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Lake County Discovery Museum

Lake County Discovery Museum




Related Sites

Curt Teich Postcard Archives
Lake County History Archives

Other Information

Teachers and Youth Leaders
Volunteer at the Discovery Museum
Illuminating Lake County History Blog
The Curt Teich Postcard Blog
Sign up for Museum e-Newsletter
Be a Museum Member

The Archives Building is temporarily closed. For research assistance, please call the Archives staff at 847-968-3381 or explore the postcard exhibits at the Lake County Discovery Museum.

Construction Alert 

Lake County Division of Transportation Intersection Improvement Project: Fairfield Road and Route 176

  • During construction, access to Lakewood, the Lake County Discovery Museum, the Lakewood Dog Exercise Area and all adjacent trails will remain open though minor interruptions or temporary closures may occur. Be alert to signage that may direct to alternative preserve entrances.
  • Click here to view weekly LCDOT Project Status Updates, closure notices and project map.

On the Move

The museum will make a future move from its current location in Wauconda to the Lake County Forest Preserves General Offices in Libertyville. Private donations are being sought to fund the move. 

With twice the exhibit space of its current building and a more controlled environment to store collections, the new location will allow the Museum to display more of its artifacts and special exhibits and to better protect its historic collections. The central-county location near public transit and major roadways is expected to increase accessibility and public attendance, as well. Lakewood will continue to host popular annual outdoor events such as Civil War Days in July and the Farm Heritage Festival in September.

Whether you're a regular museum visitor or new to the area, we invite you to share your thoughts and ideas with us as we prepare to move and expand our exhibit space, and to ask us any questions you may have about the relocation. Please contact Katherine Hamilton Smith, Director of Cultural Resources, at 847-968-3380.


About the Museum

The museum provides a fun, well-rounded experience close to home. Hands-on interactive exhibits introduce the history of Lake County in a fun learning environment. The museum also displays the nation’s largest permanent exhibition on the history and significance of postcards. Changing exhibits in our special exhibition galleries take inspiration from art, history and popular culture.

The Lake County Discovery Museum is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums. The Friends of the Lake County Discovery Museum commissioned a fun congratulatory video.

Current and Upcoming Special Exhibitions

Sponsored by The Daily Herald

  • Real Photo Postcards: February 15 – August 24. Millions of real photo postcards were sent in the early part of the 20th century. These fascinating snapshot messages were the equivalent of today's Facebook wall, Instagram, Tumblr posts and tweets. Learn about these sometimes wacky, always curious images of everyday life one hundred years ago, from the collection of the Curt Teich Postcard Archives

Hours and Admission.

Regular gallery hours are Monday–Saturday, 10 am–4:30 pm and Sunday, 1 pm–4:30 pm.

  • Admission is $6 for adults, $2.50 for youth ages 4–17, $3 for students ages 18–25 and seniors ages 62 and up, and free for children three years and under.
  • Discount Tuesdays: adults $3, ages 4–17 (up to five children per adult) FREE, $1.25 per child for groups with five to 10 children per adult.
  • Museum members enjoy free daily admission.
  • Download a coupon: Save $1 per person on admission.
  • Open daily except for New Year's, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
  • Parking is free.  

Special Programs

The museum offers a variety of public programs for families and adults.

Each July, the museum hosts Civil War Days, the largest Civil War reenactment in Illinois.

At the Farm Heritage Festival each September, visitors are able to take a step back in time and explore Lake County’s rural roots.

Throughout the summer, museum educators provide fun and educational nature, history, and art day camps. The museum also makes a great place for a field trip or group tour.

Join us for special in-gallery talks Tuesdays from 11 am to 1 pm. These informal talks shed additional light on our exhibitions and are free with admission.

Museum Membership

Support the museum and receive great benefits by becoming a member of the Friends of the Lake County Discovery Museum.

Explore the benefits of membership.

Museum Shop

The shop features locally made goods, fair trade products, local history books and postcard gifts. In addition, it carries items related to our current special exhibitions.



The Lake County Discovery Museum is located in Lakewood Forest Preserve in Wauconda. [View on Google Maps]

The entrance is located on Route 176 west of Fairfield Road. Follow signs to the Lake County Discovery Museum.



Since 1976, Lakewood Forest Preserve (formerly known as Lakewood Farm) has been home to the nationally accredited Lake County Discovery Museum. The former farm buildings have been adapted and expanded to accommodate the Museum galleries, administrative offices, the Curt Teich Postcard Archives, and the Lake County History Archives.


Contact Information

Lake County Discovery Museum
27277 N Forest Preserve Rd
Wauconda, IL 60084
847-968-3400 (phone)
847-968-3231 (fax)
© Jess Smith
Lake County Discovery Museum
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Board approves 100-year Vision and Strategic Plan
Lake County Discovery Museum awarded $750,000 grant
Summer concerts at Independence Grove

Calendar of Events

Jul 31 Luminary Lectures - The Life of Eleanor Roosevelt
Aug 10 Luminary Lectures - Picasso and Chicago

Exhibits and Activities

Real Photo Postcards
Arnold Newman: Luminaries of the 20th Century in Art, Politics and Culture


LCDOT's Fairfield Road/Route 176 Intersection Project