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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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Best Tailors on the North Shore

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Have you ever purchased a fabulous new item then never get to wear it because the alterations went astray? Or have you spent hundreds on altering a bridesmaid’s dress that still does not fit you right? When it comes to picking a tailor, it’s all about trust and craftsmanship. Luckily, we found several tailors throughout the North Shore that you can rely on to deliver the goods.

Haute Couture
1920 Waukegan Road, Glenview, 847-724-0262

Yes, it is a bridal shop, and Joanna is fantastic with bride and bridesmaid alterations (whether your purchased the dress from her or not). However, she also offers alteration services for any type of clothing, including men’s, and designs custom pieces, all at reasonable prices. By appointment only.

Anthony’s Tailoring
2226 Green Bay Road, Highland Park, 847-926-9440

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It’s Pedal Power Time Again! Donate Your Old Bikes To A Good Cause

Pedal Power 2010 logo

For the seventh year in a row Pedal Power will be collecting gently used bikes to donate to kids in in the Chicago Public Schools as a reward for good grades.

Nicole Basil

Nicole Basil

Pedal Power was founded by Nicole Basil of Wilmette who, at the age of eight, tried to find a charity to donate the bikes that she and her brother had outgrown. Not finding one, she decided to start her own, and with the help of her Dad, Mike Basil, she contacted the Jane Adams Hull House, who connected her with the Chicago Public Schools. She started asking friends and neighbors in Wilmette for their old bikes and Pedal Power was born.

Every year the bike drive has grown and each year Nicole and her supporters collect over a hundred bikes.  After seven years Nicole continues to be a passionate cheerleader for her charity, which has expanded beyond Wilmette to surrounding North Shore communities.

If you have bikes your kids have outgrown please bring them to one of the seven drop-off locations next Saturday, November 1 from 9:00-12:00. Just think, by doing this you can reap three benefits: 1) make room in your garage for your car this winter (which is supposed to be very cold!) , 2) get a tax deduction and 3) motivate and reward a deserving child. What’s not to like about that?

Bring your bike(s) to one of these donation spots:

WINNETKA – Green Bay Cycles, 999 Green Bay Road, Winnetka, IL 60093

NORTHBROOK – George Garner Cyclery, 1111 Waukegan Road, Northbrook, IL 60062

HIGHLAND PARK – Alberto’s Cycles, 661 Central Ave, Highland Park, IL 60035

WILMETTE – McKenzie Elementary School, 649 Prairie Avenue, Wilmette, IL 60091

PALATINE – Mike’s Bike Shop, 155 N Northwest Hwy, Palatine, IL 60067


GLENVIEW – Glenview Cycle, 1011 Harlem Avenue, Glenview, IL 60025


EVANSTON – Home Depot, 2201 Oakton, Evanston, IL 60202

For more information about Pedal Power, please visit www.gopedalpower.com.

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Best Hikes on the North Shore

fall-hiking-chicagoGet your water bottles filled, snacks packed and lace up your sneakers. Fingers crossed, the weather is supposed to be fantastic this weekend, so it’s a great time to take in the beautiful fall foliage. Of course, all of these hikes can be enjoyed any time of year with each season bringing its own unique charms and none are super strenuous so they are suitable for all ages!

River Trail Nature Center
3120 Milwaukee Avenue, Northbrook, 847-824-8360
River Trail Nature Center tells the story of native plants and animals that remain in the urban environment. You can hike self-guided trails through the sugar maple woods and see the fall foliage. In addition, it is a refuge for wounded wildlife that would otherwise not survive on its own, enabling visitors to get a close up look. Check their schedule for presentations or just explore on you own. Known to be buggy in certain spots, so pack bug spray especially in warmer months.

Captain Daniel Wright Woods
St. Marys Road at W Everett Rd, Mettawa/Libertyville, 847-367-6640
This peaceful oasis among the bustling suburbs offers 4 miles of scenic trails; a short loop for hikers, bicyclists and skiers that circles a pond, and a longer 3-mile loop for hikers, bicyclists, skiers and horses. A footbridge spanning the Des Plaines River links Wright Woods to Half Day Forest Preserve; together they offer some of southern Lake County’s most scenic outdoor recreation opportunities. The Des Plaines River Trail passes through both preserves for additional hiking and biking opportunities.

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Best Burgers on the North Shore

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With so many options to choose from (gourmet, classic, chain etc.), it was quite hard to narrow down the list to just a few. We are sure that this list will spark some debate. However, the good news is that wherever you are on the North Shore, there’s probably a pretty good burger place nearby. And yes, we’ll take fries with that!

Prairie Grass Café’s Top Sirloin Burger
601 Skokie Boulevard, Northbrook, 847-205-4433

An award- winning gourmet burger that is served with mild Amish blue cheese topping, grilled beefsteak tomatoes and grilled onions sans bun! The burger is that good that you do not need one!

Charlie Beinlich’s
290 Skokie Boulevard, Northbrook, 847-291-0420

Two words sum up the Charlie Beinlich’s experience, old school! Known for their simple hamburgers and cheeseburgers, Charlie Beinlich’s is a no frills dive with a limited menu, and limited toppings for your burger (we’re talking cheese, onions and bacon). They keep it simple but fresh and people continue to come back for more. A Chicago classic. Closed Sunday and Monday. Cash only, don’t say we didn’t warn you!

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Best Yoga & Pilates Studios on the North Shore

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The relationship with a yoga or Pilates instructor is very personal and can make all of the difference in how effective your results will be. We hope this list simplifies the task of finding a great studio that fits your own needs so you can focus more time on your health and well-being. Namaste.

Dharma Yoga
1321 Emerson Street, Evanston, 847-418-6464

Truly a yogi lover’s dream. The studio’s devotion to the practice is apparent as soon as you walk in the door. They are committed to creating a welcoming, intimate and spiritual environment while promoting a strong sense of community. The staff, led by owner Luna, is extremely knowledgeable and nurturing and offers clear and informative guidance. All classes are drop-ins. The studio also offers workshops, retreats, birthing classes and wellness services.

Yogaview
1231 Green Bay Road, Wilmette, 847-919-0533

Yogaview is a physically pleasing and spiritually safe environment where people can explore this ancient practice under the guidance of the very best yoga instructors within a supportive and knowledgeable community. Over 50 classes offered weekly; students can learn a wide variety of breathing, relaxation and body techniques. The studio also hosts a plethora of workshops. Acupuncture and childcare services available on-site as well.

Northshore Yoga
2523 Waukegan Road, Bannockburn, 847-607-8581
310 Happ Rd, Ste 216, Northfield, 847-784-8844
1407 Greenleaf Street, Evanston, 847-784-8844

Northshore Yoga is dedicated to helping each individual reach their fullest potential both physically and mentally. With three locations on the Shore, students can choose from a wide variety of classes, including Ashtanga and pre-natal, and class times. The Northfield location has the largest class offering. The studios also offer meditation and integrated healing services and a growing number of classes and workshops for kids and teenagers.

Bikram Yoga Northshore
1926 Waukegan Rd., Ste 1, Glenview, 847-998-6030

If Bikram yoga is your thing (and we know it’s not for everyone), than this is your studio. Beyond, the clean, spacious and modern facilities, this studio gets rave reviews for its instructors’ attention to detail and accuracy. For those not familiar, Bikram yoga is a very disciplined and structured form of yoga performed in a room set to 105 degrees. It is specifically designed as a series of 26 postures and 2 breathing exercises, which, completed in sequence, works every muscle, joint, ligament and tendon of the body.

Body Evolve Pilates & Physical Therapy
1770 1st St, Suite #205, Highland Park, 847-926-8490
2101 Waukegan Road, Bannockburn, 847-926-8490

One of the first Pilates studios in the Chicagoland area, the studio offers private and pairs sessions along with evening group reformer classes at its Highland Park location. Combined with their licensed physical therapy services, the studio has helped a vast array of clients optimize athletic performance, rehabilitate from injury and achieve more balanced and conditioned bodies. The owners, Arlene Bass and Sharon Gawin, hold their instructors to high standards as they are at the forefront of continuing education and are sought after speakers at national industry events. The studio also serves as the Illinois Host Site for Balanced Body education and training.

Body Fusion Pilates
2847 Dundee Road, Northbrook, 847-858-2722

Although the studio itself is brand new, owner Lauren Fonseca has been training clients for more than 12 years. A former dancer at The Joffrey Ballet and American Ballet Theatre, Lauren truly understands the benefits of Pilates training and has studied under the best in the business. Lauren is also certified in The Gyrotonic Method. The studio offers private, semi-private and 3 on 1 sessions.

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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Best Dog Groomers on the North Shore

We’re pleased to introduce a new feature to North Shore Views. Each week or so, we will provide a round up of the area’s “Bests”.  If there is a certain topic you would like to see covered, please leave us a comment. Enjoy!

Best Dog Groomers on the North Shore

Finding a groomer for a beloved pet, can be just as tricky, if not more so than finding your own hair stylist. Luckily, there are some great options throughout the North Shore.

dog grooming illustration

 

Wags on Willow
840 Willow Rd, Northfield/Glenview, 847-272-2918
Although highly recommended for their grooming skills, Wags on Willow is also an upscale pet boutique that offers the very best in food, fashion, and fun toys for your furry friends. The perfect place to spoil your fur baby rotten! Groomer Myong Lee has 14 years of experience with all breeds.

Love Fur Dogs
69 Greenbay Road, Glencoe, 847-LUV-DOGS
A new comer to the North Shore but already a local favorite. Love Fur Dogs is run by an award winning groomer and the area’s only Certified Master Groomer. Jennifer Bishop-Jenkins and her staff offer complete grooming services as well as day care, pet taxi services (for you appointments as well as other destinations), high quality pet supplies and their very own grooming training academy on-site.

Spa for Dogs
819 Waukegan Road, Northbrook, 847-272-8901 or 847-334-6024
Offers the best in organic, all-natural and cageless spa treatments for your pup. Choose from a selection of pre-determined spa packages or a la carte services. Pick up and drop off as well as additional services for senior and special needs dogs available too. Features an on-site boutique as well as dog training, dog walking and pet sitting services too.

Paw Xperts
3232 Skokie Valley Rd., Highland Park, 847-433-6770
Comprised of a team of caring and experienced groomers. Lee, Sally and Angie have all received rave reviews. Nice, large facility so not too noisy and not too cramped.

Krisers
1640 N. Milwaukee Ave., Vernon Hills, 224-206-7073
Apparently not all Krisers are created the same. Many from the city are loyal to the brand, so if you’d like to stick with them, a drive out to their Vernon Hills location to see Danielle may be worth the extra time and miles. The location is stocked with high quality pet products that along, will their grooming services, are priced reasonably well.

Spotless Dog Wash
1121 Emerson St, Evanston, 847-563-8061
At about $20 a pop, this do-it-yourself option offers all of the convenience and affordability without the mess! The facility is immaculate and features well stocked pet-friendly tubs and drying stations so you have everything you could possibly need to have your fur baby looking in tip-top shape. And don’t worry, you’re never truly alone, their resourceful staff is on-hand to guide you and offer suggestions.

Honorable Mention – The Laundry Mutt, Wilmette. Unfortunately, they are not taking new clients at this time. Check in with them from time to time or consider one of the other fine options!

We’d be 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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3 Fun Things To Do on the North Shore – Sept. 19-21, 2014

Oktoberfest WilmetteEnjoy Indian Summer at this weekend’s fun outdoor events!

Oktoberfest
Saturday, September 20
St. Joseph Catholic School, 1740 Lake Ave., Wilmette.

Oktoberfest includes an antique market from 9 a.m.-4 p.m., a family fest from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. and a dinner and outdoor adults-only party from 6-11:30 p.m.

Bike Winnetka
Saturday, September 20 at 3:30
Skokie Playfield Service Center (north end at Pine St.), Winnetka
A scenic ride through Winnetka in a group rider format. Register at winpark.org.

Fall Fest
Saturday, September 20 from 4:00-10:00pm
Winnetka Ice Arena, 490 Hibbard Rd., Winnetka

Food, DJ, Beer/Wine, Inflatables, Touch-A-Truck, Pumpkin Roll, Scarecrow Building, Community Row, Ice/Tennis/Golf Activities, Bike Winnetka, Winnetka Whiffleball Challenge and more. The evening caps off with a showing of the movie FROZEN (7:30 pm).

Prior to the showing of FROZEN, ice cream sundaes will be available to the first 300 children (ages 12 years and under) thanks to a partnership with Dairy Queen Highland Park.

Shermerfest
Sunday, September 21
Village Green, 1325 Shermer Road, Northbrook
The event includes a collectible and antique car show, children’s activities, hot dogs, soup and homemade sweets. Free.

 

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July Art Fairs and Festivals on the North Shore

Art-Festival-North-ShoreDo you feel like summer is getting away from you? Are you looking for more fun things to finish off your summer? Check out the list of art fairs and festivals left in July.

Evanston Ethnic Arts Festival, noon-7 p.m. July 19-20 at Centennial Park, on Sheridan between Clark and Church, Evanston. The celebration of world cultures includes live music, dance performances, art and craft work of up to 140 juried artists, and ethnic foods. Free admission. Visit www.cityofevanston.org.

Glenview Art League’s 61st annual Art Fair will be held 11 a.m.-5 p.m. July 26-27 on the Lyon School grounds, Lake and Waukegan, Glenview. Featuring fine art and crafts, jewelry and photography by more than 65 artists, food and children’s activities. Free admission. Visit www.glenviewartleague.org.

Northbrook Days Festival, July 30-Aug. 3 at Village Green Park, Meadow and Shermer roads, Northbrook. Hours are 6-10 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday; 6-11 p.m. Friday; noon-11 p.m. Saturday and 1-9 p.m. Sunday. Featuring food, carnival rides and live music. Bands to be announced. Visit www.northbrookdays.com.

Glencoe Festival of Art, featuring more than 120 juried artists, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.Aug. 2-3 at Green Bay Road and Park Avenue, Glencoe. Includes interactive art demonstrations, live music and children’s activities. Free admission and free parking in commuter lots. Visit www.GlencoeFestivalofArt.com.

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Where To Celebrate St. Paddy’s Day On The North Shore

St. Paddy's DayWe may not have a green river or an Irish parade, but we do have some fun ways to celebrate St.Patrick’s Day on the North Shore:

Pinstripes
1150 Willow Rd., Northbrook
847-480-2323

Wear green for free bocce and bowling. Deals include $4 green draft beer and $14 Irish dinners all day.

The Curragh
1800 Tower Drive, Glenview
847-998-1100

The newest of four Irish pubs of the same name, Curragh just opened in the Glen last week and is located on the south end of the Glen Town Centre, next to Flight. The pub is named for the famous Ireland racetrack and has five different rooms each with unique Irish themes.

In celebration of St. Paddy’s Day, there will be live bands, Irish dancers, bagpipers, beer specials and authentic Irish food, like Shepard’s Pie, Corned Beef and Cabbage, Irish Stew and Irish Boxty (stuffed Irish potato pancakes).

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