Whimsy and Wonder at The Place de la Musique - Atlas Obscura

Barrington Hills, Illinois

Whimsy and Wonder at The Place de la Musique

Explore a secret wonderland of antique music machines and Victorian ephemera at the Sanfilippo Estate's private home and museum.

Join Atlas Obscura for a tour of one of the world's most awe-inspiring collections of automatic music machines, pipe organs, arcades, and more from the turn of the century at the Place de la Musique.

The private home and museum, located at the Sanfilippo Estate in Barrington, is home to thousands of working mechanical instruments, orchestrions, record players, and more from the turn of the century. A true shrine to the Industrial Revolution, the massive collection even includes full-sized steam engines, cabooses and the Eden Palais carousel, built in France in the 1890s as a traveling, steam-powered amusement that's been painstakingly restored to its full glory.

The guided tour will take you back in time with demonstrations on dozens of the mechanical musical instruments throughout the museum, including the Mighty Wurlitzer Theatre pipe organ, one of the largest (and loudest) ever built, musical automatons (self-operating machines imitating humans), band organs from the 1800s, antique pianos, and more. If Victorian ephemera, movie palaces, antique lighting, and musical mechanics are your thing, you're in for a night full of fun and whimsy. (Keep an eye out for original fixtures from the Uptown Theatre on the tour, Chicago history aficionados!) 

Early Bird Tickets 

Tickets purchased before June 1st are $50; after June 1st are $60.


The San Filippo estate is a private residence, and the exact address will be shared upon ticket purchase. 

To enter, meet Field Agent Leyla Royale at the front door of the estate. Those arriving later than the posted meeting time may not be granted entry.

You can find out more about the estate by watching this video.


  • The event will run rain or shine.
  • 16+ only please! The estate is filled with valuables and the tour will likely not hold interest for children.
  • Walking shoes recommended.
  • This event is ADA accessible.
  • Photos for personal use are okay, but there is no video or audio recording allowed. Guests are encouraged to not post pictures on social media.


Email Leyla Royale at leyla.royale@atlasobscura.com.

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Advance ticket sales only. All ticket sales are final. No refunds or exchanges.