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Guidebook for Northbrook

Jenny & Aaron

Guidebook for Northbrook

Parks & Nature
This is my absolute favorite place in all of Chicagoland and it's only 15 minutes away. The garden is free and open year-round, but parking is $20. Don't miss the model railroad garden for a few extra dollars-so worth it with multiple trains and miniature versions of many US cities! They've recently opened a new kids natural play ground and a beer garden. This is a great place to relax and bathe in nature.
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Chicago Botanic Garden
1000 Lake Cook Road
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This is my absolute favorite place in all of Chicagoland and it's only 15 minutes away. The garden is free and open year-round, but parking is $20. Don't miss the model railroad garden for a few extra dollars-so worth it with multiple trains and miniature versions of many US cities! They've recently opened a new kids natural play ground and a beer garden. This is a great place to relax and bathe in nature.
The Trail Through Time is two blocks from our home and adjacent to the larger Techny Prairie Park and Fields. This is a great place for a walk or run, and a great reminder of what Illinois used to look like. The kids might find some Pokemon along the way, as well as a great playground, 9-hole Par 3 golf course, skate park, soccer and baseball fields.
Techny Prairie Park and Fields
1750 Techny Rd
The Trail Through Time is two blocks from our home and adjacent to the larger Techny Prairie Park and Fields. This is a great place for a walk or run, and a great reminder of what Illinois used to look like. The kids might find some Pokemon along the way, as well as a great playground, 9-hole Par 3 golf course, skate park, soccer and baseball fields.
Entertainment & Activities
The Ravinia Festival - or simply "Ravinia" - is the oldest outdoor music festival in the United States, with a series of outdoor concerts and performances held every summer from June to September. And only 15 minutes away from our house.
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Ravinia Festival West Lot
211-245 Ravinia Park Road
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The Ravinia Festival - or simply "Ravinia" - is the oldest outdoor music festival in the United States, with a series of outdoor concerts and performances held every summer from June to September. And only 15 minutes away from our house.
Recently remodeled, catch newest blockbuster movies at the AMC in the Northbrook Court shopping mall. Reserved seating, lounge chairs and a full menu.
AMC DINE-IN Northbrook Court 14
1525 Lake Cook Rd
Recently remodeled, catch newest blockbuster movies at the AMC in the Northbrook Court shopping mall. Reserved seating, lounge chairs and a full menu.
If you don't need to eat a full meal and lay down on a sleeper sofa while watching a movie, my preference is the ArcLight in Glenview. Reserved seating, popcorn, candy and a full bar.
ArcLight Cinemas - Glenview
1850 Tower Dr
If you don't need to eat a full meal and lay down on a sleeper sofa while watching a movie, my preference is the ArcLight in Glenview. Reserved seating, popcorn, candy and a full bar.
Bowling, Bocce ball courts, Bar, and amazing restaurant! This place is super fun and one of the best restaurants in Northbrook. Just call before you go to make a reservation. They tend to book up.
Pinstripes
1150 Willow Rd
Bowling, Bocce ball courts, Bar, and amazing restaurant! This place is super fun and one of the best restaurants in Northbrook. Just call before you go to make a reservation. They tend to book up.
Great place for families! Multiple walls to climb, ropes course, cave exploration, and a playground for younger kids. 10 minute drive from our house, in the Glen.
Funtopia Glenview
2050 Tower Dr
Great place for families! Multiple walls to climb, ropes course, cave exploration, and a playground for younger kids. 10 minute drive from our house, in the Glen.
Great local children's museum! There are even infant areas in each section. Our 9 yr old still loves it!
Kohl Children's Museum
2100 Patriot Boulevard
Great local children's museum! There are even infant areas in each section. Our 9 yr old still loves it!
Only 30 minutes away lies Six Flags Great America and Hurricane Harbor (water park). If you've got an extra day and it's nice out, this is a great option.
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Six Flags Great America
1 Great America Parkway
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Only 30 minutes away lies Six Flags Great America and Hurricane Harbor (water park). If you've got an extra day and it's nice out, this is a great option.
Food Scene
House 406 is a cozy spot with great food, unfortunately situated in a non-descript "strip mall" setting. Don't let the outside appearance fool you. Prices are spendy for families, but this is a nice spot for an adults night out.
House 406
House 406 is a cozy spot with great food, unfortunately situated in a non-descript "strip mall" setting. Don't let the outside appearance fool you. Prices are spendy for families, but this is a nice spot for an adults night out.
Graeter's has to be the most popular "restaurant" in Northbrook. A 5-minute walk from our house, the french pot ice cream is known for the huge chunks of chocolate in nearly every flavor. It's dangerous, and pricey compared to the Baskin Robins across the street, but worth the indulgence. They are also very allergen friendly and will always open a new bucket of ice cream when we visit with our daughter who has a nut allergy. That said - try the buckeye flavored ice cream - not nut friendly, but an interesting import from this Ohio-based chain.
Graeter's Ice Cream
Graeter's has to be the most popular "restaurant" in Northbrook. A 5-minute walk from our house, the french pot ice cream is known for the huge chunks of chocolate in nearly every flavor. It's dangerous, and pricey compared to the Baskin Robins across the street, but worth the indulgence. They are also very allergen friendly and will always open a new bucket of ice cream when we visit with our daughter who has a nut allergy. That said - try the buckeye flavored ice cream - not nut friendly, but an interesting import from this Ohio-based chain.
Breakfast! This no-nonsense local diner serves up traditional American breakfast fare at reasonable prices. And the portions are huge.
Georgie V's
1139 Church St
Breakfast! This no-nonsense local diner serves up traditional American breakfast fare at reasonable prices. And the portions are huge.
The best breakfast/brunch in the northshore! Egg Harbor is a Chicago-based chain. Expect to pay $10+ per person - which is pretty pricey for breakfast, but it's worth the splurge. Menu changes with the season. Banana Bread French toast is my favorite and on Saturday mornings they usually have someone making balloon animals for kids. Wait times can be high, so come early. Free coffee while you wait. For lunch, try the Door County Chicken Salad.
Egg Harbor Cafe
2350 Lehigh Ave
The best breakfast/brunch in the northshore! Egg Harbor is a Chicago-based chain. Expect to pay $10+ per person - which is pretty pricey for breakfast, but it's worth the splurge. Menu changes with the season. Banana Bread French toast is my favorite and on Saturday mornings they usually have someone making balloon animals for kids. Wait times can be high, so come early. Free coffee while you wait. For lunch, try the Door County Chicken Salad.
Crepes and coffee - and chocolate. Leonidas is a quick walk from our house. They have limited seating and a poor ventilation system (you might smell like chocolate all day), but their crepes are amazing and the coffee is strong. Try a banana nutella crepe.
Leonidas Cafe Chocolaterie
1348 Shermer Rd
Crepes and coffee - and chocolate. Leonidas is a quick walk from our house. They have limited seating and a poor ventilation system (you might smell like chocolate all day), but their crepes are amazing and the coffee is strong. Try a banana nutella crepe.
Great seafood and if you can get in on a nice night, the back patio is fantastic!
Lucky Fish Northbrook
1349 Shermer Rd
Great seafood and if you can get in on a nice night, the back patio is fantastic!
Arts & Culture
The brand new theatre building is beautiful to behold from the outside. Writers Theatre produces critically acclaimed professional theatre.
Writers Theatre
325 Tudor Court
The brand new theatre building is beautiful to behold from the outside. Writers Theatre produces critically acclaimed professional theatre.
Great little theater with fun lobby ambience.
Oil Lamp Theater
1723 Glenview Rd
Great little theater with fun lobby ambience.
Shopping
Retail isn't dead yet in Northbrook. Northbrook Court features high-end retailers Louis Vuitton, Neiman Marcus and Tiffany - which we usually pass on our way to the Apple Store or Lego Store. The mall is also home to the recently renovated AMC Northbrook Court with lounge seating and full menu.
Northbrook Court
Retail isn't dead yet in Northbrook. Northbrook Court features high-end retailers Louis Vuitton, Neiman Marcus and Tiffany - which we usually pass on our way to the Apple Store or Lego Store. The mall is also home to the recently renovated AMC Northbrook Court with lounge seating and full menu.
You'd almost expect Meg Ryan to greet you in this "Shop Around the Corner" bookstore. Fantastic selection of children's books and super friendly and knowledgable staff if you're looking for something new to read.
Book Bin
1151 Church St
You'd almost expect Meg Ryan to greet you in this "Shop Around the Corner" bookstore. Fantastic selection of children's books and super friendly and knowledgable staff if you're looking for something new to read.
Cute local boutique!
La De Da
1957 Cherry Ln
Cute local boutique!
Getting Around
Milwaukee District North (MD-N) stop is one block away. 40 minutes to downtown Chicago with almost hourly trains on the weekends. (Check the schedules as some hours are skipped, I think just to mess with people.) The last train back leaves Chicago at 12:25 AM. Download the Ventra app to buy tickets and check train times.
Northbrook Metra Station West 1
1401 Shermer Road
Milwaukee District North (MD-N) stop is one block away. 40 minutes to downtown Chicago with almost hourly trains on the weekends. (Check the schedules as some hours are skipped, I think just to mess with people.) The last train back leaves Chicago at 12:25 AM. Download the Ventra app to buy tickets and check train times.
Amtrak stops two stations south of Northbrook in downtown Glenview. This would be a creative (read lengthy) way to get to our house, but you could transfer there to the Metra line on the same tracks to get to out house. Or take a day trip up to Milwaukee on the Amtrak back and forth.
Glenview Station
1116 Depot St
Amtrak stops two stations south of Northbrook in downtown Glenview. This would be a creative (read lengthy) way to get to our house, but you could transfer there to the Metra line on the same tracks to get to out house. Or take a day trip up to Milwaukee on the Amtrak back and forth.
Essentials
Northbrook staple - Sunset Foods has everything you might need for your stay. A good selection of wines and crafts beers plus deli counter, bakery, full grocery, and super friendly staff.
Sunset Foods
1127 Church St
Northbrook staple - Sunset Foods has everything you might need for your stay. A good selection of wines and crafts beers plus deli counter, bakery, full grocery, and super friendly staff.
This hole-in-the-wall liquor store has an amazing selection of craft beers and a ton of local Chicago beers that you won't find in most grocery stores.
Otis & Lee Inc
1026 Waukegan Rd
This hole-in-the-wall liquor store has an amazing selection of craft beers and a ton of local Chicago beers that you won't find in most grocery stores.