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Best Gourmet/Specialty Food Markets on the North Shore

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Still putting your holiday menus together? Whether you need full on inspiration, assistance with some finishing touches or just want to stock your fridge, the North Shore has some great specialty food spots that just might make your holiday a whole lot merrier!

Poeta’s Italian Food Market
520 Green Bay Road, Highwood, 847-432-3037

A true neighborhood gem. They are known for their fine meats, Italian specialties, homemade pastas, fresh bread and their famous Homemade Italian Sausage and Beef. Their deboned marinated chicken also gets big raves and if you are running short on time, they have a great selection of prepared frozen meals and pizza dough that are mother-in-law full proof.

Zier’s Prime Meat & Poultry
813 Ridge Road, Wilmette, 847-251-4000

Zier’s Prime Meats is an “old-fashioned family butcher shop in a modern time” specializing in the finest Midwestern raised prime beef, fresh poultry, naturally raised pork, veal, and lamb. They have their own smokehouse onsite and offer many varieties of homemade smoked sausages and meats; even smoked salmon. They also offer an extensive line of wild game and American Wagyu KOBE beef; as well as unusual and hard to find gourmet sauces, soups, and spices.

Artisanal
414 Linden Ave., Wilmette, 847-512-3155

Artisanal is another modern-day version of a family-owned neighborhood grocery, offering a wide array of locally sourced, organic and specialty foods. From high quality meats and charcuterie, to fresh cheese, dairy and produce to a tempting selection of grocery items including jams, condiments and cereals; they’ve got it all. And, we didn’t even mention their in-house sushi chef and “The Happy Room” (fun and exciting libations)!

Harrison’s Poultry Farm
1201 Waukegan Rd., Glenview, 847-724-0139

This poultry farm has been proudly serving the finest all-natural poultry to the people and restaurants of Chicago’s North Shore since 1893. In addition to a full range of fresh poultry (chicken, turkey, duck, goose, quail, hen, chicken sausage etc.), the store is filled with great products from local honey and all natural eggs, to an excellent selection of sauces and spices as well as pre-made poultry dishes and sides.

Reagan Meats
1855 Waukegan Rd., Glenview, 847-724-0243

Reagan Meats serves up some of the finest prime and organic meats and produce on the North Shore of Chicago. They process all of their own beef, pork, lamb, veal, and chicken and welcome special requests. They’ll even special order sausages made according to your own family recipes. In addition, they sell a variety of marinades and homemade frozen entrees for when you are in a pinch!

Corner Cooks
507 Chestnut St., Winnetka, 847-441-0134

While there may be some changes going on at the restaurant, Corner Cooks is still providing a wonderful Holiday-to-Go menu that can fulfill all of your holiday needs. Featuring a wide variety of appetizers, soup, salads, entrees, sides and of course, dessert, there is something for everyone on the menu. Please note: orders must be placed by Dec. 19 and picked up on Dec. 24 from 11-1:30.

Foodstuffs
2106 Central Street, Evanston, 847-328-7704
338 Park Avenue, Glencoe, 847-835-5101
1456 Waukegan Road, Glenview, 847-832-9999
225 E. Westminster Avenue, Lake Forest, 847-234-6600

With four locations throughout the North Shore, Foodstuffs has been providing quality gourmet food to Chicagoland shoppers for more than 30 years. Modeled after the European Market concept , they offer a full menu of items including homemade appetizers, soups, entrees, salads, sauces, breads and pastries as well as pates and cheeses, fresh seafood, quality meats, build your own salads and sandwiches and unique shelf products. Visit their website for special holiday menus and ordering deadlines.

If we omitted one of your favorites, or there is a certain topic you would like to see covered, please leave us a comment! Additionally, we are happy to point out any of these locations as part of our Tour of the Shore, a must do for anyone considering a move to the North Shore. It’s a stress free way to familiarize yourself with the communities, schools, house values and amenities in the area. Call us at 847.881.6657 to find out more.

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Holiday Fun on the North Shore Dec. 19-21

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Whichever holiday you celebrate, the weekend is filled with wonderful ways to partake in the joy of the season!

It’s a Wonderful Life – A Live Radio Play
Dec. 19-21: 8 pm
Oil Lamp Theatre, 1723 Glenview Rd., Glenview

Come be a part of a live studio audience for a special broadcast of this classic holiday story from 1946 highlighting family, faith and determination overcoming adversity and greed. From Lionel trains to cookies and hot chocolate – all your favorites will be here.  A great time for the whole family!  Click here for more information.

Winter Wonderland at Cuneo Mansion & Gardens
Dec. 19-21: 6pm – 10 pm (though Jan. 3)
Cuneo Mansion & Gardens, 1350 N. Milwaukee Ave, Vernon Hills
If you haven’t gone yet, make sure to block off time this weekend for this dazzling drive-thru holiday light show held on the magnificent grounds of the Cuneo Mansion and Gardens. Admission $10 per car on weekends. $5 weekdays.  See website for special entry location. For more info, click here.

The King and I
Dec. 19 @ 8 pm, Dec. 20 4:30 pm & 8 pm, Dec. 21 1 pm and 5 pm
The Marriott Theatre, 10 Marriott Drive, Lincolnshire

Get swept off your feet all over again when East meets West in this beloved Rodgers and Hammerstein romance. For tickets, click here.

North Shore Jewish Community Hanukkah Concert
Dec. 20: 7:30 pm
Wilmette Community Recreation Center, 3000 Glenview Rd., Wilmette

Join The North Shore, Skokie and Chicago Jewish communities for an unforgettable evening of song and story, schmooze and blues featuring Chicago’s newest Jewish folk rock band and YouTube sensation “Rogers Park.” The two lead singers – Yosef Peysin and Mordy Kurtz have been performing together as “Rogers Park” since 2011. To purchase tickets, click here.

Christmas & Hanukkah Concerts at the Garden
Christmas Concert: Dec. 20 at 2:00 & 4:00 pm
Hanukkah Concert: Dec. 21 2:00 & 4:00 pm
Chicago Botanic Garden, 1000 Lake Cook Rd., Glencoe
Get into the holiday spirit with a Christmas Brass Concert, featuring festive holiday favorites and The Maxwell Street Klezmer Band performing Hanukkah favorites in the Alsdorf Auditorium. Ticket price includes concert and access to the Wonderland Express exhibit. Click here for more info.

North Shore Views is the most comprehensive online source for North Shore Chicago real estate and community information. Whether you are looking for market statistics, homes for sale or local events, North Shore Views has it all at your fingertips. Browse information regarding our communities, market data, luxury homes, lakefront property, schools and what you should know about making the move to the North Shore.

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Best Gift and Home Accents Store on the North Shore

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So you’ve checked off all of your family members, but what about hostess gifts, teacher gifts, a gift for your dog walker, etc. Tired of the old gift card route? Well, lucky for you, the North Shore has a plethora of gift and home accent shops filled with unique items for everyone on your list, including yourself! And if your holiday décor could use a little freshening up too, then chances are you’ll be able to pick something fabulous along the way! Happy Shopping!

Ellen’s on Elm
841 Elm Street, Winnetka, 847-441-5240

More than just a gift shop, Ellen’s on Elm, thoughtfully selects unique gifts, many made by local artists, to line their shelves for all seasons of life. From jewelry and accessories to engraved and monogrammed items, the helpful and friendly staff is always ready to help you find the perfect gift.

Artisan Shop & Gallery
Plaza del Lago, 1515 Sheridan Road, Wilmette, 847-251-3775

If you are looking for interesting, eclectic and beautiful gifts, then look no further. This store is filled with unique and sophisticated handcrafted items by more than 350 American artists, including artisan jewelry, pottery, hand blown glass, wooden jewelry boxes and games, kitchen items, scarves, jackets, baby gifts and more.

Stumble & Relish
1310 A Chicago, Ave, Evanston, 773-330-3488

Owned by a mother/daughter duo, this adorable, little boutique has been described as a live Etsy store. Clients love the creative displays, the affordable prices, their adorable gift wrapping and the passion and knowledge that the owners have about each item and every item in the store. Jewelry, pottery, air plants, soaps, purses, journals, illustrated artwork, small wood curios, and so much more for you to discover and enjoy.

Green leaf Gallery
1760 Sunset Lane, Bannockburn, 847-948-7689

Located in a charming cottage in the woods, Greenleaf Gallery features a wonderful selection of fine art, folk art, handcrafted goods and gifts, accessories for women and men, jewelry, whimsical garden art, stationery and cards, tabletop and baby gifts. The gallery supports more than 100 American artists, including many local Chicagoans in addition to talented people across the country.

Black Sheep General Store
346 Park Ave., Glencoe, 847-242-0130

This quaint, new storefront in Glencoe already has customers raving. It is stocked with a little something for everyone including candy, housewares, spa items, baby gifts, books, clocks, pillows, flasks, specialty t-shirts, candles and more, all with a focus on local, handmade, small batch merchandise.

Kenzy Gifts & Décor
1849 Green Bay Rd., Ste 109, Highland Park, 847-780-4177

Kenzy Gifts & Décor carries exceptional gifts, dinnerware and decorative home accents in every price range. Created from a need to find items for her home that were unique and different, the boutique features designs by owner, Yasmin Mekki, as well those by various other designers.

Style Shack
1839 Second Street, Highland Park, 847-579-4525

Style Shack is a magical place where commerce and culture intersect. The unique collection of giftware is only part of what the Style Shack experience has to offer. From unique jewelry and handbags to one-of-a-kind home accessories and hostess gifts, their collection will entice the most discriminating shoppers, not to mention their outstanding complimentary gift wrapping!

Pierce Interiors
1264 Northbrook Court, Northbrook, 847-291-0300

Don’t let its Northbrook Court location fool you. Established in 1969, Pierce Interiors is a family-owned and operated fine gift and home accent store. Here you’ll find an extraordinary selection of fine crystal, porcelain, metal work, service ware, curio cabinets and other beautiful home decor, including Michael Aram, Swarovski, Lladro, Waterford, Julia Knight, and Lalique. They offer complimentary gift wrapping, price matching, shipping services and free layaway.

If we omitted one of your favorites, or there is a certain topic you would like to see covered, please leave us a comment! Additionally, we are happy to point out any of these locations as part of our Tour of the Shore, a must do for anyone considering a move to the North Shore. It’s a stress free way to familiarize yourself with the communities, schools, house values and amenities in the area. Call us at 847.881.6657 to find out more.

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Holiday Fun on the North Shore: Dec. 12 – 14

holiday fun bannerThe holiday fun continues all weekend long and includes opportunities to skate and brunch with Santa. If you need a break from all of the holiday craze, you check out Highland Park’s very own Billy Corgan’s entree into musical theatre.

 

The 48 Hour Musicals: Encore!, Featuring a musical by Billy Corgan
Dec. 12 & 13: 8 pm, Dec. 14: 2 pm
The Musical Theatre Company, 1850 Green Bay Road, Highland Park

The 48 Hour Musicals are 15-minute musicals written in only 48 hours by exciting new musical theatre writers. This year’s offering reprises (by demand) 4 musicals that have led to full-length TMTC commissions and concludes with the premier of a 20-minute musical by Smashing Pumpkins front man Billy Corgan whose Pretty Persephone is based on the The Eleusinian Mysteries and the myth of Persephone’s abduction by Hades, Lord of the Underworld. Click here for ticket info.

Yelp’s Holiday House Pop Up!
Dec. 13 & 14: 12 – 4pm
Light Opera Works, 516 4th St, Wilmette

Two days of FREE family-friendly activities in Yelpville! Play with the Yelp elves, enjoy hot cocoa, cooking, crafts, giant LEGO build, storytelling, indoor snowball throwing, free gift wrapping station (for a good cause), Frozen sing along with Elsa and Light Opera Works Kids Workshop, sing along with Super Stolie, holiday raffle, giant gingerbread house and so much more! For a schedule of events, click here.

Candy Cane Lane Tree Decorating
Dec. 13: 10 am – 12 pm
Hubbard Woods Park, 939 Green Bay Rd., Winnetka

Register your organization, club, troop, neighborhood, or family to decorate your very own tree in Hubbard Woods Park. To register, click here.

Salt Creek Ballet: The Nutcracker
Dec. 13: 1 & 5 pm, Dec. 14: 2 pm
North Shore Center for the Performing Arts, 9501 Skokie Blvd., Skokie

Salt Creek Ballet’s whimsical tale of young Clara and her magical journey with waltzing flowers, giant mice and sugar plum fairies are all exquisitely set to Tchaikovsky’s enchanting score and is a holiday experience worth sharing. Fantastic new sets and costumes for 2014. Click here for ticket info.

Skate with Santa/Holiday Skating Exhibition
Dec. 13: 1:40-2:55; 3-4:30 pm
Winnetka Ice Arena, 490 Hibbard Rd., Winnetka

Sleigh rides on ice and a visit from the jolly old elf himself will highlight this Winnetka tradition. Skate rental is $3.50, quantities are limited. Continue the fun and watch tot thru Free Skate program participants, WFSC members and the Ice Angels Synchro teams demonstrate their skills at annual Holiday Exhibition. Free admission for both. www.winpark.org.

Brunch with Santa
Dec. 14: 11 am – 2 pm
Pinstripes, 1150 Willow Road, Northbrook
There’s no doubt you’ll strike up a good time with an appearance by Santa at Pinstripe’s already famous Sunday brunch featuring made-to-order omelets, prime rib, fresh seafood, gourmet waffles and more, not to mention photo ops with the special guest! Click here, for more info.

North Shore Views is the most comprehensive online source for North Shore Chicago real estate and community information. Whether you are looking for market statistics, homes for sale or local events, North Shore Views has it all at your fingertips. Browse information regarding our communities, market data, luxury homes, lakefront property, schools and what you should know about making the move to the North Shore.

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Best Colorists on the North Shore

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We know. Your social calendar is on overload right now, and you want to look and feel your best. Perhaps a little color is in order to freshen up your look. No need to trek all the way downtown, the North Shore has plenty of skilled colorists who are at the top of their game and will make you look like you’re at the top of yours.

J•stranD Salon
258 Green Bay Road, Highwood, 847-432-4111

J∙stranD for Hair, Body, and Soul is a beautiful and comfortable salon that offers a plethora of services in a professional but warm and welcoming environment. Each team member is dedicated to a particular service, so you have colorists that are dedicated to color and color only. And while you are in capable hands with any of the colorists here, you’ll hear many on the North Shore singing the praises of Vesna .

Paul Rehder Salon
952 Green Bay Road, Winnetka, 847-501-4000

The opening of this new salon was eagerly anticipated by many on the North Shore. Although many love its sleek and urban feel (sister location downtown), it’s the devout following of Marissa and Priscilla, and their mastery of color, that has had people flocking to this new outpost.

Red 7 Salon
816 Dempster St., Evanston, 847-866-7337

This award-winning, fun and eclectic salon often describes itself as the “Cheers!” of the salon world, but with an upscale twist! And whether or not everybody will know your name, the names you want to know for color here are Adrian and Maggie.

Salon Volé
1783 St. Johns Ave., Highland Park, 847-432-2640

Salon Volé is a chic and sophisticated salon but with a friendly and laid back vibe. The entire staff is top notch and very attentive to their clients. For color: Anthony (owner), Danny, Maria come highly recommended, but you really can’t go wrong with any member of the team.

Taylor Reese
572 Roger Williams Ave., Highland Park, 847-432-8800

Taylor Reese is one of the big name hair salons on the North Shore and is recognized as one of the top salons in America by Elle magazine. Although people rave about all of the stylists here, Bridgette and Julia are the leaders of the pack when it comes to color.

The Salon LTD
588 N. Western Ave, Lake Forest, 847-295-6565

If you are looking for a fun, modern salon with a small town feel, then this is the place for you and Sonja is the colorist for you. Having been called a “magical wizard with color”, you’ll be in good hands with Sonja.

If we omitted one of your favorites, or there is a certain topic you would like to see covered, please leave us a comment! Additionally, we are happy to point out any of these locations as part of our Tour of the Shore, a must do for anyone considering a move to the North Shore. It’s a stress free way to familiarize yourself with the communities, schools, house values and amenities in the area. Call us at 847.881.6657 to find out more.

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Fun Things To Do on the North Shore: Dec. 5 – 7

holiday fun

The hustle and bustle of the holiday season has officially begun. Let’s hope we can all take some time to enjoy some of the many wonderful opportunities that celebrate the true spirit of the holidays! Here’s what’s going on this weekend:

Celtic Tenor Christmas
Dec. 5: 8 pm
North Shore Center for the Performing Arts, 9501 Skokie Blvd., Skokie
Join the world-class Celtic Tenors for their musical celebration of Irish Christmas as they perform a wonderful mixture of Celtic, operatic and popular songs. For ticket info, click here.

Deerfield’s Winter Celebration
Dec. 5: 5 – 9 pm, Village Hall, 850 Waukegan Road, Deerfield
Dec. 6: 9 am – 3 pm, The Shops at Deerfield Square, 740 Waukegan Rd., Deerfield
Horse drawn carriages, live reindeer, roasted chestnuts, and entertainment followed by a day filled with activities at various merchant locations, plus a petting zoo and plenty of photo ops throughout. www.deerfield.il.us.

“It’s Christmas Charlie Brown”
12/5 @ 6 pm, 12/6 @ 10 am, 12/7 @ 2 & 4 pm, 12/13 & 12/14 @ 10 am
Wilmette Theatre, 1122 Central Ave., Wilmette
Presented by the ATC Repertory Company. Come celebrate the Holiday with Charlie Brown and the gang as they discover the true meaning of Christmas. The show last 48 minutes and there is a family sing along after! Click here for ticket info.

Santa Trains:
Jingle Railway
Dec. 6: 9 am
Highland Park Downtown Metra Station, 1700 St. Johns Ave., Highland Park
All aboard for a magical journey to the “North Pole”(Waukegan). Wear your favorite pajamas, listen to a classic holiday story, write your letter to Santa, snack on a cookie, and meet some holiday characters all on the way. Santa will visit with the kids on the return trip. Click here for more info.

Candy Cane Train
Dec. 7: 1 pm – 3 pm
Deerfield Metra Station, 860 Deerfield Rd., Deerfield
Experience a special holiday event as you travel from the Deerfield Metra Train to meet Santa and favorite holiday “friends.” Refreshments will be served. Space is limited. For ticket info, click here.

Polar Express Storytime Train
Dec: 6 & 7: 1:14-3:37 pm
North Glenview Metra, 3000 Old Willow Rd., Glenview
Climb aboard the Polar Express Storytime Train! Meet at the North Glenview Metra Train Station and board the train bound for the Libertyville Train Station. Along the way, enjoy reading the Polar Express (bring a copy to read along). Once in Libertyville, savor a meal at Egg Harbor. Santa will join the group on the way back to Glenview and he will have a special gift for each child. Space is limited. For ticket info, click here.

Coldwell Banker Winterfest
Dec. 6: 10 am – 1 pm
Coldwell Banker Offices, 568 Lincoln Ave., Winnetka
The annual family tradition continues with photos with Santa, horse & carriage rides, carolers, crafts, and of course, hot cocoa!

Holiday Log House
Dec. 7: 1- 4 pm
Schmidt-Burnham Log House, 1140 Willow, Winnetka
Step back into a bygone era for some old-fashioned family fun! Tour the c. 1837 Log House, hear tales from costumed docents and enjoy holiday crafts and treats. Free to public. winnetkahistory.org.

Evanston Symphony Holiday Concert
Dec. 7: 3 pm
Evanston Township High School Auditorium, 1600 Dodge Ave., Evanston
The Evanston Symphony partners with various choral and dance groups from throughout the North Shore to celebrate the season. For more info: evanstonsymphony.org

North Shore Views is the most comprehensive online source for North Shore Chicago real estate and community information. Whether you are looking for market statistics, homes for sale or local events, North Shore Views has it all at your fingertips. Browse information regarding our communities, market data, luxury homes, lakefront property, schools and what you should know about making the move to the North Shore.

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Best Family-Friendly Restaurants on the North Shore

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Tired of cooking? Tired of leftovers? But still have family in town? Then it’s time to take the show on the road. Dining out with kids has its unique set of challenges, so we offer you this list where the kids will be welcomed but your taste buds will not have to suffer.

The Happ Inn
305 Happ Road, Northfield, 847-784-9200

The Happ Inn has become a neighborhood staple known for its inviting and dynamic atmosphere, fresh quality food, specialty craft beers and diverse wine list. This award winning restaurant is the perfect place to meet friends and family for a casual dinner or to grab a cold beer and quick bite while watching the game on a flat screen TV in the bar.

The Silo
625 Rockland Road, Lake Bluff, 847-234-6660
The Silo has been a landmark on the North Shore for over 43 years, serving famous pan pizza. In addition, award winning chili, appetizers, salads, sandwiches, hamburgers, dinner entrees, and a full service bar compliment the menu. Gluten free options now available plus they have a magician on Sunday evenings from 5 – 8 pm.

Market House on the Square
655 Forest Ave., Lake Forest, 847-234-8800
If you are looking for something a little more upscale but still kid friendly, then this is your place. The menu offers classic American cooking rooted in tradition yet taking full advantage of current techniques. Everything is from scratch including fresh bread baked daily, flatbreads, dressings, sauces, pastas, cheeses sausages and more. Separate kid menu available as well.
Nu offers crafted food featuring the rich tradition of American Cooking we all grew up loving.

Buffos
431 Sheridan Road, Highwood, 847-432-0301

Thin crust and double-decker pizza are specialties of the house. But the choices don’t end with pizza; a complete menu of charbroiled burgers, Italian beef and sausage, soups, chili, salads and pastas with homemade sauces from traditional Highwood recipes are among Buffo’s varied selection. A great place to catch a game, play some classic arcade games and some nights they host car shows!

Valley Lodge Tavern
2132 Waukegan Rd, Glenview, 847-724-7440
1141 Central Ave., Wilmette, 847-920-5675

With its homelike atmosphere, the Valley Lodge is another iconic restaurant on the North Shore. Started in 1969 in Glenview, the Stavrou family has been serving up mouthwatering burgers, as well as sandwiches, salads and entrees along with great service to keep customers coming back for years to come. A newer outpost of this North Shore staple is now open in  Wilmette.

Old Neighborhood Grill
2902 Central St., Evanston, 847-492-9500

Old Neighborhood Grill offers a comfortable, family-friendly atmosphere. The menu features all of your old favorites – burgers, hotdogs, Italian beef and sausages, chicken, fish and rib eye steak sandwiches. They also have a number of Greek specialties, including gyros and shish-ka-bobs made from their own family recipes.

Real Urban BBQ
610 Central Ave., Highland Park, 224-770-4227

The owners are committed to bringing the best “Real Urban Barbecue,” to their customers, and they have stayed true to that commitment. Their menu, served cafeteria style, features all of the classics: brisket, ribs, pork, chicken, turkey, and sausage as well as a nice variety of sides and a varied selection of sauces to suit anyone’s taste. For none beef eaters, there is also a selection of salads as well as fish tacos.

If we omitted one of your favorites, or there is a certain topic you would like to see covered, please leave us a comment! Additionally, we are happy to point out any of these locations as part of our Tour of the Shore, a must do for anyone considering a move to the North Shore. It’s a stress free way to familiarize yourself with the communities, schools, house values and amenities in the area. Call us at 847.881.6657 to find out more.

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Fun Things To Do on the North Shore: Nov. 28 – Nov. 30, 2014

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Catch the holiday spirit along with Santa, Elsa (think Frozen) and live reindeer! Plenty of opportunities for holiday and family fun abound this weekend!

Lake Forest Annual Tree Lighting
Nov. 28: 3 – 7 pm
Market Square, 1 Market square, Lake Forest

31 years and going strong. This annual family tradition includes live ice sculpting, Santa meet and greet, and caroling with the Lake Forest High School Choristers. cityoflakeforest.com.

The Mousetrap
Nov. 28: 8 pm; Nov. 29 2:30 and 8 pm; Nov. 30 7 pm
North Shore Center for the Performing Arts, 9501 Skokie Blvd., Skokie

Agatha Christie’s masterful whodunit weaves an intricate plot filled with nerve-rattling suspense, all leading up to the ultimate final twist! For ticket information, click here.

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Best Toy Stores on the North Shore

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As the holiday shopping season kicks into full gear, do you find yourself in state of panic about what to buy for the kids in your life? Don’t fret! The North Shore has many unique, independent toy stores that can help you find the perfect gift for children of all ages. If you’d rather skip the big box store madness, then this list is for you!

 

Beanstalk
654 Central Ave, Highland Park, 847-432-8300

Beanstalk has all the toys, games, crafts, and books loved by newborns through 8 years. The also carry a great selection of baby essentials including strollers, bassinets, car seats and bath care. Known for the customer service and free gift wrap, customers delight in the store’s unique offerings and magical ambiance.

Village Toy Shop
807 Elm St., Winnetka, 847-446-7990

Owned by a mother/daughter duo, the Village Toy Shop is a beloved treasure in Winnetka. They provide exceptional customer service, awesome gift wrapping that includes fun little treats and are always loaded with great suggestions. Choose from a wide variety of board games, science kits, crafts, magic kits, books and more.

Hip Hip Hooray
840 Willow Road, Northbrook, 847-272-7459

With an emphasis on the creative and innovative, Hip Hip Hooray is a children’s toy store that also sells gift items, costumes, dress up, personalized items, party favors, a diverse selection of children’s clothing for newborns to tweens and more! From the same owners that brought you Hooray Array in Northfield; this new reincarnation continues to delight children of all ages. Free gift wrap.

Children’s Gift Shop
310 Happ Rd., Northfield, 847-441-5975

From classic to trendy, to infants to teens, the Children’s Gift Shop is your one stop shop for indoor and outdoor toys, books, games, crafts, construction, brain puzzles and more. Their toy experts have real hands-on experience that will help you find the perfect gift. Free gift wrap.

Snickelfritz Toys
208 Hawthorn Center, Vernon Hills, 847-918-8160

A family owned and operated toy store offering thousands of products that engage, educate and promote creativity. Having trouble finding an item, chances are you will find it. Plus tons of other unique items that will not find anywhere else, and free gift wrap to boot!

Becky & Me Toys
620 Grove St., Evanston, 847-492-1030

Becky & Me Toys is committed to encouraging play that is real (not virtual), that is active and creative, and that is focused on the concerns, ideas and interest of children. All of the merchandise is hand-picked by the owners, a mother and daughter duo who both have backgrounds in education. They carry a wide selection of toys, books, games and more for babies through teens and happy to assist their customers in selecting developmentally appropriate toys.

Just Kids Store
798 S. Buffalo Grove Rd., Buffalo Grove, 224-676-1250

Geared more for babies and toddlers, this store has got it all. A huge selection of infant gear and essentials as well as educational toys, puzzles, crafts and did we mention shoes?

If we omitted one of your favorites, or there is a certain topic you would like to see covered, please leave us a comment! Additionally, we are happy to point out any of these locations as part of our Tour of the Shore, a must do for anyone considering a move to the North Shore. It’s a stress free way to familiarize yourself with the communities, schools, house values and amenities in the area. Call us at 847.881.6657 to find out more.

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Fun Things To Do on the North Shore: Nov. 21 – Nov. 23, 2014

wilmette tree lighting

The holiday season officially kicks off with some area tree lightings, holiday wine tastings and shopping opportunities. In addition, Evanston welcomes a new brewery and Suzanne Vega performs. And if that’s not enough, Barnes and Noble caps off a Discovery Week with two great parent workshops with tips on how to raise multilingual and global citizens! What a great weekend!

Wilmette Holiday Family Celebration
Nov. 20: Tree Lighting at Village Hall @ 7 pm
Nov. 21: Holiday Parade 10:30 am,
Visit with Santa & Sleigh Rides 11:15 – 1 pm
Starts at 4th and Linden and travels to Village Center, Wilmette

Celebrate the holiday season with the annual Tree Lighting and Wilmette Holiday Parade. Thousands of friends and family gather along the parade route to watch bands, classic cars, clowns, performers, school groups, businesses, community and civic organizations and more. For more information: holidayparade.wilmettechamber.org

Sketchbook Brewing Company Grand Opening
Nov.21, 4 pm – 8 pm
Sketchbook Brewing Company, In the alley behind 825 Chicago Avenue, Evanston

One year after Cesar Marron’s Grätzer recipe won the Sam Adams “Longshot” award, he and co-founder Shawn Decker will celebrate the Grand Opening of Sketchbook Brewing Company, offering up to six different times of brew at a time, including a gluten free option. For more information: sketchbookbrewingcompany.com

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