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Local Attractions

Residents and visitors to the Buffalo Grove area don’t have to travel far to access some of the region’s most exciting attractions.


Chicago Indoor Racing is Buffalo Grove’s most fast-paced, action-packed attraction. Opened in late 2003 by former racecar driver Tony Stewart, Chicago Indoor Racing is the place to be for those ready to experience realistic, open-wheel racing.

This two-level, 85,000-square-foot space was converted from the former General Binding Corporation warehouse and production facility into a $3.5 million racing haven. Guests don real racing jump suits and helmets as they step into low-riding carts that give the illusion of high-speed driving. While racers feel as though they’re topping 100 m.p.h., the reality is that these carts don’t exceed 35 m.p.h.

The Chicago Indoor Racing complex features two 700-foot European road courses, and can host group events for gatherings as large as 400. The two tracks have the capability of being connected for 1,400 feet of track. This “third” track is reserved for special events and leagues, with accommodations for 16-18 drivers or teams each race. The facility also features dining at Stewart’s Bar & Grill, billiards and plenty of single-player and multi-play/multi-participation gaming. Meeting space is available, as are programs for both youth and adult racing enthusiasts. While racers must be 16 years of age with a valid driver’s license (guests under 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian), the Junior Racing School welcomes children ages seven through 17 to participate. This venue hosts thousands of corporate events annually, so same-day reservations for individuals are highly recommended to guarantee a race time.


From bowling to laser tag and arcade games, eSkape Entertainment Center offers 60,000 square feet of amusements. This indoor entertainment complex offers 36 bowling lanes with individual instructional displays, electronic score-keeping and animated 3-D graphics. Several of the lanes are even furnished with chic lounge sofas for added comfort. Surrounding the bowling area is a modern video arcade with meeting and breakout space, as well as a brand-new, state-of-the-art laser tag arena. Additionally, eSkape’s GrillWorks caters to hungry guests and those hoping to catch that night’s game with tasty appetizers and a full menu featuring an eclectic array of entrees.


It was 1853 when Melchoir Raupp purchased 187 acres of land for his farm, which remained in the hands of Melchoir’s descendents for more than 100 years. In 1957, the remaining members of the Raupp family sold much of the land to a local developer, who ultimately established the community’s first subdivision. A small portion of the area was presented to the Village of Buffalo Grove for use as either a library or a museum. The Village turned over the project to the Buffalo Grove Park District and the Raupp Museum came to life when it was dedicated in 1979.

Today, the Raupp Museum invites residents and visitors to step back in time and learn about the history and growth of the Buffalo Grove community. Three interactive exhibits comprise the museum’s interesting historical spread. The newly renovated main exhibit shows patrons how life in Buffalo Grove has evolved over the last 175 years, beginning with the Potowatomi existence in the 1830s and traveling through time into the agricultural period and the 20th century.

The Town Square Gallery displays the hustle and bustle of downtown Buffalo Grove during the early 1900s, with features including a general store, tavern, working water pump and 1926 schoolhouse. The Lower Gallery hosts regularly rotating exhibits, which change between three and four times each year. A regular exhibit showcased in the Lower Gallery is Everybody’s Got A Gift—an annual display of paintings created by adult art students from the park district.

The museum encourages lifelong learning and achieves this goal through a year-round calendar of educational programming and events. School groups, home school associations and community-based organizations dive into the past through various hands-on programs highlighting such areas as archeology, the Potowatomi, the life of Buffalo Grove’s early settlers and its dairy farmers, as well as the changes that have occurred over the last century.


Neighboring Arlington Heights hosts one of the country’s finest racecourses. Arlington Park has a storied history that is traced back more than 80 years to October 13, 1927—the date of the park’s first Thoroughbred racing event. Arlington Park weathered through the Great Depression and World War II, and thrived during the Golden Era of Racing. In 1981, the park hosted the inaugural Arlington Million—the world’s first million-dollar race.

As Arlington Park was enjoying its prominence, tragedy struck on the morning of July 31, 1985, when a fire completely destroyed the Grandstand facility. Even with the damages, the park hosted the Arlington Million that year, complete with tents and temporary bleachers. The following year it hosted the 13-day International Festival of Racing, and in 1986, construction began on the new six-story Grandstand. After just 19 months, the Grandstand was completed, reopening to the public on June 28, 1989.

Arlington Park remains at the forefront of Thoroughbred racing. In 2007, the park became the first in the Midwest, and the fifth in North America, to introduce the state-of-the-art Polytrack—a synthetic racing surface. Crowds continue to fill the stands every Thursday through Sunday, from late April/early May through September. And holidays, including Memorial Day, Fourth of July and Labor Day, regularly draw a full audience ready to cheer on their horse and jockey of choice. Arlington Park offers a great day for the whole family to enjoy. With a reasonably priced entrance fee and betting as low as $2, it also stands as an affordable form of entertainment in the northwest suburbs.

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