Our History on the Move series of tours includes something for everyone - docent-led walking tours, bike tours, cemetery tours, and self-guided tours that you can take with you (or even navigate from the comfort of your couch!).
Outdoor tours run from April through October. To stay informed sign up for our weekly e-news HERE.
Special thanks to our tour sponsor Reuland & Turnbough Funeral Directors of Lake Forest.
We are happy to offer private group tours, scheduled based on docent availability. History Center members at the Gold level and above have the opportunity to book one complimentary group tour for up to 10 people. Private tours are available for nonmembers as well, at a rate of $350/tour for a group of up to 10. (For groups larger than 10, please connect with our staff to discuss possibilities.)
To book a private tour, contact Programs and Visitor Services Manager George Sigaev at firstname.lastname@example.org or 847.234.5253.
Outdoor, Docent-led Tours
Historic Market Square
This tour features interesting hidden details and shares stories of businesses past and present as we explore the nation’s first outdoor mall designed by Howard Van Doren Shaw.
Heart of Old Lake Forest
Did you know that the city of Lake Forest essentially grew up around Triangle Park? Come learn about the historic neighborhood where the History Center is located. The Triangle Park area has been home to many of the schools, churches, and houses of Lake Forest’s early residents. Our docent will guide you through the park’s important history, highlighting the stately architecture, people, and events that shaped the community we know today.
The Lasker Estate
Along with an overview of the history of Lasker’s Mill Road Farm, the tour will cover the story of the father of modern advertising Albert Lasker and the 13 farm buildings designed by renowned architect David Adler across 480 acres, all of which are now private residences.
Lake Forest College Campus
In this tour we explore the historic, architectural, and social origins & development of Lake Forest’s very own Lake Forest College. Our docent will guide you through a walk of middle and north campus, sharing overarching histories and personal stories associated with Lake Forest College and its impact on the formation of Lake Forest itself.
Lake Forest by Bike
A leisurely bike ride through the charming neighborhoods of central and east Lake Forest. Learn and explore as you pedal through downtown, past historic churches, and beautiful households old and new. Registrants are required to bring bicycles and helmets.
Lake Forest Cemetery
An architectural and historical walking tour of Lake Forest's beautiful lakeside cemetery. The final resting place for many who have left their mark on the social and civic fabric of Lake Forest, Lake Forest Cemetery is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and filled with monuments ranging from the traditional and classical to the contemporary and bold. (Note: At the moment, this tour is offered in the fall only and is not available for private booking. Stay tuned to our enews for updates.)
Self Guided Tours - Available Online
Thank you to Marge McClintock who has helped unravel the history of Arcady Farm and its neighboring properties in this self-guided, walking tour. A thirty year resident of Lake Forest, Marge lives in the Arcady neighborhood and is an avid gardener, nature enthusiast and history lover. During walks around the land, and while digging in her own garden, she has discovered several remnants and artifacts that have helped piece together this fascinating tour. In addition, Marge has spent hours researching the many people, places and events associated with this historic property throughout the past century.
Immerse yourself in the magnificent architectural and community history of Lake Forest's Lake Road. The tour will open in a simple PDF file that is formatted for phones and tablets. Tour is 1.25 miles and takes about 25 minutes to walk.
Leaf through Lake Forest's past on this journey highlighting the town's arboreal landmarks - trees that have observed history at significant Lake Forest sites. Tour is designed for driving or biking.