Between all those parties, shopping for that one last perfect gift, and large family dinners, there’s a lot to do once the holiday season arrives. When you could use a day or two (or more!) off from the hustle and bustle, turn to one of these North Shore businesses for a good book, a relaxing treatment, or a family friendly activity.
Grab a Good Book When you just need to get away for a little while, let a book transport you to a faraway world. Find your next read (and perfect gifts, too!) by shopping at a North Shore bookstore. At The Book Stall (811 Elm St., Winnetka), you'll find the latest bestsellers and a knowledgeable staff ready to help you including offering free gift wrapping and events. Or visit Bookends & Beginnings (1712 Sherman Ave., in the alley, Evanston) for your next read. You'll find this independent bookstore — what some call "the speakeasy for books" — tucked down an Evanston alley. Ask the staff about their favorites (you’ll also find handwritten notes throughout the store with recommendations). Your kiddos will also love Booked (506 Main St., Evanston), a children's bookstore that gets kids excited about reading and helps them find books that will teach them important lifelong lessons. There's even a small door within the front door that's perfectly child-size!
Get Pampered When you're in need of getting pampered or party ready, we have special options for you - or great gift certificates. To prepare your skin, turn to Dawn Skin Studio (828 Davis St., Suite 102) for facials like Refresh, an hour-long customized facial that cleanses, exfoliates, massages, hydrates, and moisturizes, or opt for EyeHancements like a Brow Tint or Lash Lift. For a much-needed massage, visit Evanston Athletic Club (1723 Benson Ave., Evanston) — you don't need to be a member to enjoy this massage therapy facility. Therapists here perform Shiatsu, Craniosacral Therapy, Swedish Massage, Prenatal Massage, and much more. Or take a break from holiday shopping at Mario Tricoci (Westfield Old Orchard, Skokie). Whether you need a haircut or color, manicure or pedicure, facial, massage, wax or makeup and hair help, you can experience it all at this salon and spa.
Mario Tricoci, Westfield Old Orchard, Skokie
Blow Off Some Steam When you just need to get out and have some fun, turn to one of these North Shore spots. Athletico Center (1900 Old Willow Road, Northbrook) has something for everyone with a fieldhouse and basketball court. Adults can sign up for pick-up soccer games on Monday and Wednesday nights, or register your kids for Winter Break Camps. Youth ages 4-13 will get the chance to play sports like basketball, soccer, flag football, and volleyball while also enjoying capture the flag, inflatables, crafts, and more activities. And don't let the busyness of the season keep you from taking care of yourself. However you like to work out — group exercise classes, pilates, cycling, swimming, and more — Lustbader Health Club (300 Revere Drive, Northbrook) has the facilities and trainers you need to stay strong and healthy. It's also the season for ice skating, so head out to Watts Center (305 Randolph Ave., Glencoe), where you'll find two outdoor ice rinks and a sledding hill. And if the whole family could use a break, visit Funtopia (The Glen Town Center, Glenview). This indoor adventure park includes more than 40 Fun Walls for climbing, a ropes course, a realistic cave system to explore, and a jungle gym for younger kids. Visit during Family Fun Friday to experience it with pizza and soda.