gift shop, interactive exhibits, & food & beverage services.
There is a parking fee for non-Lake County residents of $5 per car Monday-Thursday & $10 per car Friday-Sunday & holidays.
Besides the Visitors Center & Gift Shop, there is a Cafe, a Marina, & the Swimming Beach.
Besides hiking, boat, fishing, & swimming, you can enjoy all the wildlife such as birds, muskrats, beaver, mink, raccoon, possum, or deer.
Lambs Farm is a great place to visit, especially for children. Just what is Lambs Farm? It's a place where families gather to enjoy animals, shops, food, & entertainment. More importantly, it is a place where 250 people with developmental disabilities live & lead personally fulfilling lives.
Lambs Farm, founded in 1961 serve adults with developmental disabilities, & has grown from a small pet shop located in Chicago to a 72-acre campus located in Libertyville. Most of all,they gain DIGNITY because these adults take pride in their accomplishments.
Businesses & attractions at Lambs Farm.
FARMYARD is fun for the entire family & features a petting area with goats & sheep, mini-golf, a mini-train, a cow bounce house, & an Old World Carousel. It is closed during winter months. Open 10:00am to 5:00pm daily.
PET SHOPThe pet shop is housed in the turn-of-the-century barn & features a wide selection of pets, pet supplies & gifts. It is open 10:00am to 5:00pm daily. Puppy & Kitten viewing happens between ten & four thirty daily.
COUNTRY INN RESTAURANT You can relax & enjoy a hearty, country-style meal which is served by the attentive staff & in the charming setting of the updated restaurant. Hours are 7:00am to 3:00pm Tuesday through Friday; 8:00am to 3:00pm on Saturday & Sunday. Closed Mondays.
AUNT MARY'S COUNTRY STORE & BAKERY You may wish to stop by Aunt Mary's for products made fresh on the farm such as jams, sauces, chocolates, & baked goods, or treat yourself to hand-dipped ice cream creations. Ten to five daily. They also specialize in French Pastries, Decorated Cakes, Assorted Artisan Breads, Brioche, & Specialty Cookies.
THRIFT SHOP If you like bargains, you'll love the Thrift Shop because you will never know what treasure is waiting for you. They have a wide variety of new & used merchandise which arrives daily. This store is newly remodeled & has clothing, household items, books, collectibles, electronics, toys, jewelry, & more.