Special Events, Classes and More at Chicago Botanic Garden’s Orchid Show

Chicago Botanic Garden’s biggest flower show, the Orchid Show, is back with beautiful orchids like the Phalaenopsis “V3,” which is rarely seen at botanic gardens. This year’s theme is Orchids in Vogue and you’ll find orchid “dresses” at the show in honor of the influence orchids have had on fashion and pop culture.

Before you visit the Orchid Show, here are the special events, ticket offers, classes and facts you need to know about.

Special Events
Morning Music with Orchids
Stop by every Tuesday from 10-11 a.m. for orchids with a side of song. Scheduled guests include David Chiriboga (Feb. 21), Black Oak Ensemble (Feb. 23), Healing Earth Native American Flute Circle (March 14) and the Midwest Young Artists Conservatory (March 23).

The Orchid Show - Morning Music

Morning Music with Orchids, Chicago Botanic Garden

Orchid Marketplace
On weekends throughout the show, visit the marketplace to buy your very own orchid. The Garden Shop also has mini orchids as well as orchid books, jewelry, kitchenware and gifts.

Illinois Orchid Society Spring Show & Sale
March 11-12
As orchids in 128 classes contend for best in class ribbons and the Chicago Horticultural Society Award for best-appointed plant, families can take part in orchid-themed activities.

Evening with Orchids
March 16
Explore the show while sipping on cocktails and beverages from Coopers Hawk Winery, FEW Spirits and more.

The Orchid Show - Evening with the Orchids

Evening with the Orchids, Chicago Botanic Garden

Post-Orchid Show Plant Sale
March 30
After the Orchid Show closes, buy one of the stars of the show to display at your own home.

Classes
Want to learn more about orchids? Register for classes like Photographing Orchids (Feb. 23), Growing Orchids Indoors (Feb. 24) Botanical Watercolor: Exquisite Orchids (March 3) and The Orchid and the Pot (March 11).

Special Offer
The Orchid Show makes for a great date night and you can even save more than 30 percent with the Garden’s special ticket offer for two (only available online). For $34, you’ll receive two tickets to the show and parking for one car. Buy your tickets here.

Photography
Of course you’ll want to snap a few pics for Instagram, but you can only bring a tripod or monopod to the Orchid Show on Wednesdays from noon to 4 p.m.

The Orchid Show

The Orchid Show, Chicago Botanic Garden


Did You Know?
During your visit, impress your friends with these orchid facts.

  • There are 10,000 orchids at the Orchid Show.
  • Every year, more than 3,000 new man-made orchid hybrids are registered.
  • The family Orchidaceaethere is huge — there are more than 1,000 orchids in the genus Dendrobium
  • Orchids have bilateral symmetry, so each flower can be split into two equal parts.
  • After germination, an orchid’s flowers won’t be seen for 5-7 years — at least!
  • There are 110 species in the genus Vanilla, and one, planifolia, produces everyone’s favorite vanilla bean.

All photos courtesy of Chicago Botanic Garden.

Breweries and Distilleries on Chicago’s North Shore

Once very much a dry town, Evanston now boasts multiple breweries and distilleries that are making award-winning brews.

Peckish Pig

Peckish Pig, Evanston

Peckish Pig
623 Howard St., Evanston

Restaurant and brewery Peckish Pig opened in March 2014 after Debbie and Jamie Evans had been approached by the City of Evanston about the Howard Street Revitalization Project.

“I have always loved a challenge,” Debbie says. “The development of Howard Street was an added bonus to opening something new. Being a business that could be involved in the transformation and improvement of the city was a really big selling point.”

Debbie says they wanted to create a cozy environment with great beer and great food. The menu changes seasonally and features items like Free Range Boar Tacos, Duck Confit Mac & Cheese, Maple-Habanero Chicken Wings and The Amazing Kale Burger.

“I have lived in Evanston for 22 years and love the diverse community and the support small businesses receive here,” Debbie adds. “I want to be a part of my community and add to it to make it a better place for everyone to live.”

Today, Peckish Pig’s most popular beer is the India’s Panic Attack, the first beer produced at the brewpub.

“[India’s Panic Attack] has always been on tap and people know it by name now. We have won a couple of awards for our beers and we take much pride in the fact that the food is something that keeps our guests coming back.”

Learn more and find upcoming events at thepeckishpig.com.

Sketchbook Brewing Co.

Sketchbook Brewing Company, Evanston


Sketchbook Brewing Company
825E Chicago Ave., Evanston

Sketchbook founders Shawn Decker and Cesar Marron met through the Homebrew Club in Evanston. After realizing they both had been contemplating opening a brewery, Sketchbook was founded in November 2014.

“For me it was a chance to do something local in the community,” Decker says. “Sustainability was a big issue as well. This idea of a local, sustainable brewery that’s connected to the local slow food movement, this green food movement, and obviously connected to the community in general, dedicated to really fresh beer that’s made locally.”

Sketchbook’s Tap Room also reflects the mission to be community focused as it’s designed to be a place to come together. There are no TVs and music is kept at a low volume so you can always converse with the people you came with or meet other local beer lovers.

“That’s really important to us,” Decker, an Evanston resident of 35 years, says. “And we always have at least 12 beers on tap, so it’s a good opportunity to come in and try a bunch of different things.”

Popular Sketchbook beers include Orange Door (IPA), Snowy Owl (Rye-Amber Ale), Back-Alley Abbey (Belgian Dubbel) and No Parking (Session Pale Ale).

Learn more about the CSB membership program, tours, Trad Tuesdays with acoustic live music and more at sketchbookbrewing.com.

Temperance Beer

Temperance Beer, Evanston. Photo credit: Genie Lemieux


Temperance Beer
2000 Dempster St., Evanston

After the financial crisis in 2008, architect Josh Gilbert needed to find a new passion. In 2013, after moving back to Evanston, Gilbert put two and two together: As a home brewer, he enjoyed making beer, and Evanston didn’t have a brewery.

“I wanted to be in Evanston because I had that hometown connection, but also since Evanston had this tortured history with alcohol, that made it even more special to be the first brewery in Evanston.”

In the summer, one of Temperance’s most popular beers is Greenwood Beach, a blonde ale with pineapple. Their Gatecrasher (IPA) has won a gold and silver medal at the Great American Beer Festival, and Might Meets Right, an imperial stout, is also a popular pick.

“[Temperance] can be a little hard to find,” Gilbert says, “but once you get here it’s a comfortable, fun environment that is open and welcoming to everyone.”

Learn more about upcoming events, brewery tours and more at temperancebeer.com.

4 More North Shore Breweries and Distilleries You Should Visit

The Best Deals of North Shore Restaurant Month

It’s that time of year again!

Whether you’re looking to try something new or have a favorite spot to frequent, you can enjoy delicious dining deals throughout the North Shore all month long. All you have to do is print a dining certificate or have it ready on your phone and you’ll be enjoying free appetizers and desserts, discounts and more in no time. Keep reading for a list of some of the best deals of North Shore Restaurant Month or to view the entire list of participating restaurants here.

And while you’re dining, snap a photo and share it on Instagram using #NSRM17. Your photo may end up being featured on our Instagram page or website!

*Designates a new restaurant participating this year

Creperie Saint Germain
1512 Sherman Ave., Evanston

Treat your bestie or significant other to savory or sweet crepes (because it’s two for one entrées this month at Creperie Saint Germain).

D’Agostino’s
2350 Lehigh Ave., Glenview
241 S. Milwaukee Ave., Wheeling

Whether it’s Super Bowl Sunday or a regular Saturday night, there’s always a reason for pizza (and it’s even better when your check is 15 percent off).

Francesca’s North
1145 Church St., Northbrook

Travel to Italy with tasty pasta, pizza and more at Francesca’s North, which will be offering 15 percent off your lunch check this month (so go ahead, order that appetizer!).

#dessertplatter #fantastic

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Guildhall
694 Vernon Ave., Glencoe

Get a free dessert with your entrée purchase at Guildhall, where you can dine on Lake Superior Whitefish, Housemade Garganelli, Braised Short Rib or Guildhall Fish & Chips. You really can’t go wrong here.

Johnny’s Kitchen & Tap
1740 Milwaukee Ave., Glenview

Choose a soup or salad, entrée (Parmesan-Crusted Tilapia, Country Style Pork Chops or Garlic Shrimp Pasta) and dessert (Rice Pudding, Gelato Hot Fudge Sunday, Warm Bread Pudding or Cheesecake) for $19.95 per person.

Kaufman’s Bagel & Delicatessen
4905 Dempster St., Skokie

Switch up your lunch routine and head over to Kaufman’s. When you order a sandwich during lunch this month, you’ll get a free dessert.

I could eat these sesame peanut noodles all day, everyday 😋 #chicagonorthshore

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Lulu’s
1026 Davis St., Evanston

Lulu’s is back! Celebrate with free dessert with the purchase of two entrées (perfect for date night!).

Maggiano’s Little Italy
Westfield Old Orchard, 4999 Old Orchard Shopping Court, Skokie

Maggiano’s three-course prix fixe meal serves two people for $42.95 and you’ll take home two classic pasta dishes to enjoy later, so you won’t have to worry about dinner the next day either.

NaKorn Kitchen*
1622 Orrington Ave., Evanston

You HAVE to try this new Thai restaurant in Evanston. Luckily, they’re offering a three course prix fixe meal for $20 at lunch and $30 at dinner.

Terra & Vine*
1701 Maple Ave., Evanston

If you haven’t been to Alpana Singh’s newest restaurant, now’s the time to visit. Stop by for lunch Tuesday-Sunday to receive 15 percent off your check, or enjoy a three-course prix fixe dinner menu for $28 (Sunday-Thursday).

Holiday lunch with my team #tuscany #tiramisu #foodporn #dessert #holidayfun

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Tuscany
550 S. Milwaukee Ave., Wheeling

This year, Tuscany is offering a three-course prix fixe meal for $25. In addition to an appetizer and dessert, choose from Pollo al Porcini con Risotto, Melanzane Parmigiana, Lasagna al Forno and Tilapia al Pepenero for your entrée.

Whiskey Thief Tavern*
616 Davis St., Evanston

Grab lunch at this Evanston hotspot and choose an appetizer (bacon wrapped dates or mixed greens), main course (grilled chicken sandwich, cheeseburger or portobello burger) and dessert (churros or lava cake) for $22. Or, for $33, you can dine here during dinner.

Find a complete list of deals and participating restaurants here.

 

Get Creative on Chicago’s North Shore

Looking for ways to get your hands dirty? Want to learn a new skill? There are plenty of ways to get creative on Chicago’s North Shore, whether you’re interested in nature, jewelry, painting or even giving back.

Paint the Town
Grab your closest friends (and a glass of wine) and spend an evening painting a masterpiece. Upcoming paintings at The Glen’s Pinot’s Palette include A Winter’s Night (Jan. 27) and Poppies on Parade (Feb. 2). Pinot’s Palette will also host GAL-entine’s Night Out featuring Beauty Bar by CHOP CHOP on Feb. 9. At Evanston’s Bottle & Bottega, you can paint your pet (Jan. 23) and paint with the entire family (Jan. 28), or stop by on Jan. 31 for National Inspire Your Heart With Art Day.

Get Creative at The Collage Cafe, Evanston

The Collage Cafe, Evanston

Creative Crafts
The Collage Café in Evanston offers open studio hours every Wednesday, when you can bring your own project or find one at the café. On Jan. 27, the café will also host Coloring & Cocktails, and you can stop by the next day for one of the most popular classes, Altered Books.

Get Creative at Evanston Art Center, Evanston

Evanston Art Center, Evanston

Work of Art
Whether you’re looking for a class for yourself or your kids, or even a creative summer camp, you’ll always find something to love at the Evanston Art Center. Upcoming workshops include Crochet Basics on Jan. 29, Sashiko Stitching on Feb. 11 and Digital Photography for Beginners on Feb. 25 while classes range in topic from ceramics and drawing to figure sculpture and woodworking.

Good Nature
There’s always a way to get your hands dirty at Chicago Botanic Garden. The Little Diggers program gives 2-, 3- and 4-year-olds an opportunity to take part in a group activity, free play and a planting project. Or, the entire family can get involved in Weekend Family Classes like Sweet Treats: Cold Eats on Feb. 12 and 25. Participants will learn about how some favorite treats are connected to plants, make fruity goodies, and take home a recipe.

Get Creative at Aylas Originals, Evanston

Ayla’s Originals, Evanston

Beautiful Beads
Ayla’s Originals, a bead, jewelry and gift boutique in Evanston, hosts classes led by local artists. You can make a Cobblestone Beaded Bracelet, a leather and pearl necklace and more, or learn how to photograph your jewelry. You can even schedule your next party here.

Give Back
Get outside and do some good at The Grove’s Restoration Work Day on Feb. 11. Bring work gloves to help collect seeds or remove non-native plants.

Must-See Performances on Chicago’s North Shore

If you’re looking for a fun date night or family outing idea, there’s no shortage of great theater and music on Chicago’s North Shore. Don’t miss this season’s must-see performances.

Opening Feb. 22: “The Scene”
Writers Theatre, 325 Tudor Court, Glencoe

Kimberly Senior, back at Writers Theatre after directing Broadway’s Pulitzer Prize-winning “Disgraced,” directs this play by Theresa Rebeck. Clea, a twentysomething who recently moved to New York, meets friends Charlie and Lewis at a party in Manhattan. This encounter “sets them off on an emotional roller coaster.” Click here to learn more about Writers Theatre events like “The Making of…’The Scene’” on March 27 and post-show conversations.

The Dining Room at Oil Lamp Theater

The Dining Room at Oil Lamp Theater, Glenview

Opened Jan. 12: “The Dining Room”
Oil Lamp Theater, 1723 Glenview Road, Glenview

“If these walls could talk…” Well, these walls can. Oil Lamp Theater’s latest production takes place in one dining room over 80 years. Watch as cast members transform into various characters whose biggest moments — some good, some bad — occur within just four walls.

Jan. 22: Music of the Baroque
North Shore Center for the Performing Arts, 9501 Skokie Blvd., Skokie

Music of the Baroque, a highly praised classical group that performs works from the 18th century, will be in Skokie to share pieces from Beethoven and Mozart. Can’t make it? The group will return to the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts every month through May. Contact either Music of the Baroque or North Shore Center for tickets.

Faceless at Northlight Theatre

Faceless at Northlight Theatre, Skokie

Opening Jan. 26: “Faceless”
Northlight Theatre, 9501 Skokie Blvd., Skokie

This world premiere play by Selina Fillinger introduces theatergoers to two women — one an 18-year-old on trial for conspiracy to commit acts of terrorism and the other the prosecuting lawyer and a practicing Muslim. Northlight will host various events throughout the show’s run, including an Interfaith Community Panel on Jan. 31 and panel discussion called Muslims on Stage and Screen on Feb. 12.

Feb. 3: Jonathan Biss
Mary B. Galvin Recital Hall, 70 Arts Circle Drive, Evanston

Northwestern’s Bienen School of Music will welcome Jonathan Biss as part of the Skyline Piano Artist Series. Biss, a Leonard Bernstein Award winner, will perform works from Schumann, Chopin, Brahms and more in Galvin Recital Hall, which offers a beautiful view of the Chicago skyline.

The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane

The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane at Northwestern University’s Wirtz Center, Evanston

Feb. 3-12: “The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane”
Hall & Martha Hyer Wallis Theater, 20 Arts Circle Drive, Evanston

Northwestern’s Imagine U creates shows and productions that are perfect for kids and families. Their next play bring’s Kate DiCamillo’s award-winning book about a china rabbit’s journey home to life on stage.

Feb. 18:
Kathy Griffin
North Shore Center for the Performing Arts, 9501 Skokie Blvd., Skokie

Emmy and Grammy winner Kathy Griffin is bringing her hilarious Celebrity Run-In Tour to the North Shore Center during their 20th anniversary season. Griffin’s second book, “Kathy Griffin’s Celebrity Run-Ins: My A-Z Index,” was released this past November and features funny (and sometimes bizarre) stories of celebrities like Leonardo DiCaprio, Ashton Kutcher, Barbra Streisand and Taylor Swift.

Find more performances around Chicago’s North Shore here.

7 Ways to Keep Kids Entertained This Winter

Winter is rough. Bitter cold temperatures keep you from venturing outside, but after a few days of hibernation, it’s easy for anyone to get restless, especially kiddos. Fortunately, Chicago’s North Shore is filled with museums, indoor play spaces and other hot destinations that will keep the fun going all winter long. Here our are favorite ways to keep kids entertained this winter.

Family Programs at Chicago Botanic Garden in Glencoe

Family Programs at Chicago Botanic Garden, Glencoe

Chicago Botanic Garden
1000 Lake Cook Road, Glencoe

Sure, you might think about spending more time at Chicago Botanic Garden during the spring or summer, but this gorgeous destination is still a must-visit during the winter months, especially because the Garden offers Weekend Family Classes all year long. In January, get Loco for Cocoa, and don’t miss Sweet Treats: Cold Eats in February.

Skokie Exploritorium

Exploritorium, Skokie

Exploritorium
4701 Oakton St., Skokie

Chicago magazine named this imagination playground “Best Rainy Day Activity Site” (which works for snowy days too), so visit whenever your kids need a break to play with trains, dress up, climb through tubes and tunnels and more.

Ways to Keep the Kids Entertained this Winter at Kohl Children's Museum

Children’s China at Kohl Children’s Museum, Glenview


Kohl Children’s Museum
2100 Patriot Blvd., Glenview

This museum combines fun and learning with permanent exhibits like Adventures in Art, Play Cafe, Ravinia Festival Music Makers and Water Works. Visit between Jan. 20 and April 25 to explore the new temporary exhibit Children’s China, where kids will discover favorite activities of Chinese families, read quotes from Confucius, learn to write “Thank you, teacher” in Chinese characters, celebrate Chinese New Year and more.

Little Beans Cafe
430 Asbury Ave., Evanston

This indoor play space is not only great for kids, but also a favorite spot for parents. While your Little Beans (0-6 years) and Big Beans (4-12 years) explore the Little Beans Village (complete with a General Store, Tree House and more), a Ninja Warrior obstacle course, the karaoke room, gym and additional activity areas, you can sit back and relax with a cup of coffee and a treat in the cafe.

Music Theater Works
516 4th St., Wilmette

Looking for a creative outlet for your budding superstar? Sign them up for a class at Music Theater Works (formerly Light Opera Works). Kids ages 8-13 can take part in summer workshops for shows like “Annie Jr.,” “The Music Man Jr.” and “Spamalot” (there are no auditions and experience is not required) while teens ages 13-18 can audition for a part in the youth production of “Candide.” Signing up now will give you one more thing to look forward to about summer besides the heat.

Splash Landings Aquatic Center
2400 Chestnut Ave., Glenview

The middle of winter might just be the perfect time to spend a day at the pool and pretend it’s July. With a Splash Landings Play Pool featuring a waterslide and a Splash Landings Lap Pool for the more fitness-minded swimmer, there’s something for everyone in the family.

Ways to Keep Kids Entertained this Winter at the Winnetka Community House

Family Bingo Night at Winnetka Community House, Winnetka

Winnetka Community House
620 Lincoln Ave., Winnetka

This community house offers a wealth of activities and classes throughout the year. Purchase tickets now for Family Bingo Night on Jan. 20, when families (all ages welcome) will enjoy this classic activity with drinks, popcorn and prizes. And don’t miss the Big Balloon Show on Feb. 20.

7 Winter Break Activities on Chicago’s North Shore

Winter break is almost here, which means you’re in need of things to do to keep the kiddos entertained. Fortunately, there are plenty of fun (and even educational!) events and activities throughout the North Shore that will keep you going until school resumes. Here are seven exciting winter break activities on Chicago’s North Shore.

Illinois Holocaust Museum

Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center, Skokie

Illinois Holocaust Museum – Kids & Students Free
The Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center is offering a winter break promotion that gives kids and students free admission from Dec. 17 to Jan. 2. Take this opportunity to see special exhibits like Women Hold Up Half the Sky and We All Need Peace. And if you haven’t been to the Harvey L. Miller Family Youth Exhibition, make sure to visit as a family over winter break.

Make Crafts at the Mitchell Museum of the American Indian
The Mitchell Museum is expanding its free weekend craft program to weekdays during winter break. Kids will make beaded necklaces, dream catchers and more Native American-inspired crafts. Or, enjoy the Arts and Seasonal Stories program during weekends in December for stories about Caribou and a felt Caribou doll craft.

First Night Evanston

First Night Evanston

Ring in the New Year at First Night Evanston
This annual family-friendly event features musical performances, poetry readings, activities for kids and more at various venues throughout Evanston. Plus, you’ll be able to sample fare from a variety of food trucks. Make sure to buy your wristband(s) ASAP.

Experience Wonderland Express
Chicago Botanic Garden’s annual model train exhibit is back through Jan. 2. Look for miniature versions of Chicago landmarks throughout the exhibit, where it will also snow indoors.

Watch “Frozen” (Again)
Of course your kids know every word to every song in “Frozen,” but why not watch it one more time with the added bonus of arts and crafts, face painting, ice sculpture demos, hot chocolate and snowflake cookies? Stop by Frozen Fest, hosted by the Wheeling Park District Jan. 15, for all of that and more “Frozen” fun.

Plan a Staycation
Can’t get away this winter? Then take advantage of the Family Fun Package at either Hilton Garden Inn Chicago North Shore/Evanston or Hilton Orrington/Evanston. Enjoy breakfast for four before exploring Evanston.

CTA Holiday Train in Evanston

CTA Holiday Train Visits Evanston

CTA Holiday Train Visits Evanston
Friday, Dec. 16: The CTA Holiday Train will make stops at the Davis Street Station at 6:00 and 6:27 pm. Join Downtown Evanston before or after your ride for a complimentary taffy apple and caroling at the plaza outside of Urban Outfitters and Terra & Vine. Then shop and eat downtown with your family!

Want more? Check out our curated list of events, deals and more at visitchicagonorthshore.com/holiday.

Where to Find Santa on Chicago’s North Shore

You know what they say … it’s the most wonderful time of the year! So make the most of it (even with chilling temps and slushy snow) with tree lightings around the North Shore and memories made with Santa Claus. Here’s where to find Santa on Chicago’s North Shore.

Chicago Botanic Garden

Chicago Botanic Garden, Glencoe

Dec. 2: Winnetka Holiday Tree Lighting
Metra Park, Winnetka

Make your way to Metra Park, across from Winnetka Village Hall, for this year’s tree lighting ceremony. You’ll meet visitors from the North Pole and listen to carolers in Victorian costumes as you sip on hot chocolate. After, stop by The Book Stall for a story.

Dec. 3, 10, 17: Breakfast with Santa at Allgauer’s
Allgauer’s on the Riverfront, Northbrook

Enjoy a scrumptious breakfast buffet at Allgauer’s on the Riverfront. Kids will be able to decorate their own holiday cookies and meet Santa Claus!

Dec. 9: Downtown Evanston Tree Lighting
Downtown Evanston

Evanston’s own tree lighting ceremony will take place at Fountain Square with Santa and Mrs. Claus and performances by the Evanston Children’s Choir and Northwestern’s Waa-Mu. After the tree is lit, meet Santa and take part in holiday crafts and other activities at The Merion.

Santa
Dec. 10: Breakfast With Santa
Chevy Chase Country Club, Wheeling

Register by Dec. 7 to have breakfast with Santa at Chevy Chase Country Club. While you dine, listen to carolers before taking a photo with Santa and watching a performance of “Those Funny Little People.”

Dec. 10: Skate With Santa
Winnetka Ice Arena, Winnetka

If you need a break from holiday shopping (and stress), head out to Winnetka Ice Arena with the kids for a sleigh ride around the rink and a quick chat with Santa.

Hot Chocolate with Mrs. Claus

Hot Chocolate with Mrs. Claus at Chicago Botanic Garden, Glencoe

Dec. 19: Hot Chocolate With Mrs. Claus
Chicago Botanic Garden, Glencoe

Enjoy hot chocolate and cookies with Mrs. Claus (maybe she’ll share a good story or two about Santa!) before exploring Chicago Botanic Garden’s favorite annual exhibit, Wonderland Express.

Through Dec. 31: Santa’s Magical Trolley Express
Little Beans Café, Evanston

Dress your kiddos in their warmest pajamas for a magical trolley ride to Santa’s North Pole workshop (aka Little Beans Café). Before arriving, Mrs. Claus will read “The Polar Express” while you take in the holiday decorations around Evanston. After the ride is over, kids will enjoy music, games and treats with elves, plus a photo with Santa.

Find even more winter fun, including shows, shopping and hotel deals, special events and more, here.

6 New Restaurants on Chicago’s North Shore

There is no shortage of great dining options on Chicago’s North Shore, but we still get excited when new restaurants open their doors. From Thai and Italian to coffee and beer, everything these spots are serving is really, really good. Go see for yourself – check out these new restaurants on Chicago’s North Shore!

Granite City in Northbrook

Granite City, Northbrook

Granite City Food & Brewery
992 Willow Road, Northbrook

The highlight of this restaurant is a brewery where signature beers and seasonal brews are made on site. But, you’ll also find delicious food, including Batch 1000 BBQ Pork Nachos, Maple Pepper Bacon and Tomato Flatbread, Braised Bison Short Ribs and Jumbo Sea Scallops with Wild Mushroom and Asparagus Risotto. You can also visit on Sundays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. for brunch.

NaKorn Kitchen
1622 Orrington Ave., Evanston

Looking for authentic Thai food? Your quest just might be over. This brand new restaurant (it opened in early November) is serving Southern Style Fried Noodles, Tofu Steak, Coriander Crispy Shredded Beef Brisket and Chilean Sea Bass, just to name a few of the tasty options on their menu.

Taco Diablo/Five & Dime/Lulu’s
1026 Davis St., Evanston

Although not completely new, this is now one stop dining with three great (favorite) options. After the original restaurant was destroyed in a fire, Taco Diablo is back on Davis Street in Evanston with tacos (lamb barbacoa, grilled snapper, potato, etc.), enchiladas, salads, margaritas and more. Upstairs you’ll find Five & Dime, a rooftop bar and grill serving favorites from Lulu’s Dim Sum, which will also re-open at this location.

Terra and Vine in Evanston

Terra & Vine, Evanston

Terra & Vine
1701 Maple Ave., Evanston

Alpana Singh, master sommelier and proprietor of The Boarding House and Seven Lions in Chicago, has opened her newest restaurant, Terra & Vine, in Evanston. This Italian Mediterranean destination features pizzettes like Duck Confit and Italian Sausage, pasta dishes including Shrimp Calabrese and Mushroom Orecchiette, and wood fired specialties like Grilled Swordfish and Steak Florentine. Plus, there’s a gluten-free menu. Whatever you decide to order, don’t forget to pair it with the perfect cocktail or glass of wine.

The Barn
Rear 1016 Church St., Evanston

Amy Morton and Chef Nicole Pederson, the team behind Found Kitchen and Social House, have opened this new “meat-centric dining experience” that’s tucked away in an Evanston alley between Davis and Church and Maple and Oak streets. The three steaks (12 ounce New York, 16 ounce Ribeye and 10 ounce Tenderloin) are the highlight here, but nightly specials include lasagna (Tuesday), chicken pot pie (Wednesday) and roasted duck (Friday).

Whiskey Thief in Evanston

Whiskey Thief, Evanston


Whiskey Thief Tavern
616 Davis St., Evanston

This cool new spot in Evanston features amazing decor, but even better food. Start with poutine or chicken wings before trying a burger or falafel sandwich and finishing with churros or creme brûlée. Pair your order with the Liquid Sunshine or Hanging Acrobat cocktail. Brunch is also served Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Support North Shore Shops on Small Business Saturday (and Score a Few Deals!)

Small Business Saturday began in 2010 as a way to encourage shoppers to support their local businesses after Black Friday. The event has grown every year — in 2014, an estimated $14.3 billion was spent at small businesses, and in 2015, 95 million people shopped at local stores.

This year, Small Business Saturday falls on Nov. 26. Here’s how you can support the North Shore’s own small business community (and check a few items off your holiday shopping list):

Bookends and Beginnings

Bookends and Beginnings, Evanston

Bookends & Beginnings
1712 Sherman Ave., Alley #1, Evanston

This bookstore will celebrate Small Business Saturday with a children’s storytime and by giving a free bumper sticker to shoppers who spend $50 or more, among other treats and surprises. Plus, stop by from 3-5 p.m. to meet Steve Dawson and Mark Caro, authors of “Take It To the Bridge: Unlock the Great Songs Inside You.”

Maya Papaya

Maya Papaya, Evanston

Maya Papaya & Tony Macarony
1901 Central St., Evanston

If you’re looking for that perfect holiday outfit for the kids, or simply need to update their fall and winter wardrobe, stop by this adorable children’s boutique. In addition to high-quality (and cute!) clothes, you’ll also find toys, books and accessories that are perfect for gifting. Stop by on Small Business Saturday for discounts and other surprises.

Maze Home

Maze Home, Winnetka

Maze Home
735 Elm St., Winnetka

Pick up items for your own home (furniture, pillows, mirrors, lighting and more) or find the perfect hostess, wedding and holiday gifts. On Small Business Saturday, Maze Home will offer 10 percent off all holiday decor.

Skändal
907 Green Bay Road, Winnetka

Need to update your own wardrobe? Skändal brings you the hottest fashions from Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Iceland and The Netherlands. Shop sweaters, coats, boots, dresses, and even gifts for yourself or all the ladies on your holiday gift list. Skandal will offer 20 percent off storewide (excluding Ilse Jacobsen and Sarah Magid) on Nov. 26.

Stumble & Relish

Stumble & Relish, Evanston

Stumble & Relish
1310 Chicago Ave., Evanston

This gift shop, owned by a mother/daughter team, is one of the North Shore’s cutest stores — and a perfect stop for holiday shopping! Find jewelry, candles, mugs, greeting cards, decor, artwork and more from local artisans. Stop by on Nov. 26 and receive a free gift with any purchase (while supplies last).

Village Toy Shop
807 Elm St., Winnetka
You probably already have quite the wish list from the kiddos in your life, so get an early start on holiday shopping and support this local toy store that is celebrating 68 years. For Small Business Saturday, Village Toy Shop will be sharing a 10 percent off promotion to their email subscribers. If you mention that deal, you will receive the discount too!

Wags on Willow
840 Willow Road, Suite J, Northbrook

Don’t forget about your favorite furry friends! Find Fido their own holiday treats and toys — and don’t forget to book an appointment in Wags on Willow’s grooming facility before the holidays. Wags on Willow will be moving to Northfield the first week of December, but the team welcomes shoppers to still stop by their Northbrook location for 20 percent off all dog and cat treats on Small Business Saturday.

Find a complete list of local businesses to support on Nov. 26 (and all year long!) here.