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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. 7 – Nov. 9, 2014

Lots of good ‘ol fashioantiques logon family fun going on this weekend. However, those seeking a little more sophistication should definitely consider a stop at the Winnetka Community House for the Antiques + Modernism Show. Enjoy!

Honk Jr. 

Nov. 7 @ 7 pm, Nov. 8 @ 2 pm & 7 pm, Nov. 9 @ 2pm
Community Recreation Center, 3000 Glenview Road, Wilmette

Children of all ages will learn that it’s okay to be different when they take in this musical based on Hans Christian Andersen’s beloved story, “The Ugly Duckling.” More than 30 fourth-through-eighth graders round out the cast in this Wilmette Children’s Theatre production. Click here to purchase tickets. $8.50 per ticket.

Antiques + Modernism Show
Nov. 7 – 9
Winnetka Community House, 620 Lincoln Ave, Winnetka

This highly anticipated event, presented by the Woman’s Board of Winnetka Community House, will feature esteemed dealers from across the country showcasing fine examples of American, British, French and Asian antiques, as well as pieces from the Arts and Crafts, Art Nou¬veau, Art Deco and Mid-Century design movements. The exhibition and sale offers furniture, silver, ceramics, jewelry, garden antiques, lighting, rugs, textiles, fine and folk art, architectural artifacts and more. For more info. and to purchase tickets visit winnetkacommunityhouse.org.

Old-Fashioned Campfire
Nov. 7; 6 – 7:30pm
Heller Nature Center, 2821 Ridge Road, Highland Park

Take a short hike with a naturalist along the trails, play games with family and friends and enjoy marshmallows roasted over the campfire! Children two and under are free. Children must be accompanied by a registered adult. $8 per person. Click here to register.

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Fun Things To Do on the North Shore – Oct. 31 – Nov. 2, 2014

 

RACE-logo-2No need to stay in the house all weekend and get tempted by Halloween candy! There’s always plenty to do on the North Shore…..

Haunting History
Oct. 31; 7 pm, 8 pm, 9 pm
Evanston History Center, 225 Greenwood St., Evanston
A Halloween treat for adults. Join magician David Parr as he takes you on an eerie interactive tour of the historic Dawes House and experience the sophisticated side of the supernatural. Each room offers an encounter with the strange and mysterious, equal parts history, mystery and magic! $20 admission, age 13 and older. To purchase tickets, click here.

Gobble Bowl
Nov. 1, 10 am
Skokie Playfield Turf Fields, 540 Hibbard Road, Winnetka
The Bear’s season got you down? Time to take matters into your own hands at this annual flag football tournament. Games will start at 10 am on the new Skokie Playfield Turf Fields. Limit to 12 people on a team. For ages 17+. For more information, e-mail jshea@winpark.org

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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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Fun Things To Do on the North Shore – Oct. 24 – 26, 2014

Make sure you get plenty of rest this week because the weekend is jammed pack with Halloween haunts for kids and adults, plus a whole lot more. We’ve expanded this week’s list to include as many events as you could handle!

Halloween on North ShoreBoo Bash
Oct. 24, 6 pm – 7:30
Northfield Community Center, 401 Wagner, Road, Northfield
This favorite Halloween event returns for the younger set. Children 3-8 will enjoy free carnival games, balloon artists, craft, treat bags and cookie decorating. There will also be a special train ride around Willow Park. For more information, click here.

Halloween Happening
Oct. 24, 6-9 pm
Community Recreation Center, 1200 Wilmette Avenue, Wilmette
Filled with chills and thrills, this family-friendly event features carnival games, magician, fortune teller, moonwalk, arts and crafts, face painting, mad scientist’s lab and pony rides. Don’t miss the Theater of Terror and the Traveling World of Reptiles! Pizza dinner is included, along with a goodie bag and a visit to the Pumpkin Patch. Wristbands will be issued and will be required to participate in all activities. $15 resident/$20 non-resident. Sign up early here.

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Fun Things To Do on the North Shore – Oct. 3 – 5, 2014

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As the weather begins to dip, the amount of Halloween festivities begins to rise! Here are a few of the events happening around the North Shore this weekend, along with some other options for some family fun including a trip down memory lane when the work day was just 9 to 5!

Scream Scene
October 3, 4; 7-10 pm
Skokie Water Playground, 4701 Oakton St., Skokie 

With its chainsaw maniacs and insane clown maze, Scream Scene Haunted House has been terrifying visitors since 1997. Not recommended for kids under 10. $10 entry. ScreamScene.org  Additional dates available.

Build Your Own Scarecrow
October 4 at 12 pm
Historic Wagner Farm, 1510 Wagner Road, Glenview

Bring the kids and some old clothes and they’ll provide the straw and the know-how to help you build your very own scarecrow! $5 buys you a pumpkin head and straw.  847-657-1506

Camping For Families
October 4-5; 4 pm – 9 am
Crow Islands Woods, 1140 Willow Rd, Winnetka

The Winnetka Park District, BackYard Nature Center, Alliance for Early Childhood, and Winnetka Historical Society have all come together to create a program geared towards families spending time together with nature. Whether you’ve camped a few times or you’ve never even looked inside a tent, this program caters to everyone. Families will have the freedom to explore and learn about all different aspects of camping such as the basics of camp preparedness, equipment, clothing, and cooking to more specific camping experiences like backpacking or kayaking. Dinner provided. Best suited for children 4 years and older. $25 adults/$15 Children. For more info: http://bit.ly/1vuxy8u

9 to 5 the Musical
October 3-5; Fridays/Saturdays at 7:30 p.m.& Sundays 2 p.m.
Wilmette Center for the Arts, 3000 Glenview Road, Wilmette

Based on the 1980 smash film starring Lily Tomlin, Dolly Parton and Jane Fonda, 9 to 5 the musical is a lively production that takes us back to the 1970s where three young women join forces to battle for equality at the workplace. Music and lyrics by Dolly Parton. The show is PG-13. Tickets: $16 adult/$14 seniors and students. 847-256-9686.

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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Fun Things To Do on the North Shore – Sept. 25-28, 2014

Evanston-Art-and-big-fork festival

Tour of the Wilmette Centennial Park Prairie
September 25 at 10:00am
Behind the Centennial
Park Complex, 2300 Old Glenview Rd., Wilmette
The Little Garden Club of Wilmette is hosting a fall tour of the Centennial Park Prairie, a wetland of tall grass that occupies the 2 acre detention basin near the corner of Hunter Rd. and Wilmette Avenue. Tour leader, Charlotte Adelman will point out the various types of grasses and flowers, as well as the native wildlife that inhabits the prairie: goldfinches, dragonflies, butterflies, bumblebees and other insects. 847-256-9666.

New Riders of the Purple Sage in Concert
September 26 at 8:00pm
Evanston
SPACE, 1245 Chicago Ave., Evanston

Who remembers NRPS, contemporaries, friends and sometime opening band for the Grateful Dead? Well, they’re still around and will be in town to perform country rock and bluegrass music. $22-$38. Call 8847-492-8860

Craft Beer Tasting at the Range
September 27 starting at 4:00 pm
Winnetka Golf Club, 1300 Oak St., Winnetka

Avli Cafe will guide you through fifteen 3 oz.  tastings and appetizers. The event includes inlimited use of the driving range. Kids can practice their golf at a kids -only practice area. Tasting for adults 21 and older. Kids welcome with parents.

Fall Harvest Fun
September 26, 5-7pm
Lakeview Center in Gillson Park
, Wilmette

Decorate your own pumpkin, try your luck at “stay dry” apple bobbing and go on a scavenger hunt. We provide the pumpkins and decorating supplies. Finish the evening with a pizza dinner and scary stories. $23 residents/ $29 non-residents. wilmettepark.org

Evanston Art & Big Fork Festival
September 27-28 (Fri:4-10; Sat.: 10-10; Sun.: 10-5)
Downtown Evanston (Clark from Benson to Sherman)

Every kind of art in every price range! Paintings, sculpture, photography, mixed media, handmade jewelry, art from recycled materials, glass, wood, etc. Also, live music and fun art projects for kids. At the north end of the festival some of Evanston’s great restaurants will serve food to festival-goers.

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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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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Winnetka Market Report – June 2014

Winnetka signAs of June 30, there were 164 active listings in Winnetka, with a median list price of $1,699,000 and ranging in price from $159,900 to $18,750,000.

Single family detached homes represented 98% of the total listings. 43 are in Greeley School, 59 in Crow Island, 49 in Hubbard Woods and 26 in Avoca (District 37).

During June there were 27 closed sales with a median selling price of $1,300,000 and an average of 176 days on market. 23 of the closed sales were single family detached houses with a median selling price of $1,353,500 and ranging from $457,739 to $3,300,000. Average market time was 176 days.

Year to date there have been 105 closed sales in Winnetka, with a median sold price of $1,149,000 and an average of 132 days on market. 93 of the closed sales were single family detached homes with a median selling price of $1,240,000 and ranging from $435,000 to $5,500,000. The average market time was 124 days.

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Home For Sale in Winnetka’s Crow Island Neighborhood

1249 Cherry St. Winnetka IL

1249 Cherry Street, Winnetka, IL 60093

This utterly charming English-style stone house is ideally located on one of Winnetka’s favorite tree streets. You’ll love entertaining in the spacious living room with its wood-beamed ceiling and vintage fireplace. On warm summer evenings move the party out to the large screen porch overlooking the backyard, just off the wood-paneled den. The kitchen, with its separate breakfast room, offers plenty of space to create your dream kitchen. A first floor bedroom and full bath is perfect for out of town visitors.

1249 Cherry Street Winnetka living roomClick here to see additional photos of 1249 Cherry Street

Upstairs is a large master bedroom plus two family bedrooms and bath. The two-level attic offers not only great storage but the potential to create additional living space.

The huge lower level has a finished vintage rec room with bar, workshop, laundry (with laundry chute and built-in bins for sorting) and tons of storage. The old coal storage room is just waiting to be re-born as your wine room. Newer mechanicals and back-flow control system make for carefree living. This home has a two-car detached garage.

The tree streets of Crow Island encompass one of Winnetka’s most desirable neighborhoods. Popular with families the homes in Crow Island come in a mix of styles and are surrounded by mature trees and well-tended yards. The home at 1249 Cherry Street is especially well-located near all three primary schools (Crow Island Elementary, Skokie Middle School and Washburne Junior High), and is just a block to Skokie Playfield, Nielsen Tennis Center, Winnetka Golf Club and Winnetka Ice Arena. Commuting to the city? It’s easy to hop on the Edens Expressway from here or walk to the Metra station.

This home is offered at $725,000. Call the Come Home North Shore Team at 847-881-6657 to arrange a private showing of 1249 Cherry Street or send us a note here.

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